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We haven’t been able to have our Health Connection (CHIP) meetings for several months. We would like to alert you to this excellent online health series starting Monday, June 22.
“Take Charge of Your Health: beginning Monday, June 22, live at 6 pm Central time. The week-long series will feature interviews with medical experts, Bible study of wellness principles, and practical instruction in lifestyle change for health improvement. Go to www.takecharge.life to register free and watch the programs online. Fifteen experts will be interviewed during the week on a variety of health topics.
June 22 Heart Health
June 23 Dealing with Diabetes
June 24 Combating Cancer
June 25 Weight Loss
June 26 Depression and Mental Health
June 27 Coping with Stress
June 28 Overcoming Addictions
We will wait and see the conditions for our July meeting. Several people have asked if we are resuming our meetings. We can’t have food, but could have an hour meeting with masks and physical distancing. How many would feel comfortable with that?
I hope you all are safe and will be able to benefit from the Take Charge of Your Health programs this week. We miss you!
(Little Rock, Arkansas)
Click here to read online or download PDF: Amity Gentle Dental 6-20 Newsletter
All talk surrounding our immunity to Coronavirus after infection circulates around antibody levels. But science is saying otherwise. Sit down for a lesson on the importance of T-cells when it comes to our bodies ability to fight viruses with Dr. James Nuenshchwander, M.D.
From a recent Q&A: What if I am not seeing results trying to do Rapid Recovery on my own?
Want to learn the Goodbye Lupus Protocol for free? Free webinar classes happening now! CLICK the link that follows TO WATCH & LEARN: https://goodbyelupus.com/6-steps-to-r…
At the classes, you can sign up for FREE LIVE Q&As with Dr. G at the classes so you can ask her all of your questions about health live.
There are all manner of purported hiccup “cures,” which include everything from chewing on a lemon, inhaling pepper, or, our dog’s favorite, eating a spoonful of peanut butter. In my video How to Strengthen the Mind-Body Connection, I talk about the technique I’m excited to try the next time I get hiccups: “supra-supramaximal inspiration,” where you take a very deep breath, hold for ten seconds, then, without exhaling, breathe in even more and hold for another five seconds, and then take one final, tiny breath in and hold for five last seconds to achieve “an immediate and permanent termination to hiccups…”
When I was a kid, I taught myself to control my own hiccups using slow-paced breathing, and, as an adult, was so excited to see there was finally a case report written up on it.
There’s a nerve—the vagus nerve—that goes directly from our brain, to our chest, and to our stomach, connecting our brain back and forth to our heart and our gut, and even to our immune system. The vagus nerve is like the “‘hard-wired’ connection” that allows our brain to turn down inflammation within our body. When you hear about the mind-body connection, that’s what the vagus nerve is and does. “There has been increasing interest in treating a wide range of disorders with implanted pacemaker-like devices for stimulating the vagal afferent [vagus nerve] pathways,” but certain Eastern traditions like Yoga, QiGong, and Zen figured a way to do it without having electrodes implanted into your body.
“A healthy heart is not a metronome,” as a study titled exactly that explains. “Your heart rate goes up and down with your breathing. When you breathe in, your heart rate tends to go up. When you breathe out, your heart rate tends to go down.” Test this out on yourself right now by feeling your pulse change as you breathe in and out.
Isn’t that remarkable?
That heart-rate variability is a measure of vagal tone—the activity of your vagus nerve. Next time you’re bored, try to make your heart rate speed up and slow down as much as possible within each breath. This can be done because there’s an entirely other oscillating cycle going on at the same time, as you can see at 2:08 in my video, which is the speeding up and then slowing down of your heart rate, based on moment-to-moment changes in your blood pressure. And, as any physics student can tell you, “all oscillating feedback systems with a constant delay have the characteristic of resonance,” meaning you can boost the amplitude if you get the cycles in sync. It’s like pushing your kid on a swing: If you get the timing just right, you can boost them higher and higher. Similarly, if you breathe in and out at just the right frequency, you can force the cycles in sync and boost your heart rate variability, as you can see at 2:36 in my video.
And what’s the benefit again? According to the neurophysiologic model postulation it allows us to affect the function of our autonomic nervous system via vagal afferents to brainstem nuclei like the locus coeruleus, activating hypothalamic vigilance areas.
In other words, it’s not just about curing hiccups. Practicing slow breathing a few minutes a day may have lasting beneficial effects on a number of medical and emotional disorders, including asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and depression. In the United States, we’ve also put it to use to improve batting performance in baseball.
To date, most studies have lacked proper controls and have used fancy biofeedback machines to determine each person’s resonant frequency, but, for most people, it comes out to be about five and a half breaths per minute, which is a full breath in and out about every 11 seconds. You can see the graph at 3:34 in my video. When musicians were randomized into slow-breathing groups with or without biofeedback, slow breathing helped regardless. It’s the same with high blood pressure. As you can see at 3:52 in my video, you can use this technique to significantly drop your blood pressure within minutes. The hope is if you practice this a few minutes every day, you can have long-lasting effects the rest of the day breathing normally.
Practice what exactly? Slow breathing—taking five or six breaths per minute, split equally between breathing in and breathing out. So, that’s five seconds in, then five seconds out, all the while breathing “shallowly and naturally.” You don’t want to hyperventilate, so just take natural, shallow breaths, but be sure to simply breathe really slowly. Try it the next time you get hiccups. Works for me every time!
For more tips, watch my video on How to Stop Hiccups.
And, because slowing down our pulse in general may also have beneficial effects, I encourage you to check out:
Every time I’m amazed by ancient wisdom, I have to remind myself of the video I did on toxic heavy metals—Get the Lead Out. So, though traditional healing methods may offer a plethora of insights, they still need to be put to the test.
Michael Greger, M.D.
PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live presentations:
The term “immunocompromised” has been flooding our televisions and inboxes as warnings about the Coronavirus continue to ring loud. Doctors and other health professionals across the globe warn that, along with elderly and severely obese people, immunocompromised individuals are among the highest risk for COVID-19. But there seems to be some general uncertainty about who constitutes immunocompromised.
Immunocompromised, sometimes also referred to as immunosuppressed, is a wide-ranging category that includes anyone who has an immune system that has been damaged or does not function properly. You can think of the immune defenses as an army of cells – each with unique weapons – that are strategically placed throughout the body to identify, warn of, and destroy invaders and other harmful substances. If these cells do not function properly, damaging organisms such as parasites, harmful bacteria, cancer and, yes, viruses may start to run rampant in the body.
I recently wrote an article outlining the different components of the immune system and their various functions. I recommend skimming through that to get an overview of immunity before proceeding.
Common Causes of Immune Defense Malfunction
Various disorders can affect every part of the immune defense process. Autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and lupus occur when the body attacks healthy tissue. Immunodeficiency diseases like HIV/AIDS and Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) also leave a person immunocompromised.
Chronic conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, and diabetes have adverse effects on immune function. Malnutrition and smoking can further suppress immunity, and even treatments like chemotherapy and steroids can impair the immune response by destroying immune cells or hindering their ability to recognize pathogens (disease-causing agents).
Compromised Immunity and Risk of Infection
Individuals with compromised immune systems are more susceptible to infections like COVID-19 because they cannot effectively recognize and respond to threat. If their second line of defense is damaged, for example, their immune system may not be able to identify pathogens and alert us with a fever.
Immunocompromised people may also lack the ability to effectively respond to vaccinations. If this is the case, they may assume that they are protected from certain illnesses when they are not. Both scenarios may lead to infections going undetected without treatment and becoming more severe.
Methods to Enhance the Immune System
Immunocompromised individuals must put extra effort into keeping their immune system as healthy as possible. If you have a suppressed immune system, be sure to continue exercising – even if that means just taking walks around your neighborhood each day. Limit stress by practicing yoga or meditation and prioritize sleep. People who are not immunocompromised would also benefit from these practices.
Certain foods, and the components within them, also stimulate immune function and I discuss them in detail in my book, Eat to Beat Disease. Some impressive immune-enhancing foods include white button mushrooms, broccoli sprouts, extra virgin olive oil, chestnuts, and blackberries. Many of the foods that I recommend can be found in grocery stores across the nation and can have significant effects on immunity; so, eat up and stay healthy.
Heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, asthma, and hypertension are all huge risk factors for COVID-19 hospitalization and worse.
Do you know the #1 thing that determines your likelihood of having these chronic conditions?
I’ll give you a hint—it’s NOT your genes.
It’s the food on your plate.
Decades of scientific research has shown that with your food choices, you literally shape your destiny.
For example, simple changes in diet and lifestyle may help prevent more than 90% of type 2 diabetes, 80% of coronary heart disease, and 70% of colon cancer.
That’s impressive, isn’t it? So what steps can you take right now to decrease your risk, so you can fare better, and feel better?
There’s a wildly popular online event starting soon that breaks down the science, answers critical questions, and gives you action steps to help you live your healthiest life.
From April 25–May 3, John and Ocean Robbins will interview 24 of the world’s top medical and food experts. I’m pleased to be included along with Matt McCarthy, MD; Joel Fuhrman, MD; Christiane Northrup, MD; Michael Greger, MD; Vandana Shiva, PhD; Daniel Amen, MD; David Perlmutter, MD; and many more.
If you want up-to-date information you can trust about food and health, then this is the place to be.
After all, in the time of COVID-19, your health is more important than ever.
The best part? Every interview is personally (and brilliantly) conducted by 2-million-copy best-selling author, John Robbins. I’ve been listening to his interviews for years, and I can tell you that you are in for a treat.
Yours for thriving,
Neal Barnard, MD
P.S. When you sign up for the Food Revolution Summit, you’ll join over 300,000 people around the world to get informed, inspired, and empowered to strengthen your immune system and enhance your overall health. Click here to learn all about the Summit and see the amazing list of speakers.