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Eat Mindfully to Improve Digestive Health

digest Jul 23, 2020

 

Mindfulness Can Improve Digestive Health

The practice of mindfulness means being aware of what is happening within and around you in the present moment. This practice can be done while eating to enhance enjoyment and support digestive health.

When you practice mindful eating, you avoid distractions (like your phone) so you can fully notice and appreciate the colors, smells, flavors, and textures of your food. You'll chew more slowly with this practice, which benefits your digestion and satisfaction while eating. Mindful eating may also help you:

  • Reduce overeating and binge eating.
  • Lose weight.
  • Cope with chronic eating problems such as anorexia and bulimia.
  • Reduce anxious thoughts about food and body.
  • Improve symptoms of Type 2 diabetes.

Read more about the practice to learn how it can impact your digestion, which can, in turn, contribute to positive mental health outcomes.

Mindful eating is a simple practice that you can do anytime, anywhere.

Mindful Eating...

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Exercise to Keep Your Digestive Tract Healthy

digest Jul 16, 2020

Move to Keep Your GI Tract Healthy

Exercise can help support digestive health and function in many ways:

  • Exercise improves blood flow throughout your digestive system and the rest of your body.
  • Aerobic exercise like walking, running, and cycling can help to strengthen abdominal muscles. Strong abdominal muscles assist digestion.
  • Regular aerobic activity can also activate your digestive tract and stimulate muscles that propel digestive waste through your intestines.

The good news is that almost any exercise you enjoy can help your digestion. The Resilient Movement Plans  are great a place to start if you don't have an exercise routine. There are also more targeted activities designed specifically to help your gut, wind relieving pose and abdominal self massage.

Two Movement Practices for Better Digestion

1. Wind Relieving Pose: This yoga posture can increase blood flow to the digestive system and facilitate colonic activity. Here's how to do it:

    ...
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The Gut-Brain Connection

digest Jul 09, 2020
 

The brain and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract are intimately connected and communicate constantly. Imbalances that have their origins in the GI tract can dramatically affect brain function and can cause or contribute to depression, anxiety, and inattention.

Studies over the past decade have established that, aside from the brain, the GI tract has more nerve cells than any other organ or system in the body. For this reason, the GI tract is sometimes called the “second brain.” Almost all of the neurotransmitters that are made in the brain are also manufactured in the GI tract, including 90% of the body's serotonin and 50% of its dopamine! The GI tract also houses approximately 70% of the immune system cells in the body. Additionally, our gut is home to billions of bacteria (and other organisms) that are designed to live in harmony with us. This internal world of organisms is called the "microbiome." Our gut bacteria help us make vitamins,...

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Morning Routine for Better Sleep

sleep Jul 02, 2020

 

Before you begin your routine, it's important that you set a bedtime and wake-up time. Aim to get to bed at about the same time each night. Getting up at the same time each day can also help you keep a regular bedtime. Remember to choose times that are realistic for you and that give you 7-9 hours of sleep every night.

Goal: Complete These Practices Within Three Hours after Waking Up.

Wake Up On Time. Get up at the same time every day (or close to it). This is crucial to setting your circadian rhythm. Use alarms if you have to. It’s even more helpful to awaken with the light, either the natural sunrise or a dawn simulator.

Make Your Bed. Making your bed each morning improves the chances of a good night’s sleep by nearly 20% because it keeps you from using your bed for anything but sleep.

Eat Breakfast. Learn more from the Nourish practices in this Sleep section.

Get Some Sun. Get bright light in the morning, preferably within an hour or two of waking. That will...

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Evening Routine for Better Sleep

sleep Jun 25, 2020

 

Before you begin your routine, it's important that you set a bedtime and wake-up time. Aim to get to bed at about the same time each night. Getting up at the same time each day can also help you keep a regular bedtime. Remember to choose times that are realistic for you and that give you 7-9 hours of sleep every night.

1-2 Hours Before Bed

Stop Work, Turn Off Devices, and Stay Away From the Bedroom. Stop any work-related tasks and turn off your electronics including the computer, iPad, and smart-phone. Keep the bedroom for sleep. Remove work-related items, TVs, or other electronic devices. Keep the room simple and uncluttered.

Dim the Lights. Keep your lights as low as you can, or even use candles. Darkness before bed will do amazing things for your natural sleepiness.

Practice at Least One Soothing Activity. Read a book, journal, color listen to light music, or spend time in prayer or meditation. If you like to take a warm bath or shower in the evening, do so at least one...

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Postpartum Depression in Fathers

Uncategorized Jun 18, 2020

Tim Culbert, MD

 

Important Fact: Up to 25% of fathers experience postpartum depression (PPD) and fathers may have different signs/symptoms than women who experience postpartum depression.

For example, men with PPD may not cry,  but often feel more angry, irritable, or impulsive. They may also have trouble finding anything to do that gives them pleasure (anhedonia), experience relationship stress, and have trouble with sleep.

Studies suggest that dads with depression are at increased risk for substance abuse, domestic violence, and are more likely to discourage the child’s mother from breastfeeding. 

Unfortunately, few dads are screened for PPD. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale is starting to be used by professionals, but it's not common. It's an important issue that impacts the whole family when fathers with PPD go undiagnosed and therefore untreated.

For example, men with PPD are more likely to spank their kid(s) and less likely to interact with...

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Create a Sleep-Friendly Space

sleep Jun 11, 2020

 

Your Sleeping Space Can Help You Sleep 

All of your daily movements and routines should be rewarded with the best sleep you can get. Simple changes to your bedroom can help make that happen.

Keep It for Sleep. Keep the bedroom for sleep. Remove work-related items, TVs, or other electronic devices. Keep the room simple and uncluttered.

Keep It Dark and Tech Free. Even small amounts of light can alter melatonin secretion, so shut out all possible lighting (including alarm clocks, cell phones and night lights). Get room-darkening shades for your windows if needed or consider using an eye mask at night.

Keep It Quiet. When you cycle into a lighter stage of sleep, even the slightest sound can wake you up. If your partner snores, consider using a white noise machine (e.g. a room air cleaner). If need be, consider sleeping in separate rooms—studies show that most couples sleep better in separate bedrooms.

Keep It Cool. You sleep best when your body is...

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Movements and Routines for Better Sleep

foundations sleep Jun 04, 2020

 

Moving your body in certain ways while you're awake can prepare it for better, longer sleep. Specifically, there are two powerful strategies that can help you sleep better: 

1. Exercise During the Day

Exercise during the day will likely help you sleep better. Just remember to try and finish moderate to high intensity exercise at least three hours before you go to bed to keep your stress hormones down and your body cool at bedtime.

Don't have an exercise plan yet? In order to help you find a movement routine that works for you, we have created three resilient movement plans: the Basic Movement Plan, the Even Better Movement Plan, and the Ideal Movement Plan. Learn more and find the plans here.>>>

2. Create Evening and Morning Routines

Incorporating more meaningful movement throughout your day can play a big role in the quality of your sleep. One way to accomplish this is to create morning and evening routines. These routines incorporate...

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The Relationship Between Allergies and Anxiety

calm May 27, 2020

by Henry Emmons, MD

 

Recent research has shown a correlation between children and adults who have allergies/asthma and also have anxiety disorders. It’s not known if one problem causes the other, or if perhaps they have a similar underlying cause, or if perhaps simply not feeling well adds to one’s stress level. 

Allergies, Anxiety, and Inflammation

In my clinical practice, I have observed this relationship for a long time. I can’t explain it either, but I do have some theories. What I notice is that when the body over-reacts to things (in this case, one over-reacts to an “allergen” like pollen, dust or pets), the mind is often over-reactive as well. It fits with my belief that mind and body are not really separate things, just different facets of the whole. As to what causes this correlation, I think inflammation is a likely culprit. After all, if the body has inflammation, so does the brain, and recent theories suggest that...

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Seasonal Affective Disorder in the Summer

joy May 21, 2020

 

Henry Emmons, MD

Seasonal affective disorder... in the summer?

Most of us in the far north live for summer. After a long winter (and potentially a long quarantine!), we just want to be outdoors, stay up later, be more active—pack in all the things we love that we’ve felt deprived of for nearly half of the year (read about SAD in the winter here.), but for a minority of people it’s the anticipation of summer, not winter, that gives them a feeling of dread.

We tend to associate Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) with winter, when the days are short and so is our energy supply. You’re probably familiar with what it looks and feels like: Lethargy; sluggishness; struggling to get out of bed in the morning; sleeping too much; and usually feeling depressed, emotionally flat, or both. 

SAD involves recurring episodes of major depression that happen at the same time of year for at least two years. For 10% of people with SAD, that time of year is the...

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