Don’t Be So Sensitive

Empowered Sensitive WomanIf you’ve ever heard, “Don’t be so sensitive,” you know it’s like saying to someone, “Don’t have blue eyes.”

The term, “highly sensitive people,” applies to about 20 percent of the population. Highly sensitive people are actually wired differently to have more acute senses, like touch, sight, sound, and to have greater empathy. A couple of the upsides of this greater awareness is an ability to sense danger before others and to enjoy nature’s beauty to a deeper degree.

High sensitivity has actually been found in all species. It’s basically a survival mechanism. When a school of fish was observed in a river, a few of them would stay closer to the river banks. The more brazen fish would swim into the middle of the river and get the tastiest morsels. However, when the river was lower, they had to swim down a waterfall to get food. Their predators were waiting for them below and they were snatched up. Fortunately, the more sensitive fish were still upstream and able to repopulate the school of fish.

Human civilization has revered the highly sensitive among us for centuries due to their insights, wisdom, intuition, and other gifts like clairaudience, clairvoyance and clairsentience. Not everyone who is highly sensitive has tapped into these gifts, but those who have are certain to be highly sensitive.

As human beings became more technologically oriented, industrialized, and competitive, the highly sensitive person became marginalized by society. Those who didn’t fit the extroverted, sales-oriented model of upward mobility were disregarded as misfits. This left many of us feeling like we didn’t belong or there was something wrong with us. Many of us “faked it ‘til we made it,” which often extracted a high price in terms of our health and sense of well-being.

The world often seems like it’s spinning out of control these days. Fear and violence are running rampant. It’s a time when old institutions and outmoded thinking are being turned upside down. People are looking for guidance.

The synchronicity of a new focus on highly sensitive people is no accident. It’s our time now. Most of us seek peace and harmony. We can bring that to those who are confused and frightened. We can be the light we were meant to be. I encourage anyone who feels the pull to follow your intuition and sense of purpose. The world needs you now more than you know. Above all, be sensitive!

Find out whether you or a loved one is highly sensitive when you attend my talk, Learn What It Means to be Highly Sensitive and How It Affects Relationships on January 21, 2017 – 10:30 a.m. at The Center at Westwoods, 590 Gay Street, Westwood, MA 02090. Register here.

Why Self Care Isn’t Easy

Have you ever listened to yourself? I mean really listened. If, like most of us, you find plenty of judgment and self-criticism bubbling up, the idea of routinely doing something nice for ourselves doesn’t last.

It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy—we think we deserve no better than what our critical voice says, so if we stretch beyond that comfort zone, we get backtalk like, “Who do you think you are…?” “You’re being a bit self-centered, don’t you think?” I’m sure you could tap into a steady stream of reasons not to put yourself first.

Self Care in Small Steps

Here’s the thing—you don’t have to change how you live all at once. You don’t even have to start with something spectacular, because you’re not likely to keep it up. Just as we can keep ourselves locked into unsupportive behaviors, we can begin to build up a foundation of uplifting behaviors starting with the easiest activity that only slightly stretches our comfort zone.

Think about meditating for 5 minutes every morning before getting up. Maybe you could do some deep breathing at work on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You might take a walk at lunchtime. Reward yourself with a monthly massage that helps you detoxify and drains the lymph system. How about writing down three things you’re grateful for before turning out the light?

Pick one self care practice and stick to it for at least three weeks before adding another. You will begin to feel better about you and more deserving of self care. Like learning to ride a bicycle, suddenly no one is holding on and you’re freely riding all by yourself!

Enjoy… the little things do make a difference.

self care ripples expanding

Start a kindness ripple. A simple gesture of opening a door, squeezing a hand, or giving a thoughtful gift that warms the heart spreads from the receiver to the next person they feel inspired to touch with kindness. That person will pass it on to the next and the next and it will ripple out infinitely. Just that one simple gesture has such immense power…

Toss These 5 Products to Protect Your Health

First, what you do with the information below is up to you. I know when I first learned about the myriad of products that may be harmful to my health I was overwhelmed. That’s not the intention of this blog. I’m going to expose a few of the offending home products that contain harsh chemicals to help you get started on your pathway to better health.

toss these products

Most of these products are cancer causing or contribute to diseases like Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, Endometriosis, ADHD, Autism, and the list goes on. The good news is a few simple actions we take at home can greatly reduce our toxic exposures. We also don’t have to live an austere life to avoid some products that might switch on genes vulnerable to these diseases.

Start with what makes the most sense to you and think about making the switch to healthier versions of these products:

1. Plastic food and beverage containers

Plastic food and beverage containers tend to leach chemicals like hormone-disrupting BPA and phthalates. Extreme heat or simply long-term use makes contamination more likely. Play it safe and avoid plastics at home, replacing them with glass or stainless-steel containers.

2. Conventional cosmetics

The American cosmetic industry uses more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals, including over 1,400 chemicals banned or restricted in personal care products by the European Union.

Women use an average of 12 products containing 168 different ingredients daily. Many cosmetic chemicals are designed to penetrate into the skin’s inner layers, which they do. Most of us now have industrial plasticizers called phthalates; parabens, which are preservatives; and persistent fragrance components like musk xylene in our bodies. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s website for more information.

3. Vinyl shower curtains

Vinyl, or PVC, is considered one of the most toxic products we use. Often made from chemicals like lead, mercury, and phthalates, its creation, use, and disposal contaminates the environment. Once exposed to your shower’s heat and humidity, these chemicals enter the air you breathe, so consider swapping your vinyl curtain with one made of certified organic cotton or get a glass enclosure.

4. Microwavable popcorn

Microwavable popcorn bags are often coated with PFCs (perfluorochemicals)—a class of chemicals widely used in water, grease, and stain repellents. PFCs have been linked to cancer, hypothyroidism, birth defects, and immune issues. Homemade organic popcorn with organic or hormone-free butter and Celtic or Himalayan sea salt tastes much better. An air popper is quick and easy to use, too!

5. Air fresheners

Advertisers have convinced Americans that we need their products to mask natural scents in our homes. Unless we have rotting food or other problem odors, such products are really unnecessary. Both aerosols and plug-in air fresheners often contain hundreds of chemicals. Largely unregulated by the FDA, these ingredients are anyone’s guess. Even air deodorizers labeled green, unscented, or all natural can emit hazardous chemicals, particularly hormone-disrupting phthalates.

As America’s toxic chemical soup continues to expand, people are becoming more and more sensitive to off-gassing from these products. Some people seem to be the canaries in the coal mine. Something that is a minor irritation to one may become a life-threatening exposure to another. It benefits us all to use the increasing list of options that are both safe and effective.

How to Know if Your Home Products are Safe

Good health is built upon a lifetime of daily habits, but what if our well-intentioned habits aren’t really so healthy after all? By taking a closer look at household cleaning products, we can take an important step toward an environment that supports a long and healthy life.
Healthy home productsYou might think reading labels is just too much to add when our lives are already so complex and harried. But the Environmental Working Group says US laws allow manufacturers to use almost any ingredients in cleaning products, including known carcinogens and toxic substances that can harm a developing fetus or infant. The Environmental Protection Agency regulates only cleaning products that contain registered pesticides.

This means many cleaning supplies currently on our closet shelves contain chemicals that could trigger allergic reactions, asthma attacks, skin or eye irritations, and are carcinogenic—and those chemicals aren’t necessarily on the label. If this raises concerns, buy only products whose manufacturers voluntarily list their ingredients and ensure the following chemicals are not in the product:

  • Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, may be listed as a preservative or it could be released by other preservatives like citrus or pine oil.
  • Sodium borate (borax, boric acid) may be added to cleaning products as a cleaning agent or enzyme stabilizer, and can disrupt our hormonal systems.
  • Chloroform, a suspected carcinogen, may escape in the fumes released by products with chlorine bleach.
  • 1,4-dioxane, is a common contaminant in detergents and is a suspected carcinogen.
  • Found in antibacterial spray cleaners and fabric softeners, Benzalkonium chloride can cause asthma.

If You Suspect Your Products

Instead, you may want to check for products that are green-certified or simply use vinegar and baking soda for cleaning. More health tips to follow in upcoming newsletters, along with an exciting new 6-week Deep Clean for Radical Health Program in February that will help you simply and easily rid your body of toxins and boost your immune system and energy.

What Makes Us Sick and How to Get Well

Our society has become incredibly fast-paced and stressful as workloads and money pressures increase, the digital world explodes, and we’re bombarded with greater images of violence and abuse in the media. We seem to be sick more often.

Avoid being sick

We are also contending with a less visible, but even more disturbing trend that includes deadly toxins in our food, air and water, extreme weather patterns of global warming, EMFs (Electronic Magnetic Frequencies) running through our own energetic bodies and more.

Many of us, especially Highly Sensitive People, are aware that we’ve reached the tipping point and change is imperative. Our hope lies in old and new concepts alike, such as locally-grown organic food, sustainability, environmental protection and awareness, more community housing, shared resources and the hope of greater ideas yet to come.

But how do we survive the transitional time? Highly Sensitive People are often referred to as the Canaries in the Coal Mine. “The toxins and stress have pushed our bodies into a situation that many doctors have never seen in human history,” according to Harry Hong, LAc. “The high toxin accumulation and stressed healing ability trigger hypersensitivity of the immune system.”

More and more allergies and auto-immune diseases have shown up in recent years. Hong explains, “The new pattern of diseases such as the Five A’s (Asthma, Allergy, Autism, ADHD and Auto-Immune), as well as fatigue, insomnia, digestive, hormonal and emotional problems are the result of toxins, malfunction of the immune system and stressed healing ability.

When we follow the research more deeply, we find that many cleansing pathways of the body have been compromised by a variety of toxins, from detergents containing estrogen-mimicking hormones to the Glyphosate that infiltrates our food through GMO crops and harvesting practices to heavy metals, parasites and more.

Beginning with the gut, the internal environment these toxins create harms our microbiome (bacteria that outnumber our cells by 10 to 1), leading to Leaky Gut. This means food particles leak into the bloodstream and inflammation occurs. We not only develop food sensitivities, but may develop rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, diabetes, Crohn’s and other chronic illnesses. The high incidence of cardiac failure, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s and other Western diseases all correlate with modern industrialized practices that interfere with our ability to live a robust, healthy life and not be sick all the time.

We have life-long changes we can make to help mitigate the stresses on our bodies, but most of us need a deep clean to get us feeling well enough to continue implementing the changes that will keep us healthy.

A deep clean means addressing what we eat, correcting our sleep patterns, practicing daily cleanse techniques, knowing how to shop for food and kitchenware, using tried and true methods to clear out the toxic gunk hidden in our fat cells, and learning just the right pace to add in cleansing techniques that keep us feeling well while clearing and dissolving bad bacteria, toxins and parasites.

This may be a big chunk to absorb if you haven’t really thought about it before. But the process can be simple and safe with the right guide to show you the steps.

If you’re intrigued or know someone who might be able to benefit from this or future articles on what makes us sick and how to get well, please share this article. More information will follow over the next couple of months as I invite you to consider joining my new science-based program in January, Deep Clean Your Way to Robust Health.