stress

On-Off On-Off, Everything On, Back Off – It’s Complicated. Hormones by Deborah Tosline

 1813 A Classic Negative Feedback Loop.jpg by OpenStax College [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

1813 A Classic Negative Feedback Loop.jpg by OpenStax College [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Critical information: hormone balance is essential for all body functions.

Hormones make us feel good and can make us feel very, very bad.

Conundrum – a healthy lifestyle is not as beneficial without hormone balance and it’s difficult to balance hormones without a healthy lifestyle.

All body communications are via an electrical system (nerves) or are chemical via the endocrine system (hormones). Hormones send global and specific instructions to start and stop body functions.

Hormone function is super complicated.

 Estrogen receptor+lasofoxifene.png by Doxepine [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Estrogen receptor+lasofoxifene.png by Doxepine [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

 

My extremely simplified interpretation:

It is vital to take prompt action to support hormone balance to function well, feel and look good and to achieve premium Health = Beauty.

You must ensure that your hormones are balanced to achieve supple, healthy, clear skin.

Hormones are carried in the blood stream throughout the body and to specific organs with messages like:

·      go, go, go

·      grow fast, grow slow

·      block pain, or not

·      manage fluids, salts and sugars

·      store fat

·      regulate blood pressure

·      stimulate muscles

·      maintain skin health

·      control manly and womanly functions, including sex stuff

Regarding sex hormones, although women and men each have different levels of testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone, it is vital for each hormone to be present in the right ratios or we, men and women, will probably feel bad. Worse, these imbalances may degrade our health resulting in fatigue, inability to maintain and build muscle, promote acne and bone loss, increase the risk for cardiovascular disease and more.

Men, women, young and old may need to take extra measures to balance hormones due to stress and environmental hormone exposure from dairy, beef, poultry, pork, farm raised fish and from plastic products that emit estrogen mimicking chemicals. The body recognizes these pseudo estrogens and responds, increasing estrogen in all of us.

 Hypothalamus pituitary testicles axis.png by Acraciaderivative (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Hypothalamus pituitary testicles axis.png by Acraciaderivative (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

BPA, phthalates and other estrogenic chemicals are commonly found in the personal care products that we use and in drugs and pesticides that have been shown to impact male and female fertility and women’s health by affecting the thyroid, menstrual cycles, menopause, and breast cancer risk. Pseudo estrogens are pervasive in the environment and may also increase mental health disorders.

 Estrogen biosynthetic pathway.jpg By VanillaTrix [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Estrogen biosynthetic pathway.jpg By VanillaTrix [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Synthetic Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) was consistently used in the United States until a 2002 study published by the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) showed that synthetic HRT’s were correlated with cancer. As a result many women began avoiding hormone therapy resulting in hormone imbalances that have lead to osteoporosis, cardiovascular and other diseases.

Bio-identical, natural, or human-identical HRT’s have been in use for thousands of years with the first record going back to Ancient China. Bio-identical hormones are derived from a plant oil that is chemically altered to exactly match human bio-identical steroids. Evidence indicates that bio-identical hormones are distinctly different from and are more effective than synthetic HRT.

A knowledgeable practitioner must administer bio-identical hormones. Mainstream allopathic physicians may sufficiently and successfully prescribe bio-identical hormones, however a visit to a naturopathic doctor may be more beneficial. Special care should be taken to holistically address each individual to assess the reasons for any hormone imbalance. For example, stress results in cortisol production which interferes with body function. If cortisol levels are out of balance, it may be impossible to balance hormones. Find a hormone expert who will take the extra steps to help assess your personal requirements.

 Steroid.jpg By Hyou at English Wikibooks (Transferred from en.wikibooks to Commons.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Steroid.jpg By Hyou at English Wikibooks (Transferred from en.wikibooks to Commons.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Of course, for effective results it is imperative that you take control and choose to live a healthy balanced lifestyle AND incorporate ancient healing wisdom and practices to promote hormone balance. Do-It-Yourself home practices may be used to counteract environmental pseudo-hormones, support daily and monthly hormonal changes, and smooth hormonal transitions.

Dr. Josh Axe and Jordan Ruben provide the following recommendations on the Ancient Medicine Today S3 * E37 podcast 7 Keys to Balance Hormones & Manage Menopause. The recommendations include natural ways for men or women to use to balance hormones. Listen to their podcast here for more information.   

·      Key foods

o   Bone broth – (recipe vegan substitute)

o   Sprouts 

o   Fermented veggies 

o   Cruciferous - veggies great for balancing hormones 

o   Fermented soy - miso, natto, tempeh

o   Cultured dairy 

·      Herbs - balance hormones with fewer side effects

o   Black cohosh – balances hormones better than pharmaceuticals

o   Wild yam

o   Vitex, raise progesterone levels, clinically proven to relieve hot flashes

·      Adaptogens - protection from stress and disease

o   Ginseng

o   Holy basil

o   Ashwaganda 

o   Rodeola 

o   Chigandra berry

o   Aluthoro 

o   Panax 

o   Fenugreek seed increase free testosterone 

o   Truffle oil, smell it to increase free testosterone 

 Calcium regulation.png by Mikael Häggström (All used images are in public domain.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Calcium regulation.png by Mikael Häggström (All used images are in public domain.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

·      Nutrients - essential for the hormone system

o   Vitamin D

o   Vitamin K

o   Boron, great for hormones, building bone, healthy testosterone 

o   Magnesium

·      Supplements - fill nutritional voids

o   Collagen

o   Glucosamine

o   Hyaluronic acid

o   Chondroitin 

o   Omega 3/omega 6 balance

o   Hyaluronic acid - drink it 

o   Probiotic

o   Evening primrose oil

·      Essential oils - balancing, replace toxic products;

o   Clary sage to balance estrogen and progesterone

o   Chamomile

o   Lavender

o   Thyme

o   Oregano

o   Rosemary

o   Ylang ylang

·      Chinese medicine

o   Dong quai female ginseng 

·      Medicinal mushrooms

o   Reishi 

o   Cordyseps

o   Black diamond truffle - Tuber melanosporum Vitt.

§  inhale, nose has receptors

§  consume

§  naturally boost testosterone

§  reduce menopause symptoms 

·      Spices

o   Licorice phyto-estrogenic 

o   Sage

o   Myrrh 

o   Thyme

o   Fennel

 Hormons feedback - Sprzężenie zwrotne hormonow.svg

Hormons feedback - Sprzężenie zwrotne hormonow.svg

Take action.

Use this list to research a couple options that suite your paycheck, lifestyle and interest and supply your health cabinet with hormone balancing natural ancient treatments.

Take action.

Figure out how your body is processing cortisol and hormones. Get tested. Dr. Sara Gottfried. M.D. who developed The Hormone Cure recommends special hormone tests that your medical practitioner can order.

Listen to Dr. Sara’s explanation of these tests and download Dr. Sara’s Top Ten Hormone List from her website

Want more energy, weight management, sound sleep, strong bones and muscles, good circulation, a sharp mind and beautiful skin?

Improve your lifestyle, use ancient medicine for natural balance, work with an experienced practitioner to check your body chemistry and balance your hormones for Health = Beauty.  Let me know how it goes.

Well-being looks good on you.

Take good care of yourself xo Deborah

Facial Muscles: Tight and Ropy or Relaxed and Soft by Deborah Tosline

 1106 Front and Side Views of the Muscles of Facial Expressions By OpenStax [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

1106 Front and Side Views of the Muscles of Facial Expressions By OpenStax [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Note: Click on the blue/green text for links to articles.

Facial muscle tension is wrinkling your skin (and may be increasing anxiety). Heal thyself with compression.

Wrinkles and folds in facial muscles cause the overlying skin to wrinkle and fold as well. Smoothing tense muscles into a relaxed state provides a beautiful foundation for the overlying skin. Compression may be used to eliminate muscle tension to relax and smooth muscles allowing the overlying skin to appear smooth as well.

I regularly practice myofascial soft tissue release and trigger point therapy to relieve muscle tension or pain in body muscles. For me, it is a terrific, pain eliminating do-it-yourself soft tissue therapy.

Trigger point therapy is extremely beneficial and may be used as an effective practice to release muscle tension to promote muscle stretching and to reduce or eliminate pain. The premise is that when a muscle develops an injury: it stops contracting and lengthening properly, circulation decreases, and congested areas form where waste accumulates. These areas may feel like a small or large painful lump in the muscle, or the entire muscle may be tight and ropy. The congested area or trigger point causes the muscle to shorten and typically refers pain to other parts of the body and also pulls on and causes pain in nearby joints.

 Trigger Point Complex By Davidparmenter (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Trigger Point Complex By Davidparmenter (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Trigger point therapy uses compression on congested areas in the muscle. During compression, wastes are squeezed out allowing fresh blood, oxygen and nutrients to flow into the area. This provides nourishment and supports normal muscle function. With consistent treatment, congested areas and the associated pain may be greatly reduced or eliminated. For me, trigger point therapy is effective. When a new pain arises, I treat it with trigger point therapy and it disappears. Magic do-it-yourself medicine.

 Trigger-Point-myofascial By Muthu.G (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Trigger-Point-myofascial By Muthu.G (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Do you hold tension in your forehead? I try not to, but I do. Further, I furrow my brows while reading, writing and when thinking J I noticed and felt the tightness in my forehead and eyebrow muscles and decided to try trigger point therapy. I used a 3-inch compression ball to compress my forehead trigger points. The treatment was a little painful but also a relief when the tight forehead muscles relaxed. After the treatment, my forehead muscle was smooth and the overlying skin was smooth as well.

I was curious about this technique and searched for articles on facial muscle compression. I found two interesting references. The Yamuna Ball is used to apply pressure to the face to stimulate bone health and enhance facial muscle stretching. An article by Dr. Jared Edward Reser titled “Compression for the Face: Composure, Aesthetics and Mental Health” discusses methods, Dr. Reser’s personal experience including before and after photos, and instructions on how to use compression to eliminate muscle tension, smooth facial muscles and even change one’s attitude for the better.

 Dr. Reser in 2010 before facial muscle compression

Dr. Reser in 2010 before facial muscle compression

 Dr. Reser in 2016 after practicing facial muscle compression.

Dr. Reser in 2016 after practicing facial muscle compression.

Dr. Reser has determined that “wrinkles in the skin don’t come from using the muscles. Rather, wrinkles form over dormant muscles that have been strained repetitively.”

Fig7DeepFacialLines2merged_edited-1.jpg

Over time, habitual facial expressions result in depleted and fatigued facial muscles. Dr Reser states that “tense muscles around the orbits of the eyes contribute heavily to looking and feeling tired”; in addition he believes that habitual facial expressions and the associated muscle tension may actually cause a “psychological anchor” for a poor mood.

The bottom line is that tense facial muscles do not function properly, develop trigger points and scar tissue, and have reduced circulation resulting in muscle atrophy. Dr. Reser states that “compression and deep tissue massage are the only real ways to release facial muscle tension.”

Essentially compression of facial muscles would be completed across the entire face. Dr Reser recommends starting with target zones that identify facial muscles that are typically tight and result in muscle restrictions. 

 Dr Reser image showing eye muscles

Dr Reser image showing eye muscles

 Dr. Reser image showing eye compression

Dr. Reser image showing eye compression

Botox may be used to release tension and relax facial muscles. However, Botox paralyzes the muscle, reduces circulation and the availability of nutrients, which inhibits muscle growth. With time the botox treated muscle has decreased tone and reduced biochemical activity and atrophies or shrinks. In comparison, muscle compression costs nothing and results in relaxed, well-nourished and plump muscles with better muscle function and range of use. Compression treatment is not instantaneous but with consistent daily practice over time, all facial muscle tension may be released.

Dr. Reser believes that relieving facial muscle tension may be the primary determination of attractiveness,  “…the extent of facial tension can probably be seen as a marker of status hierarchy that we wear on our faces. If your face, head, neck, and throat were completely free of muscular tension, you would likely be among the most beautiful people in the world.”

Dr. Reser recommends:

1.     Deep tissue compression to reduce facial muscle rigidity.

2.     Breathe diaphragmatically while firmly compressing tender muscles to help reverse muscle rigidity.

3.     Compress tight facial muscles for a few minutes a day until facial muscles are no longer sore, stiff or ropy.

4.     Trigger point therapy will reduce facial tension and promote stronger, more prominent facial muscles with increased range of motion.

Try to reduce muscle tension. Notice facial tension and practice wearing a serene relaxed facial expression and a slight smile as you move through your day. It will look nice and science shows that smiling makes you feel great, but that’s another article.

I have begun a daily facial muscle compression routine and look forward to reducing facial muscle tension and other potential changes.

Take good care of yourself.