Hyla Cass, MD
When it comes to natural highs, none is as inexpensive, safe, available, or natural as sleep. According to experts, if you want to be fully alert, in a good mood, mentally sharp, creative and energetic all day, you probably need to spend at least one-third of your life sleeping; that means eight hours a night.
Life is complex and its highest goal seems to be achieving and sustaining dynamic balance in all its systems—physical, mental, emotional and social. Sleep is an essential part of that balance. Nearly all animals and even some plants sleep on a regular basis. In sleep, creatures rest, repair and rejuvenate themselves. Our body is governed by dozens of internal clocks that coordinate hormone production, hunger, moods, body temperature and energy level. Many of these are related to our patterns of sleeping and waking.
Some years ago I came across Eric Pearl's book, The Reconnection: Heal Others, Heal Yourself—and couldn't put it down. An experienced chiropractor, Eric began to notice that his patients were healing spontaneously when he worked on them. He'd feel sensations in his hands, they'd feel sensations in their bodies—and the individual would oftentimes be instantly and permanently healed of their ailments. These could be cancer, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, chronic pain or even AIDS-related diseases—issues not generally targeted by chiropractic.
As an integrative/holistic psychiatrist, I have been following genetic aspects of mental illness for some time. One of my favorite sources of information here is William Walsh PhD, an internationally recognized expert in the field of nutritional medicine. He shows how you can indeed change your mental genes—and in simple cases, in the comfort of your own home! I met this brilliant and charming man many years ago at a conference when he presented his research on violence, autism, and schizophrenia, carrying forward the ground-breaking work of pioneer Dr. Carl Pfeiffer.
I was recently asked to reveal my personal approach to health and longevity; that is, how to delay the usual pitfalls of aging as long as possible. While death is inevitable, the goal here is to have a joyous, fulfilling, and healthy life for as many years as possible along the way. I’ll share what has worked for me, my friends, colleagues, readers, and patients.
“For every dollar we spend on prescription drugs, we spend a dollar to fix a complication. Understanding how nutritional supplements affect these drugs could make them safer andmore effective.”
A little known but potentially life-saving fact is that common medications deplete vital nutrients essential to your health. Here’s a practical guide to avoid drug-induced nutrient depletion, and even, replace your medications with natural supplements.
The latest form of environmental pollution—and one that industry, government and wireless consumers don’t like to acknowledge—may be the most devastating threat to health yet: electromagnetic fields (EMFs). A few years ago, I was so concerned that I took a certification course in the detection and harmful effects of EMFs. What it taught me, above all, was how much the scientific community is learning daily, and how little we in the medical profession knew. This area was both frightening and daunting in its scope. I’m grateful that following Devra Davis’ Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation we now have Zapped to educate the public on this serious issue.
Tryptophan is a naturally occurring amino acid that is best known for its ability to raise mood, improve behavior, and enhance sleep. It is found in the proteins we eat—meat, fish, dairy and certain vegetarian sources. These proteins are broken down into their constituent amino acids which go on to become building blocks for skin, bones, muscles, enzymes and the body’s own chemicals that run our systems. Since it’s an essential amino acid, meaning that our body doesn’t manufacture it, we must obtain tryptophan daily from food or supplements.
These days it seems like everyone’s got a “solution” to the health care crisis. There are the political fixes, of course, ranging from President Obama’s “universal mandate, universal insurance” agenda, to presidential hopeful Ron Paul’s “personal choice, personal consequence” approach, along with a dozen other proposals for everything from single-payer to total laissez-faire.
Coming into the holiday season you’ll be tempted by sugar, alcohol, and other indulgences that may come at a high price. This may be a good time to address the issue head on, and start your New Year’s resolution in advance!
Do you crave something sweet after dinner or between meals? Do you have to have your morning coffee, at all costs, or keep craving and drinking it throughout the day? Do you find that you can’t wait to get home for that end-of-the-day drink, and can’t relax without it?
When I moved into my current home in Pacific Palisades, California, nearly 20 years ago, I was searching for nontoxic resources: paints, carpeting, and other furnishings. My search was mostly met with odd looks and raised eyebrows (ah, the olden days!). So I was overjoyed to find Mary Cordaro, just starting out on her path as a consultant on healthy, green home building and remodeling. She spoke my language! She became my non-toxic home guide to whom I referred friends and patients over the years: those with allergies, or simply, interested in green, non-toxic living. Mold, volatile chemicals, indoor and outdoor pollution—you name it, she’d have a resource.
It is almost impossible to exist in today’s world without stress. We all feel it: the pressures of job, home, kids, health, finances, you name it. Never before in history have humans had so much to do, and we rarely have a chance to catch our breath.
On one hand, stress isn’t always bad. It can be a motivator, helping to get you out of bed in the morning and sending you to the office, or giving you a surge of energy when you need it to escape danger.