Floating for Fun: Sensory Deprivation Tanks

“Floating on air” always seemed impossible, but as we all know, nothing is impossible when it comes to science and new-age technology. Sensory deprivation tanks offer many positive health benefits to individuals, and can make for great holiday gift ideas. Interested in learning more? Let’s continue.

What are Sensory Deprivation Tanks?

The sensory deprivation tanks, or float tanks, specialize in isolating the individual inside from all the senses. That’s right- sight, sound, smell, and touch all melt away in these tanks. The water in the tanks is made to match the individual’s body temperature as close as possible, mixed with 700-800lbs of Epsom salts. This mixture allows for the individual to stay afloat easily on the water’s surface.

How Do They Work?

So, what’s the science behind these float tanks? Our body’s “fight or flight” stress response is lowered by inducing a deep state of relaxation. For those who struggle with stress, anxiety, and depression, this is a natural way of evoking a natural relaxation response because it activates the parasympathetic nervous system. So while you float (no swimming required!), your cortisol levels are lowered and your nervous system is calmed, helping to bring your hormones and immune system back into balance.

The epsom salts are high in magnesium which helps with muscle relaxation! Not only does the peaceful environment of the tank help you to relax, the water itself is very relaxing and healing. It’s also a great place to integrate, meditate, and float into an altered state.

What are the Health Benefits?

Now that we understand what the sensory deprivation tanks are, we can dive into the actual therapy and the health benefits. There are physical and mental benefits to float tanks, while some claim a sort of spiritual awakeness. Deprivation tanks can help reduce your stress levels and is considered to be a non-invasive treatment method for certain pains and illnesses. Here’s a list that contains (but is not limited to) ailments that float tanks have been shown to aid:

  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Low energy
  • Addiction or Withdrawal symptoms
  • Low immune function
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Sleep Trouble
  • Athletic performance
  • Peace
  • Relaxation

If you’re looking for a gift idea this holiday season, we highly suggest a trip to Balance Float in Redwood City. Deprivation therapy is a great resource to gift to someone, and we believe in its healing powers at Wild Women Wellness. For more float tank locations, click the link here. For more information on our services offered at Wild Women Wellness, you can visit our website or give us a call at (650)-271-9453.

Don’t Suffer From SAD … Be Glad! Ways to Cope with Seasonal Affective Disorder

The winter months are approaching fast, with little we can do to control the weather. The days are getting shorter, bleaker, and darker with each passing second. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression that occurs in a seasonal pattern, usually stirs up in individuals around late fall and winter months. While we can’t control the forecast, we can control natural remedies to help us fight SAD and have us feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally healthier.

Let There Be Light!
SAD’s cause is unknown, but the most common belief is that is occurs because of the lack of sunlight people are exposed to during the shortest days of the year. We suggest trying to surround yourself with as much natural light as you possibly can. Keep your windows and blinds open, and take walks outside when possible. Light therapy has also been proven to help those who suffer from SAD and can help with our chemical imbalances during these dark winter months.

Pump Those Arms!
Exercise has been proven to help in the treatment of depression, and this is no different. Exercising boosts your serotonin and endorphin levels, and can help you sleep better at night, which is a common symptom of SAD. If you can exercise outside with natural light, you’re killing two birds with one stone. Typically, aim for 30-60 minutes of fitness, and set up a workout routine to help keep you on track!

Replenish Your Body!
One of the most beneficial things you can do for your well-being is to replenish your body with the important nutrients it needs. “L-Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin and has been found to be an effective treatment for depression,” (Gaby 1079). Taking Vitamin D supplements has been linked to improvements in individual’s depression, and can be necessary if an individual is not receiving a healthy dose of natural light. Melatonin has also been proven to help with the treatment of depression, and also helps individuals regulate their sleeping schedules.

Seasonal Affective Disorder should not be ignored. If you or someone you know is dealing with SAD, reach out to someone and ask for help. We at Wild Women Wellness believe in the power of natural healing, and have seen it work firsthand. For more information on our services, you can visit our website or give us a call at (650)-271-9453 today!

Sources:
Gaby, Alan. Nutritional Medicine. 1st ed. Fritz Perlberg Publishing, 2011. Print.

Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_tbralnina'>tbralnina / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Healthy, gluten free, home made pumpkin pie!

Yield: One 10-inch deep dish pie or two 8 or 9-inch shallow pies

Ingredients: 

  • 1-2 Pie Pumpkins
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp of fresh chopped ginger or 1tsp of dried ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional, I don’t use any)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1.5 cans coconut milk from the can

Directions.

Cut pumpkins into quarter and steam in a pot on the stove until soft. Let cool, then separate the pumpkin meat from the skin.

Combine the cooked pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger, salt, eggs and coconut milk to food processor or Vitamix. Blend on high until smooth- start at low speed then work up or it will explode into a pumpkin disaster!

Pour into a Udo’s gluten free pie crust or your favourite pie crust.

Bake at 425 F (210 C ) for the first 15 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 350 F  ( 175 C ) and bake another 45 to 60 minutes, until a clean knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Recipe adopted from:

http://www.pickyourown.org/pumpkinpiejackolantern.php#zC27muHeZYzVsX0s.99

Erectile Dysfunction: What you need to know!

Natural treatment for erectile dysfunction.

Men represent about 90% of my practice with Helix Mobile wellness and many of them report their erections are not what they used to be. We have good success improving erections with testosterone therapy, but it’s not always that simple. Erectile health is multifactorial and requires a systemic approach. The causes usually include a combination of psychological, pharmacological, vascular, neurological, and hormonal factors. The National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference on Impotence (December 7-9,1992) defined erectile dysfunction as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance for at least 3 months. It’s estimated about 30 million men in the US struggle with erectile dysfunction1. Healthy erections are dependent on healthy circulation, healthy nitric oxide release, healthy hormones, healthy diet, and a sufficient amount of exercise. When evaluating why your erections are not healthy three factors must always be considered:

Medications: The Major Players

  • Antidepressants: Prozac
  • Blood pressure medications: Hydrochlorothiazides, Metoprolol
  • Anti-seizure medications: Gabapentin
  • Antihistamines: Cimitidine, Benadryl, Zantac.
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Pain medications: Oxycodone, Codeine, Gabapentin
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs): Naproxine, Ibuprofen
  • Other medications: Estrogen, Propecia
  • Drugs: nicotine, cocaine, alcohol

There are many other medications in these classes that cause ED, these are the most commonly prescribed.

Cardiovascular disease

Arteriosclerosis, damage to arteries, or narrowing of the vessels can lead to poor circulation. Poor circulation can interfere with erections becoming fully erect. Often erectile dysfunction is an early sign of cardiovascular disease. In my practice I work with two different cardiovascular labs that do extensive testing to evaluate the health of my patients cardiovascular system. We can pin point what, where and why there are imbalances in the cardiovascular system. For more information on these labs and getting yourself tested see: Boston Heart and Singulex.

Diabetes Type II

Diabetes Mellitus is a health condition where blood sugar levels are too high for too long, and is largely effected by diet. These chronically elevated blood sugar levels cause damage to arteries, vessels and tissues, leading to lack of blood flow and erectile dysfunction. Have your fasting blood sugar, insulin and HbA1C checked.

What can you do?

Improve your Diet

Cut the carbs. Avoid all simple carbs, refined carbs, and sugars such as cookies, pastries, pastas, breads, cereals, quick oats, white rice, packaged foods. Whole grains like quinoa or wild rice are fine in moderation.

Increase Anti-oxidant rich foods: berries, pomegranate, dark leafy greens, greens powder. Foods rich in color are rich in anti-oxidants!
Chose organic meats and dairy to avoid adding extra harmful hormones to your body. Keep red meat lean and no more than 3x per week, remove skin from chicken. Chose more wild fish like salmon, cod, and halibut.
Cut the caffeine. Watch out for those energy drinks, pre-workout drinks and other caffeinated beverages. Caffeine increases estrogen in men, as men age they already have a tendency to make too much estrogen. Too much estrogen is not good for your erections, your testosterone levels, your cardiovascular health or your prostate!  Keep coffee to no more then 3 cups per week.

Ask your doctor about your medications.

Be pro-active, know what you’re taking, is it working for you, and what are the safe alternatives. Be sure to consult with your doctor before discontinuing any medications, as rebound effects can be harmful if you’re not weaned off properly.

Natural Herbs & Nutrients

  • Gingko biloba: Increases circulation to body, brain and penis.
  • Tribulus terresteris:  Increases vasodilation and testosterone.
  • Lepidium peruvianum (Maca): Useful for those on SSRI anti-depressants, Lepidium increases testosterone release.
  • Garlic: Improves cholesterol, cardiovascular health and increases circulation.
  • L-Argenine + L-Citruline: increases nitric oxide causing vasodilation and better erections, like a natural viagra. Dosing is important: 1.5 grams of each daily for at least 6 weeks.
  • DHEA: can help optimize free testosterone and support healthy hormones.
  • Zinc + Copper: Helps to boost testosterone and sperm production
  • Omega 3 & 6: fish oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil all help to build testosterone, improve cardiovascular health and keeps the blood viscous thus helping circulation.

Balance your hormones

Have your sex hormones (testosterone, DHT, DHEA, estrogen) tested. If they come back low have a qualified doctor treat and monitor you on a well rounded bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (bHRT) program. Including testosterone therapy.

Evaluate your thyroid and adrenal health. Stress and thyroid play a big role in overall hormone health.

(1) Nunes KP, Labazi H, Webb RC. New insights into hypertension-associated erectile dysfunction. Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension. 2012;21(2):163–170.