Lifestyle Therapy

Lifestyle therapy addresses your way of life, the way you think, the way you react, the way you live… Methods that will make a difference, insights that will make a change, and a perspective that will make a transformation.  Stress reduction (techniques and analogies) – Energy techniques (how to gain more energy); On-line relaxation techniques; Sleep recommendations from the experts; Understanding the nicotine addiction, and more...




Reference Source -

Health is affected by the food we eat, how often we exercise, how we manage our stress, and how much we sleep, as well as social, environmental, and genetic influences. Lifestyle choices are responsible for nearly 90% of health outcomes.

Relationships provide support that can act as a buffer against the negative effects of stress, leading to a longer and healthier life. If our lives are devoid of positive relationships, it also detracts from joy, meaning, and ultimately wellbeing.

At its most basic level, security means freedom from fear, especially our most basic fears around health, personal safety, and financial stability. Because fear can immobilize and incapacitate us, security is essential to our wellbeing.

Well-being is not just another word for physical health—it is about finding balance in body, mind, and spirit. In this state, we feel content, connected, energized, resilient, and safe. 

Our model of wellbeing was created by Dr. Mary Jo Kreitzer, Director of the Center for Spirituality and Healing, at the University of Minnesota.  In her extensive work and research around integrative health and healing, Dr. Kreitzer identified six dimensions that contribute to wellbeing. These take into account our interconnectedness and interdependence with our friends, families, and communities, as well as the personal and global environment we live in. They also address the importance of security and purpose in our lives. 

The model can be conceptualized and expressed at many levels—including the individual, family, organization/system, and community.

We invite you to explore each dimension. Our hope is that this model will lead us to individual, community, and environmental wellbeing.

A tool to assess your well-being -

Live Healthy Naturally

From cure to prevention...From the point of view of our goal of health, reversing degenerative diseases provides powerful testimony of the medicinal value of foods. But it is even smarter to prevent degenerative conditions from occurring in the first place, by adopting preventive lifestyles and eating preventive foods and supplements, those foods and supplements that are in alignment with the body's requirements.  

Prevention involves a small investment of time, for learning about nutrition and about the human body. Compared to other professions, which may require years of concentrated and specialized study, it is relatively easy to master the basics of preventive nutrition. Having been eating and living in our bodies for many years already, we already have a lot of valuable information about our health. It is just a matter of formalizing much of this experiential information, and making the links to both researched and common sense information about foods and human health.  

The investment of time required to master nutrition is far less than the time most people spend, especially in the second half of life, trying to find effective treatments for the conditions that resulted from not taking the time to learn to live preventively earlier on. building Health 

But prevention of disease is still a negative focus. Is our goal the absence of disease or the presence of health? Our flight from disease, based on fear of disease, could be replaced by embracing health, based on love for health.   

Health is a presence. Disease is its absence. Health has components that can be identified. Disease is the result of one or more of these components being absent.  

Research has identified the physical components of health - the essential nutrients - the building blocks for making human bodies that exemplify the natural state of health, bodies which function optimally. The quality of what we eat and drink and our level of activity determine our health. We can enjoy health from conception to old age.   

The medical model does not address degenerative conditions effectively. Its premise - that disease is a presence and health the absence of disease - is wrong. To try to remove a degenerative condition based in the absence of essential nutrients is like trying to remove darkness - impossible. One cannot remove something that is already not there. Darkness is the absence of light. Disease is the absence of health.   

Pursuing health requires us to identify and embody all of its components.  


Alarming Statistics reports on,

Eco-Healing - Green Exercise: the impact of walking in a country park with a walk in an indoor shopping center on people suffering from depression, stress, and/or anxiety. Their startling Green Exercise results are:

71%   reported decreased levels of depression after the green walk

22%   felt their depression increased after walking through indoor shopping center

45%   only experienced a decrease in depression when walking indoors

71%   felt less tense after the green walk

50%   felt their tension had increased after shopping center walk

90%   had an increase in self-esteem after the green walk

44%   said their self-esteem had decreased after window shopping indoors

90%   said the combination of nature and exercise had the greatest impact on them

94%   said that green activities had benefitted their mental health, especially lifting


www.who - World Health Organization

Eating a healthy diet, increasing physical activity and avoiding tobacco use can prevent:

  • 80% of premature heart disease,

  • 80% of type 2 diabetes cases, and

  • 40% of cancers.

Despite any debate, studies have proven spirituality's legitimacy as a complementary therapy. A study on the use of complementary and alternative medicine published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that spiritual practices, such as prayer, were used more (80.5%) than any other complementary approach, including vitamins and herbs (62.6%) and movement and physical therapies (59.2%). Other studies have found similar results.

Researchers have also found that people who have regular spiritual practices, such as church attendance, tend to live longer. A study of 1,700 older adults found that those who attended church were less likely to have elevated levels of interleukin-6, which is associated with an increased incidence of disease.  

Statistics:  Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. Between 1964 and 2004, cigarette smoking caused an estimated 12 million deaths, including 4.1 million deaths from cancer, 5.5 million deaths from cardiovascular diseases, 2.1 million deaths from respiratory diseases, and 94,000 infant deaths related to mothers smoking during pregnancy.1 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking results in more than 400,000 premature deaths each year—about 1 in every 5 U.S. deaths and an additional 8.6 million people suffer with a serious illness caused by smoking. - ©  American Psychological Association

Sleep is essential for a person’s health and wellbeing, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). Yet millions of people do not get enough sleep and many suffer from lack of sleep. For example, surveys conducted by the NSF (1999-2004) reveal that at least 40 million Americans suffer from over 70 different sleep disorders and 60 percent of adults report having sleep problems a few nights a week or more. Most of those with these problems go undiagnosed and untreated. In addition, more than 40 percent of adults experience daytime sleepiness severe enough to interfere with their daily activities at least a few days each month - with 20 percent reporting problem sleepiness a few days a week or more. 


Defining a Healthy Lifestyle - Healthy Lifestyles Living Copyright, All Rights Reserved.

What is the definition of Healthy Living? The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not simply just the absence of disease.

The actual definition of Healthy Living is the steps, actions and strategies one puts in place to achieve optimum health. Healthy Living is about taking responsibility for your decisions and making smart health choices for today and for the future. So healthy living would consist of:

Physical (For the Body)

Emotional Wellness (For the Mind)

  • Self-Supportive Attitudes

  • Positive Thoughts and Viewpoints

  • Positive Self-Image

  • You Also Need to Give and Receive

  • Forgiveness

  • Love and Compassion

  • You Need to Laugh and Experience Happiness.

  • You Need Joyful Relationships With Yourself and Others

Spiritual Wellness

  • Inner Calmness

  • Openness to Your Creativity

  • Trust in Your Inner Knowing

All aspects of one’s self, must work in harmony to achieve wellness, so you need to create a balanced life. A healthy lifestyle is a valuable resource for reducing the incidence and impact of health problems, for recovery, for coping with life stressors, and for improving quality of life. There is a growing body of scientific evidence that shows our lifestyles play a huge part in how healthy we are. From what we eat and drink, to how much exercise we take, and whether we smoke or take drugs, all will affect our health, not only in terms of life expectancy, but how long we can expect to live without experiencing chronic disease. - © American Holistic Health Association

Your health is your responsibility: Many of us have been brought up to believe that our health depends solely on the quality of the healthcare we receive. The truth is, your health is your responsibility. You are the only person who can make the lifestyle decisions that contribute to your well-being. You are the one who must take the steps to preserve your health and promote your wellness. Only you have the power to create wellness for yourself.

Your power lies in the choices you make every day on your own behalf. If you react out of habit or fixed attitudes, you may not be using your choices wisely to create wellness in your life. To create wellness you must expand your focus beyond mere physical health, and: 

  • Strive to balance and integrate your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects

  • Establish respectful, cooperative relationships with your family, friends, community, and the environment

  • Gather information and make informed wellness-oriented choices

  • Actively participate in your health decisions and healing process.


Lifestyle Changes Key Ingredients 

Reference Source -

Wellness is much more than merely physical health, exercise or nutrition. It is the full integration of states of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. The model used by our campus includes social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual and physical wellness. Each of these seven dimensions act and interact in a way that contributes to our own quality of life.

Social Wellness is the ability to relate to and connect with other people in our world. Our ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with family, friends and co-workers contributes to our Social Wellness.

Emotional Wellness is the ability to understand ourselves and cope with the challenges life can bring. The ability to acknowledge and share feelings of anger, fear, sadness or stress; hope, love, joy and happiness in a productive manner contributes to our Emotional Wellness.

Spiritual Wellness is the ability to establish peace and harmony in our lives. The ability to develop congruency between values and actions and to realize a common purpose that binds creation together contributes to our Spiritual Wellness.

Environmental Wellness is the ability to recognize our own responsibility for the quality of the air, the water and the land that surrounds us. The ability to make a positive impact on the quality of our environment, be it our homes, our communities or our planet contributes to our Environmental Wellness.

Occupational Wellness is the ability to get personal fulfillment from our jobs or our chosen career fields while still maintaining balance in our lives. Our desire to contribute in our careers to make a positive impact on the organizations we work in and to society as a whole leads to Occupational Wellness.

Intellectual Wellness is the ability to open our minds to new ideas and experiences that can be applied to personal decisions, group interaction and community betterment. The desire to learn new concepts, improve skills and seek challenges in pursuit of lifelong learning contributes to our Intellectual Wellness.

Physical Wellness is the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life that allows us to get through our daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress. The ability to recognize that our behaviors have a significant impact on our wellness and adopting healthful habits (routine checkups, a balanced diet, exercise, etc.) while avoiding destructive habits (tobacco, drugs, alcohol, etc.) will lead to optimal Physical Wellness.

Reference Source -

Create Your Best Life - Learn How Discipline, Commitment and Positive Thinking Bring Freedom and Success, By Susan Smith Jones, Ph.D.

Positive Thinking: One of the greatest truths of life is that it flows from the inside out. We are affected by what happens inside, by our feelings and our thoughts and these, in turn, affect our emotions, the words we speak, and the actions we choose to take. What you feel or experience at any point in time is up to you. Change your thoughts and you change your life.

Discipline and Commitment: What you’re probably seeing by now is that discipline is an important part of creating your best life. Discipline is a choice. If we are to achieve our highest potential, we must practice self-discipline in every aspect of our lives. Success and fulfillment are available only to those who learn to control their body, mind, and emotions.

Discipline ignites your inherent inner power and helps create miracles in your life. Breakthroughs and miracles occur when people are willing to live out their vision and commitment and to honor their decisions. When you’re committed, you allow nothing to deter you from reaching your goal. Discipline keeps you going even when you are not feeling motivated. You get past your excuses so you follow through and do what you said you are going to do.

With discipline comes freedom and peace of mind. A disciplined person is not at the mercy of external circumstances. Whereas an undisciplined person is usually lazy, undirected and unhappy or depressed, a disciplined person is in control of what she thinks, feels, says, and does. A disciplined mind creates a disciplined body. And from a disciplined body comes an exhilarated mind. It’s a powerful cycle. Self-mastery begins by recognizing our power and using it to bring our vision to life.

This moment — right now — can be a new beginning. You no longer need to repeat the past, worry about the future, or struggle though life as a victim of circumstance. Here are the seven key tips I embrace in my life and with my clients to help boost self-esteem and make life more of a celebration filled with success.

  •  Take loving care of your body.

  • Be grateful and count your blessings.

  •  Be patient, trust and “act as if.”

  •  Let go of all criticism and judgments.

  •  Be of service to others.

  •  Laugh as often as possible.

  •  Live in the presence of loving thoughts.


Connecting Spiritually - Copyright ©  Power to Change Ministries

Why do I exist? - That’s the most fundamental question of life. What on earth am I here for?

Well, you need to understand God to answer that question. You see, the bible says, “God is love.” It doesn’t say He has love, it says He is love. It’s part of His nature, His character, it is the essence of His being. God is love. Now, love isn’t very valuable unless you bestow it on something and the bible says, “God made you to love you.” You were created as an object of God’s love. If you want to know why you’re taking breath right now, why your heart is beating, it’s because God made you to love you. It’s the sole reason. You were made to be loved by God and to bring Him pleasure.

Now God wants you to learn to love Him back and that’s the first purpose of your life, to get to know and love Him back. One day Jesus was walking down the street and a man came up and said, “What’s the most important command in the bible?” And Jesus said, “I’m going to summarize the entire bible in one sentence. Love God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength.” That’s called the great commandment. And God wants you to get to know and love Him back. So that means when you get up in the morning, you should sit on the side of your bed and say, “God, if I don’t get anything else done today, I want to know you a little bit better and I want to love you a little bit more.” Because if at the end of the day you know God more and you love Him more, you have just fulfilled one of the purposes of your life.

If, on the other hand, you’ve accomplished all kinds of things and achieved many, many successes in life, but at the end of the day you don’t know God better or love Him more, you have missed the primary purpose of your life. Because God didn’t put you on this earth just to mark things off your to-do list. He put you here to know Him and love Him. That’s why you exist.

What is my purpose in life? - Well the truth is, God created you for five purposes. You see, you were made by God and you were made for God. And until you understand that, life isn’t going to make sense. When you come to this question, what is my purpose, you only have three alternatives.

First is what I call the mystical approach, and that is look within. You find this in a lot of talk shows, a lot of new age books a lot of seminars. They say, “look within to discover your purpose.” The only problem is that doesn’t work. We’ve all looked within and I didn’t like what I saw. It’s quite confusing. In fact, if you could know the purpose of your life by looking within, we’d all know it by now. It doesn’t work.

The second way you can try to discover your purpose is called the intellectual or philosophical approach. And that’s where you go to a seminary class or university class and you sit there with a pipe and your latte and your coffee and you ask questions like, “Why am I here? Where did I come from? Where am I going?” I once read a book by professor John Morehead, the Head of the Department of Philosophy at Northeastern University in Illinois. And he wrote to 250 well-known intellectuals and asked them, “What is the meaning and purpose of life?” These were novelists, scientists, well-known intellectuals, and I read the book, it’s now out of print, it was quite depressing because most of the people said, “I have no idea what the purpose of life is.” Some of them admitted they just made up a purpose. And some of the admitted they guessed. And some of them said, “If you know the purpose, please tell me.”

You see, there’s a better answer to speculation and that’s revelation. If I were to hold up an invention that you have never seen before, you wouldn’t know its purpose. The only way you’d know its purpose was either talk to the inventor, the creator who made it or read the owner’s manual. The owner’s manual of life is the bible and your Creator is God. And it is only as you get to know God you will discover his five purposes for your life. I hope you’ll begin that journey today.

The Purpose-Driven Life is a manifesto for Christian living in the 21st century...a lifestyle based on eternal purposes, not cultural values. Using biblical stories and letting the Bible speak for itself, Warren clearly explains God's five purposes for each of us:

  • We were planned for God's pleasure - so your first purpose is to offer real worship.

  • We were formed for God's family - so your second purpose is to enjoy real fellowship.

  • We were created to become like Christ, - so your third purpose is to learn real discipleship.

  • We were shaped for serving God - so your fourth purpose is to practice real ministry.

  • We were made for a mission - so your fifth purpose is to live out real evangelism.


How to Define Your Spiritual Health 

Retrieved From -

In Day 39 of The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren introduces the concept of a spiritual health assessment. He says that to maintain our physical health, we need regular check-ups with a doctor who can assess our vital signs—blood pressure, temperature, weight, and so on. For our spiritual health we need to regularly check and balance the five vital signs of a healthy Christian life:

  • Worship: You were planned for God’s pleasure.

  • Fellowship: You were formed for God’s family.

  • Discipleship: You were created to become like Christ.

  • Ministry: You were shaped for serving God.

  • Evangelism: You were made for a mission.

The Spiritual Health Assessment and Spiritual Health Planner measures your health at a particular point in time. It is not a tool to see how you measure up against other people; nor is it a tool to see how close you are to perfection. We all know we’ll never be perfect this side of heaven.

Rather, this is a tool that will help you evaluate your spiritual health, and give you direction for developing a plan to bring God’s five purposes for your life into balance.



Prayer - A Lifestyle

We have a propensity when we are in trouble, unfortunately, and usually only in that dire time of the need, to call on God in prayer, a source of power greater than ourselves. Whether it is facing an insurmountable challenge, hopelessness, an illness, a loss of a loved one, or at the onset of facing death, we then call on a power higher than that of ourselves. But the Bible calls for us to “pray without ceasing.”

We pray as a lifestyle, not to be performed only in times of crisis or in times of need, but every day. Prayer should be as normal to the believer as eating and sleeping.

Prayer should be a lifestyle as a means to commune with God that can, and should, be used daily to strengthen, enlighten, and to build a relationship and a fellowship with God; and through this relationship, to do what some would think as the impossible.

‘© All rights reserved. is an ad-free non-profit resource for supporting better mental health and lifestyle choices for adults and children.’

Prayer can transform our lives:  When we wake up in the morning, we remember to prepare our bodies for the day ahead of us. We wash, we dress, we eat. Would you ever think of leaving the house without brushing your teeth? And yet we rarely take the time to prepare our souls for the day ahead of us. It doesn’t need to take very long. Just a minute or two each morning. But a simple morning prayer can literally transform the way we think, feel, behave, and work. A morning prayer helps to remind us how blessed we are—even on those days when you sleep through the alarm, when the coffee spills on your lap, when the toast burns, when the kids are whining, when nothing seems to be going right. Even brief prayer can give us the courage to confront a difficult day, and it can give us the insight to recognize a miraculous one.

Before you race out the door, take a moment. Take a deep breath in, let a deep breath out, and talk to God. Tell God your hopes for the new day and your worries too. And don’t forget to notice something to be thankful for this day.

Support System: A community of faith can provide more than support when we are in need of help. The members of a faith community can strengthen our resolve to heal, can link their prayers to ours, and can restore us to faith. They can envelop us in caring and love.

Link to The Power of Prayer Therapy


Living Longer and Better

Reference Source -

Good Habits:  The Power 9 is a concept that stems from Dan Buettner’s research in the BlueZones (the longest-living cultures in the world), and describes nine 'secrets' to a longer, healthier life. The Power 9 emphasizes making changes to your environment that will influence your habits. It's much easier to promote good habits through environmental change than it is to force changes to long-standing behavior.

  • 80% Rule (stop eating when you're 80% full)

  • Plant-Power (more veggies, less protein and processed foods)

  • Red Wine (consistency and moderation)

  • Plan de Vida (know your purpose in life)

  • Beliefs (spiritual or religious participation)

  • Down Shift (work less, slow down, rest, take vacation)

  • Move (find ways to move mindlessly, make moving unavoidable)

  • Belong (create a healthy social network)

  • Your Tribe (make family a priority)

Read in its entirety… - 9-secrets-to-living-longer-better


Importance of Diet, Nutrition & Physical Activity

World Health Organization  (WHO) - pdf  

Diet, Nutrition and The Prevention of Chronic Disease - In order to achieve the best results in preventing chronic diseases, the strategies and policies that are applied must fully recognize the essential role of diet, nutrition and physical activity.

Physical activity has great influence on body composition --- on the amount of fat, muscle and bone tissue.

To a large extent, physical activity and nutrients share the same metabolic pathways and can interact in various ways that influence the risk and pathogenesis of several chronic diseases.

Cardiovascular fitness and physical activity have been shown to reduce significantly the effects of overweight and obesity on health.

Physical activity and food intake are both specific and mutually interacting behaviors that are and can be influenced partly by the same measures and policies.

Lack of physical activity is already a global health hazard and is a prevalent and rapidly increasing problem in both developed and developing countries, particularly among poor people in large cities.

Please link to Exercise Therapy for in-depth information


Smoking – The Nicotine Addition


Tobacco/Nicotine: One of the most heavily used addictive drugs in the U.S.

Effects:  Nicotine is highly addictive. The tar in cigarettes increases a smoker's risk of lung cancer, emphysema, and bronchial disorders. The carbon monoxide in smoke increases the chance of cardiovascular diseases. Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer in adults and greatly increases the risk of respiratory illnesses in children. - © 

The main adverse effect of nicotine is addiction, which sustains tobacco use. Because most smokers are nicotine-dependent, they continue to expose themselves to toxicants from tobacco. Tobacco, not nicotine, is responsible for most of the adverse health effects.

Nicotine is a highly addictive drug, as addictive as heroin or cocaine when delivered by means of tobacco products (USDHHS, 1988). Nicotine is used by tobacco users to modulate mood and arousal, as well as for pleasure. Upon cessation of tobacco use, withdrawal symptoms develop, which are generally unpleasant and often disruptive to daily life. The addictive effect of nicotine (including conditioned reinforcement effects) sustains tobacco use.

In the absence of nicotine, it is unlikely that sustained smoking behavior would be supported over the long-term. Conversely, nicotine-containing medications (termed nicotine replacement therapy) can be used instead of tobacco to aid quitting. The addiction risk of nicotine in medications has proved to be very low compared to the risk posed by tobacco products (USDHHS, 1998; Benowitz, 1998; Royal College of Physicians, 2008) probably because nicotine medications produce a slow onset of very low levels of nicotine. While people use tobacco for the effects of nicotine, they suffer adverse health consequences, mainly from damage caused by tar, oxidizing chemicals, carbon monoxide and other constituents of tobacco or tobacco smoke (Smith et al., 2003; Surgeon General's Report 2010).

In other words, it is the delivery system, not the addictive drug, which is responsible for the vast majority of tobacco-related disease. - © Copyright  National Association of Social Workers.

Although many understand tobacco use as a “habit,” the nicotine in tobacco products is actually a strong addictive drug. Nicotine produces changes in brain chemistry that lead to changes in mood and behavior. The idea that tobacco use is a “habit” stems from the fact that the behaviors associated with tobacco become “habitual.”

After entering the lungs, nicotine from inhaled smoke enters into the blood stream and quickly travels to the brain. Nicotine from smokeless tobacco enters the bloodstream through the mucus lining of the mouth.

There are two ways in which tobacco use leads to physiological nicotine addiction and dependency:

  1. Nicotine produces a relaxing effect, increases mental alertness, and lifts a person’s mood. In order to maintain these positive feelings (rewards) the brain begins to rely on nicotine. Over time, however, more and more nicotine is needed to produce the same level of pleasurable effects.

  2. Nicotine is a “positive reinforcement” in that consumption leads to positive feelings and mood. The tobacco user becomes dependent on nicotine to get the desired positive effects.

If a person decreases his or her use of cigarettes, nicotine levels in the blood stream drop. Lower levels of nicotine cause negative withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.

When a person is undergoing withdrawal symptoms due to a drop in the nicotine level in their blood, smoking becomes a “negative reinforcement” because it temporarily relieves or removes the painful uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. Tobacco users become dependent on nicotine to avoid unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Tobacco dependence is complex and affects the user psychologically, emotionally, socially, and behaviorally.

Psychological: Tobacco is often used to cope with emotions and conflict. The pleasurable feelings induced by tobacco can cover and numb feelings and emotions associated with grief, loss, and mourning. Stressful situations or emotionally upsetting events can act as triggers to use tobacco. Nicotine also increases concentration.

Social: Tobacco is often used to cope with uncertainty and/or awkwardness in social situations.

Behavior: Once addicted, a belief develops that tobacco is needed in order to function effectively. The belief can become so strong that the reality of the harm tobacco has on the body is denied or ignored. A compulsive pattern of unhealthy behaviors centered on tobacco use develops in response to stress and strong emotions, and as a way to avoid symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.

Certain behaviors become “associated” with the effects of nicotine in the brain, creating a strong connection between specific behaviors and the physiological addiction. For example, after quitting, the automatic behavior of reaching for a pack of cigarettes or can of chewing tobacco in reaction to stress can trigger the brain to “crave” nicotine.

Over time, tobacco users rely more and more on nicotine to regulate mood and concentration. Healthy and even invigorating approaches to lift mood, cope with stress, and anger are abandoned or never learned. Tobacco users are cheated of opportunities to learn creative ways to cope.


Tobacco Adverse Affect on the Brain

Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco, including cigars, pipe tobacco, snuff, and chewing tobacco, contain the addictive drug nicotine. Nicotine is readily absorbed into the bloodstream when a tobacco product is chewed, inhaled, or smoked. A typical smoker will take 10 puffs on a cigarette over a period of 5 minutes that the cigarette is lit. Thus, a person who smokes about 1/2 packs (30 cigarettes) daily gets 300 “hits” of nicotine each day.

Upon entering the bloodstream, nicotine immediately stimulates the adrenal glands to release the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline). Epinephrine stimulates the central nervous system and increases blood pressure, respiration, and heart rate. Glucose is released into the blood while nicotine suppresses insulin output from the pancreas, which means that smokers have chronically elevated blood sugar levels.

Like cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, nicotine increases levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which affects the brain pathways that control reward and pleasure. For many tobacco users, long-term brain changes induced by continued nicotine exposure result in addiction—a condition of compulsive drug seeking and use, even in the face of negative consequences. Studies suggest that additional compounds in tobacco smoke, such as acetaldehyde, may enhance nicotine’s effects on the brain.3 A number of studies indicate that adolescents are especially vulnerable to these effects and may be more likely than adults to develop an addiction to tobacco.

When an addicted user tries to quit, he or she experiences withdrawal symptoms including powerful cravings for tobacco, irritability, difficulty paying attention, sleep disturbances, and increased appetite. Treatments can help smokers manage these symptoms and improve the likelihood of successfully quitting.


Tobacco Adverse Affect on Health

Cigarette smoking accounts for about one-third of all cancers, including 90 percent of lung cancer cases. In addition to cancer, smoking causes lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and increases the risk of heart disease, including stroke, heart attack, vascular disease, and aneurysm. Smoking has also been linked to leukemia, cataracts, and pneumonia. On average, adults who smoke die 14 years earlier than nonsmokers.2

Although nicotine is addictive and can be toxic if ingested in high doses, it does not cause cancer; other chemicals are responsible for most of the severe health consequences of tobacco use. Tobacco smoke is a complex mixture of chemicals such as carbon monoxide, tar, formaldehyde, cyanide, and ammonia—many of which are known carcinogens. Tar exposes the user to an increased risk of lung cancer, emphysema, and bronchial disorders. Carbon monoxide increases the chance of cardiovascular diseases. Smokeless tobacco (such as chewing tobacco and snuff) also increases the risk of cancer, especially oral cancers.

Pregnant women who smoke cigarettes run an increased risk of miscarriage, stillborn or premature infants, or infants with low birthweight. Maternal smoking may also be associated with learning and behavioral problems in children. Smoking more than a pack of cigarettes per day during pregnancy nearly doubles the risk that the affected child will become addicted to tobacco if that child starts smoking.

Secondhand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke, consists of exhaled smoke and smoke given off by the burning end of tobacco products. According to CDC, approximately 38,000 deaths per year can be attributed to secondhand smoke.2 Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30 percent4 and lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent.2 In addition, secondhand smoke causes respiratory problems in nonsmokers, such as coughing, phlegm, and reduced lung function. Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, ear problems, and more severe asthma.

Although quitting can be difficult, the health benefits of smoking cessation are immediate and substantial, including reduced risk for cancers, heart disease, and stroke. A 35-year old man who quits smoking will, on average, increase his life expectancy by 5 years.5 - © 

The main adverse effect of nicotine in tobacco products is addiction, which sustains tobacco use. Because most smokers are nicotine-dependent, they continue to expose themselves to toxins from tobacco. Tobacco, not nicotine, is responsible for most of the adverse health effects.

The benefit of nicotine replacement therapy outweighs the risks of nicotine medication, even in smokers with cardiovascular disease.

Nicotine per se is not a substantial cause of cancer. Carcinogenic nicotine-derived nitrosamines may be formed in the body under certain conditions after administration of nicotine medications. It is expected that the levels of these carcinogens will be low, but further research is needed to determine whether this level could represent a health hazard during long-term nicotine therapy. The risks during short-term therapy to aid smoking cessation are insignificant compared to the risks of smoking.

“Reduced risk” cigarettes are promoted, implicitly or explicitly, to reduce the harm from smoking. Products promoted to reduce risk include low tar cigarettes and novel tobacco products that deliver nicotine with minimal combustion of tobacco. Low tar cigarettes have not been determined to substantially reduce the health hazards of smoking, while they do provide adequate nicotine to sustain nicotine addiction. Some of the novel nicotine delivery products may deliver fewer or lower levels of carcinogens and oxidant gases to smokers. On the other hand, some products deliver more carbon monoxide than regular cigarettes, and some products may expose smokers to inhalation of glass fibres. None of these products have been determined to reduce the risk of cigarette smoking or to aid smoking cessation. nicotine replacement therapy, bupropion and other medications to aid smoking cessation are most likely safer than any “reduced risk” cigarette.

Smokeless tobacco, such as snuff or chewing tobacco, has been suggested as a potential aid to harm reduction or smoking cessation. Smokeless tobacco products contain nitrosamines and other carcinogens, and are known to produce oral cancer. However, the composition of smokeless tobacco products varies from country to country. In some countries, smokeless tobacco use may be less toxic than in other countries, but this has not been adequately studied. Smokeless tobacco products are addicting. At this time smokeless tobacco is not recommended as an aid to smoking cessation. The safety and efficacy of nicotine replacement therapy and bupropion are better demonstrated.

Nicotine is a potential foetal teratogen and may contribute to obstetrical complications in pregnant women and to sudden infant death syndrome.


Smoking Quitting Aids

Tobacco addiction is a chronic disease that often requires multiple attempts to quit. Although some smokers are able to quit without help, many others need assistance. Generally, rates of relapse for smoking cessation are highest in the first few weeks and months and diminish considerably after about 3 months. Both behavioral interventions (counseling) and medication can help smokers quit; the combination of medication with counseling is more effective than either alone.

Where To Find Help To Quit Smoking

Phone Quit Lines:  Individuals who call this National Quit line number will be forwarded to their state’s quit line for cessation services: 1-800 QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

Speak with a counselor at National Cancer Institute Smoking Quit line: 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848).

Internet Web Sites:  The Office on Smoking and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information for quitting both smoking and smokeless tobacco. is intended to help you or someone you care about quit smoking. Different people need different resources as they try to quit smoking cigarettes. The information and professional assistance available on this website can help to support both your immediate and long-term needs as you become, and remain, a non-smoker. allows you to choose the help that best fits your needs. You can get immediate assistance in the form of:

  • Information about a wide range of topics related to smoking and quitting

  • LiveHelp, the National Cancer Institute's instant messaging service

  • National Cancer Institute's telephone quitline, 1-877-44U-QUIT

  • Local and state telephone quitlines, 1-800-QUIT-NOW

  • SmokefreeTXT, the National Cancer Institute's text messaging service

  • Smokefree apps, quizzes, and materials to download

  • Publications to download, print, or order

Nicotine Anonymous is a Non-Profit 12 Step Fellowship of men and women helping each other live nicotine-free lives. Nicotine Anonymous welcomes all those seeking freedom from nicotine addiction, including those using cessation programs and nicotine withdrawal aids. The primary purpose of Nicotine Anonymous is to help all those who would like to cease using tobacco and nicotine products in any form. The Fellowship offers group support and recovery using the 12 Steps as adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous to achieve abstinence from nicotine.

Local Community Support: 

Nicotine Anonymous – Find a meeting: Phone -  (415) 750-0328

American Lung Association community-based group support – To locate where Freedom From Smoking® classes are being held in your community call 1-800-LUNGUSA.


Importance of Sleep 

Reference - - ©  National Health Association

Rest-Relaxation-Sleep: The National Health Association (NHA) believes that to reach an optimum level of health, physical activity must be kept in balance with other health-promoting factors, particularly rest and sleep.

Healing and body repair occur mostly during sleep. The anabolic hormones, the hormones that promote repair of muscle tissue and other tissue, are released during sleep. If you are not sleeping properly, you can’t initiate that healing process. The proper amount of sleep varies with your state of health, your level of stress, and your degree of fitness.

Weight Gain: Sleep deficiency is perceived by the body as a major stressful event. As a result, cortisol levels are increased, thereby increasing the circulation and stores of body and belly fat. Sleep deficiency also worsens the problem of insulin resistance, provoking the overproduction of insulin, and increasing the craving for fat and refined sugar.

In addition, sleep deficiency increases the amount of ghrelin, a natural appetite stimulant, and decreases the amount of lepten, a hormone produced by fat cells that signals the brain that we’ve had enough to eat. So sleep deficiency can interfere with satiety signals and promote overeating. And since insulin resistance is increased by sleep deficiency, the craving for fats and refined sugar will also be increased at the same time, promoting a greater tendency to overeat these foods and increase weight gain.

Reference Source -

The Harvard Women’s Health Watch suggests six reasons to get enough sleep:

Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.

Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.

Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.

Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.

Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.

Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.


How Much Sleep Do I Need? - © National Sleep Foundation.

What the Research Says about Sleep Duration: The first thing experts will tell you about sleep is that there is no "magic number." Not only do different age groups need different amounts of sleep, but sleep needs are also individual. Just like any other characteristics you are born with, the amount of sleep you need to function best may be different for you than for someone who is of the same age and gender. While you may be at your absolute best sleeping seven hours a night, someone else may clearly need nine hours to have a happy, productive life. In fact, a 2005 study confirmed the fact that sleep needs vary across populations, and the study calls for further research to identify traits within genes that may provide a "map" to explain how sleep needs differ among individuals.



Though research cannot pinpoint an exact amount of sleep need by people at different ages, the preceding table identifies the "rule-of-thumb" amounts most experts have agreed upon. Nevertheless, it's important to pay attention to your own individual needs by assessing how you feel on different amounts of sleep. Are you productive, healthy and happy on seven hours of sleep? Or does it take you nine hours of quality ZZZs to get you into high gear? Do you have health issues such as being overweight? Are you at risk for any disease? Are you experiencing sleep problems? Do you depend on caffeine to get you through the day? Do you feel sleepy when driving? These are questions that must be asked before you can find the number that works for you.


Sleep Recommendations 

Reference - -  © National Sleep Foundation.

  1. Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule including weekends. Our sleep-wake cycle is regulated by a "circadian clock" in our brain and the body's need to balance both sleep time and wake time. A regular waking time in the morning strengthens the circadian function and can help with sleep onset at night. That is also why it is important to keep a regular bedtime and wake-time, even on the weekends when there is the temptation to sleep-in.

  2. Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or hot tub and then reading a book or listening to soothing music. A relaxing, routine activity right before bedtime conducted away from bright lights helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety which can make it more difficult to fall asleep, get sound and deep sleep or remain asleep. Avoid arousing activities before bedtime like working, paying bills, engaging in competitive games or family problem-solving. Some studies suggest that soaking in hot water (such as a hot tub or bath) before retiring to bed can ease the transition into deeper sleep, but it should be done early enough that you are no longer sweating or over-heated. If you are unable to avoid tension and stress, it may be helpful to learn relaxation therapy from a trained professional. Finally, avoid exposure to bright before bedtime because it signals the neurons that help control the sleep-wake cycle that it is time to awaken, not to sleep.

  3. Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool. Design your sleep environment to establish the conditions you need for sleep – cool, quiet, dark, comfortable and free of interruptions. Also make your bedroom reflective of the value you place on sleep. Check your room for noise or other distractions, including a bed partner's sleep disruptions such as snoring, light, and a dry or hot environment. Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, "white noise," humidifiers, fans and other devices.

  4. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows. Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses. 

  5. Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex. It is best to take work materials, computers and televisions out of the sleeping environment. Use your bed only for sleep and sex to strengthen the association between bed and sleep. If you associate a particular activity or item with anxiety about sleeping, omit it from your bedtime routine. For example, if looking at a bedroom clock makes you anxious about how much time you have before you must get up, move the clock out of sight. Do not engage in activities that cause you anxiety and prevent you from sleeping.

  6. Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime. Eating or drinking too much may make you less comfortable when settling down for bed. It is best to avoid a heavy meal too close to bedtime. Also, spicy foods may cause heartburn, which leads to difficulty falling asleep and discomfort during the night. Try to restrict fluids close to bedtime to prevent nighttime awakenings to go to the bathroom, though some people find milk or herbal, non-caffeinated teas to be soothing and a helpful part of a bedtime routine.

  7. Exercise regularly. It is best to complete your workout at least a few hours before bedtime. In general, exercising regularly makes it easier to fall asleep and contributes to sounder sleep. However, exercising sporadically or right before going to bed will make falling asleep more difficult. In addition to making us more alert, our body temperature rises during exercise, and takes as much as 6 hours to begin to drop. A cooler body temperature is associated with sleep onset... Finish your exercise at least 3 hours before bedtime. Late afternoon exercise is the perfect way to help you fall asleep at night.

  8. Avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) close to bedtime. It can keep you awake. Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it can produce an alerting effect. Caffeine products, such as coffee, tea, colas and chocolate, remain in the body on average from 3 to 5 hours, but they can affect some people up to 12 hours later. Even if you do not think caffeine affects you, it may be disrupting and changing the quality of your sleep. Avoiding caffeine within 6-8 hours of going to bed can help improve sleep quality.

  9. Avoid nicotine (e.g. cigarettes, tobacco products). Used close to bedtime, it can lead to poor sleep. Nicotine is also a stimulant. Smoking before bed makes it more difficult to fall asleep. When smokers go to sleep, they experience withdrawal symptoms from nicotine, which also cause sleep problems. Nicotine can cause difficulty falling asleep, problems waking in the morning, and may also cause nightmares. Difficulty sleeping is just one more reason to quit smoking. And never smoke in bed or when sleepy!

  10. Avoid alcohol close to bedtime. Although many people think of alcohol as a sedative, it actually disrupts sleep, causing nighttime awakenings. Consuming alcohol leads to a night of less restful sleep.

  11. If you have sleep problems...Use a sleep diary and talk to your doctor.


Natural Remedies to Help You Sleep

Retrieved From  -

Before you rush to the drugstore to buy an over-the-counter sleep medication, try one of the following natural sleep remedies. They are safer and have fewer side effects. Many of these can not only help you fall asleep and stay asleep, but they can also promote muscle relaxation.

Magnesium and calcium are both sleep boosters, and when taken together they become even more effective. Plus, by taking magnesium you cancel out any potential heart problems that might arise from taking calcium alone. Take 200 milligrams of magnesium (you can lower the dose if it causes diarrhea) and 600 milligrams of calcium each night.

Wild lettuce: If you've suffered anxiety, headaches, or muscle or joint pain, you might already be familiar with wild lettuce. It's also effective at calming restlessness and reducing anxiety, and may even quell restless legs syndrome. When using a wild-lettuce supplement, take 30 to 120 milligrams before bed.

Hops:  Beer fans are already familiar with the calming effect of hops, the female flowers used in beer making. For sleep purposes, this extract has been widely used as a mild sedative for anxiety and insomnia. Take 30 to 120 milligrams before climbing under the covers.

Aromatherapy: Lavender is the trick here, as studies have proven that it aids in sleep. It's also an inexpensive, nontoxic way to slip into a peaceful slumber. Find a spray with real lavender and spritz it on your pillow before bedtime, or buy a lavender-filled pillow.

Melatonin is the hormone that controls sleep, so it's no wonder that it naturally induces sleep. Studies show that lower doses are more effective -- plus, there's concern that too-high doses could cause toxicity as well as raise the risk of depression or infertility. 

Yoga and Meditation: Choose gentle yoga or stretching, not vigorous power or ashtanga yoga, which could energize you instead. Try easy yoga stretches in bed followed by simple meditation. Close your eyes and, for 5 to 10 minutes, pay attention to nothing but your breathing.

L-theanine: This amino acid comes from green tea, and not only helps maintain a calm alertness during the day but also a deeper sleep at night. However, green tea doesn't contain enough L-theanine to significantly boost your REM cycles, and might make you wake up to go to the bathroom. Instead, buy pure, active L-theanine (some brands have inactive forms of theanine that block the effectiveness), and take 50 to 200 milligrams at bedtime.

Valerian is one of the most common sleep remedies for insomnia. Numerous studies have found that valerian improves deep sleep, speed of falling asleep, and overall quality of sleep. However, it's most effective when used over a longer period of time. Keep in mind that about 10 percent of the people who use it actually feel energized, which may keep them awake. If that happens to you, take valerian during the day. Otherwise, take 200 to 800 milligrams before bed.


Importance of Stress & Energy Support 

Reference Source -  - Brown University

What Is Stress? Stress generally refers to two different things: situations that trigger physical and emotional reactions (stressors) and the reactions themselves (stress response). Stress is the body's response to environmental demands. In general, when environmental demands exceed your ability to cope, it creates stress.

The body responds to stress by what is called the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS). The GAS occurs in three stages - alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. The fight or flight response is the most common type of alarm stage. This is when the sympathetic nervous system releases the chemicals epinephrine and norepinephrine, which prepare the body for action by increasing heart rate, breathing, alertness, and muscle response, and the hormone cortisol, which speeds up the body's metabolism. These actions get the body ready to confront a threat such as an alarming sound (fight) or escape from it (flight). The body usually adapts to a prolonged stressor, such as an upcoming final, by entering the stage of resistance. During resistance, the body's systems return to normal, but remain alert. Following resistance, the body enters exhaustion, at which point it can no longer resist the stressor. Repeated exposure to this response can cause mental and physical damage.

How do I know when I'm stressed? Here's a quick test - place your hand on the back of your neck. If it feels cold against your skin, you're probably stressed out. Blood rushes to your muscles when you're under stress, leaving your hands cold. Other warning signs of stress include:

  • Out-of-proportion anxiety

  • Excessive moodiness

  • Withdrawal from responsibility

  • Constant insomnia

  • Poor emotional control

  • Marked change in appetite or sex drive

  • Chronic fatigue

These short-term physical symptoms mainly occur as your body adapts to perceived physical threats, and are caused by the release of epinephrine (adrenaline) during the alarm stage of the GAS. Long-term physical symptoms occur when your body has been exposed to adrenaline over a long period. Adrenaline works by diverting resources from the areas of the body, which carry out body maintenance (such as your liver, kidneys and other organs) to the muscles… This stress may cause your health to deteriorate and it is common to experience frequent colds and infections, sexual disorders, aches and pains, feelings of intense and long-term tiredness, or a change in appetite.

What are warning signs I should get help to deal with my stress? Signals that you are experiencing an overload of stress can range from a general feeling of the "blahs" to serious physical pain. Although most stress can be managed, it is important to obtain professional help before the situation is completely out of control. If you experience the following situations or feelings, you should seek professional support.

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Overreacting to minor problems

  • Inappropriate anger or impatience

  • Overeating or loss of appetite

  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs

  • Unable to relax

  • Constantly feeling anxious

  • Experiencing long periods of boredom

  • Disrupted sleeping patterns

  • Problems with sexual activity

  • Decreased school or work performance

  • Diminished ability to set priorities and make decisions

  • Prone to make errors or be accident prone

Physical symptoms:

  • Increased headaches

  • Cold hands and feet

  • Indigestion

  • Aching neck or back

  • Ulcers

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea or constipation

  • Shortness of breath

  • Heart palpitations

  • Teeth grinding

  • Muscle spasms

  • Skin conditions like acne and psoriasis


Stress Management  

Managing your physical and psychological well being:  The art of stress management is to keep yourself at a level of stimulation that is healthy and enjoyable - to create a balance of positive and negative stress that will motivate but not overwhelm you.

  • Have a positive attitude! Reversing negative ideas and learning to focus on positive outcomes helps reduce tension and achieve goals. If you catch yourself thinking negative criticisms like -- "I'll never get this assignment done! I'm a failure!" -- change your inner dialogue. Tell yourself "I'm intelligent and fully capable of getting this assignment done.

  • Tap into your support network. It can be a relief to realize others have had similar experiences - it helps us feel understood, capable, and nurtured. If you can't discuss your feelings with your support network, express them some other way - write in a journal, write a poem, or compose a letter that is never mailed.

Avoiding extremely stressful situations:  Stress results when you feel overwhelmed by many things that need to be done at the same time.

Solutions -  

  • Planning:  Plan around the things you find stressful to lessen the effects of stress. Managing your time effectively will even out your workload.

  • Prioritize:  Make a list and prioritize the things you need to get done.

  • Time Out:  Don't be afraid to take a break. Schedule it in! A 20-minute power nap can re-energize you for hours.

  • Focus:  When working, focus on one thing at a time. Switching from one task to another without fully completing the first task allows for variety, but usually wastes time and causes confusion.

  • Realism:  Know and accept your limits. Don't over-commit - learn to say no. It is better to disappoint a person up front than with a last minute cancellation because you find yourself short of time.

Relaxation Techniques 

Relaxation is the natural unwinding of the stress response. Relaxation lowers blood pressure, respiration, and pulse rates. Combining several techniques, for example deep breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, meditation, and massage therapy can significantly lower stress levels. Yoga or tai chi can be very effective, combining many of the benefits of breathing, muscle relaxation, and meditation while toning and stretching the muscles. They also elevate mood and improve concentration and ability to focus.

Visualization involves the imagining of scenes that are relaxing and peaceful - this can help the body relax. Imagine yourself in a setting that is pleasantly relaxing. Guided relaxation (listening to relaxation tapes or having someone read a relaxation exercise to you) can be a pleasant way to relax.

Reference Source -

Coping, Emotions, and Health:  Researchers have identified how the ways we cope with emotions and stressful situations—our coping styles—can influence our physical health. Most firmly established are the links between coronary heart disease and the Type A behavior pattern. Type A is a way of coping characterized by constant hurriedness, intense competitiveness, and free-floating hostility.

A more recent concept is the Type C pattern, which in many ways is the polar opposite of Type A. It involves the non-expression of anger and other unpleasant emotions such as fear and sadness, unassertive and overly appeasing behavior in relationships with others, and a preoccupation with meeting the needs of others, often to the point of extreme self-sacrifice. The theory of the Type C pattern was put forward by Lydia Temoshok, Ph.D., a leading health psychologist and PNI researcher. She has found compelling evidence for a link between emotional expressiveness and the progression of cancer.

The middle ground, or Type B. is considered a more balanced way of coping that involves appropriate expression of all emotions and the ability to meet one's own needs while responding to those of others. People who cope in this more balanced way tend to be less at risk for serious illness. The cultivation of these behaviors is often a goal in mind/body medicine programs, especially for heart disease and cancer.

The Stress Response is a set of changes in the body that result when the person experiences what they perceive to be a challenging or threatening situation. This matter of perceived threat is important because the effects of the stress response on the body are the same whether the threat is real or just imagined in the mind.

The magnitude of these changes is influenced by how serious the person thinks the situation is and what they think about their ability to handle the threat effectively (their appraisal of their ability to respond). Of course, the more confident the person is in their ability to handle a challenge easily, the less stress is involved. The more the person appraises the challenge as a threat—even at the subconscious level—the more intense will be the stress response.

Commonly called the fight-or-flight reaction, the stress response has the beneficial effect of preparing the body to function at a higher level of efficiency, which of course enhances the likelihood of survival. The physiological changes include:

  • Increased blood pressure

  • Increased respiratory rate

  • Increased heart rate

  • Increased oxygen consumption (burning of fuel)

  • Increased blood flow to skeletal muscles

  • Increased perspiration

  • Increased muscle tone

While all these changes clearly contribute to one's ability to fight or flee in an emergency, they also have a downside. If the person is experiencing the stress response regularly and for extended periods of time, these physiological changes have the effect of weakening the body's resistance to illness and lowering the effectiveness of its mechanisms of self-repair.

The Relaxation Response:  Another key principle is the relaxation response, which was discovered and named by Herbert Benson, M.D., and his colleagues in 1974.7,8 They were studying a pattern of physiological changes that occurs in people practicing transcendental meditation (TM).

This pattern of changes has been found to represent a very beneficial state, one that is virtually a mirror image of the stress response. The relaxation response includes the following changes:

  • Reduced blood pressure

  • Reduced respiratory rate

  • Reduced heart rate

  • Reduced oxygen consumption (burning of fuel)

  • Reduced blood flow to skeletal muscles

  • Reduced perspiration

  • Reduced muscle tension

The relaxation response is an antidote to the effects of the stress response and it has also been found to enhance the effectiveness of the body's defenses and self-repair mechanisms. Regular practice of techniques that elicit this response also brings improved emotional well-being and better handling of stressful life events.

The relaxation response is a physiological state, not a technique as such… learning to do this is at the heart of mind/body medicine.

Link to Mind-Body-Spirit Therapy For Additional Support Topics


Stress Reduction Techniques & Programs

Practice stress reduction/ relaxation techniques daily. Here is an example of one you can access from the Internet. - Center For Mindfullness featured by the University of Massachussets Medical School

Mindfulness is a way of learning to relate directly to whatever is happening in your life, a way of taking charge of your life, a way of doing something for yourself that no one else can do for you — consciously and systematically working with your own stress, pain, illness, and the challenges and demands of everyday life.

The course schedule consists of eight weekly classes and one day-long class on a Saturday or Sunday. Morning or evening courses are available. This highly participatory, practical course includes:

  • Guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices

  • Gentle stretching and mindful yoga

  • Group dialogue and discussions aimed at enhancing awareness in everyday life

  • Individually tailored instruction

  • Daily home assignments

  • Four home practice CDs and a home practice manual

This online program offers dynamic interactive tools to improve wellbeing. You determine your personal wellness priorities and achieve your goals by considering all aspects of your life, represented in the 12 key dimensions.

Reduce stress, lose weight, improve relationships, gain better work-life balance, maintain optimal health and live life more fully.

Here's what you gain:

  • Deepen your sense of personal responsibility for your health.
  • Discover the areas of life you are most motivated to change.
  • Learn how to use small steps for continual improvement.
  • Connect to a deeper sense of meaning in your personal life.
  • Maximize your innate potentials as a whole person.
  • Create more balance in your personal and professional life.
  • Discover a higher level of personal health and wellbeing.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation Instructions: Through repetitive practice you quickly learn to recognize—and distinguish—the associated feelings of a tensed muscle and a completely relaxed muscle. With this simple knowledge, you can then induce physical muscular relaxation at the first signs of the tension that accompanies anxiety. And with physical relaxation comes mental calmness—in any situation. Features step by step online techniques.

IHM is a recognized, global leader in emotional physiology, stress management and the physiology of heart-brain research.

Mind/body medicine (also known as behavioral medicine) is of course nothing new. The influence of the mind in healing is addressed in virtually every medical tradition, from the ancient teachings of Ayurveda to modern Allopathy. What is new is the legitimization of research in this field to the point of government funding and the incorporation of mind/body programs into the offerings of major medical institutions, many of which are noted for their conservatism and scientific bent. 

HeartMath has been researching heart intelligence, stress and emotional management for more than 16 years and applied its findings to practical, easy-to-use tools that have been scientifically developed and tested. Scientifically developed and tested products help people in all walks of life transform stress, manage emotions and get in touch with their heart selves so they can think more clearly, perform better and feel more balanced, energized and in control of their lives.

You’ll find powerful applications on this Web site such as an online Stress and Well-being Survey that provide personalized, life-changing solutions to help you experience the physical, mental and emotional benefits of heart-based living.

 View Online Products Here


Lifestyle Changes - Resources

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Healthy Lifestyles site is intended to help you take an active role in your healthcare and adopt beneficial behaviors. Stress coping, weight management, physical fitness, smoking cessation and lifting your spirits…


Better lifestyle habits can help you reduce your risk for heart attack. Learn what you can do to help prevent heart disease and stroke.


We’ve developed a program to help you feel better, look younger, and avoid 70% of the diseases that will kill you before your time. Our work has been funded by National Geographic and the National Institutes on Aging, and our findings have appeared on Good Morning America, Anderson Cooper 360 and the ABC Nightly News.

To help you model your habits after the Blue Zones centenarians, we’ve created several tools, beginning with Vitality Compass™. This is the most accurate online longevity calculator available; it will tell you how long you’re expected to live, how old your body really is, and how you can improve your odds of living younger, better.

The Vitality Coach™ uses the best behavioral science available to guide you in getting the most good years out of life. Six seconds a day for six weeks can add up to four years to your life expectancy, effectively making you biologically younger.


Healthy Lifestyle Tip Sheets

  • Establishing Healthy Eating Habits in Families
  • How Stressed Are You and Your Family?
  • Three Questions About Women as Health Experts in Their Quest to Health and Wellness
  • New Year's Resolutions That Work
  • Surviving Diets and Preventing Eating Disorders
  • Five Ways to Get Moving - Fifty Ways to Keep Moving
  • Understanding Tobacco Addiction
  • Quitting Smoking - Where to Get Help

Helpguide’s mission is to empower you and your loved ones to understand, prevent, and resolve health challenges:

  • Domestic Violence & Abuse
  • Substance Abuse
  • Grief & Loss
  • Eating Disorders
  • Healthy Lifestyles
  • Mental Health
  • Relationships & EQ
  • Children & Parenting
  • Stress & Trauma
  • Depression…and more… - Changing Your Habits.pdf

Old habits die hard. Changing your habits is a process involving several stages. Sometimes it takes a while before changes turn into new habits. You may face challenges along the way. But adopting new, healthier habits may protect you from serious health problems, such as diabetes. New habits may also help you look better and feel more energetic. After a while, if you stick with these changes, they may become a part of your daily routine.

This fact sheet offers strategies to help you improve your eating and physical activity habits and outlines four stages people may experience when changing a health behavior which include:

  • Contemplation

  • Preparation

  • Action

  • Maintenance


A Proven Prevention Program

The Ornish Spectrum – Proven Prevention Program   - For more than 30 years, Dr. Dean Ornish has directed a series of scientific research studies showing, for the first time, that the progression of even severe coronary heart disease can often be reversed by making comprehensive lifestyle changes. These include a very low-fat diet including predominantly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and soy products in their natural, unrefined forms; moderate exercise such as walking; various stress management techniques including yoga-based stretching, breathing, meditation, and imagery; and enhanced love and social support, which may include support groups.

These studies also documented that other chronic diseases may be reversible simply by making comprehensive lifestyle changes. These findings are giving millions of people worldwide new hope and new choices, options that are more caring and compassionate that are also more cost effective and competent.

Participants learn about the clinically proven and scientifically validated, Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease, through its trained and compassionate staff.  Although Medicare is not currently reimbursing the Ornish Spectrum Prevention program, many private insurance companies are covering this program for patients who have coronary heart disease, risk factors for coronary heart disease and/or diabetes.

The Ornish Spectrum is a program that helps you make healthy, sustainable lifestyle changes in:


Publications & Journals

The Behavioral and Clinical Effects of Therapeutic Lifestyle Change on Middle-aged Adults

Therapeutic lifestyle change can result in significant improvements in nutrition and physical activity behavior and reductions in many cardiovascular disease risk factors. Six months after the intervention began, program participants continued to demonstrate dramatic improvements in nutrition and physical activity behavior.

SLEEP is the official publication of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC (APSS) a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society

The APSS publishes original findings in areas pertaining to sleep and circadian rhythms. Topics include sleep-related disorders, medical dysfunctions during sleep, clinical investigations, therapeutic trials, physiologic events, anatomic structures and molecular components underlying normal and abnormal sleep, psychological and psychophysiologic research, and the pharmacology of sleep.