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Flotation Therapy Could Help Depression, Stress, Anxiety & More

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Flotation Therapy Could Help Depression, Stress, Anxiety & More
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

A study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine explores sensory deprivation in a flotation tank as a form of preventative healthcare. Its results showed substantial reductions in levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and pain, and along with improved sleep quality and overall mood, proving that flotation therapy is an excellent way to prevent and treat many emotional and physical ailments.

Sensory deprivation cuts off all the senses from the mind, removing it from the average barrage of stressful situations that most of us face each day. In the absence of distracting external stimuli, the mind enters a state of deep relaxation and meditation. The research shows how this state can actually be medicinal, as it has tremendous potential to reduce stress and thus the damaging symptoms that come with it.

Chronic stress expresses itself through things like depression, insomnia, and anxiety. Flotation therapy can directly relieve this, but how?

The relaxation response method (RR) is essentially the exact opposite of the fight-or-flight response. It is the physiological process that relieves stress, occurring during states of deep relaxation. RR is able to combat stress so efficiently because of its calming effects on the parasympathetic nervous system, the portion of the nervous system responsible for many physiological changes within the body including energy conservation and deep relaxation. It is through this process that RR lowers heart rate and blood pressure and slows down breathing.

The authors of the study noted that to successfully ignite the RR response while the body is under stress it is crucial to reduce all sensory input and movement by the body — which makes floatation therapy the perfect solution. The research described the mechanisms of this method: “During flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique) an individual lay in a horizontal floating posture immersed in highly concentrated salt water (magnesium sulphate) in a flotation tank. All incoming stimuli are reduced to a minimum during this period (usually 45 minutes), i.e. sound and light, and the water is heated to skin temperature. ”

The Study

Sixty-five participants — 14 men and 51 women — took part in the study. The participants were divided into a flotation-REST group, which consisted of 37 people, and a wait-list control group, with 28 people. The flotation group received 12 45-minute sessions over the course of seven weeks. Subjects were assessed for depression, anxiety, stress, sleep quality, energy, pain, and optimism before and after the study. These same measurements were assessed for the control group.

The flotation group displayed radically improved scores in comparison to the control group, with participants exhibiting reduced anxiety, depression, pain, and stress.

Here’s Some Data

The average score for stress before flotation treatment was 1.86; afterwards, it dropped to a remarkable 0.95. The control group scored 1.84 before and 1.89 after treatment, meaning their stress actually increased during this period.

The score for anxiety for the flotation group was 7.92 before treatment and 4.28 afterwards. On the other hand, the control group scored 7.03 before and 6.96 afterwards.

For depression, the flotation group started out with a score of 4.42, which then dropped to 2.25 after treatment. The control group started at 4.00 and ended the period at 4.30, another increase.

Researchers also saw an improvement in various lifestyle factors. Sleep quality, pain, optimism, and mindfulness were all measured and shown to increase with treatment. These results further strengthen the case for flotation therapy.

In the conclusion of the study the researchers were confident that flotation therapy can be an excellent practice to improve overall health by greatly reducing stress (and thereby stress related illnesses) while increasing psychological factors in healthy participants as well.

Final Thoughts

Isn’t it just amazing what a little bit of rest and relaxation can do for our mental and physical well-being? While it’s easy to say we should all just make the time to relax more, the issue here is that many of us won’t. If you actually make the effort to go to a float spa, which are becoming increasingly popular across North America, then you will be dedicating this time to yourself and will experience the ultimate form of relaxation. In fact, flotation therapy is one of the most potent methods of activating the relaxation response, and shows how our environment can directly impact our physiological and psychological well-being. Instead of taking prescription drugs for such ailments, consider giving this a try!

This article (Flotation Therapy Could Help Depression, Stress, Anxiety & More) was originally created for Collective Evolution and is published here under Creative Commons.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Collective Spark or its staff.

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Turmeric Extract Improves Brain Function In One Dose

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Turmeric Extract Improves Brain Function In One Dose
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Sayer JiContributing Writer

Your spice rack may contain the safest, most fast-acting, brain-boosting substance medical science has yet to confirm effective in a human clinical study.  

A remarkable study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology titled, “Investigation of the effects of solid lipid curcumin on cognition and mood in a healthy older population,” reveals that the primary golden-hued polyphenol found in the ancient Indian healing spice turmeric  known as  curcumin  is capable of improving cognition and mood in elderly adults (60-85) when administered in either short-term [acute], chronic, or  short-term-on-chronic  dosage schedules.

The study involving 60 healthy adults found that a single dose of 400 mg of a solid curcumin formulation (trade name Longvida)  resulted only one hour later in significantly improved performance on sustained attention and working memory tasks, compared with placebo.

Additionally, a chronic treatment schedule (4 weeks) resulted in improvement in working memory and mood, the latter of which was defined as a positive change in their “state [of] calmness, contentedness and fatigue induced by psychological stress.”

Finally, an acute-on-chronic treatment resulted in improved alertness and contentedness.

The authors commented that,

“To our knowledge this is the first study to examine the effects of curcumin on cognition and mood in a healthy older population or to examine any acute behavioural effects in humans. Results highlight the need for further investigation of the potential psychological and cognitive benefits of curcumin in an older population.”

The study reviewed several therapeutic properties of curcumin that may have relevance in improving underlying physiology associated with age-related cognitive decline and may help to explain its observed brain-boosting effects include:

  • Curcumin may inhibit amyloid pathology (a type of degenerative brain plaque found in Alzheimer’s disease)
  • Protect against oxidative stress
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Neuroprotective, promoting neurogenesis and neuroplasticity
  • Improve the functioning of neurotrasmitter systems

The study also pointed out that epidemiological evidence shows dietary curcumin consumption is associated with better cognitive function and lower dementia prevalence, and that animal research has demonstrated its ability to both and prevent neurological pathologies.

The reality is the positive results described in this study is not be surprising given all the research that exists on curcumin’s neuroprotective properties. The Greenmedinfo database has indexed over 1500 study abstracts on curcumin’s health benefits, covering over 600 different diseases, with 113 of these studies specifically addressing curcumin’s neuroprotective properties.

Consider also that recently a Groundbreaking Study Found Turmeric Extract Superior to Prozac for Depression, revealing again how remarkable curcumin is at improving mood and a sense of well-being.

We have also explored in depth a promising case study which found that turmeric produced a ‘remarkable recovery’ in Alzheimer’s disease patients, and performed a review of turmeric and other natural substances’ role in preventing and even reversing Alzheimer’s disease.

As evidenced by the study featured here, the medical community is increasingly being faced with compelling research suggesting that natural compounds and foods like turmeric provide suitable alternatives to Big Pharma. Increasingly, the public is learning to take back control of their health by utilizing time-tested, food-based approaches that have been part of ancestral cultural practices for thousands of year. Why not look for preventive and truly regenerative solutions in the spice rack, and leave the medicine cabinet for acute care?

Recommended Articles by Sayer Ji
About the Author

Sayer Ji is the founder of Greenmedinfo.com, a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, Co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed, Vice Chairman of the Board of the National Health Federation, and Steering Committee Member of the Global Non-GMO Foundation.

For more, visit GreenMedInfo.com and Facebook.com/GreenMedInfo, or sign-up for GreenMedInfo’s free e-Newsletter.

© March 12th, 2018 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for their newsletter here.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Collective Spark or its staff.

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Ginkgo Biloba Benefits: Brain Health, Kidney Function, And More

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Photo Credit: www.rebuildyourvision.com

Dr. Edward F. GroupGuest Writer

One of the world’s most ancient trees, Ginkgo biloba is considered a “living fossil” because it’s been around for nearly 300 million years.[1] Used for centuries, remedies from Ginkgo are thought to improve memory, boost cognitive function, support healthy blood flow, and promote sexual function in men and women.

Even sceptics have been swayed by Ginkgo’s ability to support the brain, kidneys, and other body systems. Curt W., an art director from North Carolina, started taking Ginkgo after reading an article about its potential to promote concentration. “I’m not a big supplement guy, so I wasn’t expecting much. But after a month or so of taking Ginkgo biloba extract, I started noticing a difference in my ability to focus. Now I tell all my friends about it.”

Let’s take a closer look at this ancient plant, and explore some of the many ways it supports wellness.

What Is Ginkgo biloba?

Native to China but cultivated worldwide, Ginkgo biloba — also called the maidenhair tree — can grow to be over 100 feet tall. The trees themselves can live for 1,000 years, thanks to an unusually strong resistance to insects and other pests.[3]

Many people in Asia harvest Ginkgo tree nuts, which are both tasty and nutritious (but shouldn’t be consumed raw).[1] Ginkgo has played an essential role in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries, especially for elderly people and those with certain health conditions. It is an important tool in the complementary and alternative medicine toolbox for healthy people, as well.

In addition to eating nuts, people harvest the Ginkgo tree leaves to make herbal remedies. Ginkgo biloba leaves are rich in bioactive constituents, including potent antioxidants like flavonoids and anthocyanins. Because Ginkgo leaves contain so many health-supporting nutrients, they have been extensively studied, and preparations made with them are among the most popular natural health solutions in the world.[4]

Now that you know a little bit about Ginkgo biloba, let’s dig into some of the reasons you should take it.

8 Reasons Why You Should Take Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba offers so many health benefits to both body and mind! Here are eight reasons why you should consider adding Ginkgo to your wellness regimen.

1. Supports Brain Health

Among its many uses, Ginkgo biloba is most well-known for supporting brain health. Ginkgo extract provides support for people experiencing mild cognitive issues.[5] For people who find themselves becoming more forgetful as they hit middle age and beyond, Ginkgo may improve cognitive function, specifically memory and ability to focus on tasks.[6]

Supplementing with Ginkgo may also support healthy brain function in people with cognitive issues or those who are dealing with age-related brain changes.[5] Experts recommend the use of Ginkgo for adults of all ages who want to stay sharp. “I really feel like it helps me focus at work,” Curt W. says.

2. Protects the Kidneys

The kidneys are the body’s filtration system, removing toxins from the blood. Your kidneys are constantly working to protect you from environmental pollutants like heavy metals, harmful chemicals, and toxins. They help reduce the environmental stress you are under.

Ginkgo biloba has renoprotective effects, meaning it can protect the kidneys from damage.[7] Ginkgo may support these organs after exposure to toxins, like the widely-used herbicide glyphosate, as well as mercury, uranium, and naphthalene.[8] It can also help protect against toxins formed in the gut that are associated with liver disease.[8]

3. May Help With Weight Loss

There are many reasons why people have a hard time maintaining a healthy weight, and Ginkgo may offer support for a wide range of them. It can help women maintain a healthy weight as they go through menopause.[9] Ginkgo extract could support weight loss for people who have trouble making changes to diet and lifestyle by shrinking fat cells.[9]

Ginkgo also has the potential to promote normal insulin balance, which could be particularly beneficial for people dealing with blood sugar challenges related to obesity. Even if people aren’t able to change the way they eat, Ginkgo can support healthy blood sugar levels.[10]

4. Lifts Your Mood

Looking for a natural way to lift your spirits? Ginkgo may help. When used alone or combined with other treatments, Ginkgo biloba extract can support mental health.[11] The same chemical constituents that make this herb good for the brain when it comes to memory and cognition can also help you maintain a positive mood.[11]

Ginkgo’s brain-supporting constituents promote mental clarity. It’s hard to be cheerful when your brain is feeling foggy! Ginkgo biloba can be a ray of sunlight through the clouds.[5] This is one of the benefits Curt W. likes the most about taking Ginkgo. “I used to really struggle with brain fog, and my mind is much clearer now,” he explains.

5. Supports Heart Health

A healthy heart is vital for overall wellness, and Ginkgo helps keep the cardiovascular system strong. Ginkgo extract promotes normal coronary blood flow. This is especially helpful for older people experiencing age-related diminishment of blood flow through the arteries.[12]

The bioactive compounds found in Ginkgo leaves protect the heart in different ways.[13] Terpenes in Ginkgo biloba provide cardioprotective benefits by reducing cell-damaging free radicals.[14] Ginkgo also supports healthy blood flow, which can lead to better overall heart function.[13]

6. Has Anti-Aging & Antioxidant Properties

Ginkgo’s healing properties may support different parts of the body during the aging process.[12] We’ve already mentioned the brain, heart, and circulatory system, all of which have been shown to benefit from Ginkgo biloba’s anti-aging effects.[5, 12, 13] Ginkgo might even protect your ears from age-related hearing issues.[15]

Much of Ginkgo’s anti-aging power seems to come from its antioxidant content. Aging causes oxidative damage to DNA, proteins, lipids, and other macromolecules, and antioxidants in Ginkgo biloba extract may be effective at fighting oxidative stress related to aging.[16]

7. Supports Healthy Sexual Function

Ginkgo biloba boosts blood flow, influences nitric oxide systems, and relaxes smooth muscle tissue — all of which are important for healthy erectile function and arousal in men.[17] For women, Ginkgo biloba extract can have a positive impact on sex drive and increase arousal.[17]

Ginkgo may be especially useful for men and women experiencing sexual side effects from certain medications. Supplementing with Ginkgo biloba extract can help with sexual health issues.[18]

8. Eases Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

What woman doesn’t deal with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) occasionally, if not monthly? For many, PMS comes with uterine discomfort, irregular moods, food cravings, and more. PMS can range from inconvenient to incapacitating.

If you struggle with PMS, you may want to consider adding Ginkgo to your supplement regimen. Ginkgo biloba extract can help reduce the physical discomfort of PMS while promoting emotional balance.[19]

Best Ways to Take Ginkgo

Ginkgo biloba is typically prepared in one of three ways. They are:

  • Tea
    You can brew Ginkgo biloba leaves into tea. Ginkgo leaf tea is sold in teabags, or you can buy dried leaves and brew your own using a teapot and strainer.
  • Tablets
    For those that prefer their herbs in pill form, Ginkgo biloba is sold in tablets. You can also find it in capsules.
  • Liquid Extracts
    This method of preparation captures an herb’s potency and keeps it intact. Ginkgo can be made into a single liquid extract or combined with other healing herbs to form a potent blend like Renaltrex®, formulated to gently flush the kidneys of accumulated toxins.
Points to Remember

Leaves from the ancient Ginkgo biloba tree have long been used as an herbal remedy. Many people rely on the healing power of this resilient plant. Ginkgo biloba preparations are among the most popular supplements in the world!

Ginkgo biloba supports the brain during the aging process, specifically with memory loss and concentration.[5] Ginkgo also promotes healthy kidney function and helps the heart.[813]

Ginkgo appears to support aging gracefully in the mind and body, largely because of its antioxidant properties. It also promotes healthy sexual function and eases PMS symptoms.[16,17,19]. It can help with weight maintenance and lift your mood when you’re feeling low.[911]

You can find Ginkgo biloba in liquid herbal extract, teas, or tablets or capsules. You can use it alone or in combination with other healing herbs.

Have you tried Ginkgo biloba extract?

References
  1. Isah T. Rethinking Ginkgo biloba L.: Medicinal uses and conservation. Pharmacogn Rev. 2015;9(18):140-148.
  2. Major RT. The ginkgo, the most ancient living tree. The resistance of Ginkgo biloba L. to pests accounts in part for the longevity of this species. Science. 1967 Sep 15;157(3794):1270-1273.
  3. Brondino N, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of Ginkgo biloba in neuropsychiatric disorders: From ancient tradition to modern-day medicine. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:915691.
  4. Ginkgo. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Updated 10 Mar 2017. Accessed 12 Mar 2020.
  5. Zhang HF, et al. An overview of systematic reviews of Ginkgo biloba extracts for mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Front Aging Neurosci. 2016;8:276.
  6. Silberstein RB, et al. Examining brain-cognition effects of Ginkgo biloba extract: Brain activation in the left temporal and left prefrontal cortex in an object working memory task. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:164139.
  7. Chávez-Morales RM, et al. The Ginkgo biloba extract (GbE) protects the kidney from damage produced by a single and low dose of carbon tetrachloride in adult male rats. Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2017 Sep 5;69(7):430-434.
  8. Pizzorno J. The Kidney Dysfunction Epidemic, Part 2: Intervention. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2016;15(1):8-12.
  9. Hirata BKS, et al. Potential anti-obesogenic effects of Ginkgo biloba observed in epididymal white adipose tissue of obese rats. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2019;10:284.
  10. Hirata BK, et al. Ginkgo biloba extract improves insulin signaling and attenuates inflammation in retroperitoneal adipose tissue depot of obese rats. Mediators Inflamm. 2015;2015:419106.
  11. Montes P, et al. Ginkgo biloba extract 761: A review of basic studies and potential clinical use in psychiatric disorders. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2015;14(1):132-149.
  12. Wu Y, et al. Ginkgo biloba extract improves coronary blood flow in healthy elderly adults: role of endothelium-dependent vasodilation. Phytomedicine. 2008 Mar;15(3):164-169.
  13. Mesquita TRR, et al. Cardioprotective action of Ginkgo biloba extract against sustained ?-adrenergic stimulation occurs via activation of M2/NO pathway. Front Pharmacol. 2017;8:220.
  14. Pietri S, et al. Cardioprotective and anti-oxidant effects of the terpenoid constituents of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761). J Mol Cell Cardiol. 1997 Feb;29(2):733-742.
  15. Nevado J, et al. Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb761) protects against aging-related caspase-mediated apoptosis in rat cochlea. Acta Otolaryngol. 2010 Oct;130(10):1101-1112.
  16. Droy-Lefaix MT. Effect of the antioxidant action of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) on aging and oxidative stress. Age (Omaha). 1997 Jul;20(3):141-149
  17. Meston CM, et al. Short- and long-term effects of Ginkgo biloba extract on sexual dysfunction in women. Arch Sex Behav. 2008;37(4):530-547.
  18. Cohen AJ, Barklik B. Ginkgo biloba for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction. J Sex Marital Ther. 1998 Apr-Jun;24(2):139-143.
  19. Ozgoli G, et al. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of Ginkgo biloba L. in treatment of premenstrual syndrome. J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Aug;15(8):845-851.

Originally published at Global Healing Center and reproduced here with permission.

Recommended Articles by Dr. Edward Group
About the Author

Dr. Edward F. Group III (DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM) founded Global Healing Center in 1998 with the goal of providing the highest quality natural health information and products. He is world-renowned for his research on the root cause of disease. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center earned recognition as one of the largest natural and organic health resources in the world. Dr. Group is a veteran of the United States Army and has attended both Harvard and MIT business schools. He is a best-selling author and a frequent guest on radio and television programs, documentary films, and in major publications.

Dr. Group centres his philosophy around the understanding that the root cause of disease stems from the accumulation of toxins in the body and is exacerbated by daily exposure to a toxic living environment. He believes it is his personal mission to teach and promote philosophies that produce good health, a clean environment, and positive thinking. This, he believes, can restore happiness and love to the world.

For more, please visit Global Healing Center.

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Why You Should Have A Himalayan Crystal Salt Lamp In Every Room Of Your House

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Photo Credit: Pexels

Carolanne WrightGuest Writer

One of the most disruptive environmental toxins in our modern age, electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are difficult to dodge. Wifi and cellphones both generate this invisible menace, as do computers, televisions, cordless phones and microwave ovens. Cancer, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, depression, headaches, miscarriage and thyroid malfunction are all linked with exposure to electromagnetic pollution.

While EMFs are nearly impossible to avoid, we can take steps to reduce the negative impact. One method is through Halotherapy — otherwise known as dry salt therapy.

Salt, Happiness and Health

For over a century, spending time in salt caves for their healing attributes has been a common practice in locations like Germany and Poland. Early on, it was noticed that salt miners didn’t suffer from the widespread respiratory illnesses of the day, which were running rampant. The miners also tended to be exceptionally happy. It wasn’t until science established salt is rich in negative ions that the reason behind their robust health and sunny outlook was finally discovered. In turn, Halotherapy was born.

Today, a variety of health issues are addressed through exposure to manmade “salt caves — where a natural microclimate is created by dispersing a dry salt aerosol in high concentrations into a halo chamber, whose surface is covered with layers of salt.” [source] When the salt is inhaled, it travels throughout the respiratory system and absorbs excess moisture, clears mucus, reduces inflammation and kills bacteria. The therapy has also been shown to be effective for those with skin and digestive ailments, as well as those who struggle with stress, headaches, fatigue and mood disorders, according to a study published in the Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine.

Negative ions have been dubbed “the happy element” because they help to increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood — especially to the brain. Negative ions also speed up the oxidation of serotonin (5-hydroxtryptamine), which has positive effects on mood, pain relief and sexual drive. They also counteract free radicals — known as positive ions — which are created through exposure to environmental toxins — like chemicals, electronic equipment, cellphones and radiation. Moreover, negative ions encourage proper pH and hormonal balance in the body, while also strengthening metabolism and the immune system.

More than any other time in history, we are bombarded by positive ions, which is why making a conscious effort to introduce negative ions into our surroundings is becoming increasingly important. One of the best ways to do this is through the use of Himalayan crystal salt lamps.

Bringing Home the Benefits of a Salt Cave

With their soft orange glow, Himalayan salt lamps aren’t just a soothing addition to your environment. The lamps can also improve clarity, sleep, disposition and overall health. A seemingly tall order, the secret behind Himalayan salt lamps is their ability to generate negative ions and dry out the air — which helps to reduce airborne pathogens like viruses, bacteria and mild.

From a scientific standpoint, there are three principles at work with crystal salt lamps:

  • Ionization — The emission of ions is primarily caused by the alternating actions of the heated salt’s ability to first attract and absorb water, and then evaporate it. The salt goes into a solution as it mixes with the water molecules.
  • Sodium, as positively charged ions, and chloride, as negatively charged ions, become neutral and are released into your environment — which helps reduce pollutants such as allergens and irritants from your air.
  • Electromagnetic oscillation — Every form of life on the planet depends on the electromagnetic field of vibration (known as the Schuman resonance frequency). Due to electronics and industrialization, your body receives artificial electromagnetic wavelengths with many diverse frequency values.
  • Because of the neutral atomic structure of crystal salt, a heated salt lamp helps you harmonize and balance these artificial frequencies, and neutralize “electro-smog”.
  • Transparent-crystalline structure developing the light waves — It’s well-known that you need the light waves of the rainbow spectrum (300-700 nanometres) for your health and preservation of your body. Your cells are supplied by light with new energy in the form of electromagnetic wavelengths.
  • The wavelengths of salt crystal colours fall within the upper nanometre zone (600-700 nanometres) — producing positive and soothing effects.

For optimum benefit, place the lamp in areas where you spend a good deal of time which have high levels of positive ions — such as by your computer, television and next to your bed. Since children are especially sensitive to electromagnetic radiation, make sure to have at least one salt lamp within their bedroom to reap the full calming benefits.

Without a doubt, Himalayan salt lamps are an excellent first step to reduce a number of health effects associated with electro-smog. For additional ideas on how to protect yourself, have a look at the following articles:  It’s True: You Really Can Protect Yourself Against Electromagnetic Radiation — Here’s How and Beware: Shoes Can be Hazardous to Your Health.

Editor’s Note: With the rising popularity of Himalayan Crystal Salt Lamps, there are (ofcourse) many fakes on the market. Check out this article for a simple guide to help you tell the difference between a cheap fake and the real deal.

Article Sources
Recommended Articles by Carolanne Wright
About the Author

Carolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years

Through her website Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision. Follow Carolanns on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

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Maintaining Healthy Boundaries When Being Of Service

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Maintaining Healthy Boundaries When Being Of Service
Photo Credit: Getty

Fiona ReillyGuest Writer

Being of service to others and the world can bring immense joy, inspiration and fulfillment. But, when offering service, maintaining healthy boundaries is essential if we are to remain aligned and in balance. It’s so easy to become exhausted, depleted or resentful through giving too much of ourselves. In this article we explore what it means to have healthy boundaries and how this enhances our lives and that of those around us.

What are boundaries?

A boundary can be defined as something that indicates bounds or limits and healthy boundaries are about knowing and understanding what our own limits are. Having personal boundaries means maintaining and expressing what feels right and what doesn’t, stating what’s okay and what’s not okay.

Boundaries are not necessarily fixed or static, sometimes they may be general guidelines we adhere to, other times they are a recognition of what is right in a particular situation. Each of us is unique and so our boundaries will vary depending on who we are, what our purpose is and what is being invited at a particular point in time. Boundaries can be about how we give of our time and energy, or they can be around what is acceptable to us from others.

“Boundaries are not fake walls or separation, they are not division. They are respect.” ~ Brene Brown

Maintaining Healthy Boundaries

Boundaries require respect and self-love. Setting boundaries and working to preserve them is not only a gift to ourselves, but to the world around us. This is by no means easy. In a world full of societal expectations and “shoulds” we can feel conflicted and find ourselves in roles and situations where we compromise. We end up doing things from a sense of obligation or because we think it is the most loving and kind thing to do. Most of us want to be liked and approved of by others and fear that expressing our boundaries or our own needs would cause upset to others. However in my experience the opposite is mostly true, if we clearly communicate our boundaries with sensitivity and compassion, others are very appreciative, understanding and respect our honest choices. Clear boundaries enhance relationships and mutual respect and help avoid unspoken expectations and misunderstandings.

“When you feel yourself becoming angry, resentful or exhausted, pay attention to where you haven’t set a healthy boundary” ~ Crystal Andrus

People pick up on any incongruence between our words or actions and our inner truth or feelings. Being clear and honest about the boundaries that are good for us is vitally important. If we ignore the boundaries that are being invited, resentments can build. Sometimes and especially with those we are closest to codependency and patterned ways of interacting can develop. It requires immense courage, self-honesty and openness to recognise unhealthy patterns and to find and implement the appropriate boundaries. In such situations it can be invaluable to get to know ourselves and acknowledge our needs. It can be beneficial to explore and ask “What is being invited now?”, to find what is right and come from that place.

At times saying “No” is the most compassionate thing we can do. It encourages and empowers the other to find their own way on their personal journey. At times our not assisting or fulfilling expectations may cause another to feel hurt or some other “unpleasant” emotion. Yet this may be exactly the experience that will help them to grow and evolve.

For example, there have been times in my life when I have been needy and engaged in the drama of situations. I wanted and expected those close to me to act in a particular way and support me. When they didn’t it caused me pain and suffering, until I realized that I have all that I need and that the Universe supports me in other perfect ways. When I let go of expectations and become open, I always get exactly what I need and often in the most delightful of ways. I could not have received this insight if others hadn’t remained true to their boundaries and for that I am grateful. Often by overly supporting others we disempower them.

It is liberating and empowering to take responsibility for our own experiences, and express out to the world when something is not okay for us or alternatively step forward for something that is right for us. I really appreciate when people are clear and express their boundaries even if it something that I do not want to hear or it causes apparent inconvenience. When we change or live our own truth, those around us are inspired and change too. In the words of Gandhi “Be the change you want to see in the world”, whether that be in your relationships, your working life or other circumstances.

Being of Service

We can best serve the world by being true to who we are and finding what is right in each moment. When we find and express who we truly are, it is so fulfilling, perhaps that is our ultimate purpose in this precious life. Maintaining healthy boundaries supports us in this regard and as a result when we engage with the world we do so with more joy and enthusiasm. When we come from presence and trust in our own truth in any moment, we best serve the Whole. Tuning in and asking the question “Does x serve me?” or “What is being invited in this situation?” can be beneficial in discerning the most aligned way to engage. Living within healthy boundaries energises and fulfills us and helps us stay in balance.

Some helpful guidelines regarding boundaries
  • Remain aware so that you can feel what is right for you and where you may need to introduce boundaries. By tuning into what is right for you, you will discover what is most aligned for all life.
  • Ask “What is being invited now?”
  • If you notice your energy becoming low or depleted after certain engagements, question why this is so and if some boundaries need to be implemented?
  • Express your needs clearly to the relevant people
  • Say “Yes” because you really want to, then you do so with joy and lightness in your heart.
  • Begin with small steps, establishing boundaries or saying no is not always easy, especially if we are accustomed to pleasing others or care about what others think. Start with small things and you may be surprised by the positive responses you receive.
  • Seek support from others, if you are struggling to implement and communicate healthy boundaries in your life.
Insightful Video

With love, respect and best wishes for living true to your rightness, Fiona.

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About the Author

Fiona is an Active Listening therapistreflexologist, and experienced doula. She is passionate about living true to her heart and soul and empowering others to do the same. She runs various workshops related to the vibrancy of conscious plant based eating and women’s issues including being childless/free and loves joining women in circle.

Her website is www.fionareilly.co.uk or click here for her facebook page – True Living

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