CMT Dan Rupp Featured in Massage & Bodywork Magazine

We’re pleased to announce that Dan Rupp, Certified Massage Therapist, has been featured in Massage & Bodywork magazine. This bimonthly journal is distributed to national massage, bodywork and somatic experts who have ABMP memberships; each publication discusses subjects like professional trends, research, techniques, and more. Writers at Massage & Bodywork interviewed Dan Rupp about his business experience as a massage therapist. The next time you’re at Nature’s Trail Wellness Center for an appointment, pick up this copy of Massage & Bodywork to read the interview!

 

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Fast Metabolism Diet: Achieving in Weight Loss

Do you struggle with a slow metabolism? Many diets seem like they don’t work – we’re always hungry, we plateau before we reach our weight loss goal, or our cravings are too intense to withstand. For a new weight loss solution, try The Fast Metabolism Diet by Haylie Pomroy.

Pomroy’s experience includes over 22 years of education and entrepreneurship in the health and wellness world. She approaches diet through her “food is medicine” mindset, making eating a positive experience by transforming food from enemy to ally. She has worked with many celebrities, include Robert Downy Jr., Jennifer Lopez, LL Cool J, Raquel Welch, Reese Witherspoon, Cher, and even more Olympic and professional athletes as well as Fortune 500 corporate executives.

With Pomroy’s program, we lose weight without feeling hungry. No calorie counting, no measuring fat grams – just rotate through phases for what you eat every week. The simply plan uses food to naturally increase metabolism.

Pomroy makes her program easily available online. She outlines each phase, recipes, and food prep ideas on her website.

  • Phase 1: Carbs and fruits
  • Phase 2: Proteins and vegetables
  • Phase 3: Carbs, fruits, proteins, and vegetables in addition to healthy oils and fats.
  • Repeat Phases 1-3 for four weeks.

Eating in food cycles means our metabolisms are always kept on their toes, making it faster.

By rotating through different foods in different cycles, we can soothe our adrenals, decrease stress from our livers, and nourish our thyroids to work in sync, adding up to a fast metabolism. With all these health benefits and the decreased stress, there is less cortisol in our systems and so we remove belly fat.

Pomroy has developed her own app to help make the program easy to use. She has also published a cookbook with recipes specifically designed for the Fast Metabolism Diet. There is even a grocery list to follow for the diet, making it easier than ever.

The Fast Metabolism Diet At Nature’s Trail Wellness Center

To learn more about how to stay healthy while achieving weight loss, make an appointment with us today!

 

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Use Emotional Freedom Technique Tapping to Take Your Health to the Next Level

In our latest series, our goal is to highlight some of our favorite books that have changed our lifestyles for the better. These writers have encouraged us to put forward our best selves to improve our health, whether emotionally, mentally, or physically.

The second book in our series is The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner. In this book, Ortner discusses the basics of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). By tapping on specific points in our bodies, we can reduce stress, face our fears, boost our self-esteem, release trauma, and improve relationships. The simplest way to explain EFT is to compare it to acupuncture – minus the needles; when we release energy trapped in our bodies by tapping on key meridian points (or energy channels), we can take our wellness to the next level.

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Reduce Stress And Increase Joy

Many people use EFT for a variety of reasons.

  • Mental Health: With tapping, we can release emotions that are trapped from traumas and stressors, like abuse, phobias, and more.
  • Emotional Health: All of us have experienced hurtful or empty relationships, but when we can put these feelings behind us to open ourselves to new, positive experiences, we can truly live.
  • Physical Health: Studies have shown that our mental and emotional health affects our physical health. By reducing stress, we can give our physical bodies the positive energy they need to heal.

When negative energy is trapped in our minds and emotions, we stand in our own way of healing our bodies. By letting go of the past and leaving it behind us, we can move into the future wholeheartedly.

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There is a cycle between our emotions and our physical bodies. When our emotions are stressed, our bodies respond to that stress; when our bodies are worn down, our emotions respond to the pain. This makes it crucial for us to take a whole-body approach to our wellness for thorough, complete healing.

Emotional Freedom Technique Tapping And Nature’s Trail Wellness Center

To learn more about EFT, we recommend reading The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner. To learn more about improving your overall health through other natural, holistic techniques, make an appointment with our naturopathic doctor and therapeutic massage therapist at Nature’s Trail Wellness Center.

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How Stress Affects Eye Health

Welcome to our blog series about stress! We include research, health facts, and solutions to handling stress in each article.

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When stress affects our immune systems, weight loss goals, and heart health, we expect it. What we usually don’t expect is how stress affects our eye health. In today’s digital age, our favorite multitasking tools can cause something called “digital eye strain.” This condition, is growing more and more common among computer users.

A Modern Problem

When we use several digital devices, we develop digital eye strain: neck and back pain, headaches, and tired, irritated eyes. These symptoms can grow worse as days and weeks pass while we continue to use digital tools for both work and play.

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Experts attribute the pains of digital eye strain to technology: work follows us everywhere through our laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Because of this, we create makeshift workplaces on sofas and at coffee shop tables. These areas are not designed for the ergonomics that could help to relieve neck and back pain. But how is someone in our technology-run age supposed to avoid digital tools when they surround us on the streets, in our homes, and in our workplaces?

Three Practical Solutions

To stop the pains of digital eye strain without quitting work, some have found it helpful to set a timer that chimes every 30 seconds. (We recommend the 30/30 app available on iPhones and Androids!) When the timer chimes, it’s a reminder for us to look away from our screens. Look out the window or across the room and focus on a specific point while counting to 20 seconds. This brief reprieve helps our eye muscles and nerves to focus on something different, engaging new muscles and releasing the ones that spend too much time staring at a close-up screen.

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Another solution is to take time for creativity. When we avoid digital screens, even just for a little while, and we paint or sketch or exercise instead, we create a relaxed space for our entire selves – including our eyes. Refocusing our eye muscles on paper or the road instead of a bright screen rests our eyes.

Stress, Eye Health, and Nature’s Trail Wellness Center

For more information about relieving stress and improving your eye health, schedule an appointment with our naturopathic doctor at Nature’s Trail Wellness Center. We look forward to seeing you!

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Stress: How It Weakens The Immune System

Welcome to our blog series about stress! We include research, health facts, and solutions to handling stress in each article.

When we deal with chronic stress, the combination of fatigue, stress hormones, heart health, and other factors add up to a weakened immune system. This is because when our bodies experience too much stress, they turn against themselves, which can result in, at the minimum, a weakened immune system, and at the most, an autoimmune disease.

The category of autoimmune diseases includes over 100 illnesses. Each of these is unique and happens when our bodies begin attacking our own healthy immune cells. Other factors, like environmental and genetic variables, also make people more susceptible to immune problems.

Stress is a known trigger in causing and worsening immune problems, but researchers plan to continue conducting their research to determine exactly how stress triggers auto immune diseases. Until then, what can we do to better handle the stress in our lives?

 

Solutions For Stressed Immune Systems: 

Digital Detox

One way to reduce is by setting clear boundaries during the weekend. With our modern technology, it can be more challenging than ever to balance work and play; most of us have access to work all weekend through phone calls, texts, emails, and more.

Having a “digital detox” each weekend is a good idea. Refuse to answer work calls, or turn off email notifications. Unless it’s a life-or-death situation, make it wait until Monday. This will help to eliminate the gray zone, where work and play muddle together and cause greater confusion and stress.

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Make Time For What You Love

Without work digitally knocking at our doors, we can spend our free time doing what we really love. Whether it’s hiking, painting, visiting friends, going on road trips – the options are endless when work isn’t holding us to a screen anymore.

After time doing what we love, we walk away feeling more relaxed. We feel more fulfilled and refreshed when we prioritize the most important things in our lives.

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Reduce Stress And Boost Your Immune System At Nature’s Trail Wellness Center

To learn more about decreasing your daily stress and increasing your immune system health, meet with our naturopathic doctor at Nature’s Trail Wellness Center.

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Stress: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Welcome to our blog series about stress! We include research, health facts, and solutions to handling stress in each article.

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Most of us realize that stress is bad for us, but very few of us fully recognize that chronic stress is just as harmful as poor nutrition or no exercise. Even fewer of us realize that there is both good and bad stress – and a healthy way to deal with both.

How Stress Works

We all know the signs of stress – halting breath, sweating, changing heart rates, and more. Behind these symptoms is the “fight-or-flight” hormonal response. When we encounter a stressful trigger, our brains automatically floods our bodies with stress hormones called cortisol and noradrenaline. Stress hormones help us adapt to what the brain sees as a threat. Gradually, our brains and bodies address the stress, allowing the parasympathetic system to return our hormones to normal.

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With momentary stress, this hormonal response is helpful because it can enhance our focus, but with long-term or chronic stress, the parasympathetic system cannot restore the body’s balance. This can cause serious health concerns.

Any long-term stress is chronic stress. Unfortunately, chronic stress deteriorates our natural biological approaches for handling stress as well as our ways for turning stress into positive results. In fact, chronic stress only makes us feel worse; because the parasympathetic system can never give the body relief, people under chronic stress feel drained and irritable.

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Good Stress and Bad Stress

You may have noticed that when you’re excited about an activity, you experience the same signs of stress as when you dread an activity: halting breath, sweating, changing heart rates, and more. This is because your brain and body can’t distinguish between good stress and bad stress.

Good stress can be short- or long-term: moving to a new city, receiving a job promotion, having a baby, getting married, going to college, traveling alone for the first time, going to the movies with friends, training for an athletic event, and more.

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Bad stress can also be short- or long-term: dealing with unemployment, stumbling through an embarrassing moment, earning poor grades, learning of a loved one’s death, living in a noisy, dangerous area, working in a negative or stressful environment, and more.

Our brains and bodies don’t differentiate between the stresses that make us happy (planning a wedding, moving for an exciting new job) and the stresses that make us sad (being unemployed, working in a negative environment). This means that either good or bad stress produce the same chronic “fight-or-flight” stress response, regardless of the trigger.

One Solution For Stress

There is no way to completely eliminate stress from our lives, but we can learn to deal with it in creative, healthy ways. Beyond eating nutritious, balanced meals and maintaining a regular exercise routine, it is always a good idea to express gratitude. It may seem childish to think of saying “thank you” when your boss drops extra work on your desk at 4pm on a Friday, but gratitude reduces cortisol. By expressing thankfulness, we can improve our relationships and experience better connections with people.

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Chronic stress is known for increasing blood pressure, lowering immune systems, causing sleepless nights, and reducing life satisfaction; in contrast, studies show that gratitude lowers blood pressure, enhances the immune system, increases quality of sleep, and boosts life satisfaction. It’s important to counteract stress’s negative side effects by expressing gratitude in our daily lives.

If your stress is too big for gratitude to help, consider using natural herbal supplements to find relief.

Stress Solutions At Nature’s Trail Wellness Center

Schedule an appointment with our naturopathic doctor to learn more about natural remedies for handling stress.

Please comment below to let us know how you deal with stress. We look forward to hearing from you!

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The Amino Acid Taurine

Welcome to our series about amino acids, which are the building blocks that create protein and build healthy, strong muscles.

The amino acid taurine balances the muscles and the nervous system, sustaining the health of the heart and the brain. The body creates taurine, which is rich in sulfur, from two other amino acids, cysteine and methionine.

Protecting The Brain

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Taurine is used to move magnesium, potassium, and sodium (all crucial to the heart and brain functioning healthily) through the brain membranes. Taurine supports neurotransmitters and protects the brain.

Sustaining The Heart

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Some research suggests that taurine supplements benefit the heart muscles, which balances blood pressure and protects against heart failure and arrhythmias. Some health experts recommend this amino acid for treating cardiovascular disease, epilepsy, alcoholism, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cystic fibrosis.

Building Muscles

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Taurine is important for maintaining muscle, so it may help body builders. Because taurine deficiency causes low nitric oxide production, it reduces the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles. People who want to body build may find taurine supplements helpful; typically, most protein drinks and supplements for serious body builders include taurine.

Regulating Fat

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Because taurine balances serum cholesterol levels and processes fat-soluble vitamins, it is an essential part of bile. This means that taurine helps the body to metabolize fat.  Some studies even connect this amino acid to balancing insulin.

Strengthening The Immune System

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Taurine also appears to provide antioxidant protection. Research suggests it helps the eyes by decreasing oxidative damage from sunlight and generating a response from the immune system.

Natural Food Resources

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Some food resources include fish, eggs, milk, and meat. Adults naturally produce taurine within their bodies, but infants are unable to manufacture taurine and need it from external sources; infant formula should include taurine.

Supplement Resources

The amino acid taurine is available in liquid, allowing the body to absorb it more easily. It also comes in capsules. As of today, there are not any toxic side effects from taurine supplements, though it may depress the nervous system.

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The Amino Acid Taurine At Nature’s Trail Wellness Center

To learn more about how taurine can benefit your health, schedule an appointment with our naturopathic doctor today!

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The Amino Acid Serine

Welcome to our series about amino acids, which are the building blocks that create protein and build healthy, strong muscles.

The nonessential amino acid serine is necessary for overall health, mentally as well as physically. It is also crucial for the health of the central nervous system and the brain to operate normally.

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Overall Health

The body produces serine from another amino acid, glycine. Serine is used to create phospholipids that are used in each cell in the human body. It is used in fat, fatty acid metabolism, DNA, RNA, the immune system, and muscle creation.

Brain And Central Nervous System Health

The proteins in the brain, the nerves, and the myelin sheaths use serine. Without this amino acid, the myelin sheaths would gradually wear away, losing their effectiveness in sending messages between the body’s nerves and the brain. This would result in poor mental operations, which would basically short circuit.

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The body needs serine to create the amino acid tryptophan. This, in turn, creates serotonin, which is a brain chemical that balances moods. Tryptophan as well as serotonin deficiency causes insomnia, depression, anxiety, and confusion. Studies show that low serine levels may be part of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

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Immune System Health

Serine is also used to create antibodies and immunoglobulins to develop a strong immune system. This helps the body to fully absorb creatine, which amino acids produce to build and sustain muscles throughout the body, even the heart.

Natural Food Sources

The body needs vitamin B6, vitamin B3, and folic acid to produce serine. These can be found in soy foods, meat, wheat gluten, dairy, and peanuts. Unfortunately, with processed Western foods, many of these foods no longer contain the needed vitamins, so a supplement might be necessary.

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Natural Supplements

Supplements of the amino acid serine can be found in tablets, capsules, or powders. It may be the single ingredient, or there are supplements that combine various amino acids together. Several skin care products and cosmetics use serine in the form of phospholipids because it moisturizes the skin.

The Amino Acid Serine At Nature’s Trail Wellness Center

To learn more about the amino acid serine, visit us at Nature’s Trail Wellness Center. Our naturopathic doctor can determine whether you need serine to improve your health.

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Amino Acid: Phenylalanine

Welcome to our series about amino acids, which are the building blocks that create protein and build healthy, strong muscles.

The essential amino acid phenylalanine is important for the central nervous system to operate normally. Phenylalanine is useful for controlling chronic pain and depression symptoms. It also helps to relieve similar illnesses that happen when the central nervous system malfunctions.

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Three Kinds Of Phenylalanine

Phenylalanine comes in three forms: L-phenylalanine, D-phenylalanine, and DL-phenylalanine. All three of these have separate attributes that treat separate symptoms. L-phenylalanine is useful for managing appetite, mood, and mental alertness; D-phenylalanine controls pain; DL-phenylalanine changes mental state as well as pain sensitivity.

Protecting The Central Nervous System

Phenylalanine can cross the blood-brain barrier, which makes it important when treating brain disorders. The blood-brain barrier is made up of red blood cells and brain glia to protect the brain against bacteria, toxins, viruses, and other harmful elements that can be in the bloodstream. Chemicals can only directly impact the brain’s functioning if these chemicals can cross the blood-brain barrier.

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Managing Brain Chemicals

Phenylalanine is necessary for the brain’s dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine production. All three of these neurotransmitters determine how people see the world and respond to their environments. Because of this, phenylalanine can help people to feel less hungry, more joyful, and more alert, as well as improving memory and concentration. People have used phenylalanine to treat their chronic pain.

Recent Studies

Scientists are still researching how phenylalanine affects the body. Some data suggests that using phenylalanine can help the body produce melatonin. This may treat vitiligo, which makes white patches on a person’s skin; in a recent study, the subjects took between 50 and 100 milligrams of oral L-phenylalanine and also used topical 10% phenylalanine gel every day. They achieved an 83% average improvement rate.

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Natural Food Sources

Because phenylalanine is an essential amino acid, the body needs to absorb it through supplements or nutrition. Foods high in phenylalanine include cheese, seeds, nuts, eggs, dairy, beans, whole grains, fish, beef, chicken, and lamb.

It is important to talk to a health professional before increasing phenylalanine intake, as large amounts can result in nerve damage and certain health issues prevent people from taking phenylalanine.

The Amino Acid Phenylalanine At Nature’s Trail Wellness Center

Learn more about phenylalanine when you schedule an appointment with our naturopathic doctor at Nature’s Trail Wellness Center.

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Amino Acid: Isoleucine

Welcome to our series about amino acids, which are the building blocks that create protein and build healthy, strong muscles.

Isoleucine, an amino acid, is known to heal and repair muscle tissue, increase endurance, and promote clotting at injury sites. Because it helps the recovery process after strenuous physical activity, and because it increases energy, isoleucine is especially important to serious athletes as well as body builders.

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Repairs And Energizes For Exercise

Isoleucine is called a branched-chain amino acid, or BCAA. The body has three BCAAs: leucine, valine, and isoleucine. All of these amino acids help the body to recover its muscles after exercising. In addition, the body also breaks down isoleucine to create energy for muscle tissue.

Regulates Energy

The body needs isoleucine to balance blood sugar to stabilize energy levels. When people have isoleucine deficiency, their symptoms resemble hypoglycemia: dizziness, headaches, depression, fatigue, irritability, and confusion.

Food Sources

The body cannot produce its own isoleucine, making it an essential amino acid. Sources include foods that are high protein, like meat, nuts, eggs, seeds, peas, lentils, and soy protein. People who frequently and intensely exercise or who have low-protein diets should supplement their nutrition with isoleucine.

Isoleucine At Nature’s Trail Wellness Center

To learn more about amino acids like isoleucine, make an appointment with our naturopathic doctor today!

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Please note: people who have impaired kidney or liver function should ask their health professional before taking isoleucine; large doses of isoleucine may worsen certain health conditions.

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