Natural Health News and Articles

De-Stress with Transcendental Meditation

Almost forty years ago Glenda Schneider traded her psychiatrist and tranquilizers for Transcendental Meditation (TM)—and never looked back.

Stressed from her difficult job as an art teacher on New York City’s Lower East Side and dealing with problems in her marriage, she realized she needed to make a change.

In 1974 she took the first step by learning Transcendental Meditation and within a couple of years she had not only gone on a month-long residency course but become a TM teacher herself.

In existence for thousands of years in India, Transcendental Meditation was brought to the world in the 1950s and 60s in large part by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Today over 5 million people have learned this unique state of restful alertness.

Unlike some types of meditation which ask practitioners to concentrate on something, the goal of Transcendental Meditation is to reach a state of “pure awareness” or “transcendence” using a specially designated individual mantra (sounds vibration).

The TM technique allows one’s mind to settle inward, beyond thought, to the most silent and peaceful level of consciousness—the innermost Self. In this state of restful alertness the brain functions with greater coherence and the body gains deep rest.

Most people meditate for two 20-minute sessions per day although Ms. Schneider has taken advanced classes and meditates longer.

Medical research indicates that there are physical as well as social benefits. These include everything from reduced blood pressure and heart rate to less narrowing of the arteries in the heart and brain in adults with high-risk hypertension, to reduce death rates.

Ms. Schneider feels more rested, alert, energetic and emotionally balanced after meditating. It improves her relationships with friends and family as stress has been reduced. She also feels freer to express her true nature.

The benefits of Transcendental Meditation don’t just stop at the individual level, however. After halting her teaching career to raise a family, Ms. Schneider and her husband eventually found themselves living at a Transcendental Meditation community in Iowa for several years.

With 1,800 to 2,000 other TM practitioners they meditated hours a day in a big dome for the purpose of creating world peace (a donor provided a stipend so they could fully focus on their meditation).

“Maharishi’s belief is that the more people who meditate, the more peace there will be,” says Ms. Schneider. “He said that the reason there’s all these wars and all these problems in the world is from stress and that meditation is the way to deal with this, not war. And so we meditated with the purpose of creating harmony.”

For anyone interested in learning more about Transcendental Meditation, Ms. Schneider recommends going to The Transcendental Meditation Program website at or calling 1-888-LEARN TM (1-888-532-7686).

Typically the process involves finding a TM center nearby to attend several informational lectures.

“It’s a really amazing technique,” says Ms. Schneider. “I am a true believer because of what it’s done for me in my life.You still have to live your life– we all came here to learn, for our purpose, and to accomplish our life’s mission. I would say that Transcendental Meditation is the high road to help you reach these goals.”

By Kristen Stewart
Kristen Stewart is an associate editor with WholesomeOne.

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Treat Fibromyalgia by Identifying and Treating Associated Adrenal Fatigue

One of the most commonly ignored aspects in the treatment of Fibromyalgia is the evaluation and treatment for a closely associated condition called adrenal fatigue. In fact, the two conditions are very much interrelated that it is a rare instance in which adrenal fatigue is not present with Fibromyalgia. If you are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you may not be able to fully recover if this aspect of your care is not addressed.

What exactly is adrenal fatigue? It is continued stress on the adrenal glands which causes production of high levels of cortisol over weeks to months. In an acute injury or illness, the body has a built-in defense mechanism called the immune system that produces an acute inflammatory response to deal with the acute insult and help the body to recover. After the acute event has been dealt with, the inflammatory response “cools down.”  Cortisol is primarily involved in the body’s “cooling off “of inflammation. A comparable example would be the antibodies that your body develops after an acute infection. After the acute infection has been dealt with, there is no further need for your immune system to be so “revved up.”

Chronic inflammation and continued stress, on the other hand, is harmful to the body over time, especially to the adrenal glands. This continued overwork of the adrenal glands due to both sustained psychological and physical stressors, can cause the adrenal glands to fatigue and become exhausted over time. This adrenal fatigue and exhaustion causes decreased production of many adrenal hormones, including cortisol, aldosterone, and the sex hormones. The consequences of adrenal fatigue on total body health and organ function can be devastating.

While Fibromyalgia is strongly associated with the development of adrenal fatigue; the opposite may also be true. Some research has demonstrated that abnormalities of the receptors in the adrenal glands themselves (ie, the glucocorticoid receptor) may be partially responsible for the development of fibromyalgia to occur in the first place.

With fibromyalgia, the adrenal glands’ response to inflammation may be blunted. Often, an inciting event, such as acute illness, infection, or trauma (psychological or physical), is the “stimulus” that can trigger the development of the fibromyalgia syndrome. If the adrenal gland receptors have decreased sensitivity, then there is a delay in “turning off” the inflammatory response. It is this continued inflammation in response to an inciting event (in the setting of a blunted adrenal gland) that may significantly contribute to the development of fibromyalgia. Following this line of thinking, adrenal fatigue may be present more often than we think in someone with fibromyalgia. This is why it is important to not only ask your healthcare practitioner about adrenal fatigue, but also to be aware of the potential signs and symptoms of it as well.

The symptoms of adrenal fatigue are many, and in many ways can overlap with the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Some symptoms that you should be on the lookout for can include:

  • Feeling tired and drained all of the time
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness, especially when you stand up
  • Battling recurrent infections (signs of a very depressed immune system)
  • Dealing with digestive problems
  • Craving salt

The evaluation of adrenal fatigue is comprehensive and consists of blood, urinary, and salivary measurements of the hormone levels that the adrenal gland produces. These include not only hormones responsible for the maintenance of blood pressure such as cortisol, but also sex hormone levels, including DHEA, progesterone, and various forms of estrogen. Did you know that in situations of chronic stress that the adrenal glands actually can decrease production of these hormones in order to make more cortisol in an effort to deal with the sustained inflammatory response?

The treatment of adrenal fatigue is multidimensional, and includes improving nutrition, trying to get a good night’s sleep, vitamin and trace mineral substitution, the use of glandular extracts and/or bioidentical hormone replacement therapy if needed.

Some things you can do to help maintain and improve your adrenal health are:

  1. Eating a diet high in antioxidant value
  2. Get a good night’s sleep
  3. Take 1000mg of Vitamin C daily
  4. Take a B complex Vitamin daily

By Rich Snyder, DO

Rich has written several books, including What You Must Know About Kidney Disease, What You Must Know About Dialysis, as well as Adrenal Fatigue For Dummies.


  • Geiss A, Rohleder N et al. “Evidence for an association between an enhanced reactivity of interleukin-6 levels and reduced glucocorticoid sensitivity in patients with fibromyalgia.” Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2012 May;37(5):671-84.
  • Tanriverdi F, Karaca Z et al. “The hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia syndrome.” Stress. 2007 Mar;10(1):13-25.
  • Wingenfeld K, Heim V et al. “HPA axis reactivity and lymphocyte glucocorticoid sensitivity in fibromyalgia syndrome and chronic pelvic pain.”  Psychosomatic Medicine. 2008 Jan;70(1):65-72.


Cancer Patients with higher Vitamin-D levels have Better Outcomes

Cancer patients who had higher levels of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D were linked with better survival rates and longer remission than those who are vitamin D-deficient.

The findings were published in July 2014 in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The meta-analysis reviewed 25 studies that measured vitamin D levels at or near the time of diagnosis in 17,332 cancer patients. The authors found that patients with higher vitamin D levels were linked with better outcomes in a several cancer types.


Read the full article here
Written by Dr. Alex Rinehart


Antioxidants for Healthy Skin during Summertime

It’s that time of year–the kids are out of school and are (hopefully) spending lots of time outside playing, swimming, or just being. I’ve enjoyed sitting out in our yard on a blanket with a book while the kids practice lacrosse, and we’ve also been leash-training our bearded dragons, Fifi and Sprite. Yes you read that right.

I bring it up for a valid reason–not just because I’ve become a bit obsessed with them. That reason is that bearded dragons are desert reptiles which require large amounts of heat and direct UV-B light to be healthy in captivity. Of course their tanks are fully equipped with a high temperature basking spot and a separate light that emits UV-B radiation, but our holistic reptile vet (yes they exist) suggested having them outdoors in real sunlight on leashes as often as possible.

While humans aren’t cold-blooded desert animals like Fifi and Sprite, many of us do live lives in captivity with artificial light, temperature regulation, and restricted movement. One of the reasons reptiles and humans need sunlight is the same–it helps us naturally produce Vitamin D. And though we must enjoy the sun responsibly to avoid skin cancer and wrinkle-causing free radical damage, there’s a lot we can do internally–in addition to proper use of topical sunscreens and protective clothing–to strengthen our skin’s ability to resist UV damage.


Read the full article here

Written by Rachel of Holistically Haute

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Get Fat for Great Skin

Fat gets such a bad rap, and most of the fat-bashing misinformation out there is a direct result of the mass marketing efforts of fad diet companies and of course our friends at Big Pharma. So much time has been spent telling people that “fat makes you fat,” and causes heart disease and other health conditions; which, thankfully is starting to change.

Now research is showing that all fat isn’t the enemy–it’s mostly manufactured fats like trans-and hydrogenated fats (shortening, margarine, etc.) that cause these health issues. Integrative, functional, and other holistically-minded doctors and researchers even place less blame now on saturated fats (butter, whole milk, fat found in red meat), which, of course used to be the devil.

People need fat.

Fat serves many purposes. It provides support to the skeletal system and cushioning/protection to vital internal organs, it helps to lubricate joints and other connective tissue (like the skin), it helps to build strong cellular membranes to prevent water loss and maintain overall cellular health, regulates body temperature, and also (along with carbohydrates–the other devil) provides energy.


Read the full article here

Written by Rachel of Holistically Haute

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The Importance of Vitamin D

I attribute much of our epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency to our sedentary lifestyles lived largely indoors. Dietary sources of Vitamin D such as fatty fish are also consumed infrequently by most Americans and their acidic diets high in sugar, grains, dairy, and grain-fed animal fats. Darker skinned individuals are at greater risk for deficiency as more sunlight is needed to produce healthy levels of Vitamin D.

Much of the negative effects of our diet is that we do not balance it with liberal quantities of vegetables, especially of the green leafy variety which are also dietary sources of calcium!

Even more interesting is that Vitamin D supports much more than bone health and calcium metabolism. Vitamin D actually modulates on the genetic level (influences over 200 genes) and there are vitamin D receptors on every tissue in the human body!


Read the full article here

Written by Alex of


Functional Medicine Explained

Functional medicine is the new kid on the block when it comes to primary care.

It is still controversial in some circles and ultimately, still some years away from becoming mainstream.

So what is it all about?

Functional medicine sees health on a continuum – using unique testing that can help clinicians find out where you are exactly on that continuum and offer some predictive advice as to where you might be 1, 5, or 10+ years from now BEFORE problems develop.

Functional medicine is not a replacement for alternative or conventional medicine. It is a bridge between the two, and can be applied both acute and chronic conditions.

Think of functional medicine as “Personalized Lifestyle Medicine”.

It is NOT focused on a diagnosis. It is focused on identifying functional impairments on a spectrum of health. Once you see how different systems are functioning on a continuum of health, you can then work with your healthcare provider on unique food, supplement, and lifestyle strategies to actively promote a better place on that spectrum. Pharmaceutical and surgical options are still turned to when necessary. []

Read the full article here

Written by Alex of