This Tuesday was the official launch of my book, BreakFree
Medicine: A Systematic and Integrated Guide to Balancing Your Body! It has been such an exciting and emotional
time, and I am so grateful to all of you who fuel my passion and desire to empower
others with knowledge that can support them in making their own best decisions
on their journey of wellness.
Getting a book out can be a little bit stressful at times.
Okay, actually, it can be a lot stressful! In my homepage blog, I discuss the
impact stress has on our body and how our perceptions mediate that response.
Furthermore, I pointed out how our prenatal environment, life events, genetics,
and microbiome all impact our stress patterns and responses. You can read all
about it here, as well as my Top Reads for February.
Below are some examples of a few of the techniques I used
to keep my brain calm during my book release that are backed by science. No
longer is mind-body medicine “soft science.” It’s an integral and important
part of a truly holistic health picture.
and Music May Ease Pain in Breast Biopsy
I had some calming music on during my final edits and the
back-and-forth with my publishers. Little did I know that my Mozart could also
be a powerful pain reducer. Health Day
and music may reduce pain, anxiety and fatigue associated with a breast cancer
biopsy, a new study suggests. Researchers from the Duke Cancer Institute in
Durham, N.C., evaluated 121 women who listened to recorded meditation or music,
or received standard care during image-guided needle biopsies….
to those in the standard care group, women who listened to meditation or music
had greater reductions in anxiety and fatigue. Those in the meditation group
had much less pain during the biopsy than those in the music group, the study
found. (February 4, 2016, http://consumer.healthday.com/alternative-medicine-information-3/meditation-news-467/meditation-eases-pain-anxiety-from-breast-cancer-biopsy-707682.html)
May Reduce Elder’s Back Pain
Here’s another mind-body pain reducer connection with
elderly patients and back pain alleviation. Again, Health Day happily reported:
meditation may offer a measure of pain relief to seniors suffering from chronic
lower back pain, new research suggests.
study involved nearly 300 older adults with long-term lower back pain, half of
whom were assigned to a two-month mindful meditation course.
meditation is a method to learn how to be fully engaged in the present moment
and not let the mind get so easily distracted,” explained study lead
author Dr. Natalia Morone. She is an associate professor of medicine at the
University of Pittsburgh.
patients practiced mindfulness meditation and tried to stay more focused on the
present moment, “participants found they experienced less pain,”
Morone said. They also saw short-term benefits in physical function, the study
found. (February 23, 2016, http://consumer.healthday.com/alternative-medicine-information-3/mis-alternative-medicine-news-19/mindfulness-might-help-older-adults-with-back-pain-708334.html)
Here’s a beautiful article with eleven scientifically
based results of using mediation and mindfulness as an intervention to improve
health outcomes in stress, aging, PTSD, heart health, sleep, schizophrenia,
lung function, mood, headaches, and addictions. Can’t put all that in one
bottle! Green Med Info writes:
practice of meditation is enjoying a resurgence. Its proven health benefits
have been discovered by such unlikely advocates as military programs and
used to be confined to the mysterious and ascetic world of Buddhist
monks. But now meditation is
programs incorporate meditation to treat soldiers with post-traumatic stress
disorder and substance abuse. Corporations offer meditation as part of
their wellness programs.
of the reason for this new popularity of meditation is a wealth of scientific
research attesting to its amazing range of healing properties. Here are just 11
proven health benefits of a regular meditation practice. (February 24, 2016, http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/11-proven-health-benefits-meditation)
Yoga and Trauma in
was shown to have a positive impact in women with PTSD brought on by
interpersonal victimization. It is a good, non-toxic supportive option to keep
in mind for those who you love who struggle with a traumatic history. This
study showed that symptoms were relieved only during the yoga intervention.
This makes adherence important for lasting effects.
present study further supports the utility of yoga as a component of
intervention for women with histories of chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD
associated with extensive histories of exposure to interpersonal victimization.
Specifically, findings from this study suggest that more frequent yoga practice
over extended periods may augment and sustain decreases in symptoms of both
PTSD and depression. These findings are particularly promising given that the
study population reported persistent mental health problems related to
traumatic stressors despite having been in trauma-focused psychotherapy for at
least 3 years. Many participants had little relief from their symptoms before
engagement in yoga practice during or following study participation.
Source: Yoga for Adult Women
with Chronic PTSD: A Long-term Follow-up Study. The
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. February 2016, ahead of
Finally, I want to share with you some cool studies I
read during my book preparation for the section on essential oils. You will now
see why I use orange, rose (found in one of my favorite blends Joy), and bergamot
to put my overactive brain into chill mood for a better perspective of my “busyness.”
1. This study was entitled, “Effects of olfactory
stimulation with rose and orange oil on prefrontal cortex activity.” It provided
evidence that the scent of essential oils actually modulated brain response by
decreasing oxygenation to the “executive part of the brain,” making that part
less active and enhancing relaxation:
study participants were 20 female university students (mean age 22.5±1.6
years). Olfactory stimulation by rose or orange oil induced: (1) a significant
decrease in oxyhemoglobin concentration in the right prefrontal cortex and (2)
an increase in “comfortable,” “relaxed,” and
findings indicate that olfactory stimulation by rose or orange oil induces
physiological and psychological relaxation. (Complement Ther Med. 2014
Dec;22(6):1027-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2014.09.003.)
This study demonstrates that its
important for people to choose stimulatory oils like peppermint for focus and calming
oils like citrus and rose for relaxation.
2. This wonderful study was on a review of bergamot. It
includes a clinical review as well as rodent and petri dish studies to explain
mechanisms of action of this essential oil. The abstract reads:
Citrus bergamia Risso et Poiteau, also known as
“Bergamot,” is a plant belonging to the Rutaceae family, defined as a hybrid of
bitter orange and lemon. It is an endemic plant of the Calabria region (Italy).
Bergamot fruit is primarily used for the extraction of its essential oil
(bergamot essential oil: BEO), employed in perfume, cosmetics, food, and
confections. The aim of this review was to collect recent data from the
literature on C. bergamia
essential oil and, through a critical analysis, focus on safety and the
beneficial effects on human health. Clinical studies on the therapeutic
applications of BEO exclusively focus on the field of aromatherapy, suggesting
that its use can be useful for reducing anxiety and stress. (Frontiers in Pharmacology.
Launching a book is one example of a potential stressor
in someone’s life. Fortunately, we have tools to relax our brain and change our
viewpoint, so that stress can be used as a reminder to change our
perspective in order that we can achieve our goals without causing to harm to our body.