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Category Archives: Wellness

Why You Should Get Your CBD From a Qualified Healthcare Professional

cbd oil

With the increased popularity of CBD has come an explosion of non-healthcare CBD retailers. For those of us in the healthcare space, particularly with a focus on functional medicine, this is a concerning trend. Many of these retailers, rather than just selling a product, are increasingly providing healthcare advice for which they are unqualified. We believe that this trend is denigrating the integrity of CBD as an effective and natural solution for numerous health problems.

The term CBD is short for cannabidiol, a compound extracted from the resin of the hemp flower. Its popularity came from the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills, which lifted restrictions on the manufacture of products derived from industrial hemp. Unlike its cousin, marijuana, hemp contains low levels of the intoxicating compound THC. Because hemp was considered a banned substance for so long, clinical research and physician education have been limited. Into this void stepped non-healthcare retailers to provide consumers with basic product knowledge.

But product knowledge is not healthcare experience. A healthcare provider knowledgeable in CBD and functional medicine can provide specialized services that other retailers cannot. As it pertains to CBD, coordination of care with other providers, clinical-based product selection focused on the consumer’s medical diagnosis, and an understanding of optimal dosing are just three examples of these specialized services.

Coordination of care with other healthcare providers is particularly important when a consumer is taking medications. CBD can decrease the effectiveness of or adversely interact with certain medications. Independent retail pharmacies, specifically, can play an essential role in coordinating care, since pharmacists can make suggestions as to when a patient should have their medications adjusted and communicate with the prescriber.

As for product selection, not all CBD is the same. First, for ultimate therapeutic value, you will want a full-spectrum hemp extract instead of an isolate. Full-spectrum products contain not just CBD, but also other active cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, omega-3s and omega-6s that naturally occur in the plant. Research supports that full-spectrum CBD is more effective. That said, not every hemp plant strain has the same chemical makeup so it isn’t enough to just look for a product labeled full-spectrum. Determining which combination of cannabinoids provides the greatest therapeutic benefit and developing those strains requires investment in lab research and clinical trials, which few CBD manufacturers can provide.

Second, many CBD products do not contain what they say they do, so just because it is labeled full-spectrum does not mean that it is. In fact, it may not have any CBD in it at all. A third-party Certificate of Analysis is crucial to understand exactly what is in the bottle, including testing for chemicals, pesticides, and dangerous additives. The Certificate of Analysis is the best way to compare different products, especially since there are no standard labeling requirements for CBD products.

Third, there is a wide range of dosage forms, but they are not all created equal. While putting CBD in a drink or food item is trendy, it is far from the best way to ingest CBD oil and it is not going to give you satisfactory results. Think about it, do you go to a coffee shop or cafe for your prescriptions or medical advice?  A knowledgable healthcare provider can help select the most appropriate form for the patient’s needs or may combine forms for maximum benefit and will educate the patient on how to take it.

Dosing is another area where specialized healthcare knowledge is beneficial. CBD, especially when taken orally, provides a bell-shaped response curve. This means that the optimum dose is somewhere between low doses and high doses. However, since everyone’s biochemistry and physiology are different, there is no one-size-fits-all, so the optimal dose varies by individual. This places CBD in the category of “collaborative” treatment, where the patient and the provider must communicate to find the patient’s most effective dose.

Consumers who are serious about trying CBD should find a knowledgeable healthcare professional who can optimize their understanding of CBD while increasing the probability of improved clinical outcomes.

If you have questions, call us at (239)481-7322 or stop by to speak with one of our wellness experts. Your health is personal to us, and we are happy to answer your questions about this or any other vitamin, supplement, or medication. Click the button below to schedule a free CBD consultation.

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How to Prevent Osteoporosis with Lifestyle Management


According to recent statistics from the International Osteoporosis Foundation, one-third of women over the age of 50 years and one out of five men will experience osteoporotic fractures in their lifetime. Approximately 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, and another 44 million have low bone density, placing them at increased risk. What this means is that half of all adults age 50 years and older are at risk of breaking a bone and should be concerned about bone health. Osteoporosis is a silent epidemic that needs both physician and patient attention moving forward.


Osteoporosis is a progressive disease in which the bones gradually become weaker and weaker, causing changes in posture and making the individual extremely susceptible to bone fractures. The term osteoporosis, derived from Latin literally means “porous bones.” Because of the physiological, nutritional, and hormonal differences between males and females, osteoporosis affects many more women than men.  However, men also suffer from bone loss, often as a side effect of certain medications like thyroid medications, steroid medications, including prednisone, and as a result of other illnesses. Half of all women between the ages of forty-five and seventy-five show signs of some degree of osteopenia ( low bone mass) or osteoporosis. Bone is live growing tissue when healthy and is continuously restoring itself. Cells called osteoblasts are responsible for making bone, and other cells, called osteoclasts, are needed to remove old bone as its minerals are absorbed for use elsewhere in the body. If the osteoclasts break down the bone more quickly than it is replaced, then bone tends to become less dense and is, therefore, likely to break more easily. Bone is at its strongest when a person is around age 30, and after that, it begins to decline. In women, this decline begins to accelerate at menopause. If you have not accumulated sufficient bone mass during those formative times in childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood, or if you lose it too quickly in later years, you are at increased risk of osteoporosis. A diagnosis of osteoporosis is made by measuring bone density. Standard practice is to use a non-invasive test using dual-energy X-ray absorption called a DEXA scan. Exposure to radiation from this test is less than other methods used to detect this condition.


According to bone health experts, there are three basic types of osteoporosis. Type I is believed to be caused by hormonal changes, particularly a loss of estrogen, which causes the loss of minerals from the bones to accelerate. Type II is linked to dietary or nutritional deficiencies, especially a lack of sufficient calcium and vitamin D3, which is necessary for the absorption of calcium. Type III occurs in men and women at any age and is caused by drugs or medications used to treat other illnesses or other diseases unconnected with osteoporosis.


Many women mistakenly believe that osteoporosis is something they need to be concerned about only after menopause. However, recent evidence indicates that osteoporosis often begins early in life, and is not strictly a postmenopausal problem. Although we know that bone loss accelerates after menopause as a result of the drop in estrogen levels, it begins much earlier. Several factors are known to influence an individual’s risk of developing osteoporosis. The first, and probably the most important, is the peak bone mass achieved in adulthood: the larger and denser the bones are to begin with, the less debilitating bone loss is likely to be. Small, fine-boned women, therefore, have more reason for concern than women with larger frames and denser bones.


Bone disintegration with pain in the hips, lower back, or legs and vertebral fractures (usually affecting people over 50 years old) is common. The vast majority of all fractures in older women result from falls. Fall risk factors include leg weakness, impaired gait, and balance dysfunction. Other related and important factors, especially in older adults, include fear of falling, decreased knee extension strength, and poor distance visual acuity.


The challenge for all of us to make sure we continue to maintain healthy bone function is a foundation of several integrated components working together in tandem to improve the strength, the quality, and density of your bones at any age. The following suggestions should be given strong consideration:

  1. Diet – eat plenty of foods that are high in and rich in calcium and vitamin D. Good sources include broccoli, chestnuts, clams, most dark green leafy vegetables, flounder, hazelnuts, kale, kelp, oats, oysters, salmon, sardines, shrimp and turnip greens. Include garlic and onions in your diet, as well as eggs. If you are a menopausal or postmenopausal woman with osteoporosis, include soy products since they are rich in phytoestrogens (plant estrogen).
  2. Exercise – keep moving. The old saying, “move it, or lose it” applies here. A lack of exercise can result in loss of calcium, but this can be reversed with sensible exercises. Walking probably is the best for maintaining bone mass. Other good exercises are tai chi, pilates, biking, and swimming. When swimming, do water aerobics and isometric stretches using the side of the pool.
  3. Nutritional Supplementation– This is a vital piece that many people overlook, unfortunately. Considering that 90 percent of adults are nutritionally deficient and have significant “nutrient gaps,” taking vitamins, minerals, and other bone-building supplements is critical. Here are a few of the top recommendations:
    • JOINT HEALTH SUPPORT – This supplement combines key ingredients including glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, MSM, Boswellia, bromelain, ginger, and more to help support healthy joint function.
    • HYALURONIC ACID– this nutrient helps to lubricate the bones and joint spaces for improved mobility.
    • BONE HEALTH SUPPORT–  this product includes proper amounts and ratios of calcium, vitamin D3, vitamin K, ipriflavone, which is shown to build bone, manganese, boron, and other bone-building ingredients.
    • COLLAGEN FACTORS– this product contains essential components that work together to increase collagen levels for improved elasticity of bone and joints. Collagen levels drop with age and should be supplemented.
  4. OsteoStrong – this is the next-generation technology for developing bone density, bone strength, posture, joint health, balance, and energy. This new system utilizes osteogenic loading to optimize your skeletal foundation. It is non- invasive, non-drug, and takes literally a 15-20 minute session per week to help build bone density.

I encourage you to discuss your bone health with your doctor, and even better to have a DEXA bone scan to determine your level of bone health and subsequent risk of fractures. Don’t wait until it is too late, because a fall or fracture of the hip, lower spine or elsewhere can dramatically change the quality of your life. Be proactive, and remember you are in control of your own bone health journey.

Natural Solutions for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

chronic fatigue syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a defined clinical condition. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is also known as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome. This is a mysterious medical condition that affects approximately 1 million Americans. The disease has no known cause, and there is no specific test that can measure for it. CFS is basically a diagnosis of exclusion. In other words, many other common conditions must be ruled out first, before physicians consider the possibility of this now accepted medical condition we call Chronic Fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. 

CFS usually manifests as extreme tiredness or fatigue, which cannot be alleviated with normal sleep patterns. Symptoms may intensify after physical exertion. The following appear to be the most common symptoms according to database surveys on this unique condition:

  • fatigue that lasts 6 months or more
  • headaches
  • muscle aches
  • short term memory loss
  • joint pain
  • sore throat
  • tender lymph nodes
  • sleep disturbances
  • psychological elements like depression

Nutritional supplements may play a role in alleviating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptoms and enhancing energy levels. CFS patients are often deficient in several vital nutrients due to poor dietary food choices and lack of supplementation.


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) primarily affects women between the ages of 25-50 years but can affect anyone. While the cause is unknown, it can be triggered by several factors, including infections, Epstein Barr virus (EBV), mental or physical stress, nutrient deficiencies, immune system abnormalities, allergies, hormone imbalances, and low blood pressure. It tends to run in families, so some researchers have hypothesized there may be a genetic predisposition involved. 


A physician’s role in diagnosing CFS can be challenging because reliable testing is limited, and CFS symptoms are very similar to those of other conditions. The CDC estimates that only 20 percent of people with CFS are correctly diagnosed by their primary care physician. A patient may be told they have any number of diseases, including depression, Lyme disease, lupus, fibromyalgia, mononucleosis, or hypothyroidism, which all present with a similar clinical pattern. 


There is not one known specific cause of CFS. Generally, several factors combine to create the syndrome. Some common factors that may contribute to a diagnosis of CFS include:

  1. nutritional deficiencies like amino acids, magnesium, and vitamin D
  2. undiagnosed viral, bacterial, or parasitic infections
  3. heavy metals, chemicals, or molds
  4. unhealthy digestive tract
  5. thyroid issues
  6. immune conditions
  7. adrenal exhaustion
  8. hormone imbalances
  9. chronic inflammation
  10. mitochondrial dysfunction
  11. hypertension
  12. chronic mental stress
  13. physical stress
  14. herpes viruses

A CFS diagnosis can be made only when the patient has suffered from persistent, unexplained fatigue for at least 6 months plus four of the following symptoms must be present: disturbed sleep, short-term memory changes, sore throat, aching or stiff muscles, multi-joint pain without swelling or redness, headaches, persistent feeling of illness for at least 24 hours after exercise. CFS does tend to arise suddenly in otherwise active individuals. Many people who have CFS feel their concerns are initially dismissed by physicians, friends, and family which may also contribute to a feeling or sense of isolation. Once diagnosed, the symptoms may fluctuate, but usually, CFS is not a progressive disease. Most people tend to improve or get better by degrees, and some will fully recover. 


Most people with CFS seem to gradually improve over time. It appears the best approach is to boost energy levels and support the immune system as much as possible. Several nutrients have been suggested to be deficient in people with CFS including but not limited to: B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, and essential fatty acids including omega 3 fish oils or flaxseed oil. 


Some studies have looked at nutrients or hormones with immune-boosting properties and found promising results. In one study conducted at the University of Iowa with 155 patients diagnosed with CFS, nutrient depletion was found to be the common link to many of the symptoms in CFS in this group. The supplements most noted and proven to enhance and increase energy levels include: 

COQ10  this is a potent antioxidant that aids in metabolic reactions, including the process of forming ATP (the molecule used by the body for energy). 

DHEA  also singled out for its ability to help with CFS. This valuable hormone primarily produced by the adrenal glands has been shown to improve energy levels in chronic fatigue individuals. 

ADREBOOST  this blend of vitamins and herbal medicines increase the adrenal gland to help modulate cortisol levels for increased energy. This is especially beneficial in people with hypothyroidism (low thyroid). 

B-COMPLEX – most notable is that vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 are consistently low in patients with CFS. Energy levels and stamina are generally noted to be improved. 

GLUTATHIONE  this is the most potent antioxidant that we know of. It helps prevent damage to DNA and RNA, detoxify heavy metals like mercury, lead, and cadmium, and also boost immune function. Low levels of glutathione, which is frequently seen in CFS, has been associated with muscle fatigue and muscle aches. 

LIPOIC ACID  this antioxidant helps with the absorption of both CoQ10 and glutathione, as seen above. It is known to help with neuralgias or numbness and tingling sensations. 

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS– these are the important fatty acids that cannot be made by the body. These are instrumental in producing new cells, increasing blood flow and circulation, and have some natural lubrication properties. Best known in this group is Omega-3 fish oils with the proper ratio of EPA to DHA. 

MAGNESIUM  this essential mineral, which is lacking in 80 percent of adults, participates in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. It also provides benefits in muscle recovery, calms the nervous system, and helps support healthy sleep patterns and digestion. 

GLUTAMINE  this essential amino acid is particularly useful for the cells lining the gastrointestinal tract to increase energy metabolism and enhance gut motility, which converts healthy foods into energy. 

Since CFS is a complicated illness with few clinical studies to validate the best therapeutic treatment approaches, many patients will start their first-line therapy with nutritional supplements to help support the immune system and, at the same time, enhance energy levels. It is always recommended to contact your doctor or healthcare provider if you have symptoms that resemble CFS, especially if extreme fatigue prevents you from fully participating in activities at home, work, or school. 

Natural Ways to Improve Digestion


If we have learned anything about good health over the past 50 years, it is that optimal health begins in the gut. It is projected that 70 percent of your immune system cells reside in the digestive tract and that many chronic conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, may be directly linked to poor digestion.

Lifestyle factors can play a significant role in how healthy or unhealthy your gastrointestinal tract is. Such things as stress eating, too many processed foods, fried foods, and excess sugar all contribute to an imbalance of good and bad gut bacteria, which ultimately leads to digestive disorders and eventually disease.

You can take nutritional supplements, exercise, eat well, and get adequate rest, but without optimal digestion, you cannot be healthy. The digestive system is not like a mailbox where the food dropped in automatically reaches its destination. It has to be well-nourished and free of the assaults of an unhealthy diet. It must produce a series of well-coordinated secretions. And very importantly, it requires the right balance of bacteria. Only then will it be able to absorb the nutrients you need to achieve optimal health.

It is easy to weaken the digestive system. Americans have proven this. The statistics don’t lie, gastrointestinal symptoms and disorders continue to be one of the leading reasons why people go to see a family doctor or gastroenterologist. If you have been insulting your digestive tract with overeating, inadequate chewing of food, alcohol, coffee, smoking, sugar, white flour, a lack of fiber, antibiotics, or eating under stress, you may have already significantly weakened your digestive ability. Many people think they have a “cast-iron stomach” and eat as they please. The stomach and the rest of the GI tract do not respond well to repeated insults. Many ailments can be caused or worsened by poor digestive function: these can include diverticulosis, osteoporosis, poor immune function with frequent infections, asthma, ulcers, heart disease, arthritis, and food allergies, to name a few. Today there are physicians and other natural health professionals who are educated in lifestyle or functional medicine and fully understand and appreciate that optimal health begins in the digestive tract.

Food goes through many steps before you digest and absorb it:

  1. You chew it adequately.
  2. Your digestive system secretes the right substances in the right amounts (stomach acid, buffers, enzymes from your pancreas, bile from your liver/gallbladder).
  3. The wall of your small intestine facilitates the absorption of nutrients while keeping out pathogens.
  4. The liver and GI intestinal lining transfer and metabolize nutrients so your body can use them.


Being constipated means your bowel movements are difficult or happen less often than usual. Almost everyone goes through it at some point. However, constipation can have causes that are not due to underlying disease. Examples include dehydration, lack of dietary fiber, physical inactivity, or prescription medication side effects. There is an increased incidence of constipation in aging adults who have poor gastrointestinal peristalsis movement, which can increase the risk for bowel obstruction or other serious complications. Constipation can be easily solved in most cases by avoiding refined white flours and increasing whole grain, vegetables, fruits, nut, and seed consumption. Do not use laxatives regularly. Overuse causes the bowel to get accustomed to it, and this can cause long term issues as the bowel will become weaker and create dependency. Increasing fiber in the diet, drinking more water, consuming flax oil, increasing magnesium intake, exercising, and checking for low thyroid function are the best ways to solve and prevent this problem.


You have one hundred trillion bacteria in your GI tract, more than the number of cells in your body. The kind of bacteria you house plays a large part in determining how healthy you are. Friendly bacteria keep the immune system strong and the digestive system functioning smoothly. The wrong bacteria or bad bacteria set the stage for disease. Friendly bacteria are always in the minority in the GI tract, but enough of them will keep the less beneficial forms that are still present from causing problems. Beneficial good bacteria from high-quality pharmaceutical-grade nutritional supplements with the proper intestinal strains and in therapeutic amounts of acidophilus, Bifidobacterium, and lactobacillus can help the body absorb all of the nutrients in food and supplements, help eliminate overgrowth of the small bowel or candida yeast or fungal forms, decrease cancer risk, lower cholesterol, boost the immune system, reduce constipation, gas and bloating, relieve skin problems and allergies, and even help prevent travelers diarrhea.


Antibiotics are considered to be overprescribed in standard medical practice across the country. Antibiotics are very effective when you have an acute bacterial infection, but totally ineffective when you have a virus or viral syndrome. Antibiotics upset the population of the bacteria in the GI tract. They also thin the wall or lining of the intestinal tract, which can result in decreased integrity and function of the small intestine. Always combine antibiotic therapy with a high-quality pharmaceutical grade probiotic formulation to keep the ideal balance of good bacteria in the gut.


By making necessary lifestyle changes and adding in targeted nutritional supplements, the digestive system will respond by decreasing or eliminating symptoms and improving your health. A wide selection of vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements are needed for a healthy GI tract. Interestingly enough, many of the cells of the digestive tract live only seven days! They need many of the right nutrients at the right time to reproduce quickly and without an error in cell reproduction that can lead to serious diseases like cancer, for example. Besides probiotics, other highly touted supplements have proven to be very effective at healing the digestive system without side effects commonly seen with prescription drugs.

Here are a few you may want to consider trying:

  1. Digestive enzymes – this supplement combines protease, lipase, and amylase, which break down protein, fats, and carbohydrates into fine particles, so the body can absorb what it needs.
  2. Ginger – this well- known herb has many properties for healing but can be very helpful for improved digestion. It can also reduce inflammation.
  3. Zinc – this trace mineral is vital for the health of the entire GI system. It is needed by ulcer sufferers, especially those who have been taking histamine blocking agents like Zantac, Pepcid, or Tagamet. These meds reduce stomach acid levels, which in turn limits zinc absorption. Without zinc, ulcers cannot generally heal.
  4. Glutamine – this is an amino acid that is one of the most essential nutrients for healing the digestive tract. It has been proven to help with ulcers, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel diseases like chron’s and ulcerative colitis, and all forms of intestinal repair.
  5. Pyloricil – The key ingredient in this product is called mastica or mastic gum,  derived from a pistachio nut. This ingredient has been highly endorsed by Dr. Leo Galland M.D., a well-known leader in holistic medicine and best selling author of the book “ The 4 Pillars of Healing”. This product has proven to help support those diagnosed with GERD, IBS, and peptic ulcers.
  6. Gut Restorative PRP – this unique formulation includes bovine colostrum with immunoglobulins, proline-rich polypeptides, and lactoferrin, which together help to rebuild the digestive tract for optimal absorption of nutrients.

When it comes to how best to manage digestive disorders and their associated symptoms, you have many therapeutic choices. Sometimes, standard medications are best, but, many times, changes in behavior and taking supplements can be equally effective in improving digestion for optimal health without the long-term side effects.

If February is all about love, then why don’t we take better care of our hearts?


Dr. Stan Headley, natural health consultant for Cypress Pharmacy

Maybe it’s because we want a magic pill, or we expect the recommendations for lifestyle changes to be different, but many of us are not very kind to our hearts.

Even as the word has gotten out in the past few decades about lifestyle changes anyone can make to have a healthier heart, heart disease remains the No. 1 cause of death in the United States.

Nearly half of all premature deaths may be due to lifestyle choices, such as insufficient exercise, poor diet and smoking. These risk factors increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack and stroke.

Putting aside risk factors for heart disease beyond our control such as age and family history, most of us can improve our heart health. And good lifestyle choices can help minimize hereditary and other risk factors. And there’s a bonus! When you make choices for heart health, your overall health benefits, too.

In a study analyzing over 55,000 people, favorable lifestyle habits such as not smoking, having a healthy weight, being active and eating a healthy diet lowered heart disease risk by nearly 50%.

Here are some lifestyle habits your heart (and body) will love.

  1. Stop smoking. Even if you have no other risk factors, smoking raises your risk of developing heart disease by two to four times, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Products such as gum and patches are available to help stop smoking.
  2. Eat healthier. Americans get more than half of their daily calories from ultra-processed food, increasing the risk of heart disease. Food consumption can impact other risk factors, including cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and weight. Choose nutrient-rich foods — which have vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients but are lower in calories — over nutrient-poor foods.
  3. Control cholesterol. Too much bad cholesterol and not enough good can result in plaque building up and blocking the arteries. While genetics play a role, extra weight, physical inactivity, type 2 diabetes and excessive alcohol intake contribute to high cholesterol. High cholesterol often doesn’t have symptoms until a problem arises, so it’s important to have a blood test to reveal your levels. Medication can reduce cholesterol if diet and exercise do not.
  4. Get active. Research shows that 2.5 hours per week of moderate-intensity physical activity can help lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and keep weight at a healthy level. A Harvard study found that watching TV for two hours a day increased the risk of developing heart disease by 15 percent! The good news? Being even a little more active is better than nothing. Taking at least 4,400 steps a day lowers your risk of death more than taking only 2,700 steps per day.
  5. Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity puts you at risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and insulin resistance, a precursor of type 2 diabetes, all factors that heighten your risk of heart disease. Good nutrition, controlling calorie intake and physical activity are the best way to maintain a healthy weight and have heart benefits of their own.
  6. Manage diabetes. More than 65 percent of people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. If you have prediabetes, losing at least 7% of body weight and exercising 2.5 hours per week can reduce the risk of progressing to diabetes.
  7. Limit alcohol consumption. Drinking too much can raise blood pressure, increase cardiomyopathy, increase triglycerides and produce irregular heartbeats. Moderate alcohol consumption, no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one drink per day for women, can provide some cardio benefits. A standard drink is considered 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine of 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.

Studies have shown that some supplements like fish oil may help your heart health, but they can’t prevent heart disease. It’s important to consult your doctor or pharmacist about the benefits and possible risks of supplements. Because supplements are not regulated like medications, it’s important to purchase your supplements from a trusted source.

Sounds easy, right? Improving your health is not a one size fits all approach. It can be hard to make dietary and lifestyle changes, and it is easy to fall back into old habits. Ongoing support can help you commit to improved health.

Information on “Seven Powerful Ways to Strengthen Your Heart Naturally,” is the topic of Seminar Saturday, Feb. 8. The free public seminar will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. at Cypress Pharmacy, 9451 Cypress Lake Drive in Fort Myers.

CBD Oil and COVID-19: What it Can and Can’t Do


By Dr. Stan Headley, natural health consultant for Cypress Pharmacy

In these uncertain times when health is on everyone’s mind, the marketing of CBD oil as a relative cure-all is ramping up. So are false claims about what it can do for you.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the hemp-derived ingredient thought to have therapeutic benefits to ease the symptoms of conditions including anxiety, sleeplessness and pain. Hemp is a plant that has been used for centuries by many cultures for healing, and unlike its chemical cousin marijuana, hemp-derived CBD oil offers a broad spectrum of beneficial cannabinoids.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Internet has been flooded with information on how to protect yourself from contracting the coronavirus – while some sources are credible, many others are not. CBD has been misleadingly listed alongside other inaccurate recommendations for the treatment and prevention for COVID-19, such as taking oregano oil and avoiding cold drinks, milkshakes, ice cream and spicy foods. While CBD provides a host of health benefits that can help boost the immune system, it has not been tested against COVID-19 at this time as a form of treatment or guaranteed prevention method.

Multiple authorities, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are working to stop the false marketing of CBD products in relation to the coronavirus. With claims being made quicker than authorities can shut them down, consumers need to be cautious of misleading information, and instead look toward only credible sources during this pandemic.

What CBD oil can do for you now (and all other times, too) is help lessen anxiety, improve sleep and provide anti-inflammatory capabilities, all important to strengthen your overall wellness and immunity.

The benefits of CBD use relates to the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), made up of receptors that act as messengers to give your body specific directions in regulating anxiety, appetite/hunger, depression, immune function, memory, mood, motor control, pain, pleasure and reward, reproduction and fertility, sleep and temperature. Endocannabinoids are the chemical messengers that tell your body to get these processes moving.

If your body does not produce enough endocannabinoids or cannot regulate them properly, external sources like CBD can help to balance and maintain the ECS by binding to receptors, providing therapeutic benefits as well as helping regenerate cells and brain function.

The amount of CBD oil in a product will have a direct effect on its efficacy, and the methods used to manufacture CBD oil impact the safety and quality of products you might buy, all more reasons to get products from reputable sources.

Not all CBD is created equal, so Cypress Pharmacy has launched a CBD education and upgrade program to educate consumers about quality CBD and empower them to navigate the CBD landscape with confidence. The program encourages members of the community to “Trade Questionable for Quality” by bringing in CBD products that they’re unsure about and learn more about the medicinal benefits of high-quality CBD. Those who wish to upgrade their CBD will have the option to purchase any new products at the discounted rate of 20% off.

Also, recognizing the positive effects of CBD on stress and anxiety, Cypress Pharmacy is offering discounted CBD to health care personnel who are working on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health care professionals can visit the pharmacy during regular business hours and show their service badge to receive select CBD products for $10 (normally $50-$65).

Now more than ever, it’s important to protect yourself from false coronavirus claims by looking to sources of credible information. Be informed so that you can feel confident in the products you’re putting into your body.

Three CBD oil myths debunked


Dr. Stan Headley, natural health consultant for Cypress Pharmacy

You can find CBD oil in countless products that make wide claims about what this up-and-coming supplement can do. With so many products and sources of information out there, it’s often hard to distinguish fact from fiction.

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is the ingredient derived from the hemp plant that is recognized for its medicinal benefits, which include helping ease pain, anxiety and insomnia. Currently, it isn’t federally regulated, and best practices for its use are still being developed. Clinical trials in their early stages also suggest some strains and dosages of CBD could help post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, psychosis, neuropathic pain, Type 1 diabetes, cancer and cognitive symptoms associated with HIV and Alzheimer’s disease.

When selecting CBD oil for therapeutic use, it’s important to make selections based on information and not misinformation. Cannabinoids, including CBD, are chemical compounds produced naturally in our bodies and in some plants. Phytocannabinoids are produced by plants, while endocannabinoids are produced by the body. The body’s endocannabinoid system is like our body’s operating system—it affects neurotransmitters that bind to receptors and impact pain, mood, appetite, sleep, and how we feel, move and react. If your body does not produce enough endocannabinoids or cannot regulate them properly, you are more susceptible to illnesses. External sources like CBD can help to balance and maintain the human endocannabinoid system by encouraging the release of our own endocannabinoids.

To get the most benefit from CBD oil, we must debunk three common myths:

Myth #1: CBD hemp oil is addictive and can make you high.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is an essential component of cannabis (one of hundreds), however, CBD by itself does not make you “high.” CBD is derived directly from the hemp plant, a cousin of the marijuana plant, and doesn’t contain substantial amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound that gives the high sensation. Trace amounts of THC are unlikely to have a noticeable effect.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence said: “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential. … To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” The WHO officially recommended that CBD should not be “internationally scheduled as a controlled substance.”

Myth #2: I have tried CBD oil before, but it did nothing for me.

If you haven’t had success with CBD in the past, there are a number of factors to consider before throwing in the towel completely. One may be the quality of the CBD product. Many products on the market don’t have high-quality CBD (and some may not have any CBD at all!). Researchers found that of 84 products tested, only 31% contained the amount of CBD advertised. Make sure you understand how much CBD is in the product, as this will have a direct impact on its efficacy.

Also, since CBD use is a relatively new frontier, proper dosage can be tricky, as it varies for each person. Start with a low dose and slowly increase it over time. Also, keep a journal to log your dosage and results. It’s also possible to build up tolerance over time, requiring dosage to change. While a few milligrams work for some people, other patients may need larger doses.

You may also need to be patient! Like any other natural medicine, experts recommend daily usage of CBD for six to eight weeks before deciding whether to continue or not. Your level of absorption depends on a variety of factors including metabolism, biochemistry and genetics.

Myth #3: All CBD oil is the same.

CBD oil is not all the same, and the quality of CBD and CBD products varies widely. People using CBD oil who want to see relief need a product containing consistent levels of CBD.

Here’s how to select good CBD:

  • A good quality CBD oil will have a third-party Certificate of Analysis, a report of what’s specifically in the bottle. The analysis should test for microbes, herbicides and other contaminants as well as indicate the active product in the bottle, which is important for comparison. Milligrams of active cannabinoids is not the same as the amount of liquid in the bottle.
  • How the CBD oil was extracted is important. If extracted using heat, it can mean butane, a hazardous material, was used. CO2 or food-grade ethanol extraction are all-natural and ensure the cannabinoids and terpenes, another element of the plant thought to have therapeutic properties, remain intact.
  • For ultimate therapeutic value, look for full-spectrum CBD, instead of an isolate. There are more than 100 cannabinoids in cannabis, as well as terpenes and flavonoids. CBD works better with other cannabinoids and phytocompounds found in the cannabis plant, so full-spectrum CBD amplifies the efficiency of CBD in your system, promoting a greater response at a lower dose. An isolate is like one musical note used alone, whereas a full-spectrum product creates a symphony.
  • Make sure you buy products where hemp is sourced from Europe or the United States, where it is heavily regulated. Products from regions with fewer regulations may not be labeled accurately.

Just like any supplement, it’s important that you do your research before buying. Look for CBD companies that have customer support and stand behind their products. Most importantly, purchase from a knowledgeable health care provider that can advise you on formulation selection, usage and application, drug interactions and side effects.

Do Natural Solutions for Allergies Work?


It’s that time of year again when seasonal allergies kick into high gear. The number of Americans suffering from allergies, asthma, and hay fever (allergic rhinitis) has risen dramatically over the past twenty years. Some possible reasons include increased stress on the immune system due to poor lifestyle choices, higher chemical pollution in our air, water, and food supply, earlier introduction of solid foods to infants, food additives and preservatives, and genetic manipulation of plants resulting in food components with greater allergenic tendencies. There are other reasons which contribute to allergies, but these are some of the most common triggers which increased the frequency and severity of allergy symptoms. It is currently estimated that at least 25 percent of Americans suffer from asthma and other allergy-related syndromes. Natural remedies and lifestyle measures may reduce the allergic threshold and help to prevent acute symptoms or a more severe allergic reaction.


An allergy is an exaggerated immune response or reaction to substances that are generally not harmful. Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance such as pollen, bee venom, pet dander, or foods. In a person with allergies, the immune response is oversensitive. When it recognizes an allergen, it releases chemicals such as histamines, which fight off the allergen. This causes allergy symptoms. Your immune system also produces substances known as antibodies. Some of these antibodies protect you from unwanted invaders that could make you sick or cause a bacterial or viral infection. When you have allergies, your immune system produces antibodies that identify your specific allergen as something foreign or harmful to the body. When you come into contact with the allergen, your immune system reaction inflames your skin, sinuses, airways, or your digestive tract. People who have allergies are often sensitive to more than one thing. Milk, dairy, wheat, corn, nuts, and shellfish, such as shrimp, are prevalent culprits in many people who suffer from chronic health issues caused by allergies.


Generally speaking, there is a cluster of symptoms that can be associated with allergic rhinitis and asthma. Alphabetically, symptoms may include: abdominal pain, anaphylaxis, burning teary eyes, cough, dermatitis, ear infections, eczema, fatigue, hay fever, headaches, hives, increased colds, itchy throat, mucus production, rash, runny nose, shortness of breath, sinus infections, sneezing, stuffy nose, sore throat, throat clearing, and wheezing to name a few. The symptoms you experience because of allergies are the result of several factors. These include the type of allergy you have and the severity of the allergy. If you are taking any medication before an anticipated allergic response, you may still experience some of these symptoms, but they may be reduced in severity.

FOR FOOD ALLERGIESFood allergies can trigger swelling, hives, nausea, fatigue, and even anaphylaxis in severe reactions. It may take a while for a person to realize that they have a food allergy or food sensitivity. If you have a severe reaction after a meal and you are not sure why, see a medical professional or specialist immediately.

FOR SEASONAL ALLERGIESHay fever symptoms can mimic those of the common cold. They include congestion, runny nose, and swollen or puffy eyes. Most of the time, you can manage these symptoms at home with natural medicines, nutritional supplements, or OTC (over the counter) remedies.


Doctors don’t know why some people experience allergies. Allergies appear to run in families and can be inherited. If you have a close family member who has allergies, you are at a higher risk of developing allergies. Although the reasons why allergies develop aren’t known, some substances commonly cause allergic reactions. People who have allergies typically are allergic to one or more of the following: pet dander, bee stings, certain foods, certain medications (penicillin, for example), aspirin, certain plants, pollen, or molds.


Your doctor can diagnose allergic reactions. If you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction, your doctor will perform an examination and ask you about your health history. Your doctor may also want to order tests in an attempt to determine what’s causing your allergies. The most commonly ordered tests for allergies are skin tests, challenge (elimination type) tests, food allergy tests, and specialty blood tests with immunoglobulins.


What we have seen through the years is that each type of allergy has a host of natural remedies that may help to prevent the onset or speed up recovery. Many times, people find symptomatic relief by starting with nutritional supplements and herbal medicines that target allergens. Typically, the severity of the allergic reaction, whether it is mild, moderate, or severe, will dictate which therapeutic approach is best to implement.

Standard medical practice includes prescription medications like antihistamines, corticosteroids, and other prescription inhalers. These medications can improve allergy symptoms, but also carry significant side effect profiles. Many allergy sufferers have experienced dramatic improvement by combining lifestyle and behavioral changes such as avoidance therapy, including avoiding areas out in nature where exposure may be higher. Also, food allergy awareness, keeping a food allergy journal, and maintaining a healthy plant-based or Mediterranean diet to boost immunity has demonstrated improved results. Many people who have tried science-based, pharmaceutical-grade nutritional supplements have experienced tremendous relief once dosing and therapeutic blood levels are established. Here are some of the tried and true supplements and some of my personal favorites:

  • ALLER CALMThis is a unique blend of vitamins, minerals, and herbs, which is very effective at supporting the immune system and providing a natural antihistamine effect. Key ingredients such as quercetin, stinging nettles, ginger, turmeric, and MSM provide symptomatic relief of allergy symptoms regardless of the cause.
  • PROBIOTICSTaking a daily probiotic containing lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium can balance good bacterial counts in the digestive tract. 70 percent of your immune cells reside in the gut, so it is easy to understand why probiotics should be taken by everyone with a history of allergies and for good general and digestive health.
  • OMEGA 3 FISH OILSSubstantial evidenced-based clinical studies have documented the value of consuming adequate amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids to alleviate mild to moderate allergic reactions or allergy symptoms.
  • VITAMIN D3A recent study from Stanford University showed that Vitamin D3 is very effective at enhancing the immune system and helping to combat viruses, bacteria, as well as reducing inflammation in the body.
  • ZINCThis trace mineral is generally thought of in the context of helping men with prostate issues; however, it is well known to help reduce symptoms associated with allergies, including throat irritation, taste and smell, and head congestion.
  • TURMERIC Curcumin in therapeutic doses has shown to have tremendous anti-inflammatory properties to help with sinuses, nasal membranes, and lung-related symptoms from allergies.
  • VITAMIN CPeople often think they get enough Vitamin C from their diet. However, the truth is that 90 percent of adults are nutritionally deficient, and that includes not getting enough fruits and vegetables. Today, 1,000 – 2,000mg of Vitamin C should be part of everyone’s daily regimen.


While most allergies are not life-threatening, allergic rhinitis or allergies may trigger an asthma attack, which can be more serious. An acute anaphylactic reaction can also occur if you eat a food item you are highly sensitive to or allergic to (shellfish like shrimp, for example).

Knowing that people who are prone to allergies often are sensitive to more than one thing opens the door for using natural remedies as first-line therapy in many cases as a preventive or for general maintenance of allergies. Natural health can play a significant role in improving the quality of your life by helping to identify the underlying trigger or root cause of your symptoms. Targeted nutritional supplementation can be an effective solution to minimize and control the various symptoms linked to allergies.

Because everyone is biochemically unique and different, the decision whether to use traditional prescription medications or natural solutions should be determined on a case by case basis and discussed with your physician or health care professional. Regardless of which treatment you choose as your first-line therapy to combat the symptoms of allergies or an allergic reaction, just know that sometimes blending the best of both traditional medicine and natural health might be your best option.

7 Reasons Why You Need More Magnesium


Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body; however, few people fully appreciate the importance of this extraordinary mineral. It activates over 350 biochemical processes in the body to keep things flowing smoothly. An interesting caveat: it is estimated that about 80% of the general population is deficient in this vitally important mineral.


  1. Prevent migraines – According to a University of Vermont study conducted by Dr. Robert Shapiro M.D., professor of Neurology, every year, nearly one in five Americans experience some form of a migraine attack. One in twenty-five will have headaches lasting at least 15 days per month. These disabling attacks include severe one-sided, throbbing headaches and sensitivity to light and sound. They may also involve cloudy thinking, nausea, and vomiting. In one study of 133 migraine patients supplementing with just 500 mg of Magnesium daily for 12 weeks, significant improvements were seen in terms of frequency and severity of migraines.
  2. Lower heart disease mortality – cardiovascular disease continues to be the number 1 killer here in America. Magnesium supplementation can go a long way towards preventing heart disease. A study in the journal “Atherosclerosis” found that people with low levels were more than twice as likely to die of heart disease. They were also more than seven times as likely to die from all causes.
  3. Manage diabetes – It is no secret that Magnesium deficiency is common amongst type II diabetics, especially those with neuropathy or coronary heart disease. A Harvard study found that diabetics taking at least 320mg of Magnesium supplementation for up to 16 weeks significantly improved their fasting blood sugar levels, hemoglobin A1c, as well as their HDL (good cholesterol).
  4. Relieve symptoms of Fibromyalgia – A double-blind placebo-controlled study from the University of Texas showed 400-800mg of Magnesium daily improves pain and tenderness in Fibromyalgia patients.
  5. Lower risk of Colon Cancer – Epidemiological studies link low Magnesium levels with higher rates of colon cancer. A meta-analysis confirmed that higher Magnesium intakes are associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer, and especially colon cancer. Also, for every 50 mg per day increase, colon cancer was reduced by 7%. An earlier meta-analysis by Imperial College London found that for every 100mg increase, colorectal cancer decreased by 13%.
  6. Build strong bones – Studies find a significant association between bone density and Magnesium levels. We now know that the Magnesium content of bones decreases with age. In addition, a diet containing too much sugar or excess alcohol cause Magnesium to be lost through urine. Magnesium assists calcium in building bone strength. It also does other important things like stimulating the hormone calcitonin. That helps draw calcium out of the blood and soft tissues and put it back into the bones. Too much calcium in the blood and tissues can increase the risk of arthritis, heart attack, kidney stones, and osteoporosis.
  7. Reduce Metabolic Syndrome – metabolic syndrome is becoming very prevalent in the U.S. due to our lifestyles with poor food choices, excess sugar, high-stress levels, smoking, and lack of exercise. This syndrome is basically a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type II diabetes. Metabolic syndrome includes high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels. Generally, weight loss, moderate exercise, a healthy Mediterranean or ketogenic plant-based diet, and smoking cessation can help to reverse this metabolic pattern.


  • Steady heart rhythm
  • Normalizes blood pressure
  • Helps maintain nerve and muscle function
  • Reduces PMS
  • Improves sleep
  • Improves asthma symptoms


It is estimated that 80-90% of Americans are Magnesium deficient. Typical symptoms include constipation, digestive problems, low energy, irregular menstrual flow, and migraine headaches. It also relaxes the body from tightness, tension, tics, spasms, cramps, and stiffness. Other contributing factors leading to low levels of this vital mineral include prescription medications like oral contraceptives, diuretics (water pills), laxatives, and gastrointestinal medications like omeprazole or Nexium, to name a few.


One sure-fire way to replenish your levels in addition to nutritional supplementation is with Magnesium containing foods. These foods include high-quality dark chocolate with approximately 175mg  per 3.5 ounce bar. In fact, if you crave chocolate, your body may be telling you it’s low in Magnesium (very common during menstrual cycles). Other foods high in Magnesium are dark leafy greens, especially collards and spinach, broccoli, beans, whole grains, almonds, cashews, lentils, and avocados.


Magnesium supplements are also a very popular way to ensure you maintain healthy levels in a good range, and it comes in many forms. It is always best to purchase third-party validated, laboratory tested, pharmaceutical-grade supplements for quality assurance.  Magnesium oxide is the least expensive, but also the most difficult for the body to absorb. Magnesium citrate helps with constipation. Magnesium glycinate is a better choice if you don’t want the laxative effect.


In summary, Magnesium is the most important mineral that you may be lacking. It has plenty of evidenced-based research to support its daily use as it is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions in your body. In fact, every cell in your body contains Magnesium and needs it to function at a high level. Studies suggest it plays a role in more than 600 reactions which include:

  1. energy creation – helps to convert food into energy
  2. protein formation – creates new proteins from amino acids
  3. gene maintenance – helps build and repair DNA and RNA.

The bottom line, Magnesium is absolutely essential for optimal health and wellness. If you have a medical condition, it is always a good recommendation to check with your doctor before starting any new vitamin or nutritional supplement. To speak with one of our healthcare professionals, call us at 239-481-7322 or visit www.cypresspharmacy.com.

Stress: The Good, The Bad, and The Healthy


In these uncertain times with COVID-19 on everyone’s mind, it’s obvious each one of you has your own definition of how stress has impacted your life, or how it makes you feel.

Nobody is immune, even during so-called “normal times.”  If we define stress as anything that alters our homeostasis ( internal balance), then good stress, in its many forms, is vital for a healthy life.  Bad stress can sometimes eventually turn into good and vice versa.  Good stress, which psychologists call “ eustress,” is the type we feel when we experience the emotion of excitement or receive good news, for example.


Good stress, then, is the type that triggers our pulse to quicken and your hormones to surge, but there is no threat or sense of fear.  This type can be appreciated if you reflect, for example, on your very first date in high school.  The excitement you felt about the date or the person produced this healthy form.

Another type is acute stress.  It comes from quick surprises that need a response rapidly.  Acute stress triggers the body’s response as well, but the triggers are not always happy or exciting.  It can be good or bad stress, depending on the specific incident.  Acute stress by itself does not take a heavy toll on you either mentally or physically, if, you find ways to relax or calm yourself down in a reasonable amount of time.  To remain happy and healthy, we need to return the body back to its pre-stress state or back to internal balance.  Chronic stress is another form of bad stress.  This is generally considered a more severe form.  Because our bodies are meant to be in a steady state of balance physically, mentally, and emotionally, you can face adverse health effects, if chronic stress persists unchecked for months without end.

Interestingly enough, everyone’s perception of stress and their ability to cope with various stressors throughout life is uniquely different from one person to the next. This is similar to what we see with people’s perception of pain, for example.  Each individual’s pain threshold is different.  Studies even suggest that different ethnic groups and cultures experience stress and pain levels at different rates, frequencies, and limits.  The body’s response reacts strongly to “perceived threats. “  If you don’t perceive or interpret something as a threat, there is generally no sympathetic nervous system response in terms of a “fight or flight” response.

There are some tools or resources you may consider to help you make the paradigm shift mentally in your mind regarding perceptions or perceived stress which include such things as:

  1. focus on the resources you do possess
  2. see the potential upside or what is to be learned from the experience
  3. remind yourself of all your strengths
  4. maintain a mindset of mental toughness
  5. keep a positive mental attitude (feed the brain good thoughts)


In addition to the current stress levels being generated or created from the coronavirus, other factors play heavily into triggering the stress response in millions of Americans.  The key elements and top causes of stress include job pressures, money, health, health insurance, relationships, both personal and professional, poor nutrition, media overload, and sleep deprivation.  Typically, the most common physical symptoms associated with persistent stress include fatigue, headaches, upset stomach, IBS, muscle tension, changes in appetite, teeth grinding, changes in sex drive or libido, and occasionally feeling dizzy or light-headed.  Furthermore, people report the following psychological symptoms as well, which include irritability or anger, feeling more nervous or anxious, fatigue or lack of energy, and feeling sad, mildly depressed, or being tearful more frequently.


We all know that exercise, healthy eating, and proper nutritional supplementation can have a profound effect on our overall general health.  However, chronic high-level stress will, over time, overload the adrenal gland stress hormone response of cortisol and epinephrine. These physiological or functional  “ fight or flight “ responses will then create a cascade of emotional and physical toxicities within the body that must be dealt with.  Also, chronic stress increases both the risk and duration of all viruses, viral syndromes, and bacterial infections, for example. When we are poised to adapt to these responses, the natural self-repair mechanism of the body can go about the business of doing what it does best- which is to heal the body.  After all, balance is the crucial element when we are dealing with the nervous system.


Gone are the days where we don’t look at the mind-body connection. Functional medicine doctors and holistic practitioners are aligned with this concept, and put great faith in this connection for healing and putting the body back into homeostasis.  The more research that rolls out, the more we see it as the absolute connection needed to bridge the gap not only for the treatment of but also in the prevention of the many diseases, including chronic stress.  Having the knowledge and the emotional and physical tools to manage stress effectively takes some time and effort, but the payoff in optimizing your health is enormous.


Here are my favorite health tips to help you, your family, and friends navigate through the maze of eustress and distress in your daily lives to keep you happy and healthy.

  1. MINDFULNESS – meditation reduces anxiety and lowers the stress hormone cortisol. Merely taking a few deep abdominal breaths activates the vagus nerve, which triggers a signal within your nervous system to slow your heart rate, decrease blood pressure, and lower cortisol.  The next time you feel yourself in a stressful situation, take a few deep breaths and feel your entire body relax and decompress.  Simple, and it works!
  2. FOOD IS YOUR FRIEND – Let food be your medicine.  Nearly 40 percent of Americans report overeating or eating unhealthy processed foods as a result of stress.  Eat the colors of the rainbow.  This simply means more fruits and vegetables.  The Mediterranean diet is still considered to be the healthiest of all diets.
  3. LAUGH MORE – Harvard Medical Center clearly feels laughter and humor to be one of the best forms of good medicine.  Laughter triggers chemical responses in the brain that lead to feelings of pleasure and a sense of well- being.
  4. CORRECT NUTRIENT IMBALANCES – Optimal nutrition is the cornerstone of optimal health.  Checking for nutrient deficiencies is one of the most important ways to help someone enter into a healing environment. Chronic stress, some medications, poor diet,  and digestive issues all contribute to a lack of crucial vitamins and minerals in the body, which can lead to chronic health conditions like arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, for example.
  5. POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS –  Having close social networks with family, friends, significant others, and co-workers, can support the body is dealing with stress.  The emotional aspect increases healthy molecules like serotonin ( the feel-good hormone ), for example.


Stress, whether good or bad, is obviously a part of life for all of us.  And while you can’t always control your circumstances, you can control how you respond to them.  When it becomes overwhelming, or it is chronic in nature, it can take a toll on your well – being.  That’s why it is essential to have effective stress reduction strategies that can calm your mind and body reasonably quickly.  What works for one person might not work for another.  There isn’t a perfect recipe or magic bullet as a one-size-fits-all option.

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