When you shake hands at an important meeting or hug during a stressful time, the feel-good energy can help us relax and bond, releasing worry and negativity. Friendly, affectionate touch causes our bodies to release oxytocin. Sometimes called the “love hormone,” oxytocin decreases the stress-related hormone cortisol, lowers blood pressure, and increases pain tolerance. This article will cover why you should hug the people you love this Valentine’s Day: research shows physical touch is good for your health!

Bodywork benefits

Friendly touch, whether it’s between cuddling couples, breastfeeding moms and their babies, or even pets and their people, can help us stay healthy. Studies suggest that massage, for example, can slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure—and that’s on top of just plain feeling good. Massage also helps the body release oxytocin, which in addition to the benefits mentioned above, promotes a general sense of well-being and reduces anxiety. Further, getting a massage after strenuous activity can help prevent stiffness and soreness later.

Physical affection and relationships

Being physically affectionate improves how others perceive you by helping you appear more trustworthy. But you don’t want to start grabbing people and hugging them at random, because most people aren’t comfortable with physical affection from strangers. Studies have shown that there’s a relationship between the amount of physical affection romantic partners give each other and their satisfaction with the relationship. And today’s physical affection—whether romantic or platonic—can predict a better mood tomorrow.

Connecting and bonding

Humans are social beings. Although we all have different levels of comfort with touch, we do have a need to feel a sense of connection to the other members of our tribe. Some of that connection comes from conversations, and some comes from communication through touch. Affectionate touch is how romantic partners bond, as well as how parents bond with their children. After all, sometimes everyone can use a warm, reassuring hug from someone dear. And for animal lovers—touching your pets counts, too! 

Add touch to your life

Some people go days or even weeks without any physical contact and miss out on the health-maximizing effects of lowered stress, improved pain management, and a healthier mind and body. Remember that giving healthy touch—like a handshake, a high five, a pat on the back or shoulder, or a hug—benefits you and the recipient. 

Below are some other ways to boost oxytocin through affectionate touch:

  • Pat your pet. Touch doesn’t have to only involve humans. If you don’t have a pet of your own, consider volunteering to walk a neighbor’s dog.
  • Schedule a massage. Find a trusted therapist and book some time to relax. Pro tip: consider further pampering yourself by turning it into a day of rest with a nap afterward.
  • Hug people hello and goodbye. Maximize touch in your day by greeting friends and family with an embrace.
  • Spend time in bed. Whether it’s snuggling or sexual activity, you and your partner will both benefit from some time between the sheets.
  • Get a pedicure. New nail color or not, you’ll feel pampered and relaxed.

It’s that time of year again! We’re all looking back at 2019 and making a list of the things we want to change for the new year (and new decade!). And most of us resolve to exercise more every year, along with any number of other goals that we may not have reached this year. When we make resolutions, we have the best of intentions—but many of us don’t create habits that last. This article will talk about sticking with your New Year’s resolution to exercise more.

Create Your Action Plan

When you make your New Year’s resolution, be sure you choose goals you can actually attain. If you’ve been a couch potato all year, you might not want to set a goal to run a marathon in February. So, create an action plan that contains the steps you need to get there. If you want to run a marathon, you’ll need to build your endurance over time. Make incremental goals and celebrate your successes along the way. Start out with small goals—15-minutes three times a week, for example—and increase the length and frequency of your workouts over time. When you feel like you can do more, tack on a few extra minutes.

Refuse to Get Discouraged

Successful people know that not every day will be perfect, and they will falter from time to time. Remember that you have choices in each moment and that not everything will go as you have meticulously planned. It’s perfectly normal to take an occasional day off, or rest and heal if you aren’t feeling well, whether it’s a pulled muscle or a fever. Don’t feel ashamed if you skip a day or two! Instead, reaffirm your commitment to making better choices going forward.

Make Small Changes that Add Up

Waking up 30 minutes early to tackle a workout is great, but what if that doesn’t fit within your busy day? Schedule your workouts like you’d schedule meetings and commit to sticking with it. Additionally, you can fit in mini-workouts throughout your day. These may include:

  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Parking far from the door
  • Stretching or marching in place while you’re on the phone
  • Walking instead of watching television
  • Doing jumping jacks while the coffee brews

Your New Year’s resolutions are more likely to be successful when you create and make lasting healthy habits. Truly, small changes lead to big rewards and results!

Share Your New Year’s Resolution

When you tell your family members, friends, and colleagues about your resolutions, you might find others who have set goals that align with yours. These are the people who can help hold you accountable and motivate you to succeed. You might also inspire others through your actions! Creating a support network that can help you achieve your goals can be encouraging in both ways—they can count on you just as you count on them. If you find exercise partners, you not only get a support system, you’ll also reap the benefits of positive social experiences and inspiration.

If you are suffering from peripheral neuropathy, you may have come across one or more common neuropathy myths. Let’s separate fact from fiction and discover how you can best overcome this chronic pain condition naturally.

Myth 1: neuropathy is a sign of aging

False. Neuropathy can occur in younger patients, and many older persons never even experience neuropathy. As nerve damage can occur from a wide variety of causes, it would be wise to get numbness or tingling checked out, then find out the origin of the damage and learn how to reverse it.

Myth 2: There is no cure

While you are bound to come across some negative Nancy types of people who say there is no way to cure neuropathy, that is untrue. Neuropathy can be managed and reversed, enabling patients to get back to living a more normal life. In fact, my team at Campbell Medical Clinic has vast experience helping patients with neuropathy overcome it by addressing the cause itself. We have a variety of services tailored to address each patient’s specific condition, and we always maintain the goal of reversing any damage to the body.

Myth 3: All forms of neuropathy are treated the same

False. Depending on the root cause of your symptoms, your treatment options will vary accordingly. Your neuropathy may have been caused by any number of causes:

  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Trauma to the nerves
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Alcohol abuse

Some types of neuropathy are best addressed through a combination of treatments, such as diet and nutrition, vitamin infusions, regenerative cells, platelet-rich plasma injections or mesenchymal cells.

Myth 4: Neuropathy only affects those with diabetes

A large proportion of diabetic patients do suffer from neuropathy; but all neuropathy patients do not have diabetes — not by a long shot! Even certain medications can bring about the painful numbness and tingling you are getting too familiar with. It is worth noting that if your neuropathy does stem from diabetes, I highly recommend calling for a complimentary consultation to learn your different treatment options. Whatever your decision, you don’t want to let the condition worsen.

Myth 5: Nerves cannot regenerate

Fascinatingly, nerve cells can actually repair themselves and even regenerate. Regenerative cells may be able to help your nerves recover from the damage. Another treatment that has been proven to be successful in rebuilding the protective coating on nerves is very high doses of vitamin B12.

Natural neuropathy relief through regenerative medicine

As a leader in regenerative medicine, I want to help you determine your best options for treatment and recovery. You may have heard me on the radio or read my book, Demystifying Stem Cells. Few doctors have as much experience in regenerative medicine as I do, and my team is passionate about bringing our patients relief from neuropathy naturally. Don’t believe the common neuropathy myths.

I encourage you to take charge of your treatment by calling and scheduling a free consultation today.

Have you heard of Rene Quinton? I honestly can’t believe I’ve been a doctor this long without hearing his name. This man saved thousands of lives in France and Europe by using seawater called Quinton Water.

Rene Quinton was a French physiologist who discovered that marine water from a certain part of the ocean had almost identical salt and mineral composition as human plasma. He perfected the filtration technique by cold processing this marine water and cured diseases in thousands of people. He also experimented on animal models and replace dog’s plasma with Quinton water and the dog recovered without any issue within a day. At the time when many people were dying from infections, sepsis, he saved thousands of lives using this marine water. There also have been documented cases for cancer, leukemia and multiple sclerosis.

There are two types of concentration for Quinton water: Hypertonic and Isotonic.

Hypertonic solution is the pure unaltered form of ocean water. It has all the trace minerals and salts in it’s purest, most natural form. It is mineralizing and has an almost immediate invigorating effect. I drink a shot of it in the morning instead of coffee, and when I feel the afternoon energy dip coming in, I take a shot of it. It has also been essential when I travel by air, as it takes much of travel fatigue away.

The isotonic solution has the mineral and salt concentration most identical to blood plasma. Because of it, it is also called Quinton Plasma. Quinton plasma can also be injected subcutaneously, or intravenously as well. For a while, I was taking care of a church friend who was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Since adding Quinton Water to her treatment, she had more energy and a better appetite.

You can read more about this amazing water here.

Quinton Water comes in 30, 10ml vials which I use for traveling and also in 1-liter glass jars which is far more economical. Vials are $45 and a 1-liter jar is $95. If you’d like to pick up from the office, call 813-463-6279.

Stay in touch.
Dr. An.

Colds and flu can stop you in your tracks. When body aches, fever, chills, and nasal congestion combine, you’ll find yourself spending hours or days in bed. You want to feel better and get back to your routine quickly, and many natural cold and flu remedies can alleviate your symptoms.

Complications arising from the flu can become serious—so if you still have symptoms after 7-10 days, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor. If any of your symptoms include difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, you feel faint, or experience other severe symptoms like a high fever, seek immediate medical assistance.

Vitamin C

Some studies have indicated that Vitamin C can shorten the lifespan of a cold and boosts your immune system. The best way to get it is through your diet: the fresher the food, the better. For example, eat whole oranges, instead of drinking orange juice. Vitamin C plays an important role in your body and has many health benefits. Along with limes, lemons, grapefruits, leafy greens, and bell peppers are all good sources of vitamin C. Be careful with supplements since they can lead to upset stomach and kidney stones.

Honey

Honey has natural antiviral and antimicrobial properties. Drinking honey in tea with lemon can ease sore throat pain. Research suggests that honey is an effective cough suppressant, too. Honey often contains Clostridium bacteria, so never give honey to a child younger than 1-year-old because infants’ immune systems aren’t able to fight them off.

Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is one of the most well-known natural cold and flu remedies in the book. Hot liquids help reduce mucous buildup and keep you hydrated, and chicken soup, in particular, has anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce a cold’s unpleasant side effects. It can also slow the movement of neutrophils (a common type of white blood cell) in your body—they stay more concentrated in the areas of your body that require the most healing when they move slowly. Keep some in the freezer or even canned for flu season. It’s quick to prepare that way and easy and soothing to eat.

Aromas

When you have congestion from the flu, applying camphor or menthol salve around your nose can help break up mucus. Aromatherapy oils, such as peppermint and eucalyptus, can have a similar effect. While the scent is strong, vapor rub can reduce cold symptoms, especially in children older than 2 years. It helps open air passages to combat congestion, reduce coughing, and improve sleep. It’s a good alternative to over-the-counter cold medicines in young children because of unwanted side effects.

Moisture

A great decongestant is a steamy shower or sauna—but if you are dizzy or weak from the flu, sit in a chair in your bathroom while you run a hot shower.

A warm sponge bath sometimes can reduce a child’s fever. Reduce body aches by adding Epsom salt and baking soda to the water. A soothing effect can be achieved by adding a few drops of essential oil, such as tea tree, juniper, rosemary, thyme, orange, lavender, or eucalyptus.

Dry environments are where flu thrives and spreads more easily. More humidity in your home may reduce your exposure to the flu virus. It may also reduce nasal inflammation, which makes it easier to breathe when sick. Adding a cool-mist humidifier to your bedroom may help you feel more comfortable especially true in winter when dry indoor heat worsens your symptoms.

Salt Water

Gargling with salt water reduces and loosens mucus, which contains bacteria and allergens. To try this natural cold and flu remedy at home, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in a full glass of water. Swish it around your mouth and throat. Then spit it out.

Ginger

Ginger root’s health benefits have been touted for centuries. Soothe a cough or sore throat by boiling a few slices of raw ginger root in boiling water. It can also ward off the feelings of nausea that so often accompany the flu.

Garlic

The compound allicin is prevalent in garlic, which is shown to have antimicrobial properties. Adding a garlic supplement to your diet might reduce the severity of cold symptoms, and it might even help you avoid getting sick in the first place. Adding more garlic to your diet probably won’t hurt—and it’s a tasty way to add flavor to your food.

Echinacea

The herb and root of the echinacea plant have been used by Native Americans to treat infections for more than 400 years. Its active ingredients include flavonoids, which are chemicals that boost your immune system and reduce inflammation.

Taking echinacea may lower your risk of developing the common cold by more than 50 percent. It may also reduce the length of a cold. If you’re a healthy adult, consider taking 1 to 2 grams of echinacea root or herb as a tea, three times daily, for no longer than one week.

Probiotics

Probiotics are “friendly” bacteria and yeast that are found in your body, some foods, and supplements. They can help keep your gut and immune system healthy, and that probiotics may reduce your chance of getting sick with an upper respiratory infection.

For a delicious and nutritious source of helpful bacteria, include probiotic yogurt in your diet. Besides its potential benefits for your immune system, yogurt can a healthy snack that provides plenty of protein and calcium. Look for products that list live bacteria on the label. But watch out—many types of yogurt can contain a lot of sugar.

Remember, natural cold and flu remedies have their place, but if your symptoms persist beyond 7-10 days or you develop symptoms including difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, or high fever, make an appointment with your doctor.

Related Reading

Do You Really Need A Flu Shot?

Spring Cleaning: Time to Clean out the Toxins in Your Body

Influenza (the flu) is caused by viruses that infect your nose, throat, and lungs. Flu is extremely contagious, able to spread from one person to another standing within 6 feet via droplets produced when coughing, sneezing, or talking or by touching contaminated surfaces. Other research demonstrated that one single contaminated doorknob or tabletop could spread a virus to 40 – 60 percent of workers and visitors within just 2 – 4 hours of contamination. But do you really need a flu shot?

About the Flu

The flu is linked to serious infections like pneumonia—and can make existing health problems like heart or lung disease worse. Seasonal flu is a mild illness for some people, but for others the flu can be serious where treatment requires hospitalization or in the most extreme cases it can be fatal.

The previous year’s vaccine may not protect you from this year’s viruses, because flu viruses evolve so quickly. To keep up with rapidly adapting flu viruses, new flu vaccines are developed and released every year. Building immunity after a flu shot can take up to two weeks. It’s usually best for people in the United States to get their flu vaccine by the end of October, but you can benefit from the vaccine even if you don’t get it until after the flu season starts.

There are many steps you can take to lower your risk of getting the virus, though the flu shot is your best line of defense. But what about those who can’t get a flu shot, or opt not to?

Noninjection Flu Medications

To date the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three flu antiviral drugs that are recommended by the CDC against the current circulating flu viruses:

  • oseltamivir (Tamiflu)
  • zanamivir (Relenza)
  • peramivir (Rapivab)

These medications may reduce symptoms and shorten the time that you are sick, if used within 2 days of flu symptoms starting. Antivirals may also prevent ear infections in children and hospitalizations and pneumonia in adults. Antivirals can also reduce the risk of death in individuals with flu severe enough to be admitted to the hospital, but some doctors approach them with caution in treating the flu. Antiviral drugs are not a substitute for the flu vaccine.

Protecting Against the Flu

Washing your hands your hands frequently and thoroughly is the most important thing you can do. While the flu virus is airborne in droplets of breath, the majority of it is probably passed by hand. People know it’s common for children to put their hands near or in their mouths—but a large number of adults do it too and are rarely aware they’re doing it. 

You need to wash your hands each and every time for a minimum of 15 seconds. Wash viruses down the drain with soap, warm water, and a period of vigorous rubbing. Do this every time you sneeze or cough and especially before meals. When you cannot manage a full washing, alcohol-based gel hand cleaners are also good to have around as a stop gap.

When you cough or sneeze, always cover your nose and mouth. Cough into your sleeve in the crook of your arm. Use a tissue, rather than a cloth handkerchief because the virus can survive in any collected mucous. Then wash your hands. 

You should avoid crowded public places and avoid close contact with other people if you believe you’ve contracted the virus. Stay at home or keep your child at home if you or anyone in your household is displaying symptoms. Do not go into work. Unless you have trouble breathing or a very high fever develops, don’t risk exposing others even run to the emergency room.  

Getting plenty of rest, eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of fluids, and getting plenty of exercise fills out the list of other recommendations.

Research has shown that moderate exercise brings about measurable changes in the immune system by sending white blood cells around the body to find intruders and kill them. The immune system returns to normal a few hours after you’ve finished your workout so it’s best to exercise regularly.

Originally starting out as “Women’s History Week” in California during the 1970s, it wasn’t until 1987 that Congress officially declared March as “National Women’s History Month.” To celebrate, I wanted to share a little bit about some of the most notable and influential women in science!

Ruth Patrick

Growing up in Kansas, Ruth Patrick developed a passion for science, even receiving her first microscope at the age of seven. After earning her degree in biology from Coker College, Patrick went on to complete her masters and doctorate degrees in botany at the University of Virginia. Patrick is considered a pioneer in limnology (the scientific study of the life and phenomena of freshwater bodies.) She not only established a fundamental principle of which all environmental science is based, The Patrick Principle, she also founded the Limnology Department at the Academy of Natural Sciences in 1947. Along with Rachel Carson, Ruth Patrick is seen as one of the main catalysts for global concern regarding ecology.

Mary Mahoney

The first African-American woman to study and work as a registered nurse, Mary Mahoney paved the way for women in the late 1800’s, but more importantly, she paved the way for African-American women. Mahoney received her diploma in 1879, along with only four of the 18 women she began with. Mahoney’s strides for women’s rights didn’t stop in the medical field. Following the passing of the 19th amendment, it is believed Mahoney was one of the first women to register and vote in Boston, MA.

Annie Dodge Wauneka

A personal experience as a child altered Annie Dodge Wauneka’s life forever. When she was only eight years old an influenza epidemic struck her reservation in Arizona, killing thousands of Navajos, including countless classmates of Wauneka. Thankfully, she only experienced a mild case, allowing her to care for others who needed it. Upon studying public health, Wauneka was elected on the Tribal Council in 1951. Aside from serving three terms in office, Wauneka had many achievements. She wrote a Navajo dictionary translating English words having to do with modern medical techniques, she improved health care for women and babies, and in 1963 became the first Native American to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Sally Ride

Making history as the first American woman in space, Sally Ride served as a mission specialist in 1983 on the seventh space shuttle flight, the Challenger. Eight thousand people responded to an announcement from NASA asking for mission specialists for its shuttle flights, and Sally Ride was one of six women chosen. After going to space twice, Ride ended up founding Sally Ride Science, an organization supporting girls’ and boys’ science, math and technology interests.

Helen Murray Free

Born in Pennsylvania, Helen Murray Free hadn’t planned on a career in the science field. Originally majoring in English and Latin, Murray Free changed her major to chemistry in the middle of her college career. This change came after women were encouraged to pursue careers in science following the events of Pearl Harbor and the enlistment and draft that quickly followed. Upon receiving her B.S. from College of Wooster in 1945, Free went on to serve as a researcher, director, and manager at Miles Laboratories. Free made improvements and developments for dip-and-read-tests before retiring. Now, pregnancy tests, glucose tests, and others are readily available in underdeveloped areas at a low cost.

While these women are the ones I have chosen to spotlight, there are many more who deserve endless recognition. What woman in history do you admire? If you don’t have one, aim to be one!

Out with the old, in with the new! You may be clearing out your office or your home for spring cleaning, but what about your body? It is the perfect time to take a few extra measures to detoxify your body so that you can be the healthiest, happiest version of yourself this spring!

Cut down on the toxins you are taking in.

The first step to cleaning out toxins in your body is to cut back (or completely eliminate) on things you put into your body that contain them! When something is hard for the body to digest, it can slow down your metabolism and cause toxins to accumulate in your body. Here are some things to avoid:

  • Red meat
  • Gluten
  • Refined sugar
  • Processed food
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine

Be careful of your products.

Household cleaners, soaps, and beauty products can all contain harmful toxins that are absorbed through the skin. Choose these products carefully, and always make sure you know what’s in them. There are many great natural cleaners and products that can help reduce the toxins your skin and body are exposed to!

Drink lots of water.

Water has a multitude of benefits for your body, skin, and organs. Drinking enough water is extremely important in getting rid of toxins in the body. It helps boost metabolism and can literally flush out the harmful materials that have built up in your body.

Add plenty of dietary fiber and antioxidants to your diet.

Eating foods with plenty of fiber, such as organic fruits and vegetables and whole grains, will help your body move the toxins out. Antioxidants help to fight free radicals and help to further remove harmful materials and toxins from the body.

Sweat it out.

Sweating is a very effective way for the body to get rid of toxins. Achieving this through exercise also keeps your organs and systems working properly, which plays a key role in releasing toxins. Aside from exercising, hopping into a sauna or hot bath can help, too!

Removing toxins from your body is key to living a healthy life. While you’re clearing out your junk drawer this spring, follow the steps above to help clear your body of the “junk” it’s been storing as well!

If you are struggling with your health or living with chronic pain, visit our website or give us a call. Let’s find a solution for you!