Joy, peace, and cheer aren’t the only things the holidays bring. For some people, this season is the most stressful time of year. Every gathering and gift exchange comes with extra responsibilities. The shorter days and dreary weather don’t help, either. Even if you enjoy the holiday season, you can still find your mental health declining over these weeks. Make sure you have a plan to keep your spirits up this season. From leaning on loved ones to setting healthy boundaries, here are three tips for better mental health over the holidays.

Don’t Isolate Yourself

You’re not the only one who struggles with this season, so why should you go through it alone? Avoiding isolation is particularly important in 2020, when many families are cancelling large holiday gatherings in the name of social distancing. While the holidays look different this year, that doesn’t mean you have to be without friends, family, and support. Don’t be afraid to reach out to loved ones. Whether it’s a shoulder to lean on or a friendly face on a video call, you don’t have to—and shouldn’t—deal with the stress of the season alone.

Enjoy the Small Things

With so much going on over the holidays, it’s easy to rush through the weeks without taking a break. You don’t want to look back and realize you didn’t even enjoy the holidays while they were here—especially if you usually enjoy this time of year. Try to pause once a day and take in a little bit of the season. Savor the taste of a Christmas cookie. Admire the twinkle of the festive lights on your street. Not every day has to be a good one, but if you can find one small, good thing about every day, you can make the season a little brighter for yourself.

Know Your Boundaries

Gift shopping, hosting gatherings, dealing with family—it all adds up to a lot of stress this season. One of the best tips for better mental health over the holidays is to know how much you can handle. Figuring out and standing up for your boundaries can help you avoid a lot of stress throughout the holidays. This can mean relieving yourself of certain responsibilities, scheduling personal time for some peace and quiet, or learning how to avoid drinking and other triggers during festive gatherings. These are all great practice for the rest of the year as well. Setting boundaries for yourself—and asking your friends and family to respect them—is a great way to prevent burnout and better enjoy the holiday season.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

Whether you suffer from frequent stress and anxiety or are feeling more pressure than usual, breaking out of the funk can be challenging. When this inner turmoil takes over, our daily routines become harder, relationships can feel strained, and your mental health suffers. Finding a few tasks you can try on stressful days can help you feel more at ease. Try out these five tasks to alleviate stress and anxiety the next time you feel out of sorts.

Breathing or Counting

Sometimes the best way to calm a racing heart or mind is to take a moment to refocus. No matter where you are or what you’re dealing with, using a counting or breathing method is an easy way to calm down. Try counting slowly, or take ten deep breaths. Focus on counting or breathing and letting go of whatever is causing you to stress while relaxing your body and mind.

Go for a Walk

Exercise releases endorphins that aid in reducing stress and anxiety. You should implement an exercise regimen to keep stress at bay. However, if you’re stressing out at work or don’t have time to hit the gym, don’t fret. Instead, take a walk around your building during lunch or around the neighborhood to get your body moving.

Take a Drive

If you have a relatively stressful commute, driving to destress may not be your favorite option. However, some alone time in the car can do some good. A simple drive around the neighborhood or to one of your favorite parks can give you just enough time to clear your mind of all the negativity.

Journal Your Thoughts

Sometimes the best way to feel better is to let go of what’s bothering you. Whether you prefer to carry a journal or use an app, writing your thoughts is a cathartic way to release any emotions you’ve been dealing with. You may even end up with some newfound clarity on your situation after some more thoughtful journaling.

Stress and anxiety are a natural part of life. We all feel it at some point, even though we’d typically like to avoid these feelings. Luckily, trying these five tasks to alleviate stress and anxiety can help eliminate troublesome feelings.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

When I was researching material for an Alzheimer’s blog that I wrote in November of 2019, I came across a piece of information that I have never forgotten.

Worldwide, women with dementia outnumber men 2 to 1. Brain scans tell us that the rate at which brain cells are dying in women is faster than in men. What is happening and WHY is there such a magnitude of difference between the dementia rates in women versus men.

My initial research into this imbalance came up empty-handed. In the J Alzheimers Dis., it is stated that, “Two-thirds of clinically diagnosed cases of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) are women, according to U.S. and most European reports. The primary reason offered for this gender difference is women’s greater longevity as risk of developing dementia increases with age. In spite of this proposed explanation, the extent to which gender differences are primarily a matter of the increasing number of women relative to men at older ages remains to be resolved.”

Because this disparity has not yet been clearly explained, I began to think of the possible causes that could be contributing to this silent crisis. It is a dilemma that is developing in the background and not to be taken lightly, especially within the female population.

I began to ponder, investigate, and deeply question the reasons behind this growing epidemic. The causes that I have formulated have not been proven by the scientific community. They are the result of my own logical and analytical thinking. I realize that there are MANY potential causes, but I have chosen to focus on the most blatant lifestyle differences between women and men that impact overall health and well-being, especially as it relates to neurological health.

This information is intended for all peoples, but it is especially geared toward the female youth of our planet. I wish I was aware of this information when I was in my teens or 20’s because the sooner you are empowered with life changing knowledge, the sooner you can start making wiser decisions.

But truth be told, it is never too late to make positive modifications to your lifestyle, no matter what age you are.

The Potential Causes

When I first read the statistic that dementia was more common in women, I began to think of the major lifestyle differences between men and women that could potentially explain this anomaly. After deliberation and thoughtful consideration, I came up with 3 possibilities which could be the culprits: perfume, makeup, and hair dye treatments.


1. Synthetic Perfume


Neurotoxic Effects of Perfume

We will first explore the detrimental effects of synthetic fragrances and the possible correlation between women’s perfume and the subsequent rise in dementia within this population. Natural fragrances from plants and animals were predominantly used until the end of the 19th century. At present, synthetic fragrances are increasingly applied due to the consistent and reproducible quality over natural fragrances.

However, the benefits gained from using synthetic fragrances appear to be offset by the physical consequences to our human biological system.

A document entitled, Fragrance alters mood and brain chemistry, states that, “perfumes contain neurotoxins, which have a causal link to central nervous system disorders, headaches, confusion, dizziness, short-term memory loss, anxiety, depression, disorientation, and mood swings.”

According to a report by Health Care Without Harm, “exposure to fragrance chemicals can cause headaches; eye, nose, and throat irritation; nausea; forgetfulness; loss of coordination; and other respiratory and/or neurotoxic symptoms.”

In Toxic Chemicals Found in Fragrance, researchers found that, “the current system for fragrance safety is run entirely by the fragrance industry — and this self-regulating program is greenlighting chemicals that reputable authoritative bodies and government agencies have restricted, banned or deemed hazardous.”

The Toxic Chemicals Found in Fragrance research was cited by the Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) which is an organization run by women who are devoted to steering the feminine care marketplace toward safer products in order to protect women’s health. Their findings are impressive. I highly recommend that you explore their website.


Perfume – Market Usage By Gender

The next question that needs to be addressed involves the perfume market size by gender. In other words, do more women wear perfume as compared to the percentage of men who use cologne? The data shows that the answer is yes.

According to the Perfume Market Size, Share, Industry Trends Report, 2019-2025, “Women accounted for the largest share of 60.1% in 2018. It is observed that women in U.S. purchase a new perfume as often as once a month, in comparison to men who buy it on an average of 1-2 times per year, mainly for the purpose of replenishment. As per a survey, around 41% of the females in U.S. use perfumes everyday as compared to men. In U.K., perfume sales are expected to rise up among women irrespective of its high price points, as they consider it to be an essential part of personal care.”

The data from the Industry Trends Report shows that a higher percentage of women use fragrances as compared to the percentage of men. Also, women use perfumes more often and they also use a greater variety of fragrances. Statista Research Department found that, “87 percent of female respondents said they use two or more fragrances weekly.”

It is obvious that societal expectations impact why women perceive perfume as a regular part of their self-care routine. Men do not seem to hold this same viewpoint regarding cologne.


Perfume – Age Usage by Gender

According to an article citing the Best Baby Perfumes of 2020, it is clear that the perfume industry supports the manufacturing of fragrances to be worn by babies, both female and male.

An article written by Vogue states that most girls in the United States try perfume for the first time around the age of 12. In Europe and Latin America, this can happen much earlier.

For males, according to the 2013 Men’s Fragrance Track Study by NPD, ”Seventy-two percent of adult male fragrance wearers in the U.S. started using fragrance when they were 17 years old or younger.”

Judging by the research data, it is surmised that the average female in the U.S. begins to wear perfume about five years earlier than males begin to wear cologne. These figures are estimated averages and, as always, there will be outliers at both ends of the spectrum.


2. Makeup

The key ingredients in most cosmetics include water, emulsifiers, preservatives, thickeners, moisturizers, colors and fragrances. These ingredients can be natural or synthetic.

In this excellent video by Dena Takruri, an American Journalist, she highlights the ugly truth about makeup.

  • Over 10,000 industrial chemicals are used in makeup
  • Blush can contain parabens and talc
  • Foundation, lipstick, eye shadow, and eye liner may all contain heavy metals.

“As much as 60% of topical skin-care products are absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. They should be consumed with the same prudence that we use to choose our breakfast cereal.” – Dr. Nancy Lonsdorf, April 2006 Issue of Women’s Health Magazine. 


How Do Heavy Metals Get In Makeup?

According to this informative article, makeup color additives are derived from either petroleum or minerals, both of which originate from the Earth’s crust. Hence, trace amounts of heavy metals are found in dyes and pigments used in cosmetics. The trace amounts of heavy metals get absorbed through our skin and bioaccumulate which means that every heavy metal exposure adds up.  Our bones store heavy metals and they stay in our bodies for decades.

The bioaccumulation of heavy metals is a very important factor that will impact the health of a woman who’s been using chemical-laden makeup for years.


Neurotoxic Effect of Heavy Metals

Science has proven that chronic exposure to heavy metals can lead to a gradual decline in physical and neurological processes and cause conditions such as multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, or Alzheimer’s disease.

This toxicity element is very relevant to females today, especially since most girls start wearing makeup while in their teenage years. Heavy metals will accumulate in the body over time which is why it is imperative to decrease exposure to these toxins at the earliest age possible.


Makeup – Market Usage by Gender

Females: The NPD Group’s 2018 Makeup In-Depth Consumer Report claims that 90 percent of women in the U.S. wear makeup. As compared to 2016, more women are using makeup, and they are using more products in a typical day.

Males: According to statistics, 75 percent of men ages 18 and up are not currently using facial skin care products. Of the men who are using makeup, here is the 2014 breakdown: 11 percent bronzer, 10 percent concealer, 9 percent foundation.

Morning Consult summarizes the situation nicely, “Women grew up with makeup — it’s a multibillion-dollar industry. Whereas men, they haven’t grown up with it. They haven’t had it on the counter. Their fathers never used it. They don’t have it in the bathroom.”


Makeup – Age Usage by Gender

Females: The average age that a girl starts to wear makeup is 12-14 years.

Males: Per a survey done by Morning Consult, the younger generation of males is more accepting to the idea of trying makeup. So much so that in 2018, Chanel debuted a line of men’s makeup called Boy de Chanel.


3. Hair Dye

The hair dying industry is an estimated $7 billion industry worldwide. Hair dyes remove the natural color and add new color to the hair which can be synthetic or natural. There are temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent dyes with the latter being associated with the most health risks.

Every two months, Barclay Cunningham goes through a process that begins with taking an antihistamine tablet. After a few hours, she smears a thick layer of antihistamine cream across her forehead…It didn’t start out this bad. Cunningham colored her hair for a decade without any problems. – The Atlantic


Neurotoxic Effects of Hair Dye Treatment

According to the National Capital Poison Center permanent hair dyes, “typically include an alkalizing agent like ammonia, an oxidizing agent like hydrogen peroxide, a primary intermediate such as paraphenylenediamine (PPD), and coupler molecules like resorcinol.”

There is data showing the neurotoxic effects of ammonia, toluene, and lead acetate which are common ingredients that can be found in hair color products.

Ammonia in hair dyes is applied directly to the human scalp where it will be absorbed through the skin and eventually enter the bloodstream. Chronic exposure to ammonia may have a detrimental impact upon the central nervous system. In a 2018 research study, it is noted that ammonia has strong neurotoxicity, and several initial studies declared a possible association between Alzheimer’s Disease and blood ammonia level.

Toluene is in many hair dyes and considered to be a well-established neurotoxin. In the J Neuropathol Exp Neurol, it was found that, “long-term and intense exposure to toluene vapors in humans…has led to the recognition that toluene has a severe impact on central nervous system myelin. Chronic toluene abuse produces a devastating neurological disorder, of which dementia is the most disabling component.”

Lead acetate, another common ingredient found in hair dyes, is linked to neurotoxicity. Research has confirmed that exposures to lead have adverse effects on the central nervous system, that environmental factors augment lead susceptibility, and that exposures in early life can cause neurodegeneration in later life.

According to Consumer Reports, lead acetate was officially listed by the FDA as an unsafe ingredient in hair dye products in 2018. Old inventory may still be on the market so I suggest reading the labels and confirming that your salon is now using lead-free hair dye treatments.

 

Lead Acetate Summary

  • 1980 – FDA lists lead acetate as SAFE; U.S. begins using lead in hair dye products.
  • 2008 – Canada bans lead acetate from hair dye products.
  • 2018 – FDA lists lead acetate as UNSAFE; U.S. bans lead acetate from hair dye products.

The United States had been using lead in hair dye treatments for approximately 40 years before the FDA banned its use. Lead is a heavy metal neurotoxin which is known to bioaccumulate in the body over time. As our body stores more and more lead, there is a greater risk of having an adverse effect to the biology, especially in the central nervous system.


Hair Dye Usage by Gender

Altering the natural color of hair is done by both men and women but there are differences in the frequency of use and the age at which each gender begins to experiment. Data sources include Multi-Sponsor Surveys and Mintel’s Hair Colourant Report.

  • U.S. Women Hair Color Usage
    1950s – 7%, 1970s – 40%, 2015 – 70%, 2019 – 87%
  • U.S. Men Hair Color Usage
    Ages 16-24:  2018 – 38%, 2019 – 46%
    Ages 50-64:  1999 – 2%, 2010 – 7%, 2019 – 11%

In order to get a better picture of this situation, I spoke with a good friend of mine, Elaine, who owns her own hair salon in a suburban town in the state of Massachusetts. Elaine has been a hairdresser in the cosmetic industry for 32 years.

She provided the following information based upon her salon’s activity exclusively. It is recognized that usage statistics will vary depending upon the salon’s location and clientele numbers.


Female Usage in Elaine’s Salon 

  • Middle Childhood: Start using direct dyes between 8-9 years old
  • Teenagers: Start using foil highlights
  • Women in 20’s: Start using at-home hair color
  • Women in 30’s: Start professional permanent coloring on a regular basis and continue into old age.

Male Usage in Elaine’s Salon 

  • Elaine has NO male clients that get permanent hair color treatments.  She does have a small percentage of male clients that receive camouflage color which consists of combing a semi-permanent color through the hair, leaving it for 5 minutes, then rinsing it out. It is a similar process that is used with the popular product, Just For Men.


There Are Natural Alternative Choices 

  1. Perfume Alternative: Essentials oils are a great alternative to perfume. High-quality essential oils have a wonderful scent without exposing you to toxins. My personal favorites are lavender and sandalwood.
  2. Makeup Alternative: There are makeup brands that are vegan, use organic ingredients, and their products are free from synthetic chemicals, parabens, sulfates, harsh detergents, artificial fragrances or colors.
  3. Hair Dye Alternatives: Search for organic hair colors that are approved with the MADE SAFE certification. Confirm that the hair dyes are a “six-free” formula meaning that the product is free of ammonia, resorcinol, parabens, phthalates, PPD, and lead.


Positive Trends and Helpful Resources 

There is a promising trend among the younger generation that they like natural fragrances over synthetic based. The data is showing that, “approximately 75% of millennial women prefer buying natural products, wherein more than 45% of them favor natural based healthy perfumes” – Perfume Market Size, Share, Industry Trends Report, 2019-2025.

The consumer demand for natural skin care products continues to show an increase in the makeup industry too. Skin care brands with organic and vegan ingredients are fueling the billion-dollar natural beauty movement as more consumers question what exactly is in their makeup. – NPD Group

In the global hair market, the latest trend gaining momentum is the availability of natural hair colorants. People are generally aware that artificial hair coloring products are associated with various harmful effects. Therefore, “customers are switching from artificial hair colors to natural or herbal hair colors which have no side effects on the human body.” – Global Hair Color Market, 2017-2021.

Overall sales of skincare products in 2019 climbed 5%, fragrance rose 2%, hair jumped 16%, but makeup, the largest category at $7.6 billion, fell 7%. – NPD Group

EWG Cosmetic Database was created by The Environmental Working Group. You can search for an ingredient, brand, or product to find out about their potential hazards and health concerns.

MADE SAFE (Made With Safe Ingredients) is America’s first certification to screen out known toxic chemicals in consumer personal care products.

Closing Thoughts 

There is an insidious epidemic that continues to develop among the female population in which the statistics show that the incidence of cognitive decline happens twice as much in women as compared to the male population.

There are three major lifestyle differences between males and females that may be contributing factors to this disparity. These lifestyle differences include how each gender uses synthetic perfume, makeup, and hair dye treatments in their daily lives.

Research shows that certain chemicals in perfume, makeup, and hair dye products have neurotoxic effects upon the human biology. The female population utilizes all three of these cosmetics to a much greater extent than the male population.

I hope you enjoyed this blog and found the information helpful. If you would like to know which brands of natural cosmetics that I use, then please reach out. I am available for your support and to answer any questions you may have.

 

Susan Kapatoes
C: 508-282-7877
E: susan@inspireyourjourney.com

 

The author, Susan Kapatoes, MHA is the founder and owner of Inspire Your Journey, a holistic wellness company. She is a Wellness Partner with Amare Global, and an Independent Distributor with BEMER Therapy and Healy World.  She lives in Massachusetts.  

 

References

Beam, C., Kaneshiro, C., Jang, J., Reynolds, C., Pedersen, N. and Gatz, M., 2018. Differences Between Women and Men in Incidence Rates of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 64(4), pp.1077-1083. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6226313/

Coleman, PhD, J., 2003. Cosmetics And Fragranced Products Pose High Risks For Breast Cancer And Other Illnesses.  Breastcanceroptions.org. Available at: http://breastcanceroptions.org/Cosmetics%20and%20Fragranced%20Products%20Pose%20High%20Risks%20for%20Breast%20Cancer%20and%20Other%20Illnesses.pdf

Daswani, K., 2012. More Men Coloring Their Hair. Los Angeles Times. Available at: https://www.latimes.com/fashion/la-xpm-2012-jan-29-la-ig-mens-hair-color-20120129-story.html

Dominguez, PharmD, 2016. Concern About Hair Dye. Poison Control, National Capital Poison Center. Poison.org. Available at: https://www.poison.org/articles/2016-sep/hair-dye

Goods, C., Retailing, C., Care, C. and Care, H., 2017. Global Hair Color Market 2017-2021. Marketresearch.com. Available at: https://www.marketresearch.com/Infiniti-Research-Limited-v2680/Global-Hair-Color-10950347/

Guenard, R., 2015. Hair Dye: A History. [online] theatlantic.com. Available at: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/01/hair-dye-a-history/383934/

Environmental Working Group. 2020. EWG Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database. EWG.org. Available at: https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

Filley, C., Halliday, W. and Kleinschmidt-Demasters, B., 2004. The Effects of Toluene on the Central Nervous System. Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology, 63(1), pp.1-12. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14748556

Grandviewresearch.com, 2019. Perfume Market Size, Share | Industry Trends Report, 2019-2025. Available at: https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/perfume-market

Hairprint Becomes First MADE SAFE Certified Hair Coloring Product. 2016. Madesafe.org. Available at: https://www.madesafe.org/MADESAFE.ORG.

Hirsch, J., 2019. Removing Lead From Hair Dye. Consumer Reports. Consumerreports.org. Available at: https://www.consumerreports.org/lead/removing-lead-acetate-from-hair-dye/

HJ Admin, 2019. How Many Men Colour Their Hair? (The Answer Might Surprise You).  hji.co.uk. Available at: https://www.hji.co.uk/latest/men-hair-colour-report/

Jaishankar, M., Tseten, T., Anbalagan, N., Mathew, B. B., & Beeregowda, K. N. (2014). Toxicity, mechanism and health effects of some heavy metals. Interdisciplinary toxicology, 7(2), 60–72. https://doi.org/10.2478/intox-2014-0009

Jin, Y. Y., Singh, P., Chung, H. J., & Hong, S. T. (2018). Blood Ammonia as a Possible Etiological Agent for Alzheimer’s Disease. Nutrients, 10(5), 564. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10050564

Patel, D., Narayana, S., & Krishnaswamy, B. (2013). Trends in use of hair dye: a cross-sectional study. International journal of trichology, 5(3), 140–143. https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-7753.125610

Piacenza, J., 2019. As Beauty Norms Blur, One-Third Of Young Men Say They’d Consider Wearing Cosmetics. Morningconsult.com. Available at: https://morningconsult.com/2019/10/28/as-beauty-norms-blur-one-third-of-young-men-say-theyd-consider-wearing-cosmetics

Sanders, T., Liu, Y., Buchner, V., & Tchounwou, P. B. (2009). Neurotoxic effects and biomarkers of lead exposure: a review. Reviews on environmental health, 24(1), 15–45. https://doi.org/10.1515/reveh.2009.24.1.15

Settembre, J., 2019. Makeup Sales Appear Washed Out As Women Go Au Naturel. Foxbusiness.com. Available at: https://www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle/makeup-sales-struggle-natural-skincare-rising

Sowndhararajan, K. and Kim, S., 2016. Influence of Fragrances on Human Psychophysiological Activity: With Special Reference to Human Electroencephalographic Response. Scientia Pharmaceutica, 84(4), pp.724-751. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5198031/

Statista Research Department. 2015. Habits Of Female Fragrance Consumers In The U.S. 2015. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/655183/habits-female-fragrance-consumers-us/

Statistics. 2014. Hiddeninmakeup.weebly.com. Available at: http://hiddeninmakeup.weebly.com/statistics.html

The NPD Group. 2018 Makeup In-Depth Consumer Report. Most Women Use Makeup With Skincare Benefits, Without Sacrificing Their Skincare Routine. Npd.com. Available at: https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/press-releases/2018/majority-of-us-women-use-makeup-with-skincare-benefits-without-sacrificing-their-skincare-regimen-reports-npd/

Toxic Chemicals In Hair Dye And Safer Options. 2018. Madesafe.org. Available at: https://www.madesafe.org/toxic-chemicals-hair-dye-safer-options/

Williams, Rose Marie. “Fragrance alters mood and brain chemistry.” Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, no. 249, Apr. 2004, p. 36+. Gale Academic OneFile. https://go.gale.com/ps/anonymous?id=GALE%7CA114820660&sid=googleScholar&v=2.1&it=r&linkaccess=abs&issn=15254283&p=AONE&sw=w

Webb, I., 2020. Are There Heavy Metals In Makeup? I Read Labels For You.com. Available at: https://ireadlabelsforyou.com/makeup-contains-heavy-metals

Women’s Voices for the Earth. 2015. Toxic Chemicals Found In Fragrance – Women’s Voices For The Earth. Available at: https://www.womensvoices.org/2015/12/10/toxic-chemicals-found-in-fragrance/

Yin, S., 2019. Does Pretty Hurt? A Look At The Health Risks Of Hair Dyes. Whyy.org. Available at: https://whyy.org/segments/does-pretty-hurt-a-look-at-the-health-risks-of-hair-dyes/

 

According to Mental Health America, the prevalence of youth experiencing major episodes of depression has been steadily increasing over the last six years and more than ten million adults in the United States are still in need of mental health treatment. More Americans have health care insurance today, but not all plans cover mental and emotional difficulties. Discover the factors that can influence mental health and what you can do to balance your mood.

How Food Affects Your Mood

The more we learn about gut health, the more we realize how important it is to our OVERALL health. The recent investment issue of Forbes Magazine spotlighted the gut microbiome and its health applications. Magazines such as Forbes are recognizing the gut health topic because it has become a trending science.

Studies are revealing that the health of our gut directly impacts the health of our brain. Did you know that gut microbes produce more feel-good neurotransmitters, like serotonin and dopamine, than the brain itself. These neurotransmitters affect how we feel, signifying that the health of our gut forms the foundation of our mental wellness. Learn about gut health here.

The Energy Is Rising

Russian Space Scientist, Dr. Alexey N. Dmitriev, has ample evidence that our planet is going through an unprecedented energetic shift. In his published paper, he states, “Current PlanetoPhysical alterations of the Earth are becoming irreversible. This “donation” of energy is producing excited energy states in all planets, as well as the Sun.” NASA is aware that the global electromagnetic activity has been steadily increasing over the years which means that this energetic shift can also have a similar impact upon the human psyche. Luckily we have a wonderful tool to help keep us calm. It is called PEMF Therapy.

PEMF Therapy In Action

NASA is well known for its profound research in the field of PEMF and its impact upon the human body. Below are two reference studies that illustrate the soothing effects of PEMF therapy.

  • BEMER Application in Children’s Mental Health, Haug Report, p. 19-20. This study evaluated the mental health of youth between the ages of 4 to 17 years of age, including 2 autistic children. The results were impressive. The youth showed a substantial decrease in physical and verbal aggression and incresed academic and social participation.
  • BEMER Therapy for Cognitive Impairments, Haug Report, p. 21-23. This study highlights a 57-year-old secretary who filed for early retirement due to cognitive decline. BEMER was applied consistently for 2 years with excellent results. Brain images showed improved blood circulation in the brain, normal psychomotor speed, and a stable mental state.

Conclusion

In order to experience harmony and remain in a balanced state amidst an ever-changing world, we can choose to integrate therapeutic lifestyle changes to help us maintain a calm and clear mind. By applying these preventative health measures, we are empowering ourselves to experience optimal well-being in the present moment and well into the future.

 

Susan Kapatoes
C: 508-282-7877
E: susan@inspireyourjourney.com

 

The author, Susan Kapatoes, MHA is the founder and owner of Inspire Your Journey, a holistic wellness company. She is a Wellness Partner with Amare Global, and an Independent Distributor with BEMER Therapy and Healy World.  She lives in Massachusetts.  

References

Dmitriev, A., Tetenov, A. and Crockett, E., 1998. PLANETOPHYSICAL STATE OF THE EARTH AND LIFE. [online] Mohr-mohr-and-more.org. Available at: https://www.mohr-mohr-and-more.org/downloads/dmitriev.pdf

Garrett-Bakelman FE, e., 2019. The NASA Twins Study: A Multidimensional Analysis Of A Year-Long Human Spaceflight. – Pubmed – NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30975860

Goodwin, T., 2003. Physiological And Molecular Genetic Effects Of Time-Varying Electromagnetic Fields On Human Neuronal Cells. [online] Ntrs.nasa.gov. Available at: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20030075722

Mental Health America. 2020. The State Of Mental Health In America. [online] Available at: https://www.mhanational.org/issues/state-mental-health-americautm_content=buffer25f85&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Ochoa, E., & BEMER USA, (2015). NASA-BEMER Space Act Agreement [PDF]. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Available at: https://www.inspireyourjourney.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/NASA-BEMER-Space-Act-Agreement.pdf

Pastor Guzman, I., 2017. Tuning In To The Earth’S Natural Rhythm. [online] brainworldmagazine.com. Available at: https://brainworldmagazine.com/tuning-in-to-the-earths-natural-rhythm

Wight, A., 2020. Trust Your Gut: How This Colombian Scientist Found Her Field. [online] forbes.com. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewwight/2020/03/01/trust-your-gut-how-this-colombian-scientist-found-her-field/#166736724bc1

Wylie et al. (2017). The Haug Report, Physical Method IV, Special edition on the anniversary of the 50th Medical Week Baden-Baden. [online] imin-org.eu. Available at: https://www.imin-org.eu/images/science/Haug-Report-Bemer_2016_Englisch.pdf

For this month’s blog, I have decided to focus upon the topic of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) which is currently affecting approximately 6 million people in the United States and 44 million people worldwide. This disease is rapidly growing and there is a good chance that someone in your family or circle of friends has been impacted by this disease.

Right now, I can think of seven people whom I know personally who currently have dementia or did have AD before they passed away. This disease is heartbreaking for it robs people of their very essence. And from my own experience with family members, in the beginning stages, the affected person is typically aware that something is not quite right with his or her mind but cannot put their finger on why. This is frustration at its finest for both the person suffering from the disease and the caregiver witnessing their loved one struggling to be the person they once were before the disease took hold.

The Cost of Alzheimer’s Disease

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are many costs involved with the individual person and the families who are impacted by the presence of AD or other dementias.  These costs are physical, emotional, mental, and financial.

In 2019, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $290 billion, including $195 billion in Medicare and Medicaid payments. Unless a treatment to slow, stop or prevent the disease is developed, in 2050, Alzheimer’s is projected to cost more than $1.1 trillion (in 2019 dollars). – Alzheimer’s Association

Compared with the majority of the population, people living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias typically have twice as many hospital stays per year. Medicare beneficiaries with Alzheimer’s are also more likely to have chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart or kidney disease. And people with AD usually have more skilled nursing visits and are more likely to need adult day services and nursing home care.

Help & Support

There are ways to support the people you know who have begun to show signs of dementia or have full blown AD. For most of us, support will be shared with family and loved ones which begins on an emotional level. Being an empathetic caregiver will help you through the challenging moments. It is also important that you seek help and support in order to replenish your own emotional needs.

On a physical level, the other way to support a family member is through adequate nutrition and integrating research-proven complimentary therapies into their daily living. Scientific research has shown that Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy can have a positive impact on patients with AD and supplementing the diet with the right type of supplements can encourage optimal brain function.

Read on for more details…

The Gut-Brain Connection

Science has begun to show a direct correlation between the health of our gut and the health of our brain. As much as 90 percent of serotonin is made in our gut and around 50 percent of dopamine. These neurotransmitters partially determine how you feel on a daily basis, so it stands to reason that when the microbiome is out of balance and the neurotransmitters aren’t being produced effectively, your mental health could suffer.

Amare Global creates high quality nutrition products that help to connect our gut and brain so they can function at an optimal level. I will be focusing on two products from Amare Global which have been shown to have a positive impact upon gut health and brain functionality: (1) MentaBiotics, and (2) OmMEGA Fish Oil.

MENTABIOTICS: The Most Comprehensive Probiotic 

I have been taking MentaBiotics for a year now and my stomach has never felt better. MentaBiotics is a comprehensive nutritional system that contains specific strains of healthy bacteria (probiotics), specialized fibers (prebiotics), and phytobiotics which protect the healthy bacteria. MentaBiotics also contains Suntheanine which has been shown to improve learning performance, heighten mental acuity, and promote concentration.

OmMEGA: High Quality Fish Oil 

I have been taking OmMEGA for a few months now and I can tell you that this is the first fish oil does not give me the ‘fishy burps’ or leave an unpleasant taste in my mouth. OmMEGA is so clean that there is NONE of the fishy smell or aftertaste. In fact, before Amare, I had stopped taking fish oil supplements for these reasons so I am VERY PLEASED that I can finally take a fish oil without experiencing the annoying side effects.

PURE:  NO environmental toxins such as PCBs, heavy metals, mercury, or lead.

POTENT:  Contains a 70% extract of EPA and DHA. The standard fish oil on the market is a 30% extract.

PEMF Therapy & Alzheimer’s

There are many research studies documented in PubMed which have examined the possible impact that low-frequency magnetic field stimulation can have upon people with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).

I will highlight two of those studies here.

1. Patient Blood Samples exposed to PEMF: Samples of blood were taken from patients with AD. For each patient, blood cultures were exposed to a low frequency Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF). Non-treated blood cultures were evaluated as controls. The study found that PEMF exposure stimulated both tissue regeneration and brain signaling capacity in the patient blood samples with AD. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5434238/

2Patients Directly exposed to PEMF: This study researched the synergistic effect of magnetic field exposure combined with cognitive training on patients with AD. This combined therapy approach had a remarkable improvement upon the memory capability in the patients affected by AD. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26365021


Are you curious about PEMF Therapy but don’t know where to start?  Discover your answers here.

 

Susan Kapatoes
C: 508-282-7877
E: susan@inspireyourjourney.com

 

The author, Susan Kapatoes, MHA is the founder and owner of Inspire Your Journey, a holistic wellness company. She is a Wellness Partner with Amare Global, and an Independent Distributor with BEMER Therapy and Healy World.  She lives in Massachusetts.  

 

Guided meditation is practicing meditation with the help of a guide. The guide can be a meditation teacher, a video, or a sound recording. Most guided meditations adhere to this general format: Your meditation guide will ask you to sit in a comfortable seated posture or lie down. You listen to your guide while they lead you through a series of relaxing visualizations. As you gradually become more still, anxiety starts to fades away and you are able to enjoy the present moment.

Keys for a Successful Meditation

  • Time Management – Setting aside time for your meditation is one of the most important aspects of this practice. If you do not make a conscious effort to setup a regular schedule to meditate, the chances that you will practice are very low. I recommend that you start with 5 minutes of mediation daily. 
  • Quiet Atmosphere – In order to gain the most benefit from your meditations, it is best to immerse yourself in a quiet atmosphere. It is easier to access that place of calmness within you when there are fewer distractions. Meditating in the same room will support your practice and create a space of tranquility for you.
  • Being Present – Once you have set aside time to meditate and placed yourself in a quiet location, allow yourself to be fully present in the moment. When you have completely surrendered to the NOW, you are giving yourself the gift to fully experience the benefits of meditation.
  • Focus Your Mind – Calm distracting thoughts by (1) counting your breath on the inhales and the exhales, (2) using a mantra which is one word or a set of words that you repeat to yourself silently or out loud, i.e. I am calm, or (3) imagining yourself placing the unwanted thoughts into a balloon and watching the balloon float away.

Tips for a Healthy Practice

  • Breathing

    If your mind starts to wander, come back to your breath. Be mindful of your breathing by noticing your breath flowing naturally in and out of your body. As you inhale, feel your abdomen rising. As you exhale, feel your abdomen gently go down.

  • Toning

    The art of toning involves repeating a word or set of words over and over again. This technique helps to strengthen your intention and integrate the vibration of the words into your energy field. If you would like to develop more compassion and empathy, an example of a mantra that you could use would be: I Am Kind.

  • Guided Visualization

    Sometimes it is easier to access a calm state by listening to the soothing voice of a guide leading you through a meditative experience. It could be a simple 5-minute centering exercise, or a more involved meditation where you are taken on a journey to explore an interesting place such as the forest or a tropical beach destination.

 

Susan Kapatoes
C: 508-282-7877
E: susan@inspireyourjourney.com

 

The author, Susan Kapatoes, MHA is the founder and owner of Inspire Your Journey, a holistic wellness company. She is a Wellness Partner with Amare Global, and an Independent Distributor with BEMER Therapy and Healy World.  She lives in Massachusetts.