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Passionflower for Anxiousness

calm Apr 30, 2020

by Henry Emmons, MD

[adapted from The Chemistry of Calm]

p.s., You've read Part 1 of this series and the introductory article about balancing GABA and glutamate, right? If not, head to those posts first.

Passionflower Benefits | Passionflower and Anxiety

The name “passionflower” may give you the wrong impression of this calming herb, which I consider to be one of the best herbal remedies for anxiety and insomnia. Exactly how it works is unknown, but it may be a mild MAO inhibitor (meaning it increases serotonin levels) or it may work through the GABA receptors.19

Passionflower has been effective in treating anxiety without the dependence that can occur with many medications. One study compared passionflower with a drug called oxazepam, which is similar to Valium or Ativan. The herb was equally effective with far less negative impact than the drug in treating anxiety.20

Passionflower Dosage & Use*

The dosage varies by manufacturer. Look for a...

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Diet, Vitamins, and Supplements to Support Your Immune System

resilience retreat Apr 11, 2020

By Tim Culbert, MD

A challenge like COVID-19 requires that you feed your body to balance the immune response and support the cells of the immune system. The NMH Resilient Diet works great for this.

Here are some additional things to remember: 

  • Eat lots of brightly colored, fresh, organic (if possible) fruits and vegetables loaded with ant-oxidants. These support proper immune system function and also power up our white blood cells (and brain cells) by feeding a special cell structure called mitochondria which act as the “power generator” for cells in your body.
  • Hydrate well! Drink water, warm broths, soups, and teas to replenish nutrients and flush toxins.
  • Reduce or avoid foods that may trigger unhelpful immune system responses such as refined sugar, chemical additives, gluten, soy, corn, and red meat.
  • Avoid smoking and limit pandemic happy hours. 

There are also supplements that can support your immune function.

Supplements should supplement...

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Support Your Immune System and Mental Health

resilience retreat Apr 09, 2020

By Tim Culbert, MD

I've felt somewhat helpless and even a bit depressed at times, as I mull through all the factors at play with COVID-19. Many of the factors seem out of our control. It can be overwhelming.

Thankfully, we DO have some control.

It's important to take control over as many lifestyle factors as you can to positively influence your immune system response to the virus. Some experts have said that "how your body responds” to a COVID-19 viral infection is as important as “what effect the virus has biologically on your body.”

We want to help you respond most effectively, in every aspect of your being. That may sound a little "out there," but it's essential to remember how intimately linked the mind and body are. 

For example, any infection we experience can, and often does, elicit a response called “sickness syndrome”. Dr. Marlynn Wei describes this phenomena:

“Illnesses like the flu or the common cold can...

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You Can Stop the Viral Spread of Fear

Uncategorized Apr 07, 2020

By Henry Emmons, MD

There are two unhelpful reactions to something as fearsome as a pandemic, and I’m not sure which is worse:

  1. Denial
  2. Fear

We can go into denial, pretending it doesn’t exist, hoping it will all go away. We’ve seen what happens when we choose denial—it leaves us unprepared, unable to mount an effective response, and more at the mercy of events. Denial is no way to face any trial, much less one as momentous as this.

Now, what about fear? Isn’t fear a reasonable response, maybe even the right response, when we face something fearsome? No.

Fear is panic’s gentler but more insidious cousin. It may be less extreme, but possibly even more harmful in the long run. Nobody wants to live a life run by fear.

Fear offers no advantage in facing this pandemic. None whatsoever. I realize that many of us cannot help but feel fear, but I urge you not to give it a foothold. Fear can only get a foothold when we cease living in...

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Valerian for Anxiousness and Sleep

calm sleep Mar 26, 2020

by Henry Emmons, MD

[adapted from The Chemistry of Calm]

p.s., You've read Part 1 of this series and the introductory article about balancing GABA and glutamate, right? If not, head to those posts first.

Valerian Benefits | Valerian and Anxiety

Valerian has been called “natural Valium.” It is not as effective as the prescription drugs, but it is also safer and non-addicting, and it may offer benefit for both anxiety and sleep. The plant contains some of the calming amino acids, like arginine and GABA, and it is believed to work via GABA and serotonin receptors.21 There was an older study combining valerian with St. John’s wort, and comparing that combination to the drug Valium for treatment of anxiety. The natural remedies actually came out on top.22

Valerian Dosage & Use*

I usually recommend valerian for sleep support, though sometimes for anxiousness. Calm Nights is a good option, take up to 3 or 4 times daily. If it's...

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Nourish Your Brain for Better Sleep

foundations sleep Mar 19, 2020

Nourish Your Brain for Better Sleep

What you eat--and when!--can have a significant impact on your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. This may be more obvious for things like coffee and energy drinks, but there are other food items and the timing of when you eat them that may be helpful or detrimental to your sleep. 

The nourishment steps and food list below can help you refine your diet so that it supports your sleep. Pair these resources with The Resilient Diet and you'll have nourishment that fuels a good night's sleep.

Three Nourishing Steps to Support Your Sleep

Use the three steps below to change your food habits and improve your sleep. Don't feel obligated to put all of them into action immediately. Go step by step, take some time, and put each into action with confidence and commitment. You can do it!

First: Timing Is Everything

While eating balanced and nutritious meals throughout the day will support your sleep, it's not just the content of...

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Sleep, Resilience, and Mental Health

foundations sleep Mar 05, 2020
 

Good Sleep Is Non-Negotiable

Your sleep, mood, and brain function are intimately related. Scientific studies tell us that our emotional states affect sleep and that sleep affects emotions. The good news is that you can create better sleep with fairly simple strategies.

How Well Do You Sleep?

Think about how you would honestly answer the following questions:

  1. How many hours do you sleep each night?
  2. How well do you sleep at night? Do you feel rested after you've slept a full night?

Did you know that your answers to these questions are intimately connected to your mood and brain function? Difficulty sleeping is sometimes the first symptom of a mood disorder; 15-20% of people diagnosed with insomnia will develop major depression (1). Getting your sleep right is one of the best things you can do if you have a mood disorder. Studies show that improving insomnia boosts the chances of recovering from depression by a remarkable 50%! 

Recent studies have also...

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Coronaviruses and Essential Oils

aromatherapy Mar 02, 2020

Announcement! A free program you may be interested in:

Calm in the Time of Coronavirus: A Free Online Resilience Retreat (learn more here)

A common question we've been asked lately:

Can essential oils treat the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Short answer:

No. Essential oils, at least as we can currently evaluate them, are not an effective prevention or treatment strategy for COVID-19.

However, current scientific evidence does support some beneficial antiviral impact using specific essential oils in cleaning solution on surfaces (and land areas), diffused into the air, and possibly inhaled. Humans have also been using essential oil blends for thousands of years for these types of illnesses. There's likely some wisdom in that historical use.

Essential Oils Can Be Part of a Holistic Approach for COVID-19

No surprise, we like to think holistically about treatment for any health condition. Our Protect and Recover essential oil blend contains the...

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Natural Remedies for ADHD

family focus kids Feb 27, 2020

First: Are US Kids Worse Off?

11% of US children have an ADHD diagnosis. In France, the prevalence of an ADHD diagnosis is 0.5%. Part of this spread has to do with the US health care system's practice of readily pathologizing children's behaviors. Many behaviors may just be normal developmental variations or reflect behaviors brought on by stress, trauma, learning style issues, chaotic family situations, inadequate educational environments, or suboptimal lifestyle practices. 

Kids Are Not to Blame

There are many reasons for the difference in ADHD rates between kids in the US and France. One key reason has to do with the US mental health care system. 

Over the past few decades, psychiatry has become more biologically-based causing pharmaceutical companies and the field of psychiatry to focus almost exclusively on the "neurotransmitter deficiency model" of mental illness. For example, biologically based studies on ADHD...

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Heart Rate Coherence

awaken Feb 13, 2020

Enhance Awakening to Sleep Better

While it may seem strange to be talking about "awakening" in regards to improving sleep, we aren't using "awaken" in the literal sense here. Instead, we're talking about awakening your senses to the world around you, cultivating positive emotions, and engaging more intentionally and fully in your life. Frequent stress and depleting or negative emotions (such as frustration, anger, anxiety, or fear) drain energy from body, mind, and heart and interfere with sleep. Falling asleep in a positive emotional state and with a relaxed balance in your autonomic nervous system is ideal for promoting restful, restorative, and pleasant sleep. Regularly experiencing positive emotions such as joy, compassion, love, and appreciation can stop this energy drain and help you re-balance.

Heart Rate Coherence

One of the most effective ways to achieve balance is through awareness and control of the patterns of our heart rhythms. The heart and brain...

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