HEALING, STRESS AND THE PARASYMPATHETIC SYSTEM (part 1)
Written by: Roberta Kline, MD
With people under record levels of chronic stress, it is no wonder we have an epidemic of people suffering from all sorts of health issues and chronic diseases. Heart disease, diabetes, obesity, pain, anxiety, depression, infertility, cancer, autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s …. These are just some of the many health conditions that have been linked to diet and lifestyle including chronic stress. [2, 3] But how does this work? And is meditation the answer to reversing this trend? Science is revealing some interesting clues.
The ANS is further divided into two parts: the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS), which regulates our “fight or flight” response, and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS), which controls our “rest and digest” response. They work closely together in a complex dance, maintaining our bodily functions and ensuring our survival every second of our lives.
Many health issues, including most chronic diseases such as heart disease, autoimmune disease, diabetes, depression and anxiety, and cancer, are related to an imbalance of our autonomic nervous system. Most typically, it is too much of the “fight or flight” and not enough of the “rest and digest” that leads us into this imbalance. 
HOW THERAPISTS DIAGNOSE MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
By: Jessica Connell, LCSW
GUIDED MEDITATIONS are a way to let go of your worries for the moment and bring you back to your true, authentic self. It helps re-align the chakras of your body to their natural state of vibration, –where you can live more fully, love more abundantly, and react in a peaceful state of mind.
Your mind, body, and spirit are the essential parts of you. You are God’s precious gift to the world and there is nothing more beautiful than a soul in the state of peace. Guided meditation is one of many holistic healing modalities that has many benefits. The practice of guided meditation is dated back to the beginning of time, we all need to quiet the mind, to let go of all the chatter of everyday life, –to recharge, replenish and rejuvenate the soul.
Meditation can be implemented for long and short periods of time. We live in a world that is constantly cluttering our lives. We need to take time out for ourselves. When we do that, –we feel more relaxed. We can give more of ourselves and to others in positive ways because we are refreshed. Meditation lifts our spirit to a higher level of vibration so that we can handle life’s troubles and triumphs to our best capability. While working at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Northport, Long Island, –I would always include guided meditations as part of my practice with my patients. Many patients felt the soothing music and aromatherapy used in conjunction with the guided meditations made the experience even more pleasant, so it’s important to take note of what works best for you.
Meditation is a practice known to man since the beginning of time. The history of meditation is rooted back in religion and spiritual practice; however, as cultures and societies changed, –so did its practice. The English word “meditation” comes from meditatum, a Latin word meaning to “ponder.” When we ponder, –we reflect, we think. But instead of thinking in haste, –we think with clarity. We let go of toxic thoughts, –calming the mind, body, and soul to lead a more peaceful and happy life. There are many benefits to prayer, meditation, and guided imaginary.
Meditation has proven benefits to reduce anxiety and depression; fear and apprehension; stress and tension; calming your mind and nerves; and improving your physical health. There are various forms of meditation and differences in how people respond to meditation. Each time you practice meditation, –you are generally, –able to let go more easily, and may go into a deeper meditation. You become light itself. Meditation increases your concentration and ability to stay focused. Ultimately, it increases your wisdom and intuition. Meditating in the morning provides you with inspirational energy for the day, –and meditating in the evening encourages a restful sleep.
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RECHARGING FOR CAREGIVERS
By: Dr. Leslie Valle & the Prevention101 Editorial Team
During the Covid-19 surge, interviews with emergency medical professionals showed dramatic cases of ICU and ER responders exposed to major signs of advanced fatigue and risk of burnout. This significantly raised major risks to their work performance where lives are to be affected, including theirs. Over time, double and triple shifts resulted in "a different type of pandemic" on a national scale- where this level of exhaustion and overwhelm.
Where a leave of absence, a vacation or regular rest is not an immediate option, we can start with addressing BRAIN HEALTH AND MENTAL HEALTH. Modern meditation solutions (like BrainTap®, Loving Meditations® and other such technologies) are now available for exactly this emergent case as a portable personal "Rescue" dose. By tap ping the mind/body connection into a Vital Re-charge mode, we can induce a "Refresh- Revitalize-Renew" condition. As with conventional meditation, bringing you into a regenerative meditative state offers that level of rest, clears the mind for renewed focus and new energy to continue with the 'battle' at hand.
Within the recent decade, a higher level of focus on brain health has been a trending topic in headlines throughout medical community news. Public concerns about Alzheimer’s, Dementia, MS, ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases has driven advanced research in their diagnostics, therapeutics and prevention. According to Dr. Jay Lombard, “One of the most exciting opportunities in neuroscience research today is the use of strategies that protect the brain which may potentially prevent, delay or inhibit the progression of neurodegenerative diseases… this opportunity rests on our ability for early diagnosis. Research has shown that the likelihood of success for a given treatment-whether lifestyle changes or pharmacological approaches- is highly dependent upon early intervention, before the disease process has become too severe and potentially irreversible.” 
In addition, growing reports on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy/CTE (identified from head concussions) has prompted significant attention to this progressive brain condition. According to the National Health Service (UK), this disorder “is thought to be caused by repeated blows to the head and repeated episodes of concussion. It's particularly associated with contact sports, such as boxing or American football. Most of the available studies are based on ex-athletes”. 
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