Sensory Deprivation Tank Floating: An Intro

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By Jocelin Higgins

Sensory Deprivation Tank Floating- What is it?

What is it like floating in a sensory deprivation tank? Perhaps you are wondering what it’s all about and why people do it. Or, rather how does it benefit you?

Sensory Deprivation Tank

A woman floats in a sensory deprivation tank with the lid open. You  can float either way.

I became interested in floating in a sensory deprivation (otherwise known as reduction) tank about seven years ago. A wellness center where I was practicing hypnosis had a couple of the Samadhi sensory deprivation tanks (also known as isolation tanks) in the basement. I became curious about them and so I began floating in the tanks to see what it was like.  I had heard it was a type of meditation in water and quite a healing experience. Later, I would bring in hypnosis audio programs to listen to while I delved deep in the darkness resting my body by slightly submerging it in the 800-1,000 pounds of ebsom salt saturated water. I found it highly rewarding for not only feeling better emotionally, but physically and spiritually as well.

The Origins of Sensory Deprivation Therapy

In the 1950’s, scientists were experimenting in order to find out what would happen to a person when all environmental stimuli from the outside world disappeared. Dr. John Lilly is one of the most well-known of these scientists, along side Dr. Jay Shurley, that first created an isolation tank in 1954 at The National Institutes of Mental Health Lab in the Virgin Islands. They wanted to learn how people responded by eliminating contact with other people, light, gravity, sound, but yet heating the water to about 93 degrees Fahrenheit to remove the extremes in temperature.

They learned many important discoveries from these experiments. They found that when they removed all external sensations, that there was still a mechanism that generated internal experiences. A person’s mind does not go unconscious, but the brain is still active. It constructs experiences out of memories and stored impressions. If one does not fall asleep in an isolation tank, then there is a great opportunity to reprogram the mind for desired change-to consciously construct more positive thoughts and discard deeply held limiting beliefs. It is similar to being in a state of hypnosis as brain waves are slowing down to theta levels.

Yet, he also discovered that the mind fostered creativity while in the sensory deprivation tank, thus allowing people to present a problem when in the tank and retrieve answers quickly after coming out of submersion from the isolation tank. He goes into these discoveries in the book, The Deep Self: Consciousness Exploration in the Isolation Tank or Programming and Meta-programming in the Human Biocomputer: Theory and Experiments (if you are more scientifically inclined).

Since then, many others have studied the effects of floating in an isolation tank. John Turner and Tom Fine developed the more modern floatation R.E.S. T. technique, which stands for Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy. Michael Hutchison published a ground breaking book in 1984, The Book of Floating. I’ll outline some of this research and current findings later in this post. Dr. Oz even tried it and recommends it. There is a fantastic documentary made in 2014 called Float Nation that answers many questions people have about floating and gives more insights into float therapy. Recently, in November, Time magazine reported that the United States opened its first float clinic in Tulsa, Oklahoma: the Float Clinic and Research at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research.  This is a huge move in studying the science behind floating and its effect particularly, on neuroscience.

The Health Benefits to Floating in a Sensory Deprivation Tank

Floaters have reported numerous benefits floating. Depression lifts, anxiety  decreases. Whereas Dr. Lilly focused on the brain and the psychological aspects, there are many physical ones too. These include, a heightened state of relaxation from the deep rest your body undergoes and a release of dopamine and endorphins that go with this relaxed state. It’s the complete opposite of how you feel when your body tenses up from too much stress, adrenaline and cortisol buildup in your system! Consequently, relief from chronic pain often subsides after a few floats. A person can recover from jet lag quicker by floating after crossing time zones.  Athletes, artists and musicians float to enhance performance and relieve muscle pain and students find their memories improve and super learning occurs.

Most importantly, the metaphysical aspects are fascinating to note. I’ve often felt that I was “lost in space” as the weightlessness of floating makes me unaware of my body. On a recent session, I saw bright lights come and go in my mind’s eye and stars appeared on the ceiling inside the float tank. I had to ask afterwards whether they painted stars on the ceiling. “Nope. But, others have also mentioned seeing them,”a staff member at Float On responded. Hmm. Some mind expanding adventures here within this inner world. Many experts even believe that if more people took up floating, there would be less violent crimes committed. If there is a negative to floating, it would be a little salt getting in your eyes or it can sting if you have a scratch on your skin. However, you can dab some Vaseline on any scratches to prevent this from occurring.

How and Where to Float

sensory deprivation tank

Bird’s eye view of man floating in a sensory deprivation tank with lid open.

It’s really a simple, passive activity that just about anyone can partake in. You just need the physical mobility to get into a tank and lay down in salt water, which is so highly concentrated that you become very buoyant. Locate a local spa or sensory deprivation tank center to visit. If you are near or plan on visiting Portland, Oregon, you will find a few great options. We have the USA’s largest float tank center, Float On, (which is a colorful, creative and innovative place). Additionally, there are three different types of tanks at The Float Shoppe (whose owners are super friendly and generous.) I spoke with co-founder, Sandra Calm and she states that they have plans for an additional tank soon. There are two tanks at The Everett House Healing Center (where I stepped into my first tank), and Mudra Massage clinic has a tank as well. The combination of massage before or after floating is an added health benefit. Receive a massage before a float session if you desire mainly the psychological benefit, but if you’d rather focus on physical healing, float first and then get the massage after your muscles soften in the tank, stated Sandra from The Float Shoppe.

If you are a seasoned floater, did you know that a national float conference is held in August in Portland, Oregon each year? Come visit. Additionally, Portland Float Shoppe owner, Dylan Schmidt has started a podcast called The Art of Floating for people who want to open a float center and need support to keep it running smoothly.

How Much Does It Cost to Float?

It costs anywhere from $60 on up for a 90 minutes session (which is the least recommended at a time for best experience). You can sometimes find discounts for first time floats if you check Groupon or Living Social coupons in your area.  It can add up if you are not flush in the pocketbook, so I wanted to let you know about a new company that has created and built home tanks. Commercial ones begin at $8,000 and go on up, however the Zen Float company is manufacturing float tents for only $1,850 to give more people an affordable option.

Well, I hope this post is helpful in giving you an introduction to the fine art of floating in a sensory deprivation (reduction) tank. Give it time, you really need to partake in a few sessions to know what it’s really all about! Please feel free to share a comment below. I’d love to hear more about your experiences floating.

*If you have enjoyed what you have read, please consider clicking on the affiliate links, so we may earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) to support this site. We only refer our readers to books or advice that we support and believe in.

Works Cited

Bynum, Brad. “Altered States Is a Session in a Sensory Deprivation Tank as Surreal, Dangerous and Psychedelic as It Is in the Movies?” Www.newsreview.com. News Review, 03 Sept. 2015. Web. 29 Nov. 2015. <https://www.newsreview.com/reno/altered-states/content?oid=18187527>.

Float Nation. Dir. Jory & Carl Piglowski & Jessee. Perf. Various. Kickstarter, 2014. 27 Dec. 2014. Web. 29 Nov. 2015. .
Float Nation. Dir. Jory & Carl Piglowski & Jessee. Perf. Various. Kickstarter, 2014. 27 Dec. 2014. Web. 29 Nov. 2015. .
Hutchison, Michael. The Book of Floating: Exploring the Private Sea. New York: Morrow, 1984. Print.
Oaklander, Mandy. “Behind the Strange New Science of Floating.” Time. Time, 18 Nov. 2015. Web. 07 Dec. 2015.
Stevenson, Seth. “I Floated Naked in a Sensory Deprivation Tank. You’ve Got to Try It.” Anything Once. Slate.com, 15 May 2013. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
Stevenson, Seth. “I Slept All Night in a Sensory Deprivation Tank. Here Is My Story.” The Drift: A Blog About Sleep. Slate.com, 23 Nov. 2015. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
Unknown. “Float Science – The Float Shoppe.” Float Shoppe. The Float Shoppe, 2015. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <http://www.floatshoppe.com/floating/float-science/>.
Unknown. “Floating Overview – Float On.” Floating Overview. Float On Center, 2015. Web. 29 Nov. 2015. <http://floathq.com/learn/floating-overview/>.
Unknown. “More Information.” Samadhi Tank Co., Inc. First Manufacturer of the Floatation Tank ( Flotation Tank ), Sensory Deprivation Tank, Float Tank, John Lilly Isolation Tank. Samadhi Tank Co., Inc., 2014. Web. 29 Nov. 2015. <http://samadhitank.com/moreinfo.html>.
Williams, Brittany. “I Floated In A Sensory Deprivation Tank; Here’s What Happened – Healthcare Industry Today – EIN News.” The Grapevine, 22 Sept. 2015. Web. 29 Nov. 2015. <http://health.einnews.com/article/287759735/-O_E6uyT8FLJceRX>.

Health Benefits of Drinking Kombucha

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by Jocelin Higgins

Have you savored any kombucha lately? It is getting so tasty these days as it increases in popularity with a wider variety of flavors being available to you for consumption. Plus, it has many reported health benefits from its connoisseurs and drinkers.

So, what exactly is kombucha and why is it supposedly good for you? Let’s explore…

What is it?

 Kombucha

Humm’s Strawberry Lemonade kombucha

Kombucha is a tangy fermented tea made with either black, oolong or green tea. It was once called mushroom tea because of the SCOBY, which is an acronym for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast that resembles a mushroom or a pancake. This mushroom forms during the process of the tea’s creation. By slicing the “mushroom” and transporting it to another jar, you can also create another batch of this fermented wonder. It’s current name comes from a Korean physician named, Kombu who treated the Emperor, Inyko with the tea and then “cha” at the end of the word for tea.

Where did it come from?

When did it all begin? It’s a bit unclear, but according to the organization, Seeds of Health in the UK,  it dates back some 2,200 years ago to China during the Tsin dynasty about 212 BC. They drank it because of a belief in it causing immortality due to increased health, longevity and well-being amongst their populations. News of its purported health benefits spread along trade routes to India and Russia and in Japan it became the drink of samurais, an elixir of life!

So, what are these so called “health benefits”? Let’s look at a few from drinking the raw version of the liquid, which has more of the live cultures in it.

Kombucha Health benefit #1 (It calms you down):

Well, first of all, I must say from my experience that I love the way it calms me down and eases my nerves. I tend to be a bit on the anxious side and I find that after drinking a glass of this effervescence concoction, I feel so much more relaxed. Plus, I even get a little buzz from it. It may partially be due to the slight amount of alcohol (from 0.05-1%) or perhaps its other properties-who knows! Nonetheless, as well as its tonic effect it is refreshing and an ice cold cup after a stressful situation is great to quench your thirst as well.

Kombucha Health Benefit #2 (It detoxifies the body)

Detoxification is a process of removing toxic substances from your system so that your body reaches a state of homeostasis (balance). Because of our exposure to so many toxins (from pollution in our cities to preservatives in our food) it is necessary to flush these out of our blood stream. Kombucha allows us to do this, which in turn builds up our immune systems so that you will experience fewer colds, have more energy and just feel better all around! All of the incredible organic acids that comprise kombucha also aid in reducing candidiasis and other yeast infections like thrush.

Kombucha Health Benefit #3 (May prevent cancer)

It is full of antioxidants which are known to reduce free radicals(activated oxygen molecules that can damage cells) that occur in our bodies. These can break down your immune system, which could lead to the formation of cancer. Studies from Germany and Russia have concluded that it has a higher amount of antioxidants than green tea alone.

Kombucha Health Benefit #4 (It improves digestion and weight loss)

It addition to being active and getting enough exercise, drinking kombucha can also assist you in losing weight by improving your digestion. It is considered a pro-biotic, like other fermented foods such as yogurt, that allow healthy flora to reside in your digestive tract, which in turn allows for a better processing of foods and getting rid of waste quicker. It also contains many B vitamins which aid in your metabolism, thus probably allowing you to lose weight.

Although, much of the above claims are debatable and lacking in much-needed scientific research here in the United States, the fact that many people drink kombucha and share their stories of its healing properties is definitely worth a mention. Some people have reported side effects, but these appear minimal. Do contact your health care provider if you are concerned or have an adverse reacting to drinking the beverage.

Now, here are a few lists of my favorite makers of kombucha and a couple of  interesting books: one from the creator of WonderDrink Stephen Lee and the other from authors Eric and Jessica Childs, owners of Kombucha Brooklyn. They contain some recipes for home brewing which can be very inexpensive.

1) Kombucha Revolution: 75 Recipes for Homemade Brews, Fixers, Elixirs, and Mixers

[amazonjs asin=”1583335315″ locale=”US” title=”Kombucha!: The Amazing Probiotic Tea that Cleanses, Heals, Energizes, and Detoxifies”]

2) A wonderful new brewer here in Portland is SOMA and they are creating some really yummy kombucha these days. I’ve been filling up my growler at my local Green Zebra store!

3) Another excellent local Portland, Oregon choice as well isTownsend’s Tea Company

brewdrkombucha.com/

4) We also have bought our kombucha from Garden Home Growler and  The Portand Fruit Stand West that sell my favorite new fantabulous kombucha maker called Humm and they are out of Bend, Oregon.

**Check out the incredible variety of flavors…oh la la! (The Strawberry Lemonade is featured in the above photo)**

So, take some time and sample and explore this delicious and good for you beverage and let me know what you think!

Does it make you feel better? We want to know because we strive to be a wonderful source of all things that aid in your happiness and well-being.

*If you have enjoyed what you have read, please consider clicking on the affiliate links, so we may earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) to support this site. We only refer our readers to books or advice that we support and believe in.

References:

Michaelis, K. (n.d.). Kombucha Health Benefits. Retrieved from    http://www.foodrenegade.com/kombucha-health-benefits/

Unknown. (n.d.). The Kombucha Culture. Retrieved September 20, 2014, from  http://www.seedsofhealth.co.uk/fermenting/kombucha.shtml

Unknown. (n.d.). Hand Crafted, Organic, Raw Kombucha|9 flavors on tap and bottle. Retrieved September 21, 2014, from http://hummkombucha.com/

Get in Shape: Running Beginners over 40

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Something Better Than the Gym

Beginning Runners Over 40, natural remedies for depression

An ideal spot for a run.

by Michael Lee Howard-Mayhew

I hate gyms!! Yet I knew that with the encroaching age of the big 4-0, I had to start working on what was the best way to keep my body in shape. I had worked very hard on my spiritual, mental and job portions of my life but I needed a way to increase my health stamina.

I would like to say I am not one of those stereotypical gay men that go to the gym religiously and people know if I’m not at work or home that they can find me getting healthier at a gym. That is not me at all!

I am intimidated by gyms and the whole idea of going to a gym and showering and watching everyone doing precise workouts and having amazing bodies while I sweat like a wild man, hoping I just don’t have the extra layer of cake, cider, and hot chocolate around my mid-section.

This led me to a crisis of sorts. How do I get in shape and move and continue to be active while not gymming it?

How it All Began

It was a cold Portland September and I was driving to work thinking,“Look at all these people running … I can do that.” I walked in to work and said… “That’s it! I am running, now I need to know how.”

I instantly began my research, okay let’s be honest… I googled “starting runner” on the inter-webs and my brain just about imploded with all the information. So going onto my trusty Facebook next, I got a few responses from friends of where to start and I picked one. The Couch25K app  was what I started using. I swear that first run,  I thought I would die and never recover.

Why Goal Setting is a Good Idea

Goal setting was my main objective and I made a lofty goal that I would run a 5k. The main reason for this is because that is what everyone told me was the norm. I had no idea how far it was at the time (by the way,  it is 3.1 miles), but I made the decision to run with it (see what I did there).  I met and accomplished my goal and then I made the lofty decision by asking myself… “Hey, why don’t I do the local Shamrock Run? I signed up for a 15K and honestly I am sure I wore myself out more than one could ever imagine that sunny March day.

Having started out hap haphazardly, I have begun a whole new regimen with running.  I want to share it with you so that you don’t have to suffer by making my mistakes, especially for other running beginners over 40.  But, it’s solid advice at any age:

“Michael’s Beginning Guide to Running”:

**First of All, Be Realistic with Your Goal– If you push yourself too hard and too fast you will end up either hurting yourself or failing to reach your goal and in effect beating yourself up.

**Next, Get Good Gear – the best thing you can do is get a good pair of running shoes, shorts and a good running shirt. Always look for deals or find friends that work in discount places. I am fortunate that both my husband and I get Adidas discounts of 50% off at the employee store.  It is also a great idea to make sure you get your feet measured to make sure you are wearing the right size.

**Use Modern Technology – The app I started with for running was great but there have been a few others along the way that also work well.  Runkeeper This is a great way to stay in touch with your friends that are running. You can also set goals and keep track of your progress. Charity Miles. Look at this… you can run and raise money for a favorite charity for free. Map My Run  This is a great app for keeping a  map of your route, add friends, know when to change your shoes out. I would suggest checking out getting a fitbit. This is a great way to keep track of your daily steps. I also recommend keeping a running log so you can track your progress You can also do daily challenges, track your sleep, water intake, and food intake. It’s great for people on the go. The only thing with fitbit is that you do have to purchase the equipment whereas all the other options are free. But, it’s well worth the price.

**Have Fun – There is nothing more exhausting than feeling like you are not having fun and that you are dragging along. The truth is that some days you will not want to go and you will have to fight yourself to get out, but I assure you that once you start going, you will feel great with another goal accomplished.

**Stretch & Pace – When running,  if you feel like you have to stop and do some stretching … remember our muscles are part of the complex system called our body. Running without any stretching will cause damage as will over doing yourself. It is okay to have a slow day and know that you do have to start somewhere.

**Support – Yes, you will become one of those people who tells others about your time from the last run you did or how you can’t wait to run that 5k or half marathon. That is awesome! The best way to keep your goal alive is to get support and to make friends that are runners as well. Who knows? You may get someone else started on running as well.

The Many Benefits of Running

Whether you are just starting out, just know that there are other running beginners over 40 or people who have never even walked a block let alone have run a marathon–just get yourself out there and get healthy. You deserve to treat yourself right and your body will love and appreciate it. The short-term effects of running are increased mental clarity, a boost in energy, and improved sleep. The long term effects include prevention of strokes, diabetes and heart disease, weight loss, lower blood sugar, and lower cholesterol and this could be your natural remedy for depression!

The best part is all you need is your own body. No gym is required thankfully!

Now go out there and get healthy and you can even run for the meditative aspect of it. A wonderful and insightful book I would recommend would be this one by Sakyong Mipham,

[amazonjs asin=”0307888177″ locale=”US” title=”Running with the Mind of Meditation: Lessons for Training Body and Mind”]

*If you have enjoyed what you have read, please consider clicking on the affiliate links, so we may earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) to support this site. We only refer our readers to books or advice that we support and believe in.

Ever Tried Emotional Freedom Technique?

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What is Emotional Freedom Technique?

Tap Your Way to Emotional, Physical, Spiritual or Financial Wellness

by Jocelin Higgins

Do you feel stressed out? Are you looking for a way to relieve this fight or flight response that builds up in your body, either through experiences or memories and causes you to be depressed or even miserable? Maybe you have recurring physical pain. This could work for you.

My Personal Training and Experience With It

Well, I discovered tapping a few years ago when I was getting my hypnotherapy certification and it can be a wonderful practice and solution for what ails you too! First of all, it is otherwise known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and it is a combination of eastern acupressure and modern psychology. It begins with tapping energy meridians in your face, torso and head. Much like acupuncture points around your body that are poked with needles, this is a less complex approach to release built up tension in your system. Did you know that it can also improve if not alleviate unwanted physical pain as well?  Read on and I will tell you all about it!

The Tapping Solution

This author and expert on EFT, Nick Ortner has written a book called, The Tapping Solution which shares some real life stories about people who have overcome ailments and emotional issues through consistent tapping and by speaking affirmations simultaneously. Here is a video clip with an interview with Nick by Jessica Ortner as well as a demonstration of how to tap. Why not see for yourself how its done?

Did you get a chance to watch it? How about taking a few minutes to try it yourself? I love how relaxed I feel afterwards. To me, it reminds me of how I feel after a yoga or meditation session. I’ve struggled with a stiff neck and so today, I tapped over this and I could really experience my neck releasing its tension and it becoming much more flexible. You may feel a little awkward at first, but after you experience the positive aspects and relief, you wont mind the perceived silliness that may be present as you try it. And, with consistency you will begin to miss not doing it.

Research Backs It Up

Harvard Medical School completed a study that revealed that the amygdala- which is a almond-shaped part of your brain that store the brain’s stress and fear response – could be lessened by stimulating the meridian points by the use of acupuncture, acupressure, AND EFT tapping.

Dr. Dawson Church  performed another important clinical study on a group of 83 people who tapped for one hour. Dr. Church and his team measured their level of cortisol which is a hormone secreted by the body when it undergoes stress.  They learned that cortisol levels dropped 24-50%. When compared to talk therapy, the cortisol levels showed no improvement after an hour session. Very interesting huh? Additionally, his work with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) sufferers showed vast improvement as well when there was a 63% decrease in symptoms after six consecutive rounds of EFT tapping. 

Tapping for Financial Abundance

As you saw in the video of the example of the woman Nick referred to, you can even use it to remove unconscious blocks or imprints around your income potential. You can tap away anything that is deep-set in your mind that prevents you from earning a higher salary or growing a business. “Thoughts are things” said Prentice Mulford.  It’s so imperative to consistently have the positive, uplifting ones that will serve you and assist you in financial wellness as well as physical and psychic health. At times, it’s difficult to just snap out of one thought in favor of a more positive new thought, so tapping gives you this medium for doing so. You repeat these affirmations over and over again AS you tap until your energetic body has processed these unpleasant thoughts of scarcity and you have let them go and deeply believe in your ability to draw in abundance through many avenues.

There are Some Great Resources Available

As Emotional Freedom Technique gains in popularity, you are able to find more incredible information on it. I encourage you to read up and learn all that you are able to. The more you invest in practicing it and giving it a chance to work for you, the better you will feel and be.

Here are a few of the sources that I found very useful and chock full of wonderful information.

Sources:

Church, Dr. Dawson. “Brief Biography.” DawsonChurch.com. 2014. Web. 28 Oct. 2014.

Ortner, Nick. “Discover How to Use EFT Tapping, a Combination of Ancient Chinese Acupressure and Modern Psychology, to Improve Your Health, Wealth, Relationships, Level of Happiness, and Much More…” Discover How to Use EFT Tapping, a Combination of Ancient Chinese Acupressure and Modern Psychology, to Improve Your Health, Wealth, Relationships, Level of Happiness, and Much More… The Tapping Solution, 2013. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.

Unknown. “Prentice Mulford.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Oct. 2014. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.

*This post contains some affiliate links in which I will earn a commission but at no additional cost you. I only refer my readers to books or advice that I support and believe in.

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Natural Cures Instead of Pills?

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Want to Join the Natural Cures Movement?

What is the Natural Cures Movement?

by Jocelin Higgins

Because I’m interested in feeling better holistically, I came across this really fascinating free online event that ran from October 6th to October 16th, 2014. It’s available now to listen to any time by downloading in MP3 format. It’s called The Natural Cures Movement (Or, Summit). It’s an opportunity to listen to holistic health care experts share their wisdom regarding many ailments that can be treated via natural methods instead of resorting to expensive pills that can have terrible side effects. I quickly signed up to check it out and learn some new tips on how to be healthier–I’m really looking forward to it!

I did some research for you so you could find out more about it first. I’ll also give more background information on who is hosting it and the Read on….

Natural Cures

Join for FREE here: http://bit.ly/1CJ4cGG

Who is the Host?

It’s hosted by Dr. Josh Axe, of DrAxe.com, an expert in natural and sports medicine. According to the e-book that he cowrote with nutritionist, Cynthia Pasquella, called “Go Naked Cookbook“, he loves to prepare raw foods as well. This cookbook gives you free recipes just by joining the online natural health summit. He has also written three books: The Real Food Diet Cookbook, Superfood Super You, and most recently, The Secret Detox. Additionally, he also founded BurstFIT,  or BurstFitFIRE are interval training workouts for rapid fat-loss and he traveled to London with the 2012 U.S. Olympic swim team as a physician.

So, Who Are These Other Holistic Health Experts?

Dr. Axe has brought together all of these doctors, naturopaths, nutritionists and many others that entails an amazing line up of over thirty professional holistic health advisors in this summit. Some are here to guide you to feel better with natural remedies for your emotional and mental wellness. Others are here to help you get more relief from thyroid disease, autoimmune disorders, leaky gut, Infertility, Lyme or heart disease. Many more focus on detoxification and how to switch to a raw foods diet or overall better nutrition to feel better more often. They will show you which foods assist in preventing cancer or allow for regular balancing of your hormones. I learned so much from it!

Find Out Who is Speaking and When:

Really, the list of resources here is so vast. Most days include four speakers. You can easily listen while you are driving to work, playing in the garden, cleaning house or cooking. You can also order the entire event recorded so that you can listen to them anytime as well as many times over. I find this extremely useful because I like to remind myself of what I need to do and how to change an unhealthy habit into one that will make me feel better and be healthier. If you want to check out the whole program go here! You also get some FREE recorded talks JUST for joining!

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Three Simple Ways to Feel Better

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by Jocelin Higgins

Are you wanting to feel better than you currently do? It’s totally possible!

Here are the top three ways that I found work really well to improve your mood and emotional wellness.

1) Take a deep breath, close your eyes and focus on a memory of someone of something that makes you smile.

Find some photos that bring back this memory if you need to. Allow this memory to fully enter your mind and body. Meditate on it for as long as you need to. Keep breathing in and out at a relaxed pace.

The Importance of Meditation

In a study done by Killingsworth and Gilbert, these scientists found that when, “people’s minds were wandering, they tended to be less happy, presumably because our thoughts often tend towards negative rumination or stress. That’s why mindfulness meditation has become an increasingly important treatment of mental health difficulties like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even sexual dysfunction”.  As you focus on this incredible feeling of content and happiness, let go of whatever is stressing you out by actually feeling it disappear from your consciousness. You have the power to do this. You are a creator and outside forces no longer control you!

daisy

2) Get outside, however possible and Feel so Much Better!

Go for a walk down the street to move your body. Breath in some fresh air deeply into your lungs. Admire the trees, flowers, birds or any indications of nature that you see. Dwell on all that you find pleasing and beautiful around you. I live in the Pacific Northwest and we have so many gorgeous areas to explore so I enjoy hiking in the forest away from the noise of the city. But, if you can’t get outside, then get your body moving in whatever way that you are able to..play a favorite song and dance to it with wild abandon. Remember the saying..”dance like nobody is watching”? Well, here’s your chance!

Or, do some stretches or yoga poses. Have you noticed how calming Indian instrumental music is while doing yoga?You don’t have to participate in an hour-long session, just allow yourself to create some muscle flexibility and get your circulation going. It works wonders!

3) Get immersed in something that you love and enjoy doing!

You may have heard this before, but it really does work! By doing this, you are getting into a state of mind that is called, “flow”. The Hungarian psychology professor, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi introduced the term back in his book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. It’s a state of consciousness where you forget time and space and become absorbed in focusing and participating on this activity.

I find my flow when I am writing, reading, doing yoga, swimming or playing soccer. As you can see from my experience, it can be more than one thing. Sometimes, it takes an internal or external “nudge” for me to get started, but once I do, I find that the passing of time is as if it is standing still. Even if you are experiencing pain or loss or are feeling depressed just by going through the motions soon enough your mood will improve! Allow yourself to feel the joy in this activity. Embrace it! Live it! Let it  heal you inside and out!

So, here are a few of the best ways that I’ve learned how to improve my mood or to “get out of a funk”. Give them a try and let me know what you think by commenting below or feel free to share some methods that work for you! I’d love to hear more beneficial mood improvement activities.

I hope that this post has been helpful to you. May you be feeling better soon! Namaste.

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