Tag Archive for Depression

Sarcopenia–The Mystery of Muscle Loss

Sarcopenia–The mystery of muscle loss is no mystery. Just look at our sedentary life styles.  Even thin people are often found to be flabby! Why is it that our population seems to either gain excess weight or lose excess weight as they go through their middle years? Don’t the opposing influences ever cancel out and leave us happily in the middle??

It turns out that we have to exercise even if we do not tend to put weight on.  Studies indicate that adults who do not strength train LOSE on average at least a half pound of lean muscle tissue each year starting at about age 25. This process of muscle tissue loss is called ”sarcopenia.” The more lean muscle you retain, the more fat and calories you burn all day and night.  Therefore, less muscle means a slower metabolism; more muscle means a faster metabolism.  This muscle loss and its effect on metabolism is one reason why most people do gain weight as they get older.  Our assimilation of caloric energy–virtually our digestion–really occurs in our muscles. Strength training not only halts this lean muscle loss but can reverse the process and make your body biologically younger.  Now they tell us that exercise also helps our brain cognition and prevents depression.  So enjoy those endorphins as you let your body play!

Professionals claim that all you need are two 20 minute slow-motion strength training sessions a week.  But for those  who can’t afford the time and funds for gyms or personal trainers, here is a link for simple exercises that can be performed at home for no cost:   http://www.moneycrashers.com/strength-training-exercises-women/

ann olson strength exercises

Strength Training Exercises

All these exercises work one or more of your muscle groups, which improves your functional strength while also increasing your metabolism. By improving your functional strength, you’ll have a greater ability to do simple tasks, such as lifting heavy boxes or moving furniture. Try doing four or more of these exercises three times a week to start.

1. Overhead Squat

  • Item Needed: A weighted gym bag
  • Muscles Worked: The overhead squat is one of the best full body exercises you can do. It mainly targets the quads, but also targets the glutes, hamstrings, lower back, shoulders, triceps, and the abdominal muscles.

How to Do It
Stand up and hold the gym bag above your head, gripping the bag at the ends. You will hold this position during the entire exercise. Keep your arms straight. Your feet should be slightly wider than shoulder width.

Next, thrust your hips back and begin bending your knees for the squat. Keep your back straight at all times – resist the urge to slouch. Continue descending downward, envisioning that you’re trying to sit back into a small chair.

Once your hips are parallel to your knee joints, hold the position for one second. Now, rise back up into the starting position. This is one repetition. To build strength, aim for a minimum of 5 repetitions, doing no more than 12. Once you can easily do 12 repetitions, it’s time to add weight to the bag.

If you’re unable to bring your hips parallel to your knee joints, start with wall squats to build up strength. Otherwise, not going fully parallel can place stress on your joints and injure your knees. I didn’t go parallel when I first started weightlifting and seriously injured my knee. In fact, I had to lay off lifting for two months to allow it to heal.

2. Deadlift

  • Item Needed: A weighted gym bag
  • Muscles Worked: The deadlift is arguably one of the best lower body exercises, working most of the back, glutes, hamstrings, and quads.

How to Do It
Place the gym bag in front of your feet. Stand behind with both feet close to each other. Bend your knees while pushing your hips back to grab the ends of the gym bag. Make sure your back is straight.

Now bring yourself into a standing position by simultaneously straightening your back and legs. Remember to keep your back straight – do not let it slouch, as this can cause injury. Once assuming the straight stance, stick your chest out and contract your shoulder blades. This is one repetition. Do at least five repetitions to build strength and muscle. Once you can do these repetitions easily, add weight to the bag.

These are just two of their listed strength training exercises.  I personally find that gardening and landscaping gives me a good workout and lots of satisfaction.  But actual exercises are irreplaceable and make me stronger for that garden work.  Try it!

Emotions and Internal Organs

Acupuncture theorists address emotions and internal organs in the same fell swoop. Dr. Andrew Weil reports on a British study showing the success of acupuncture for depression, and adds his own positive opinion based on his experience.  http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/WBL02371/Acupuncture-for-Depression.html  So, how does it work?

Thousands of years ago, the Chinese discovered a specific interaction among the five major organs that is still unrecognized in Western medicine. The Law of Five Elements refers to particular interactions between the major ‘solid’ organs: heart, liver, lung, pancreas and kidney. Each of these is paired with one of the ‘tube’ organs (like intestines) and each pair feeds the next pair in a certain order. If there is excess energy in the stomach causing heartburn, then there is a single point that can pull this excess energy into the lungs/large intestine if they are deficient and cold. The same energy that wreaked havoc in the stomach can now benefit the deficient lung or intestine. Thus we eliminate two problems with one treatment!

When the major organs are balanced among themselves they work together in harmony, as the ultimate example of Wholistic health! But when out of balance, they can then lead to emotional obstructions and these can result in blockages, pain, inflammation and overeating from stress.  If a patient has severe trauma, extended depression, anxiety or other emotional stress, this damages the major organ systems. So we see that treating the whole body affects both mind and body.

In Chinese medicine, each major organ has it own related emotional symptom, but it is a two-way street. There is a feedback loop between the organ and the feeling. The mind can affect the organ, and the organ can affect the mind. Excessive grief damages the lungs or, if the lungs are weak, then melancholy may appear.  Obsessive thinking and over-eating damages the spleen; and excessive fear damages or can develop from the kidneys. Excessive worry hurts the liver and likewise, if the liver is toxic then anger or depression may develop. Liver disharmony can also cause some of the “triggers” that lead to cravings and compulsive eating.

So the body is, in fact, more ‘whole’ than most people realize. The internal connections are astonishing.  An acupuncturist can work simultaneously on the physical symptoms and the emotional issues using the same few points.  Mental, emotional, and physical issues all addressed in the same session.  One stop shop!

Veterans PTSD Treatment

Veterans Acupuncture for Veterans with PTSD: How can we make acupuncture and meditation more available to our military Veterans? If they are returning with severe trauma and pain, we need to address this problem before it worsens.

As a pioneer acupuncturist in this country, I have aided many Veterans suffering from PTSD through my multi-pronged Veterans PTSD Project: a therapy program for releasing deep-seated anxiety and depression. It includes:

  • Acupuncture treatment for physical and emotional pain.
  • Deep-state endorphin release achieved through herbs and pharmaceuticals, specialized massage, breathing techniques, verbal programming, and other modalities.
  • The powerful Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field Stimulator that can regenerate cell tissue anywhere in the brain or body, FDA approved for depression.
  • My  Cellular Meditation VETERANS STRESS RELIEF audio CDs. Two STRESS RELIEF recorded segments are available for listening for free on this blog site www.BrainbodyBliss.com.

Acupuncture or massage point combinations can open up blocked neural centers, waking up the right bio-electrical frequencies.  This can help “teach” traumatized cells how to “unlearn” states of fear and demoralization.  It helps remove physical imbalances such as inflammation, toxicity, pain, brain chemistry imbalance, physical injuries and overall systems blockage.  This treatment affects these issues by helping to break up intracellular energy trauma and revitalize subcellular metabolism.  This impacts the mental and emotional systems as well.

Acupuncture and the Stress Release CDs both address the entire body’s natural, feel-good neuro-hormones to regenerate the proper brain-body connections.  This restores a state of wellbeing and good sleep.

I have lectured twice at the Combat Stress Conference, explaining the science behind the CDs and treatment therapies.  Many Veterans groups are requesting help.  Singer/songwriter Graham Nash has generously contributed, but much more is needed to fill this critical need.  Drug therapy alone does not always go deep enough and often wears off or causes side effects.

We are working toward the opening of a clinical program for Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder located near the West L.A. V.A.  This will help Vets transition to civilian life, helping to eliminate both painful memories and painful conditions.

Cellular Meditation is the full-body form of meditation—made easy. It is about getting endorphins, our own feel-good chemicals into ALL THE CELLS OF THE BODY—by freeing them up, and sensing them from inside.  It is the ‘Feel Good’ form of meditation, easier to do than other meditation practices, while also achieving deeper results.  A version of the double CDs is also available for the general public and the Veterans’ families.

Studies have shown that relaxing meditation techniques increase the feel-good neuro-transmitters that counter mood disorders, such as serotonin, dopamine, and GABA; and beneficial hormones such as DHEA, HGH (human growth hormone), and melatonin for anti-aging and good sleep. Meditation also reduces harmful cortisol produced by stress.

Many Veterans and civilians have benefited from the treatments and these CDs. Our non-profit Earth Harmony Foundation.org receives tax deductible donations from those who want to help our returning soldiers by funding their distribution to many veterans organizations who have requested these CDs.

Medical Pollution: Poli-Meds that Kill

Drugs

Medical Polution: Poli-Meds that Kill

Medical polution and poli-meds that kill is a problem that needs addressing. According to OffGridSurvival.com, “One out of every  5 U.S. adults is taking at least one behavioral pharmaceutical drug and more than one in four women is taking at least one mood altering medication.”  Dr. Mercola writes, “Death by medicine is a 21st-century epidemic, and America’s “war on drugs” is clearly directed at the wrong enemy!”

Prescription drugs are now killing far more people than illegal drugs.  An analysis of recently released data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by the Los Angeles Times revealed that deaths from prescription drug use are increasing. The Times analysis of 2009 death statistics, the most recent available, showed: For the first time ever in the US, more people were killed by drugs than motor vehicle accidents.  37,485 people died from prescribed drugs. Drug fatalities more than doubled among teens and young adults between 2000 and 2008, and more than tripled among people aged 50 to 69.

There are few research studies on the effects of multiple drugs on a single individual.  The specialists who each prescribe for you are in different departments, different buildings.  Do your specialists confer with one another about your case? One gives an antacid; another gives a blood pressure medication; yet another an anti-depressant. Throw in an allergy medication.  How ’bout a steroid? An antibiotic?  As we all know, there is nothing unusual about such a concoction. Maybe you need another few pills to counteract ALL the combined side effects.  Now you might need a laxative for the drug-induced constipation, or something for the drug induced lethargy and lack of libido.

Recently I took a webinar featuring the fifty most popular drugs contrasted with Chinese herbal formulas for addressing the most common medical issues.  Time-tested formulas to replace the beta-blocker, the antacid, the steroid, the antibiotic, and the anti-depressant.  These carefully crafted formulas might act slower but have virtually none of the side effects of prescribed drugs.

The best thing about these formulas is that they do more than just MASK the symptom and numb the pain—an action which often drives the problem deeper.  Instead, the REMEDY is what goes deep to get to the bottom of the problem, working on the underlying causes. You could also call it ‘working upstream,’ getting at the cause of inflammation before it differentiates into arthritis, or a stroke, or any other possible inflammatory conditions.

I have had good results with patients going this route. A 12-year sinus infection resistant to antibiotics—Gone! Smell and taste returned. And in this current climate of HMO and Insurance company control of doctors and medical procedures, the ability to probe deeper has been removed even further from the doctor’s hands.  I’m told that an MRI MUST preceed a simple appointment with the physical therapist who might be able to work out that kink before it needs anything else.

Let vanity work for you.  Multiple medications confuse the body and make it age faster. Find an informed doctor who uses what is called “functional medicine.”  If the energy body underlying all the physical organs is not addressed, and if the mind and emotions are not exercised and healed, then it is like making a cake lacking crucial ingredients.  We are dealing with human bodies programmed over 30,000 years to have adequate exercise, clean air and lots of time between hunting raids and food gathering for simple relaxation. We must turn to Nature for cures and equanimity…!

I invite your feedback in the comment box below!

Emotional Abuse: Generational and Self-Inflicted

Hurting Hearts - PTSD

Emotional abuse, both generational and self-inflicted, keeps us in an emotional prison that we learn to call ‘home.’  As in my last post, this emotional strangle-hold is literally that: a strangle hold around our throat, our lungs, and solar plexus. “My heart was in my throat”, “I had butterflies in my stomach.”  Those individuals most heavily burdened emotionally often have heartburn, acid reflux or a hiatal hernia–all impairments that occur right where the emotional center is happening. It is not an accident. Most depressed individuals are shallow weak breathers. They are not getting nourished adequately by this precious substance that enters when we breathe generously with gusto!

Nowadays the term ‘mind-body’ is mentioned so often that one assumes one understands all its ramifications.  But most people do not understand that the brain occurs all through the body. The preeminent endorphin researcher Candace Pert entitled her recent book: Your Body is Your Subconscious Mind. In it she shares new research that shows that the brain’s activity is more dependent on hormones than it is on the synaptic action of the brain neurons. She claims the term ‘brain blood barrier” is an anachronism left over from our old paradigm of separating the brain and

body. She states that AIDS researchers have isolated immune cells in the brain that originated for instance in the bones. The interaction is constant. The neuropeptide hormonal soup is lapping up in the brain but even more so around the spine and the entire digestive system.

When we breathe deeply into our lungs and abdomen we can begin to break up the strangle hold of negativity in our emotional center. We can clear from its walls the toxic plaque made up of old griefs and grievances. When this dissolves then we have space for something new. The bions of light blasting us from our Sun and magnetism from our living entity Earth. As we travel every day about 25 million miles through the galaxy we encounter brand new energies daily. Every day going where no man has gone before… Imagine!

Please share your feedback in the comments box below. I would love to hear from you!

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