Dr Akilah – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

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Healing Crisis: What is it really?

I am posting this blog about healing crisis for my clients. When I put them on a detailed detox or body cleanse program most experience a “Healing Crisis”. This blog will enlighten them of what a healing crisis is all about so that they don’t panic.

Introduction to A Healing Crisis
An increasing number of people today are trying alternative healing methods to cleanse and detoxify their bodies. Simple methods such as switching to a natural food diet, juicing to increase nutrition, or fasting are used to cleanse the body of stored toxins in the hopes of naturally addressing long-standing symptoms such as chronic headaches, adult acne, allergies or arthritis. More intensive methods may be used to perform cleansing of the body’s elimination organs: colon, kidney and liver. However, many people trying these and other alternative health cleansing methods discontinue them when they experience new symptoms of ill health. Generally, these new symptoms are in actuality not a new disease or malady affecting the body, but rather a healing crisis.

Healing Crisis Defined
A healing crisis is when symptoms from diseases and toxins that are released during a detoxification process manifest themselves. Also known as “Herxheimer Reaction”, a healing crisis occurs when toxins stored in the body are released at a faster rate than can be properly eliminated. The more toxic one’s body is, the more severe the detoxification and the more intense the reaction.

A healing crisis is characterized by a temporary increase in symptoms during a cleansing or detoxification process. Such symptoms may be mild or severe, depending on the body’s original toxicity, but are definitely temporary. They can occur immediately, within several days, or even several weeks of a cleansing program.

Reverse Order
What is not immediately intuitive is that symptoms are experienced in the reverse order of when the body was originally exposed to their cause. This simple explanation may help demonstrate the reason.

Assume that every year you painted your walls a different color. As time went on, you layered color upon color. Finally after 30 years, you found that the newest paint was not sticking properly because layers of paint underneath were cracking and coming off. So you decided to strip all of the paint off the walls and give it a fresh coat of paint. As you started stripping off paint, you saw earlier layers. In the process of cleaning and stripping the walls, you got glimpses of what your walls were like and what they went through in prior years.

Believe it or not, human bodies work in a similar fashion. As bodies store fat, the chemistry of the fat reflects the internal body conditions at the time the fat was stored. Each year, a residue of the viruses, bacteria and toxins you were exposed to were stored in fatty deposits.

Similar to the paint stripping analogy, as a body is cleansed, stored toxins, bacteria, and viruses are released. As they are released, symptoms experienced with the particular malady or event associated with the toxin are re-experienced – albeit in a milder form.

Possible Symptoms
A healing crisis can have a variety of possible symptoms, depending on what the body underwent during the initial toxic encounter. Symptoms can include:

  • muscle cramps or pain
  • arthritic flair ups
  • diarrhea
  • extreme fatigue
  • restlessness
  • headaches
  • insomnia
  • sinus congestion
  • fever
  • skin eruptions
  • strong emotions or mood swings

Suggested Treatment
During a healing crisis, it is important that the cleansing program be continued. Continued cleansing will help the body rid itself of released toxins and diseases forever. Following these simple steps may help to relieve some of the symptoms of the healing crisis.

  • Drinking plenty of fresh water helps the body eliminate released toxins.
  • Increasing fiber intake and taking supplements to cleanse the colon and kidneys will also help to accelerate the elimination of toxins.
  • If fatigued, give the body rest
  • Meditation can help to manage symptoms such as strong emotions and mood swings

For more information on receiving detox programs and cleansings please contact Dr Akilah at Celestial Healing Wellness Center 770-603-0141 or go to www.healingpowerhour.com

The Health Benefits of Laughter

Laughing is good for the body and soul

Research has shown that the health benefits of laughter are far-ranging. While more studies need to be done, studies so far have shown that laughter can help relieve pain, bring greater happiness, and even increase immunity. Positive psychology names the propensity for laughter and sense of humor as one of the 24 main signature strengths one can possess, and laughter yoga clubs are springing up across the country. Read on for more findings about the health benefits of laughter, and see how to incorporate more humor and fun into your life.

Health Benefits of Laughter:

  • Hormones: Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), dopamine and growth hormone. It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins, and neurotransmitters. Laughter increases the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells. All this means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress.
  • Physical Release: Have you ever felt like you “have to laugh or I’ll cry”? Have you experienced the cleansed feeling after a good laugh? Laughter provides a physical and emotional release.
  • Internal Workout: A good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs and even works out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed afterward. It even provides a good workout for the heart.
  • Distraction: Laughter brings the focus away from anger, guilt, stress and negative emotions in a more beneficial way than other mere distractions.
  • Perspective: Studies show that our response to stressful events can be altered by whether we view something as a ‘threat’ or a ‘challenge’. Humor can give us a more lighthearted perspective and help us view events as ‘challenges’, thereby making them less threatening and more positive.
  • Social Benefits of Laughter: Laughter connects us with others. Just as with smiling and kindness, most people find that laughter is contagious, so if you bring more laughter into your life, you can most likely help others around you to laugh more, and realize these benefits as well. By elevating the mood of those around you, you can reduce their stress levels, and perhaps improve the quality of social interaction you experience with them, reducing your stress level even more!

How To Use Laughter:

Laughter is one of my all-time favorite stress management strategies because it’s free, convenient, and beneficial in so many ways. You can get more laughter in your life with the following strategies:

  • T.V. and Movies: There’s no shortage of laughter opportunities from the entertainment, both at the theater and in the aisles of the video stores, as well as at home with T.V. comedies. While wasting your time watching something marginally funny may actually frustrate you, watching truly hilarious movies and shows is an easy way to get laughter into your life whenever you need it.
  • Laugh With Friends: Going to a movie or comedy club with friends is a great way to get more laughter in your life. The contagious effects of laughter may mean you’ll laugh more than you otherwise would have during the show, plus you’ll have jokes to reference at later times. Having friends over for a party or game night is also a great setup for laughter and other good feelings.
  • Find Humor In Your Life: Instead of complaining about life’s frustrations, try to laugh about them. If something is so frustrating or depressing it’s ridiculous, realize that you could ‘look back on it and laugh.’ Think of how it will sound as a story you could tell to your friends, and then see if you can laugh about it now. With this attitude, you may also find yourself being more lighthearted and silly, giving yourself and those around you more to laugh about. Approach life in a more mirthful way and you’ll find you’re less stressed about negative events, and you’ll achieve the health benefits of laughter.  
  • ‘Fake It Until You Make It’: Just as studies show the positive effects of smiling occur whether the smile is fake or real, faked laughter also provides the benefits mentioned above. The body can’t distinguish between ‘fake’ laughter that you just start doing on purpose, and ‘real’ laughter that comes from true humor–the physical benefits are exactly the same, and the former usually leads to the latter anyway. So smile more and fake laughter; you’ll still achieve positive effects, and the fake merriment may lead to real smiles and laughter.

Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

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Benefits of Meditation for Stress Management

The Benefits of MeditationsBy Elizabeth Scott, M.S.

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Overview of Meditation:
Throughout the day, when we experience stress, our bodies automatically react in ways that prepare us to fight or run. In some cases of extreme danger, this physical response is helpful. However, a prolonged state of such agitation can cause physical damage to every part of the body. Meditation affects the body in exactly the opposite ways that stress does, restoring the body to a calm state, helping the body to repair itself, and preventing new damage due to the physical effects of stress.
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The Benefits of Meditation:
The benefits of meditation are manifold because it can reverse your stress response, thereby shielding you from the effects of chronic stress. When practicing meditation, your heart rate and breathing slow down, your blood pressure normalizes, you use oxygen more efficiently, and you sweat less. Your adrenal glands produce less cortisol, your mind ages at a slower rate, and your immune function improves. Your mind also clears and your creativity increases. People who meditate regularly find it easier to give up life-damaging habits like smoking, drinking and drugs. Meditation research is still new, but promising.
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How Meditation Works:
Meditation involves sitting in a relaxed position and clearing your mind. You may focus on a sound, like “ooommm,” or on your own breathing, or on nothing at all. It’s necessary to have at least 5 to 20 distraction-free minutes to spend. (Longer meditation sessions bring greater benefits, but sometimes starting slowly can help you maintain the practice long-term.) It’s helpful to have silence and privacy, but more practiced meditators can practice medtation anywhere. Many practitioners of meditation attach a spiritual component to it, but it can also be a secular exercise.
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Pros Of Meditation:
Meditation is wonderful in that it’s free, always available, and amazingly effective in short-term stress reduction and long-term health. Benefits can be felt in just one session. An experienced teacher can be helpful, but isn’t absolutely necessary; you can learn many effective meditation techniques from a book or from the meditation resources on this site.
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The Cons of Meditation:
It does take some practice, however, and some people find it difficult to “get it” in the beginning. It also requires a little patience, and may be difficult for people with little free time (like some stay-at-home mothers who get little privacy from small children). However, the time and effort it takes to learn and practice is well worth it in terms of the benefits it provides.
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How Does It Compare To Other Stress Reduction Methods?:
Unlike most medications, meditation has no potential side effects. People with physical limitations may find it easier to practice than strenuous physical exercise for stress relief, plus, no special equipment is required. Unlike enlisting the help of a professional, meditation is free. However, it does take discipline and commitment, so some people may find it more difficult to maintain as a habit than methods that enlist the help of someone or something outside themselves for added motivation. Also, some people may find it more difficult to free their minds of the thoughts of the day, and thus find it more difficult than methods like journaling that involve focusing on these events, or methods that in themselves are distracting, like physical exercise or the use of humor.
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www.healingpowerhour.com

How To Prevent Sugar From Aging Your Skin

Too much sugar packs on pounds, as we all know, but did you know it can also cause wrinkles?

At blame is glycation, a natural process in which the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products (or, appropriately, AGEs for short). The more sugar you eat, the more AGEs you develop, according to  Fredric Brandt, MD, a dermatologist in private practice in Miami and New York City and author of 10 Minutes 10 Years.  The good news about sugar-damaged skin: It’s never too late to turn back the clock. Here, five steps to start following today:

1. Limit sneaky sweeteners. It’s not easy to eliminate sugar completely. Even whole grains, fruits, and vegetables turn to glucose—the type of sugar that fuels glycation—when digested. But limiting added sugar can help. Some guidelines: Keep added sugar to no more than 10% of total calories. Many prepared foods contain hefty amounts of sugar hidden under ingredient-list aliases like barley malt, corn syrup, dextrose, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, maple syrup, molasses, and turbinado. And avoid high fructose corn syrup, which is believed to produce more AGEs than other types of sweetener.

2. Take 1 mg of vitamins B1 and B6 a day. These vitamins proved to be potent AGE inhibitors in a number of published studies, says David J. Goldberg, MD, a New York City–based dermatologist and a clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. B1 and B6 are plentiful in food, but taking a multivitamin–most of which deliver at least 1 mg of both Bs–ensures you’re getting the daily value of 1.1 mg for B1 and 1.3 mg for B6 (1.5 mg after age 50).

3. Slather on broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen (even when it’s cloudy). Significantly more AGEs occur in sun-exposed skin than in protected skin, according to a British Journal of Dermatology study. And those pesky rays poke through clouds, so make it a ritual.

4. Wear and eat your antioxidants. These free-radical fighters help keep sugar from attaching to proteins, so replenishing their supply is a real skin saver. Do so by eating more antioxidant-rich fruits, nuts, and vegetables, such as cranberries, walnuts, and red bell peppers, and by applying topical antioxidants, such as green tea and vitamins C and E.

5. Try new ingredients that protect skin from sugar. A growing number of products contain compounds like aminoguanidine (say that 5 times fast) and alistin, which may block the formation of AGEs. “These compounds attach to molecules that start the glycation process and prevent them from binding to collagen and elastin,” explains Karyn Grossman, MD, chief of the division of dermatology at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, CA. In a study on Prescriptives Anti-AGE Advanced Protection Lotion SPF 25, which contains both ingredients, skin treated with the product had 21% fewer AGEs after 8 weeks than untreated skin. Sweet!

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To read more about anti-aging methods please visit Our Websitewww.HealingPowerHour.com