Healthy Concepts

Saving is the first step. Next is to decide how to protect your savings and make them last.

When discussing retirement, there are dozens of questions you can ask yourself. Do you want immediate access to your money or do you want guaranteed income over your lifetime? Keep in mind guarantees are based on the financial strength and claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Are you concerned how long your retirement savings are going to last you? Do you want to harness the market to potentially grow your retirement assets or would you want to be more conservative?

Working through these questions with a financial professional is the first step to building a confident retirement. There are no right or wrong answers to the questions, it’s about finding a strategy that works for you and your loved ones so you can build the retirement you’ve dreamt about.

Having a solid framework for creating and protecting your income in retirement is one of the keys to your success.

There are three main things you should consider when creating a retirement income strategy:

  1. Growth — Think about your ability to potentially grow assets to help protect against inflation, a key issue when saving for long-term needs. You should also consider strategies to replenish income sources by periodically harvesting assets when market conditions are appropriate.
  2. Guarantees — Consider a strategy with a guaranteed income stream. This will help cover essential expenses that you would have a hard time adjusting or reducing.
  3. Near term — Have a pool of money for immediate enjoyment and expenses. This can be used to cover discretionary expenses with a buffer of accessible funds. This is where your “fun money” can come from including travel, entertainment, hobbies and gifts.

Finding the right balance for your risk tolerance and lifestyle choices is essential. The asset mix you choose as you allocate your retirement assets can be completely customized to your specifications. Whether you want the protection of guaranteed income or whether you’re looking to grow assets aggressively, finding the right allocation for you is most important.

Retirement assets are an important part of a healthy financial strategy. Make sure you think about how you will spend the money you worked so hard to save. 

 

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month women are often bombarded with reminders to get their yearly mammograms. At the same time, we continue to hear conflicting stories in the media about their safety, and even efficacy (as studies repeatedly find that mammograms have no apparent impact on mortality rates). It can be quite confusing for all of us. That’s why I’d like to educate you about a clinical procedure called thermography.

What is thermography?

Thermography is painless, noninvasive, radiation-free clinical imaging — with FDA-medically approved cameras — of the breasts or any other bodily region that reveals the thermal abnormalities present in the body. Thermography is used as part of an early detection program for breast, arterial, cardiovascular, digestive and lymph diseases.

These health screenings should be performed by board-certified thermographers and typically take 15-20 minutes. Scans are then interpreted by medical doctors who are board certified in thermology. The patient is provided with a written report in a timely manner thereafter.

I am a firm believer that inflammation is the root cause of cancer and most chronic health problems today. That is why I feel strongly about thermography — these scans detect inflammation in the body with amazing accuracy and no radiation. Plus, detecting health problems in the early stages affords extra time to address health issues.

Consider these key points from William C. Amalu, DC, DABCT, DIACT, FIACT, a board-certified clinical thermologist and thermology fellow with the International Academy of Clinical Thermology:

  • Breast thermography has the ability to detect the first signs that a cancer may be forming up to 10 years before any other procedure can detect it.
  • Extensive clinical trials have shown that breast thermography significantly augments the long-term survival rates of its recipients by as much as 61 percent.
  • An abnormal thermogram is 10 times more significant as a future risk indicator for breast cancer than a first order family history of the disease.
  • When used as part of a multimodal approach (clinical examination + mammography + thermography), 95 percent of early stage cancers will be detected.

These are promising statements for sure.

And, there’s more good news

If a thermography shows inflammation, there are preventative measures one can take to support their health:

  • Change your diet (avoid inflammatory foods)
  • Reduce stress
  • Watch your pH levels
  • Exercise
  • Take vitamin D and other breast health supplements

Natural Healthy Concepts is pleased to host thermography clinics through Lakeshore Medical Thermography right here in our Appleton store. Call 920-207-3959 if you have questions or would like to sign up for our October 13 or December 8 sessions. 

 

Alpacas are native to South America, where they live in the high mountainous regions of Chile, Bolivia, and Peru. Their largest import to the US occurred from 1984-1998, according to Alpaca Registry, Inc. Since that time, the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association estimates that the North American Alpaca Herd has grown to over 100,000 animals.

These versatile animals were designed to survive extreme temperatures, both cold and hot. Part of their fiber is hollow. The air pocket inside their hollow-core fiber provides alpacas with Mother Nature’s insulation.

In cold temperatures, the hollow hair traps an alpaca’s body heat, surrounding them in a protective barrier of warmth. The only time an alpaca feels the winter cold is when the wind blows, separating their fiber and breaking through their layer of insulation. Alpaca fleece has even been used in sub-zero temperatures to prevent emergency communication electronics from seizing up. George Meyer of RJM AutoElectrics in Mount Isa, Australia is a specialist in arctic conditions and materials suitable for use in extreme environments. He says “There is only one other natural material that rivals alpaca fleece for its warmth, but it is very hard to get hold of, polar bear fur.” (Alpacas Australia Magazine, Winter 2004) Yes, polar bears also have hair that is hollow. Mother Nature’s Insulation can also be found on caribou, white-tailed deer, and antelope.

Alpaca fiber is equally effective at keeping you cool when the weather heats up. The air pockets act as insulation against the heat. This keeps your body temperature cooler than your surroundings. Simply stated, in summer it blocks the heat out. In winter, it keeps the heat in. This concept is sometimes difficult to grasp, but if you think of alpaca fleece like the insulation in the walls of your home, it becomes easier to understand.

When alpaca fleece is made into a finished garment, it retains its wonderful insulating properties. A person wearing alpaca clothing experiences better temperature regulation, leading to a better quality of life. Everyone can benefit from the natural insulation provided by alpaca clothing, but it is especially helpful for people with circulatory problems. Persons living with health conditions such as Raynaud’s Syndrome, diabetes, arthritis, and hormonal imbalance can benefit greatly by wearing alpaca clothing. Maintaining a constant core body temperature is also critical for the elderly, cancer patients, and those who have suffered traumatic injuries. (Raynaud’s Association, American Diabetes Association, Cancer Survivor’s Association)

Harvesting alpaca fleece is done by shearing the alpaca with an electric shears. Shearing is done by professionals who are trained in proper care of the alpaca and its fleece. After shearing, the fleece is ready for processing. Alpaca fleece is a renewable natural resource. Regular shearing is important to maintaining healthy alpacas. For alpacas living in Wisconsin, the best time to shear is in late spring. Once they are sheared the alpacas continue growing more fleece. This allows them to attain 1 ½ to 2 inches of fleece growth before winter arrives again. The fiber that is harvested is made into clothing, allowing us to enjoy the insulation that has helped alpacas survive for hundreds of years. So, the next time you feel too hot or too cold, remember Mother Nature’s insulation ­— alpaca fleece. 


References: Raynaud’s Association. www.raynauds.org.

American Diabetes Association. www.diabetes.org.

Cancer Survivor’s Association. www.cancersurvive.org.

A video has been circulating the news of a cheer coach forcing the young girls he coaches into the splits; forcibly holding them down so they will increase flexibility. First off, this is the exact wrong way to gain flexibility and the end result for one of the girls is permanent damage (which is why this is on the news). But this story brings up an extremely important point for everyone in sports and fitness: question your coach!

In our current culture, everyone is an expert. Just ask them! There are constant ads on Facebook with fitness tips and never-ending articles on “this is the best stretch ever.” The problem is that most of these ads and articles are not peer reviewed, they are simply one person’s opinion and may or may not have any background in credible research. Why is that a problem? You as the consumer could be training with someone who is really good at marketing themselves (after all, they are an expert!) but doesn’t actually have the health knowledge to train you safely. Like the cheer coach who defended his stretching method as “that’s how I was taught” your trainer may be using out-of-date techniques or only have one set of techniques to choose from and the end result will be your injury.

Things to ask when selecting an exercise professional to help you reach your goals:

  • What degrees do they have and from where? This will give you an idea of their base knowledge. For example, my PhD is in injury prevention for musicians so before I started my fitness journey I already had a background in how the body works and an understanding of movement mechanics. This knowledge could then be applied to fitness when I switched industries.
  • What certifications do they have? I’ll let you in on a secret, fitness certifications are often a money grab for the person running the course. The governing accreditation bodies get paid to let a new certification course qualify, so they are making money by certifying a new instructor certification course. So what does that mean? Many of the instructor certification courses are not actually good. But you as the consumer want a fitness professional who has taken numerous certifications because it shows that the coach is trying to gain a wide knowledge base. For example, I’ve taken three “Aerial Yoga” instructor certification courses. One of them was outstanding, I learned a ton about the body under gravity and advanced spotting technique when using the hammock. One was a good list of the moves but didn’t really teach me how to teach or break anything down. And the last was plain bad where the practices being taught were simply unsafe. If I had only taken the last one, that would have been my only knowledge base but since I had taken multiple I could draw different pieces from each to create my own “best practice” aerial yoga program.
  • Do they continue to learn? The fitness industry is changing. Our knowledge base is changing as we learn more about the body. You want to work with a trainer who is constantly learning the newest techniques and reading the most current research. For example, 15 years ago we taught static stretching as the warmup but have since learned through EMG research that holding a stretch for a length of time without movement actually decreased the muscle function after for a period of time. For this reason we now do dynamic stretching and movement based warmups that encourage muscle function. You want to work with a fitness professional who is continually broadening their knowledge base with the most up-to-date research in the field.
  • How long have they practiced that sport or exercise? The longer someone has practiced, in theory, the more they know. For example, this year was my 10 year “pole-aversary”; I’ve been spinning for 10 years! This length of time has taught me an insane number of tricks and variations. It has also given me the opportunity to work with multiple different body shapes and types to figure out a ton of solutions for common problems. Because I’ve been in the sport so long, if you are struggling with something I likely have seen the problem or a variation of the problem before so I can address it quickly and with a lot of different options. The longer you practice a sport the more tips and tricks you learn. So studying with a teacher who has done the sport for years is going to benefit you.

Just because someone says they are an expert, don’t believe them. Ask about their qualifications! Ask them about what they are doing to keep learning. It isn’t disrespectful to ask if they are qualified. I personally love when someone asks me about my qualifications because I’ve worked really hard to be an authority in my field. I will happily show you the latest research I’m reading and talk to you about why I teach the way I do because I’ve put so much thought into it. It is your body. You have a right to know a lot about the background of the person who is going to help guide you in your fitness journey. 

 

In my seasoned years, I reflect back and wonder how I managed to make it this far not knowing what I now know. I can say with confidence most of the readers can relate.

The concept of prayer that was imprinted on me as a child was limited to a memorized prayer before meals and at bedtime. Prayer then later developed into asking for what I wanted and prayer was needed to deliver me from any of my uncomfortable experiences.

When I was a young teen, life had become unbearable. My concept of an answered prayer was that someone would come down and swoop me up and save me. I found myself beginning to visualize what a perfect life would look like right down to the white picket fence in the country. I held that vision when I prayed, held the vision periodically throughout the day and held it close to my heart. My outside world had not changed, but I had begun to change inside. The prayer was answered, including a white fence that manifested as a white corral! I had no idea what I was doing let alone where the idea came from!

When I was introduced to meditation in my late 40s, I balked in complete fear; my fear of meditation lay in the belief that I would be duped and lose my soul. The rebel part of me leaned into what the outer world warned me against. It was during this introduction of meditation that I began to feel a deeper sense of peace and self-worth. Intention came into my awareness a short time later, tying prayer and meditation into a perfect package.

In 2000, my life took a major turn that set my ho-hum existence in a direction I could have never imagined. Everything I knew about prayer could fit in a thimble; meditation and intention even less. In the unfolding of life and learning, I discovered that I had been incorporating all three, and I knew more than I thought. I learned through my classes and by reading many books by world spiritual leaders that the word prayer is not used in the Bible but was a translation from early texts in the ancient Aramaic and Hebrew language meaning “commune.” Communing meant I needed to shut up with the endless requests and listen for a return reply. A beautiful relationship was rekindled reminding me of my teen years — asking for assistance to move through the experience, to be willing to ponder and allow for it to settle into your heart and then move into action. To be delivered isn’t a “get out of jail free card,” rather it is an opportunity to see the world differently.

Prayer in its simplest definition is a petitioning. Meditation is to reflect upon and intention is your action plan. By blending all three: 1. you ask, 2. wait for an answer that may come through the act of meditation or other avenues, and 3. take action. Most people approach prayer, meditation and intention as separate practices, and /or have their own style of practicing.

In the fall of 2015, one of my teachers and mentors, Dr. Michael Ulm, embarked on his continuing healing journey that not only changed his life, but the lives of many others. Dr. Michael Ulm, a remarkable healer in his own right and founder of All Light Ministries, enrolled in an extraordinary doctorate program. His dissertation, “Prayer in the 21st Century”: a research study to examine the effects of prayer, began in 2014 and was completed this past July. Unity of Appleton, Unity Church of Sheboygan and Unity of Eau Claire were active experiment participants in the dissertation either as community Prayer Agents or Prayer Recipients.

In this experiment, one church group prayed for another group for one of several weeks. The groups picked one of three weeks to pray for the other group and then the Prayer Agents and Prayer Recipients were thoroughly surveyed before and after. The results are beyond anything the dissertation board or the All Light Healing Ministries could have imagined. Dr. Michael Ulm and I will be visiting these church communities in October sharing with them firsthand the results. We welcome everyone to join us in hearing the miraculous results prior to the publishing of these results later this fall. Dr. Michael Ulm will be speaking at Unity of Appleton on Sunday, October 29 with special healing services held October 28 and 29. Please visit www.unityofappleton.com or www.michaelulm.weebly.com to confirm times and location. 

Quantum Neuro Reset Therapy (QNRT) focuses on the adverse emotional experiences that have a direct link to physical concerns and unwanted behaviors. QNRT helps the brain become more balanced, less stressed, and unburdened by negative life patterns that lead to physical concerns and high risk behavior.

QNRT is designed to identify the root cause of the problem in the control center, which is the brain. Research and countless studies have shown over the years that emotional stress is the number one factor in illness. There are four major factors that contribute to brain dysregulation, with emotional stress being the No. 1 contributor along with genetics, disease and physical trauma.

The Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. Adverse childhood experiences can be anything from abuse, tragic loss, divorce or parental separation, the perception of abuse or danger, or the perception of not feeling loved. The ACE study findings suggest that certain experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life in the United States. The ACE study explains the relevance of long-term unresolved emotional stress. This applies to adults and teenagers who experience emotional traumas as children and now later may be suffering physical and emotional symptoms. The traumatic event becomes locked in the nervous system (subconscious neurology). The brain will now interpret anything that it perceives as similar to the event in any way as a danger. This explains why some people overreact to situations and have unrealistic fears.

The brain is the control center for our body, so it all starts here. The negative thoughts and actions develop strong pathways in the brain, which can be linked to previous adverse emotional experiences. The unresolved emotional stress — whether remembered or not — now becomes the biggest factor in brain dysregulation. Technology can reveal and document those imbalances in the brain. We can see specific changes in the brain wave patterns measured with an EEG for people who have past and present emotional traumas.

The brain stores a message in the limbic system for future reference to anything that might appear similar to a previous type of danger. The limbic system cannot distinguish the difference between a painful physical event or a painful emotional event. Under stress, the body will start to break down. Our nervous system was not designed to handle prolonged stress of any kind without physical changes and possible symptoms ensuing. This a fact that will repeat over and over.

QNRT works to release the individual adverse emotional experience that has been identified through evaluation of the stress factors of the brain/body connection.

QNRT works to reprogram the coping mechanism that has been built from the adverse emotional experiences. These ancillary patterns are ways of surviving emotional trauma by using false beliefs, negative life patterns and/or unwanted core drivers.

QNRT works to reset the brain and neurological pathways to all areas of the body so that the individual can break free from the tangle that has been created in the nervous system. This approach assists clients to overcome traumas and make long-lasting positive changes.

A certified QNRT practitioner learns to read and interpret the brain/body connection and can identify specific brain lobes and body tissues that are being adversely affected, along with the time and event just by completing the QNRT evaluation.

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start now and make a brand new ending. 

A diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, usually hypertension (high blood pressure) or dyslipidemia (elevated cholesterol), often marks the beginning of a person taking multiple medications. Taking many medications is not only difficult but also expensive to maintain. Medications also quite often bring on drug-induced nutrient depletions, due to the actions of the medications used. With the potential problems of unaddressed cardiovascular disease and the adverse effects of the medications used to treat this disease, many individuals attempt to address their cardiovascular issues with nutritional options.

However, before looking at nutritional supplements, we need to look at lifestyle changes. Poor diets with too much hydrogenated fat from processed fats, or too little essential fatty acids, can bring about cardiovascular disease. Daily exercise is essential to help protect the heart and prevent cardiovascular disease. Minimizing stress and good weight management are also critical to good heart health. Once cardiovascular disease has been diagnosed, lifestyle and diet changes are absolutely critical to minimize medication use.

When it comes to lowering lipid levels, there are many nutritional products that have proven helpful. Berberine is an herbal product that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels comparable to statin drugs, and also to lower blood sugar and insulin levels comparable to the prescription drug metformin. Red yeast rice has a long history of being helpful for lowering high cholesterol. Magnesium has been shown to decrease lipid factors. When magnesium is taken with coenzyme Q10, a heart protectant, it has also been shown to improve heart stamina. Finally, healthy omega-3 oils help to offset harmful fats and oils, and decrease overall body inflammation.

Looking at the heart vessels and vasculature in the body, a number of products have been found to help keep blood vessels open, and minimize hypertension caused by small, occluded vessels. Hawthorn berry extract has been recognized for centuries as a potent cardiovascular tonic, improving the function of the heart and circulatory system. When addressing cardiovascular disease such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure, it may require multiple nutritional supplements to thoroughly manage these problems. 

 

We have all heard that America is a melting pot. People from cultures all over the world blend together as one, and the Fox Cities is no different. In fact, 17 percent of our total population is made up of minorities. According to A Community Assessment for the Fox Cities of Wisconsin, from 2006 to 2014 minority populations in our area grew by 2.4 percent on average.

There is something to be said about a community that values diversity. Communities are at their strongest when everyone feels valued, have support to reach their potential and can fully participate in society. That is why it is important to embrace a culture of an inclusive society.

Successful immigrant integration builds communities that are:

  • Cohesive: A vibrant society shared and valued by established and newcomer residents of different experiences, histories, ethnicities and backgrounds.
  • Revitalized: A revitalization of declining communities through the contributions of immigrant families working in tandem with their U.S.-born neighbors.
  • Inclusive: Communities welcome and embrace all dimensions of diversity and celebrate the rich cultural fabric of our society.
  • Globally connected: Increased productivity and a robust global economy through an expanded base of multilingual and multicultural workers, consumers, taxpayers and entrepreneurs.
  • Vibrant democracies: A social and cultural environment in which all groups are accepted as equal members of society with the opportunity — and responsibility — to engage and contribute to the common good.
  • Secure: A more secure nation where all members of society regardless of race, national origin or socio-economic status live in dignity and equality.

From simply welcoming a new neighbor or colleague with kind words and a helping hand, to volunteering for an organization that supports inclusion through integration services that prepare communities to warmly welcome newcomers, any person can help their community to achieve a culture that feels welcoming and inclusive.

Effective integration services might include:

  • Language and education
  • Health and well-being
  • Citizenship and civic engagement
  • Economic integration and employment
  • Community development

Moving to a new place can be intimidating to anyone. Moving to a new place with cultural obstacles such as different societal norms and a language barrier can be downright terrifying. When communities recognize these barriers, and are proactive in taking steps to prevent them, it becomes a place that feels welcoming, a place where people feel they are supported, and a place to learn, grow and thrive. When you give people access to the resources they need to reach their full potential, you are supporting an environment for people to become self-reliant, connected and contributing members of their new communities. 


Reference: “A Community Assessment for the Fox Cities of Wisconsin.” http://www.foxcitieslifestudy.org.

More than 36 million Americans of all ages suffer from hearing loss. Regular hearing screenings are invaluable in identifying problems early. We encourage you to schedule an appointment for a hearing screening during the month of October, recognized as Audiology Awareness Month.

We take a team approach toward evaluating and treating hearing loss. We want to reconnect you with your world and improve your quality of life!

Answer the following to find out if you are eligible for a hearing test:

  1. Do you turn up the TV or radio louder than others need it?
  2. Do you often feel that other people are mumbling?
  3. Do you often ask people to repeat themselves?
  4. Has someone close to you mentioned you may have hearing loss?
  5. Do you experience ringing in your ears?
  6. Do you experience vertigo or problems with your balance?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should have your hearing checked by an audiologist. Call 877-502-9384 to schedule an appointment today. 

 

In America we are storing fat more than ever and it is being fueled by one primary culprit.

In 1990 only 4 states had obesity rates over 10 percent — body mass index of 30+. Now, 26 years later, every state in America has an obesity rate of over 20 percent! If you live in Arkansas, West Virginia or Mississippi, that rate is sadly over 35 percent. What the hell happened?

This trend is nothing short of alarming, and the shocking part is our population has never been more into dieting and exercise at any other point in our history. People are desperate to lose weight. Entire TV shows are dedicated to how to eat healthy and create health-minded dishes at home. Books come out every week with special ways to lose weight and mobile apps are developed to keep your waistline slim. But nothing is working.

We have been researching this phenomena for over 20 years while working with thousands of clients in clinical guided hypnosis settings to figure out exactly what the underlying cause(s) are, and most importantly, what we can do to fix them.

My conclusion is that the No. 1 cause of obesity is stress. To understand this we need to understand how we are experiencing stress like never before and the close relationship it has to the hormone cortisol. Generally speaking, stress is “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.” To be more practical, stress is a nervous system response to external circumstances or objects that require some sort of change. It is the product of living off of the earth in an artificial environment. In short, everything we do and experience in our modern world causes various forms of stress.

When your cell phone goes off, that is a form of stress. When you are driving your car that is stress. Watching the news causes stress. All day long we experience very mild forms of stress and quite often very acute intense levels of stress. Is this stress a big deal? And how does this relate to gaining weight?

Let’s go back a few thousand years. Our ancestors experienced life-and-death forms of stress that demanded a biological response. There were wild animals, wars and famine, but no cell phones, cars or cubicles. Our ancestors would experience a life-threatening stress that often meant that there would be no food available for some time. How did their body respond? By stimulating a strong impulse to eat as much food as possible so that they could store up fuel in the form of fat. It was a survival mechanism for the species, plain and simple. The hormone that causes fat storage in response to fight-or-flight stress is cortisol. Every time we experience any form of stress our cortisol levels spike and induce a craving to eat and store fat!

This hard wiring will take many, many generations to change except for those who can hack their genetic conditioning. Through professional one-on-one guided hypnosis it is possible to deactivate this wiring so that the stresses that are not life-threatening that occur many times a day do not trigger an eating response.

For many guided hypnosis clients this has been nothing short of a miracle. With some good coaching and guided hypnosis you will have a special inside track to weight loss that not many people know about! Weight loss, quitting smoking, e-cigs and hundreds of other bad habits: they all say that stress relief is the number one side effect of our unique self-hypnosis guided approach that helps them to win. 

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