Foot Massage To Reduce Anxiety

When I’m feeling overtired or stressed, I always noticed that I craved a foot massage. So it got me thinking, is it possible that there is a connection between foot massage and anxiety reduction? So I did some digging, and it turns out there is! There is actually an acupressure point on the feet that helps to recuse stress and anxiety.

In a sitting position, cross one leg over the opposite leg and prop your foot on your knee. Place your thumb between your 2nd and 3rd toes and draw a straight line down until you are about a 1/3 of the way down the foot, on the natural dimple just above the arch (see image above). Push firmly on the center of your foot and hold while kneading for at least 2 minutes. Repeat on the other foot. This can help ease into peaceful sleep as well as promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Sleep Better And Reduce Stress With This Herb

Valerian Root is a fabulous and powerful herb that has many great health benefits. I have recommended this herb to many clients and have been thrilled with the changes they see when incorporating valerian root into their health routines. So what are some of the benefits, you may ask?

  1. Better sleep
    • Valerian root, taken over time, may have a cumulative effect on improving sleep. Be sure to try taking for at least 30 days to determine if it is effective for you.
    • If using valerian for insomnia issues, take your capsules about 1-2 hours before bedtime for maximum efficacy
  2. Aids in healthy digestion
    • Valerian has been used to help prevent stomach spasms, colic, cramps, bloating and diarrhea
  3. Reduced anxiety
    • If using valerian for reducing anxiety, you can take your recommended doe about 3 times per day, spaced out throughout the day
  4. Calming/Natural sedative
    • Valerian’s ability to promote relaxation and better sleep makes it a natural choice for those who require additional support to help relax or calm themselves
  5. Improve focus/reduce hyperactivity in children
    • Because of its naturally calming effects, valerian can be an effective and natural alternative for children who suffer from hyperactivity.

Here are a few reliable brands of organic valerian root:

As with any herbal supplement, it is always best to check with your herbalist or medical practitioner before beginning a regimen. However, when taken properly and consistently, valerian can really have some wonderfully positive effects on your health!

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Using Meditation To Improve Your Health

For thousands of years, meditators have claimed many benefits for their practice. Regular meditation can be an effective treatment for stress, worry, lack of focus, relationship problems, addictions and more. It creates peace of mind and wellbeing, improves focus and creativity and strengthens relationships.

Through meditation, your brain physically changes, even though you’re not aware of it re-wiring itself. Meditation activates the ‘relaxation’ part of our nervous system which supports stress management. It also affects awareness and allows you to put stressors and “to-do” lists on the back burner by filtering out that part of your thought process. Researchers have found that after just 11 hours of meditation, practitioners had structural changes in the part of the brain involved in monitoring our focus and self control.

Researchers have found that, compared with the people who didn’t meditate, those trained in meditation concentrated and stayed on task longer. It has also been shown that the majority of practitioners see a noticeable reduction in anxiety and anxiety related behaviors.

Meditation has also been shown to improve relationships, including marriages. It can improve mindfulness of how the couple treats each other as well as improve communication and connectedness.

Try this amazing five-minute meditation from Dr. Alejandro Junger. (http://www.cleanprogram.com/group-detox-cleanse)

*Commit to daily practice and make note of the changes in your behavioral patterns*

Step 1: Get Comfortable & Breathe

Sit up in a chair with your back straight. Place your feet flat on the floor under your knees. Rest the palms of your hands on your thighs and relax your arms. Look straight ahead but try not to focus anywhere in particular. Instead, notice everything in the room at once.

Take a deep breath and start feeling your feet. Feel them touching the floor or the inside of your shoes. Feel the temperature, the humidity; feel the texture of your socks. Feel your feet intensely from inside. Do not “think” about them, just feel them, sense them.

Step 2: Scan Your Body with Attention

After a few breaths, move your attention to your calves and legs. Feel and sense these for several breaths. Then move your attention from body part to body part, first to your thighs, then your bottom against the chair, then to your abdomen and lower back, your chest and upper back, your shoulders, your arms, your hands, your neck, face, and lastly your head.

Then let your awareness cover your whole body at the same time. The idea is to “scan” your body with your attention, stopping for a few breaths on each part. This practice will strengthen your ability to direct and hold your focus.

Step 3: Thank Your Monkey Mind for Sharing

You may notice that the moment you sit down, you start remembering things and feel the urge to act on them. This is part of the process. When those thoughts come and try to steal your attention away from your body, simply say silently to yourself, “Thank you for sharing,” and direct your attention back to your body.

If you feel discomfort or frustration and want to stop, just keep sitting calmly. Know that the discomfort you feel is not caused by the exercise itself. It’s what happens when you become aware of your baseline state, that underlying anxiety you are typically not aware of when the outside world is at full volume and your attention is far from your body.

Becoming aware of this underlying state is the first step toward dissolving it, and claiming back the energy it consumes.

Step 4: Where did that thought come from?

When you find yourself consumed by your monkey mind, try for a second to separate your attention from your thoughts and re-focus it on the present. Ask yourself: “Who is deciding that I think these thoughts? If I had a choice, would I be thinking them?”

Step 5: Use Anytime, Anywhere

This technique can also be used in the middle of any stressful situation like a business meeting or a job interview. When we are nervous, it is because our unconscious thoughts are interpreting, judging, measuring and expecting. This process takes energy and attention.

By re-directing our attention to our body and breath, we reclaim this unnecessary use of energy. It may be hard to remember to do this in difficult situations. Start with easy ones. Then try to do it in harder and harder ones.

My personal experience is that if I have the presence of mind for a split second to remember and start doing it, immediately the energy of the situation shifts, usually for the better. When you become more present, others in the room feel it as well.

Practicing being present will help clear out your mind. You will begin to be able to use your energy and attention to stay present and be more productive. This practice will also help you be more aware of the decisions you are making about what you eat.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Primary Foods…What’s Eating You?

One of my favorite concepts I learned while attending IIN is the idea of primary foods. Nutrition is actually our secondary source of energy. Primary foods, or non-food sources of nourishment, are what really fuel us as human beings.

As children, we all lived on primary food. Lovers thrive on the pure bliss and peace they are experiencing, while passionate entrepreneurs are fueled by their work. The excitement and rapture of daily life can feed us more completely than any food.

Imagine children playing outside with friends. At dinnertime their mother calls to them, “Time to come in and eat!” “No mommy, I’m not hungry yet,” they respond. At the table, the mother dutifully ensures that the children leave no morsel behind. The children reluctantly force down the minimum requirement, eager to get back outside and play.

At the end of the day they return, exhausted and satisfied. They quickly fall asleep without thinking about food at all.

Can you remember being deeply in love? Everything is light and warm, colors are vivid, and life is full of joy. You’re high off your lover’s presence, sustained and exhilarated by the blissful connection. You float on air, and food becomes secondary.

Think back to a time when you were involved in an exciting work project. You believed in what you were doing whole-heartedly and felt confident and stimulated. Time stopped, and the outside world was muted – food was an afterthought.

Now recall a time you were depressed or experiencing low self-esteem – you were starving for primary food. No matter how much you ate, you never felt satisfied. The need for love, power, or mere acknowledgement drove the desire for excess food.

Primary food goes beyond the plate, nurturing us on a deeper level. The four main primary foods are:

  • career
  • relationships
  • physical activity
  • spirituality

The more primary food we give ourselves, the less we depend on secondary food. On the contrary, the more we fill ourselves with secondary food, the less space we leave for primary food – our true source of nourishment.

Many religions and cultures practice fasting to reduce secondary food, opening channels to receive a greater amount of primary food.

Take some quality time to explore your personal balance between primary food and secondary food – which area could use some attention?

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

You Need Magnesium And You’re Not Getting Enough

Magnesium is one of the six essential minerals that comprise 99% of the body’s mineral content. Magnesium helps build bones, supports nerve function, and is essential to converting food to energy.

Magnesium has been shown to to help with conditions such as headaches, chronic pain, asthma, anxiety, muscle tension and sleep disorders. Unfortunately, most Americans are seriously lacking magnesium. Magnesium deficiency, especially prevalent in older populations, is linked to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease, and osteoporosis.

According the Medical News Today, “The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for magnesium depends on age and gender. The National Institutes of Health recommend that children 1-3 years of age get 80 milligrams of magnesium a day, rising to 130 milligrams for children aged 4-8, and 240 milligrams for children aged 9-13. After the age of 14, RDAs diverge for men and women, with men typically requiring more magnesium than women due to a larger average body mass. At the age of 14-18, the RDA for males is 410 milligrams, and 360 milligrams for females. Adult females are advised to get 310-320 milligrams per day. An RDA of 350-400 milligrams is advised during pregnancy, and 310-360 milligrams when breastfeeding. The RDA of magnesium for adult males is 400-420 milligrams.”

So what are some ways you can improve your magnesium intake?

Magnesium Rich Foods

Whenever possible, it’s always best to obtain your vitamins and minerals naturally from a food source. Some foods you can incorporate into your diet that are high in magnesium include: sunflower seeds, almonds, sesame seeds, spinach, cashews, black beans, oatmeal, broccoli, peanut butter, shrimp, brown rice, kidney beans and bananas.

Magnesium Supplements

According to DrAxe.com, “It’s believed that magnesium in citrate, chelate and chloride forms are absorbed better than magnesium supplements in oxide and magnesium sulfate form. Here’s a bit about the different types of magnesium supplements that you’ll likely come across:

  • Magnesium Chelate – highly absorbable by the body and the kind found in foods naturally. This type is bound to multiple amino acids (proteins) and used to restore magnesium levels.
  • Magnesium Citrate – magnesium combined with citric acid. This may have a laxative effect in some cases when taken in high doses, but is otherwise safe to use for improving digestion and preventing constipation.
  • Magnesium Chloride Oil – an oil form of magnesium that can be applied to skin. It’s also given to people who have digestive disorders that prevent normal absorption of magnesium from their food. Athletes sometimes use magnesium oil to increase energy and endurance, to dull muscle pain, and to heal wounds or skin irritation.
  • Magnesium Glycinate – highly absorbable, this is recommended for anyone with a known magnesium deficiency and less likely to cause laxative effects than some other magnesium supplements.
  • Magnesium Threonate – has a high level of absorbability since it can penetrate the mitochondrial membrane. This type is not as readily available, but as more research is conducted, it may become more widely used.”

So if you feel you have been suffering from any of the above conditions or you could benefit from increasing your magnesium intake, consider supplementing or incorporating more magnesium rich foods into your diet.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.