Written by Dr. Brian Thornburg
Do you ever wake up in the morning feeling unrested, anxious, uncertain, and overwhelmed?
Or maybe you can’t even fall asleep to begin with. Or you stay up once you wake up in the middle of the night.
Being a parent, working, taking care of your aging parents, managing a house, being a good partner, remaining curious about life, and taking care of one’s self is a lot. Who can manage all this? No one. But no one tells you this.
You are expected, or rather you expect yourself, to manage everything gracefully.
Why? Because your mother did and her mother before that.
Until a generation ago many families had multigenerational help. The grandmothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandfathers were all around to help. We had community. Now we are in a brave new world of vertical silo solo parenting. Community is no longer a birthright.
The American experience of individuality that forged the Wild West has led us to move to new cities while leaving Aunt Gerty in Albuquerque. Truth, liberty and the American Way has led to loneliness, depression and exhaustion.
The reason the extended family worked so well, beyond the obvious assistance, camaraderie, experience, trust and communion, is we are wired to work, play, eat and relax together. Fortunately this wonderful synergy extends beyond the family.
(Image of Bayanihan. The traditional custom of an entire community moving a house.)
Positive interaction happens all the way from the atomic to the universal with us humans somewhere in the middle. We are designed to resonate with our surroundings. Nature sings when in harmony.
Social nourishment is just as important as cellular, self, family, community, environmental and species interactions. So how can natural harmony help you? The answer is self-care.
Stop and look at how you vibrate with your heart, mind, body and soul.
If the first paragraph strikes your emotional cords then you may have your priorities wrong, Here are a few ways to get your centering back:
2. Eat well.
3. Fish oil with omega 3/6/9 to stabilize the cell membrane.
4. Mitochondrial support vitamins and minerals, such as B complex, Magnesium, alpha lipoic acid, Manganese and Selenium, to help create power.
5. Glutathione and resveratrol to help reduce inflammation.
1. Go for a nature walk in the morning and evening barefoot.
2. Take a soothing mineral bath.
3. Breathing exercises.
4. Take a nap.
6. Drink herbal tea.
7. Eat green leafy vegetables.
5. Kind words.
6. Waste time with loved ones.
1. Learn and teach.
2. Journal and write.
3. Talk rather than text, email or social media.
4. Put your cell phone on airplane mode.
5. Create routines with friends and family.
6. Set clear boundaries.
Remember, there’s no need to rush! That would be contrary to the point of this article. So go at your own pace. Do as much or as little as feels comfortable to you. Most importantly, be consistent.
Allow yourself to sing in how you move, speak and act.
Our bodies are remarkable at warding off germs and microbes that lead to sickness. However, with school starting it is certain that our children will likely get some exposure to germs that cause sickness. We can take certain steps to help ensure our body stays in fighting shape to keep those viruses, bad bacteria, and other microbes at bay.
- Sleep: Adequate rest will provide your child’s body the time it needs to regenerate, repair, and replenish.
- Eat well: Soldiers require food to march and your child’s immune system is no different. Inspiring your children to eat healthy will give their body the nourishment necessary to wage a winning war against germs.
- Stress: As parents we get pretty stressed out making sure we are ready for the first day of school. It’s important that we don’t project our stress onto our children. Take a moment to be present with your child and enjoy this important milestone moment. When the body is stressed the body down regulates the immune system and slows down digestion too which further allows toxins to build up in the body. If you find yourself in a whirlwind, take a deep breath and a moment of pause.
- Washing hands: An oft overlooked fundamental to stopping the spread of germs is to wash hands regularly. Living and teaching everyday healthy hygiene habits are paramount to a lifetime good health and wellness.
- Supplements: There is no magic here. These are the same foundational supplements that support overall health and wellness that we recommend daily.
- Pure Fish Oil: Omega-3s are not only helpful in fighting inflammation which is usually a symptom of an over active immune system, but it also appears that omega-3’s enhance the effect of germ fighting T cells and B cells.
- intraKid or intraMax: These two liquid multi-vitamins are more than just a multi-vitamin. There are hundreds of essential ingredients rich in carbon, oxygen, and fulvic acid designed to support metabolic, endocrine, cognitive, immune, GI, cellular, respiratory, skin, bone, muscle, and digestive health. This is a solid foundation to build from.
- Chewable Probiotics: These are our naturally cherry flavored chewable tablets containing 25 Billion CFUs of eight different strains of beneficial bacteria recommended for children who can chew and that are two years of age or older. The gut is where 70-80% of your immune system is located. This is the front line of health and wellness and it is a war zone. Probiotics, healthy diet, reduced exposure to toxins, and reduced reliance on antibiotics can all support a healthy gut.
- Vitamin D3 Drops: Vitamin D3 is a vitamin that gets lots of press these days because of continuing research into its effects and benefits on the body. In addition to helping build stronger bones and teeth by supporting calcium absorption vitamin D3 is also showing promise in cancer protection and immune support including reducing the duration and severity of cold/flu.
“Helping Our School-Age Children Sleep Better” is an article published in the New York Times that clearly belongs in the scientific journal of “Duh.” I will summarize the key points if you are short on time to read the full article.
The struggle to get children to bed is real and it doesn’t end at six months, or even six years! New research shows that sleep strategy interventions work to get children to sleep faster and longer. Even as little as an additional 18 minutes of sleep a night impacted grades.
A time for everything under the sun. The results of the research shows “parents (need) to make the rules and routines clear.”
Disclaimer: What works for one parent may not work for another. This is a license to try different techniques. As parent and a person we grow and so do our perspectives. What I am offering is a perspective that has evolved over the years through experience, training, research, and practice.
First of all, children don’t rule the roost. Children need rules like they need play. Children require routine and a fair bit of predictability. When my children arrive home they know it is time to change their uniforms and put them in the washer for the next day, before homework they may have a snack, then backpacks are prepared for the next day as are lunches. We set each other up for success.
The NY Time article puts particular focus on the transition years of 4-6 which coincide with a child starting school. For these children it is particularly helpful to talk with them before bed and after dinner about the next day. You can pick out clothes for the next day together, choose breakfast together, and make lunch together. Don’t leave anything to the unknown so that they know what to expect.
Have a great academic year ahead!
DATE: October 20th
TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
RSVP: Click link to RSVP
TICKETS: $25 or $40 for couples
Vaccines: Making Informed Decisions for Your Family is a science meets common sense lecture based on 15 years of research and practice in pediatric medicine by J. Brian Thornburg, MSM, DO, FAAP.
Dr. Thornburg created this lecture to fulfill a critical need for informed consent whereby families will develop a better understanding of the history, culture, and documented side effects of vaccines as well as the diseases they aim to eradicate.
The current healthcare system doesn’t allow for time for parents to discuss their concerns and options with their physicians. This in-depth lecture will provide information, resources and a chance to answer questions to help parents make informed vaccination decisions for their families.
It’s highly probable that you have some awareness of probiotics with all the gut talk currently flooding health talks, journals, and blogs. If not, here’s a quick snapshot: Probiotics are the good bacteria in our gut that aid in breaking down our foods.
The health benefits of probiotics are truly worthy of continued mass discussion as it combats nasty bacteria while releasing a profusion of life-enriching nutrients and system support. It is why taking care of our gut should transcend periodic webinars and articles.
Incorporating practical ways in your daily life to promote the probiotic population in your gut is easier done than said. Here are the three probiotic-packed foods we love to help you get started.
Some foods organically contain probiotics, and others receive a boost through the sophisticated process known as fermentation. The fusion of kombucha (fermented sweet tea) and yogurt (fermented milk) tops our list of preferred probiotic foods we recommend.
On their own, kombucha and yogurt are two, effective “good guy bacteria”-packed foods that can improve your health. Together, they are a dynamic source for wellness. Tip: Most brands of yogurt have been pasteurized, killing their probiotic properties. Look for brands labeled ‘live yogurt’ or ‘cultured yogurt’.
The next time you go to an Asian restaurant be on the lookout for this scrumptious probiotic-packed side! Kimchi is a popular Korean dish made from cabbage and other veggies, lightly sprinkled with salt and other spices. Its simple ingredients make it easy to make at home on your own.
Packed with vitamins A and C, and minerals such as magnesium, calcium and selenium, kimchi is a probiotic rockstar in helping maintain optimal gut health. You can eat it in different ways: mixed with soups, as a burger topping, scrambled with eggs, or over a bed of rice.
Probiotic-rich sauerkraut is a superfood due in large part to the gut-supporting lactic acid bacteria created during the fermentation process. Similar to kimchi, it’s mainly a combination of cabbage and salt.
Many people choose to spread this sour and salty treat on top of sausages or use it as a side dish. As one of the oldest traditional foods, sauerkraut is rich in vitamins and fiber and should be bought unpasteurized or made at home to retain its probiotic power.
Whether you consume probiotics in food or as a supplement, increasing your fermented food intake will benefit your body and overall health. We do, however, recommend introducing these superfoods slowly to allow your system to adjust. Let us know in the comments below if you have or will try any of these!
“We eat what feels good but not necessarily what makes us feel good.” In his most recent webinar, “Nothing Gut the Truth,” Dr. Thornburg expertly breaks down the truth about gut bacteria and your health.
If you’re just starting or in the middle of your health journey, then this is the perfect time for a gut check. Here are five facts about gut health you should know.
The Gastrointestinal (GI) Tract is similar to a tunnel going through a mountain.
The tract, unattached to our body, is just a tube passing through us and our bodies’ job is to extract nutrients from the food passing through “the tunnel.” From good and bad bacteria, yeast, and acid to parasites and toxins, the tract has to decide who’s friend or foe and what to invite into our system.
Once in, it flows to the liver and blood. Unhealthy GI tracts are developed based on our diet and lifestyle, which reduces protection from diseases and cause inflammation and chronic illnesses.
Your gut bacteria produces 90% of all your serotonin.
Serotonin, our “happy” hormone, is produced in the GI tract. From there, it travels to the brain and has it influence. This explains why the foods we eat have a direct impact on our mood. If we are eating unhealthy foods and don’t have good bacteria in our gut, our production level of serotonin becomes reduced, eventually leading to an avalanche of health issues.
Our health choices can alter our genes.
Diets and lifestyles can change the expression of our genes by influencing a network of chemical switches within our cell collectively known as epigenetics. The way we choose to eat and live affects how our genes are expressed. These choices, if unhealthy, is the basis for all chronic disease. Just because it’s in our genes doesn’t necessarily mean we have to inherit it.
Processed foods are interpreted by the gut as “attackers”.
Studies show that high carb/high sugar diets, which typically comprises processed foods, amplify inflammation and lead to a host of diseases. Replacing processed foods with prebiotic and probiotic foods is a good pivot to make to increase your gut health. For example, fiber is a prebiotic that bacteria converts to healthy chemicals for nourishment, which also help prevent colon cancer.
Altering bacteria in the gut through specific diets helps treat stress-related and neurodevelopmental disorders.
In functional medicine, the healing process for leaky gut syndrome, which is caused by bad bacteria, requires the 5 R’s: removing, replacing, reestablishing, repairing, and rebalancing. By effectively balancing the right bacteria, enzymes, and acids in the gut, we can heal our gut and positively influence our overall health outlook.
Dr. Thornburg has dedicated his career to providing personalized, patient care for families to live their best, healthy existence. Stay connected and be the first to know about upcoming webinars and wellness tips by subscribing to our newsletter.