Unlock Your Best Health with a Personal Health Coach!

Clarissa Kussin, ND, FMCHC, ERYT-500

New Year’s is the time when everyone is looking toward the year ahead and all that they want to achieve. While people make resolutions with the best of intentions, few follow through and achieve their goals. This is where health coaching comes in handy.

Health coaches help support clients as they work toward making sustainable lifestyle changes. They are passionate about helping others live happier and healthier lives. This includes helping them stick to New Year’s resolutions. Whether you want to reduce stress, eat better, or move more, health coaches can guide the way.

The Power of Personalized Guidance:

A health coach is your dedicated partner on your wellness journey, offering personalized guidance that goes beyond generic advice. They work with you to create a tailored plan based on your unique needs, preferences, and health goals.

Medical Benefits of Having a Health Coach:

  1. Weight Management: Numerous studies have shown that individuals working with health coaches are more successful in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. A health coach helps you develop sustainable habits, making weight management more than just a short-term goal.
  2. Chronic Disease Prevention and Management: Health coaches play a crucial role in preventing and managing chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Their guidance extends beyond conventional medical advice, focusing on lifestyle changes that can have a profound impact.
  3. Stress Reduction and Mental Well-being: Mental health is an integral part of overall well-being. Health coaches help you navigate stressors, offering support and strategies to enhance mental resilience. This holistic approach contributes to improved mental well-being.
  4. Improved Physical Fitness: A health coach can assist in developing personalized guidelines to follow that can help your fitness professional tailor your fitness routine to suit your lifestyle and preferences. Regular physical activity is linked to numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, increased energy levels, and better mood.
  1. Improved Sleep: Getting quality sleep is crucial for our physical and mental well-being. It affects our mood, concentration, and overall health. From creating a bedtime routine to sticking to a sleep schedule, there are many ways you can improve your quality of sleep. Health coaches may suggest options such as avoiding screens a few hours before bed. Perhaps practicing mindfulness in the evening will quiet a busy mind. Even something as simple as lowering the light in your room at night to trigger your sleep cycle are a small change that can result in a big outcome.

How to Get Started:

If you’re ready to experience the transformative benefits of health coaching, reach out to us today! Our team of experienced health coaches is here to guide you on your journey to optimal health. Call 919.999.0831 to get scheduled.

Remember, investing in your health is an investment in a brighter and more fulfilling future. To your health and happiness!

References:

Wing, R. R., et al. (2018). Intensive lifestyle intervention in type 2 diabetes. New England Journal of Medicine.

Ockene, I. S., et al. (2007). The role of counseling in the promotion of healthy behaviors in adults. JAMA.

Huffman, J. C., et al. (2018). The role of stress and psychosocial interventions in cancer. Current Psychiatry Reports

Warburton, D. E. R., et al. (2006). Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. Canadian Medical Association Journal

Your Partner In Health,

Clarissa A. Kussin, ND, FMCHC, ERYT-500

Unlock Your Best Health With A Personal Health Coach!

Clarissa A. Kussin, ND, FMCHC, ERYT-500

New Year’s is the time when everyone is looking toward the year ahead and all that they want to achieve. While people make resolutions with the best of intentions, few follow through and achieve their goals. This is where health coaching comes in handy. 

Health coaches help support clients as they work toward making sustainable lifestyle changes. They are passionate about helping others live happier and healthier lives. This includes helping them stick to New Year’s resolutions. Whether you want to reduce stress, eat better, or move more, health coaches can guide the way. 

The Power of Personalized Guidance:

A health coach is your dedicated partner on your wellness journey, offering personalized guidance that goes beyond generic advice. They work with you to create a tailored plan based on your unique needs, preferences, and health goals.

Medical Benefits of Having a Health Coach:

  1. Weight Management: Numerous studies have shown that individuals working with health coaches are more successful in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. A health coach helps you develop sustainable habits, making weight management more than just a short-term goal.
  2. Chronic Disease Prevention and Management: Health coaches play a crucial role in preventing and managing chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Their guidance extends beyond conventional medical advice, focusing on lifestyle changes that can have a profound impact.
  3. Stress Reduction and Mental Well-being: Mental health is an integral part of overall well-being. Health coaches help you navigate stressors, offering support and strategies to enhance mental resilience. This holistic approach contributes to improved mental well-being.
  4. Improved Physical Fitness: A health coach can assist in developing personalized guidelines to follow that can help your fitness professional tailor your fitness routine to suit your lifestyle and preferences. Regular physical activity is linked to numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, increased energy levels, and better mood.
  1. Improved Sleep: Getting quality sleep is crucial for our physical and mental well-being. It affects our mood, concentration, and overall health. From creating a bedtime routine to sticking to a sleep schedule, there are many ways you can improve your quality of sleep. Health coaches may suggest options such as avoiding screens a few hours before bed. Perhaps practicing mindfulness in the evening will quiet a busy mind. Even something as simple as lowering the light in your room at night to trigger your sleep cycle are a small change that can result in a big outcome. 

How to Get Started:

If you’re ready to experience the transformative benefits of health coaching, reach out to us today! Our team of experienced health coaches is here to guide you on your journey to optimal health. Call 919.999.0831 to get scheduled.

Remember, investing in your health is an investment in a brighter and more fulfilling future.

To your health and happiness!

References:

Wing, R. R., et al. (2018). Intensive lifestyle intervention in type 2 diabetes. New England Journal of Medicine.

Ockene, I. S., et al. (2007). The role of counseling in the promotion of healthy behaviors in adults. JAMA.

Huffman, J. C., et al. (2018). The role of stress and psychosocial interventions in cancer. Current Psychiatry Reports

Warburton, D. E. R., et al. (2006). Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. Canadian Medical Association Journal

Your Partner In Health,

Clarissa A. Kussin, ND, FMCHC, ERYT-500

Sleep and CBD

Full-spectrum CBD (cannabidiol) is derived from the cannabis plant and contains various compounds, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While research on the specific effects of CBD on sleep is ongoing, some studies and anecdotal evidence suggest potential benefits for sleep, and full-spectrum CBD may offer additional advantages due to the entourage effect, where different cannabis compounds work together synergistically. Here are some potential benefits of full-spectrum CBD for sleep:

  1. Regulation of Sleep-Wake Cycles: CBD may interact with the endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating sleep-wake cycles. It could potentially help individuals with sleep disorders like insomnia by promoting a more regular sleep pattern.
    • Reference: Babson, K. A., Sottile, J., & Morabito, D. (2017). Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature. Current Psychiatry Reports, 19(4), 23.
  2. Anxiety and Stress Reduction: Anxiety and stress are common culprits of sleep disturbances. Full-spectrum CBD may have anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects, which could indirectly improve sleep by calming the mind.
    • Reference: Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente Journal, 23, 18-041.
  1. Pain Relief: Full-spectrum CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that may alleviate chronic pain conditions. Improved pain management can lead to better sleep quality for individuals who suffer from pain-related sleep disturbances.
    • Reference: Russo, E. B. (2008). Cannabinoids in the Management of Difficult to Treat Pain. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, 4(1), 245–259.
  1. Relaxation and Sedation: Some terpenes found in full-spectrum CBD, such as myrcene, have sedative properties. These compounds, in combination with CBD, may promote relaxation and sedation, making it easier to fall asleep.
    • Reference: Russo, E. B. (2011). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. British Journal of Pharmacology, 163(7), 1344–1364.
  1. Reduced Nightmares: For individuals suffering from nightmares or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), full-spectrum CBD may help reduce the occurrence of distressing dreams.
    • Reference: Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836.

Remember – just because a company advertises ‘full-spectrum CBD’ does not mean that it’s what we are discussing here. It’s similar to the caution you need when buying eggs, and you see ‘cage-free’ or ‘free-range.’ Thanks to clever and deceptive marketing strategies, those phrases do not indicate that the chicken was allowed to roam on open pastures eating grass and bugs – that’s exclusive to ‘pasture-raised.’

The CBD market is far more unregulated than an established product like eggs, so it’s essentially the Wild Wild West, and it’s up to you to be informed and do your homework.

What authentic full-spectrum CBD indicates is a product that includes the full range of beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, and other unique phytonutrients found in hemp. The best way to verify this claim is by looking at the company’s COA, and check to make sure a variety of cannabinoids and terpenes are present.

It’s important to note that while there’s promising research and anecdotal evidence, individual responses to CBD can vary.

It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement, including CBD, especially if you have underlying medical conditions or are taking other medications.

Always check for recent research and consult with a healthcare provider for personalized guidance.

Your Partner In Health,

Clarissa A. Kussin, ND, FMCHC, ERYT-500

Health Coaching

Erica Nelson, MSPH, NBC-HWC 

The legendary basketball coach, John Wooden once said, “A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.”  At Carolina Total Wellness, our coaches help our patients change their lives every day.Every patient at Carolina Total Wellness that sees a doctor or physician assistant is paired with a health coach. Some patients may also choose to work solely with a health coach to achieve their dietary and lifestyle goals. This article will help you know what to expect when you work with a health coach.

Here are 3 key aspects of the health coaching experience at Carolina Total Wellness:

The Space Between
Health coaches hold space for you to pause… and decide how you want to respond to your circumstances. The world today is a seemingly relentless onslaught of stimulation, and it can feel like there is an urgency to react to all of that stimulation.

George Mumford, meditation coach to Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and other world-class athletes offers another way, ‘Think about the eye of a hurricane.’ He says, ‘No matter how intense the storm or what’s swept up in its gale-force winds, that calm, blue center is always there. We all have this quiet center within us.’  Your CTW coach will help you respond from that quiet center within, rather than reacting from the chaos of the storm.

In our office, health coaches hold space for you to make sense of what is going on in your world and in your body and decide how you want to respond. Health coaches always honor the fact that you are the expert on your own life and display unconditional positive regard for you and whatever lifestyle decisions you choose. They pay attention to what matters to you and may offer suggestions for adjustments that fit into your life.

Translator
The science of the body and its systems are the physician’s expertise. Science of behavior change is the coach’s expertise. Our coaches help you translate medical science you discuss with your doctor or PA into evidence-based behavioral change strategies to optimize your health. When you combine the medical knowledge of our physicians and PA with your coach’s expertise in the science of motivation, habits, and change, many of the barriers to experiencing health fall away.

Each of the coaches at CTW has at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and training in coaching from either the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy or Duke University. Some of them also have master’s degrees and other specialized training in nutrition, exercise, counseling, and other relevant fields. Unless otherwise specified, CTW coaches are not registered dietitians, licensed mental health professionals or certified fitness professionals.

Guide
In the words of Michael Jordan, ‘A coach is someone that sees beyond your limits and guides you to greatness!’ CTW coaches come to the table with empathy for whatever you are facing and feeling and confidence in your ability to overcome. Each coach has faced their own struggles in life and knows what it is like to work hard to overcome. However, coaches never replace you as the expert on you; they serve as your guide on your journey to health. Coaches can help you understand all the different ways you can try intermittent fasting or yoga or what, exactly, is ‘glycemic index.’ Maybe our most important job, though, is to help you get very clear on your vision of the healthiest version of you. Once you decide where it is you want to go, coaches provide education, support and accountability to knock down any stumbling blocks that may come up along the way.
 
Call us today to schedule your appointment with one of our health coaches.
 

Erica Nelson, MSPH, NBC-HWC 

Heart Rate Variability

Didem Miraloglu, MD, MS

DO YOU KNOW HOW TO MEASURE YOUR WELL-BEING?

Ever heard of Heart Rate Variability (HRV)? Exactly as its name states, heart rate variability is a measure of the variability between heartbeats. Your heart beats a specific rate, anywhere from 60-100. There is a variation in this rate, depending on whether you take a deep breath, exercise, are under stress or are at rest. HRV is dependent on our nervous system to pick up cues from our environment.  In order to understand how these cues are translated into physiological response, we first need to understand how the nervous system works.

Our nervous system controls our heart rate in two opposing directions.

One is the sympathetic nervous system, “fight or flight.” It is responsible for increasing the heart rate when we are stressed, like running away from a saber tooth tiger. In our present world since we are not normally faced with tigers, sympathetic drive kicks in during other emergency situations. This is exactly when you want more blood pumped from the heart to your muscles so you can fight or run. The blood pressure and heart rate increase as a normal response to the feedback from our environment.  

Its counterpart is the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the “rest and digest” system. When our senses detect the emergency is all clear, our parasympathetic system takes the lead and tells our heart rate to slow down and lowers the blood pressure. Our body starts to relax.

This is the normal sequence of events that occurs by increasing and decreasing the heart rate appropriately according to the environmental cues. Studies have shown people with high heart rate variability are usually less stressed and are happier.

The problem occurs when there is low heart variability. This means the nervous system is not responding adequately to the environmental cues and hence your body is less resilient and struggles to handle changing situations. This may occur with diabetes, asthma, anxiety, depression and high blood pressure. This is also seen as we age.

You can improve your heart rate variability by taking care of your body and mind. Regular exercise along with a healthy diet, staying hydrated, avoiding alcohol, getting a good night sleep, being exposed to natural light, taking a cold shower and mindfulness, all help with reduction in HRV.  Controlled breathing has also been shown to boost HRV and help fight stress which can decrease HRV.

The gold standard for measuring HRV is an EKG. But you don’t have to buy an EKG, since there are smaller and more affordable gadgets on the market with which you can measure HRV in the comfort of your home.  Here are some of those:

  • Apple Watch – Uses an optical sensor (green light) to record heart rate automatically, however, you need to obtain the Health app on iPhone to look at the data.
  • Oura Ring – A sleep tracker, takes the mean of all 5-minute samples measured while you are sleeping. The changes in your HRV are accounted for every 5 minutes throughout the night which makes it one of the most accurate devices out there to measure HRV. This is in comparison to other wearables that only take HRV measurement at a single point during the night.
  • Fitbit – Heart rate tracker automatically measures the HRV and sends stats to the Fitbit app. The only problem is that the technology used in Fitbit does not accurately record or report heart rate.
  • AIO (All in One) Smart Sleeve – It is a sleeve you wear that can measure your EKG real time. It also does sleep analysis, workout optimization and stress level monitoring.
  • Frontier X – Worn directly over your heart, like a chest belt, provides continuous ECG monitoring.

There are also apps that help you increase your HRV. They do this thru teaching breathing techniques via biofeedback, which changes the heart rhythm to create a physiological balance in physical, mental and emotional systems. Some of these include HeartMate, HeartRate + Coherence Pro and HeartMath. HeartMath is the gold standard in the industry for coherence and the one with the most science behind it.

So, how do you measure your well-being? Mainly with tools that provide feedback on your heart rate variability. But remember, your well-being does not have so much to do with what is going on in your environment, as it does with how you perceive and react to your environment. And working on those factors will in long term help with your well-being.

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

 Marcus AureliusRoman Emperor and Stoic philosopher (161-180 AD)

Didem Miraloglu, MD, MS

How to Ground Your Energy When Feeing Anxious

The last couple of years have been hard on everyone.  The pandemic has caused so many disruptions in our lives – lost jobs and income, friends and loved ones becoming ill, children home from school and missing socialization, feeling more isolated and less connected.  It’s no wonder that an even greater number of people have reported feeling anxious. 

Talk therapy, supplements, exercise and medication are beneficial solutions for curbing anxiety.  There are also practical strategies you can utilize when experiencing anxiety.

1)  Box Breathing – If you’ve ever practiced meditation then you know how helpful mindful breathing can be to calm your nervous system.  Close your eyes and then breathe slowly in for four counts.  Hold your breath for four counts and then exhale slowly for four counts. At the bottom of the exhale count to four while doing nothing.  Repeat this process for a total of four times.  Once completed you should feel much more relaxed and centered.

2) Name Objects in Your Line of Vision – If your thoughts are spiraling out of control you can change your state of mind by simply naming objects that you see.  Keep doing this as long as you need to until you feel your energy begin to mellow.  This works because you are changing which hemisphere of your brain is being used, moving from the emotional side to the logical side. 

3) Mantras – Taking the time to recite a mantra is valuable for grounding feelings of anxiety.  Some examples are “I am safe”, “I am peaceful”, “I am loved” or “With every breath I feel myself relaxing”.  Write down your own affirmations that resonate with you the most and then say them repeatedly when you’re feeling anxious.

4) Gratitude – We cannot be in a state of fear or anxiety and be in a state of calm or peace a the same time.  Pausing to “count your blessings” will transition your energy into a more relaxed vibration. Write down five things you are grateful for or if you can’t write them down, list them in your mind.

The next time you find your heart beating fast or your mind racing, try practicing these strategies to ground your energy.

The next time you find your heart beating fast or your mind racing, try practicing these strategies to ground your energy.

If you or someone you know can benefit from working with our health coaches please contact our office to make an appointment. 

In health,
Sara Yadlowsky, FMHC

Neurofeedback Therapy

Robert Baric, DC

We have invited several expert practitioners to educate our practice community on approaches to healing that are complementary to Functional Medicine. Our expert this week is Robert Baric, DC who will educate us on Neurofeedback. Neurofeedback is quite different from “biofeedback” with which you may be familiar. Dr. Baric is board certified in neurofeedback and has over 26 years of clinical experience. His passion for health and wellness has emerged throughout the years as he continues to deliver the most up to date knowledge to his patients, while providing them with impactful treatment in addition to neurofeedback, including nutrition, acupuncture, chiropractic techniques, and other applied therapies. I will hand off the microphone to Dr. Baric.
 


 
 Neurofeedback Therapy: A Compliment to Traditional Medicine
Amidst 56 years of positive research and clinical trials in neuropsychology, neurofeedback has emerged as a modality of complementary therapy that is “evidence based”. Neurofeedback therapy has gained increasing popularity due to its non-invasive properties and the sizable body of research supporting its efficacy, along with it being an alternative to traditional pharmacological treatment. Essentially, neurofeedback is EEG-biofeedback, where a method of retraining brain waves through operant conditioning is utilized. Various conditions like ADHD, depression and anxiety, addiction, and insomnia are all cognitive disorders that can negatively impact an individual’s brain waves.

 The first step to neurofeedback therapy is an initial brain scan that determines if a patient is a suitable candidate for neurofeedback therapy. A quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG) shows brain activity and function allowing professionals to understand what ailments may be present and what can be done to mitigate symptoms at the root of the problem. The qEEG process takes just 45 minutes, recording brain waves with the eyes closed and opened. The results are then analyzed and a customized training protocol is created specifically tailored to the patient. Treatment includes monitoring the dysfunctional area while rewarding the preferred wave formation, with the reward being a TV show of the patient’s choice.  Brain waves are monitored, and using operant conditioning, stimuli are adjusted to guide the brain waves back into a healthy pattern.  If accepted as a patient, most individuals experience a marked improvement by sessions 10-15, most conditions requiring 40 sessions to finalize neuroplastic changes.
  
There are multiple conditions for which neurofeedback is impactful, with few being the most prominent throughout my years of experience. 
 
 Depression and Anxiety
The zeitgeist proves the need for complementary treatment options for individuals suffering with depression and anxiety. Approximately 33.7% of the population suffers with anxiety related disorders in their life, often comorbid with depression (1).  The Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology yielded results showing significant improvement in patients symptoms of depression with neurofeedback (2). Similar results were shown in patients with anxiety disorders, with the Journal of Industrial Psychology exhibiting results where neurofeedback therapy was deemed essentially as effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety as medication (3). 
 
 ADHD 
Children and adults suffering with ADHD recognize notable improvements in their focus and attention after a series of neurofeedback treatment. When a group of students received either neurofeedback or pharmacological support, evidence showed those in the neurofeedback group improved in executive control to a greater extent than the pharmacological support group (4). A plethora of research supports the decrease of ADHD symptoms in both children and adults. 
 
 Insomnia
Brain waves play a significant role in the ability to sleep. If a patient is unable to enter into a restful and deeply restorative state, there could be a misalignment in brain waves causing a patient to feel unwell and never feel rested. Medications can be utilized to aid in sleep, but frequently result in a feeling of grogginess upon waking. Neurofeedback actually tackles the problem at hand at the root by retraining the brain waves in order to get quality sleep without the use of medications. 
 
For issues involving the brain and cognition, it is essential to tackle the issue from multiple directions, utilizing multiple forms of treatment.  As a pain-free and relaxing process, neurofeedback will maximize its growth throughout the coming years. Neurofeedback will continue to provide millions of individuals with a fully customized treatment plan to ensure optimal brain health, and alleviate years of morbid symptoms.

If there are any questions about neurofeedback please reach out through email or phone and MyBrainDr would be happy to discuss any inquiries. 
 
Email: admin@mybraindr.com
Phone: 919-721-4800
Website: www.MyBrainDr.com

Magnificent Magnesium

Frances Meredith, MD

In the times of COVID, so many nutrients seem to be in the news these days from quercetin to Zinc, to Vitamin D.  Overlooked I believe is the nutrient essential for every cell and every process in our body including immune readiness: Magnesium!

Magnesium is a cofactor for over 300 enzymatic reactions, supporting DNA and RNA synthesis, cell growth and reproduction. Magnesium enters the energy cycle as a cofactor in at least 12 different steps in the process, and is essential for the little batteries in every cell, our mitochondria, to transport electrons and create energy. It is necessary for bone growth and strength, stabilizing the cell membrane, and maintaining normal nerve and muscle function.

Magnesium sits within the cell, balancing all of our cells, keeping calcium outside the cell from overstimulating cellular activity in all parts of the body. For example, Mag balances Calcium in the NMDA glutamate receptor, controlling its opening, avoiding “neuroexcitation”.  Thus, lack of Magnesium sets the stage for nerve overactivation, hyperexcitability (think chronic anxiety, chronic pain, chronic states of inflammation created by lack of Magnesium). When we are Mag deficient this NMDA glutamate receptor activates. This is good for survival when we are under intense stress, but not something we want to live with on a day in and day out basis.

Low Magnesium can express itself in so many ways including fatigue, muscle cramping/tension, PMS, headaches, especially migraines, constipation, insomnia, tinnitus, brain fog, heart arrhythmias, anxiety and depression, TMJ, ADHD, and blood sugar issues. Sound familiar?  If that’s not enough, Magnesium deficiency is implicated in diabetes, osteoporosis, and hypertension. It is a natural “calcium channel blocker” (think drugs that do this such as amlodipine used for hypertension). The lower the Magnesium levels the greater the progression of Alzheimer’s. Fibromyalgia improves with Magnesium treatment. Increasing Magnesium intake is correlated with a decrease in stroke, diabetes, heart failure, fracture risk and all-cause mortality. Sounds like we all need more, yes?

Why are we so deficient? The answer lies both in the disruption of our food chain and the breakdown of our food choices. The soil is now deficient in Magnesium due to lack of crop rotation, pesticide use and overproduction; in addition, the use of fertilizer heavy in nitrogen and phosphate blocks the plants’ ability to absorb Magnesium.  Further, as foods are processed, Magnesium is leached out. The end product: less for us.

Testing for Magnesium is easy, with red blood cell levels being the most accurate form of testing. Body signals, however, are much more important than a test result. Symptoms such as myofascial and muscular tightness/tension/cramping, sluggish bowels, and low energy point to low Magnesium and a trial of Magnesium is warranted even without checking a blood level.

So how can we optimize Magnesium for all of the cells in our body to “sing”? It is clear that plant-based Magnesium is much more effective than the mineral in supplement form. This is due to the fact that Magnesium is at the heart of chlorophyll, responsible for the green pigment in our green foods. Plant based Magnesium is very absorbable and is already charged, essential for its function. The big winners for high magnesium are pumpkin seeds, spinach, almonds and cashews. This great link from Cleveland Clinic lists the magnesium content of many foods.

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15650-magnesium-rich-food

 Magnesium in supplement form can be very helpful, and must be attached to a “chelator” to get across the intestinal border. They are best taken with food to improve stability. Magnesium comes in forms including glycinate, citrate, theonate, asparate, orotate, and oxide, with different benefits associated with the specific chelators.

For example, the Mag oxide form is only minimally absorbed and very unstable, drawing water into the intestinal tract, helpful for severe constipation or impaction but not helpful to get Magnesium into cells elsewhere in the body. In contrast the Magnesium glycinate is more stable, better absorbed and better for anxiety or insomnia. Mag citrate is helpful for intestinal motility/constipation as well as energy as it plugs directly into our “Krebs cycle” to create energy.

In addition, optimal intestinal absorption is necessary, with Magnesium absorbed mostly in the ileum of our small intestines. Therefore, if things go awry in the ileum, our ability to absorb Magnesium (as well as other nutrients) will be impacted (think leaky gut, small intestinal bacterial or fungal overgrowth).

Sounds like most everyone would be better off with a little more Magnesium! If any of the above-mentioned symptoms or conditions apply to you, your functional medicine provider at Carolina Total Wellness would be most happy to discuss this with you.

Your Partner In Health

Frances T. Meredith, MD

Health Benefits of Napping

By: Susan D. Denny, M.D., MPH

With the hectic pace of day-to-day life, many people don’t get the recommended amount of sleep each night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults typically need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night in order to function at their best. Getting a few less hours for even a few nights in a row can have the same effect as staying awake for 24 hours straight. And, over time, chronic sleep debt can contribute to fatigue, increased stress levels, reduced attention span, and declined cognitive performance.

One way to combat the effects of sleep deprivation—and repay some sleep debt—is to incorporate daytime napping into your schedule. The length of the nap and type of sleep you get during that nap help determine its potential health benefits. The table below identifies these benefits.

Nap Duration  and  Potential Health Benefits

10-20 minutes:
 Reduces sleepiness; improves cognitive performance; increases alertness, attention, and energy levels; improves mood; improves motor performance; reduces stress levels

20-30 minutes:
Enhances creativity; sharpens memory

30-60 minutes:
Sharpens decision-making skills, including memorization and recall; improves memory preservation

60-90 minutes:
Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is critical for problem solving; helps make new connections in the brain; enhances creativity; reduces negative reactivity; promotes happiness
 

The following is a list of tips and tricks to help you make the most of naptime:

  • Choose a dark, quiet, comfortable place where you can relax.
  •  Try to limit the amount of noise and light in the room, and make sure the temperature is comfortable.
  •  Choose a time that works for you, and aim to nap at that time each day to establish a routine. You may find that restricting your naps to early afternoon (between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm, or an hour or two after lunch) is less likely to interfere with your nighttime sleep patterns.
  •  Set an alarm on your cell phone, watch, or computer so you don’t sleep for too long.
  •  If you’re napping at the office, try closing your door and hanging a sign that says, “will return in 20 minutes.” Alternatives to this are napping in your car or on an outdoor bench.
  • Wherever you nap, bring along something that you associate with sleep. Some ideas include a sleep mask, neck pillow, relaxing playlist and headphones, cozy blanket, warm socks, and lavender essential oil to dab on your pulse points.
  • Keep in mind that longer naps may be accompanied by sleep inertia, or a period of grogginess that sometimes follows sleep. Give yourself time to wake fully before returning to any activity that requires a quick or sharp response.

 Your Partner In Health!
Susan D. Denny, MD, MPH

Health Benefits of Napping

Susan D. Denny, MD, MPH
“No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap.” — Carrie Snow

With the hectic pace of day-to-day life, many people don’t get the recommended amount of sleep each night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults typically need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night in order to function at their best. Getting a few less hours for even a few nights in a row can have the same effect as staying awake for 24 hours straight. And, over time, chronic sleep debt can contribute to fatigue, increased stress levels, reduced attention span, and declined cognitive performance.

One way to combat the effects of sleep deprivation—and repay some sleep debt—is to incorporate daytime napping into your schedule. The length of the nap and type of sleep you get during that nap help determine its potential health benefits. The table below identifies these benefits.

Nap Duration  and  Potential Health Benefits

10-20 minutes:
 Reduces sleepiness; improves cognitive performance; increases alertness, attention, and energy levels; improves mood; improves motor performance; reduces stress levels

20-30 minutes:
Enhances creativity; sharpens memory

30-60 minutes:
Sharpens decision-making skills, including memorization and recall; improves memory preservation

60-90 minutes:
Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is critical for problem solving; helps make new connections in the brain; enhances creativity; reduces negative reactivity; promotes happiness

  The following is a list of tips and tricks to help you make the most of naptime:

Choose a dark, quiet, comfortable place where you can relax. Try to limit the amount of noise and light in the room, and make sure the temperature is comfortable. Choose a time that works for you, and aim to nap at that time each day to establish a routine. You may find that restricting your naps to early afternoon (between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm, or an hour or two after lunch) is less likely to interfere with your nighttime sleep patterns. Set an alarm on your cell phone, watch, or computer so you don’t sleep for too long. If you’re napping at the office, try closing your door and hanging a sign that says, “will return in 20 minutes.” Alternatives to this are napping in your car or on an outdoor bench.

Wherever you nap, bring along something that you associate with sleep. Some ideas include a sleep mask, neck pillow, relaxing playlist and headphones, cozy blanket, warm socks, and lavender essential oil to dab on your pulse points.

Keep in mind that longer naps may be accompanied by sleep inertia, or a period of grogginess that sometimes follows sleep. Give yourself time to wake fully before returning to any activity that requires a quick or sharp response. 

Your Partner In Health!
Susan D. Denny, MD, MPH