Why are We “Hacking” Ourselves for Health?

Why are We “Hacking” Ourselves for Health?

 

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” ― Rudyard Kipling

 

The more we treat our bodies like a machine, the more we may realize, over time, that it is not. We cannot simply slide in another chip or motherboard or hard drive. Our body-mind needs rest. It needs to move. It needs to be given high quality food and water. However, it seems these days that we are seeing how science fiction is becoming more and more of our reality. Perhaps that is the reason why we feel we now need to “hack” our own bodies in the pursuit of better health.

Definition of hacking: “To gain access to a computer illegally.”

 

Why are we accessing our body illegally? Are we so far removed from our own body-mind that we need to access it illegally to trick ourselves? Now, I imagine I may get some feedback from a reader or two that I’m merely making a big deal about nothing. “It’s just a word”. “We should just be encouraging people to get healthy.” Perhaps “hacking” is just a trend like any of the many exercise trends that have come and gone and I’m making a bigger deal of this expression then it needs to be.

 

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Obviously, we should be encouraging people to get healthy and finding easier ways to share that with people is vital. I believe we should also be encouraging people to treat their bodies like the incredible human beings that we are. We are not a computer (thankfully).

Most people I have worked with don’t need to add more things to their life. Most people have enough going on. Most people have enough “programs” running in their lives. Most people, at least the ones I coach, need to slow down and simplify their lives.

If you are having problems with sleeping at night, take a moment and look at what you are doing to cause that problem. Look to see how many energy drinks and cups of coffee you are taking in throughout the day. Just don’t accept consuming them as a regular part of your daily practice and just look for more and more “hacks” to download to “rewire your brain’s circuitry.”

“I can’t get going without my coffee!”

“I have such a better workout after my Red Bull.”

Ok! So you are not a machine. You do have emotions tied to certain habits you are accustomed to. Then, stop treating your body like a computer and start looking at ways to alleviate some stress away from your body-mind. Stop looking to “fool your body.” You are your body! If you are sputtering through the day, don’t look at quick ways to give it more jolts to have enough power to “get you through the day.” That doesn’t sound like a recipe for a healthy lifestyle. It sounds like a limiting perspective on a human being that should have unlimited potential.

 

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May I suggest that we look at health and wellness with more of a lifetime vision. A lifelong process of effective living directed at health, performance, and longevity. The less amount of “weight” you are carrying around — physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually — the more you may enjoy the journey.

If improving your health and wellness is your goal, then make it a gradual progression. It should allow for comfort. Learning. Comprehension.

There is no need to access your body illegally. Perhaps just finding time to turn off all of the noise and spending time offline will assist you in getting back in-line with yourself. Sitting quietly, with your eyes closed for a few minutes, may provide you with all the answers needed to find ways to get healthier.

 

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The Energy Scene – Episode 02 – Tulum

The Energy Scene – Episode 02 – Tulum

In this episode I take my camera to spend time with Misty Tripoli and The World Groove Movement in Tulum, Mexico.  I met up with people who were taking part in her Just Love Groove Retreats and had the opportunity to share their dance floor for a couple of days.  Misty and I talk about the fitness industry, how she got started in it, and of course, about dance.  Misty and I connected in our concern for the direction that the Fitness Industry is taking on teaching people about health and wellness.  Perhaps we should be discussing a broader definition of health and wellness?  Or will be stuck to capturing it as a melting pot of 6 pack abs, protein powders, burning calories, body hacking, fitness apps, and, as someone who has her own set of exercise videos, be about “fitting into your jeans by Friday.”

 

About “The Energy Scene”

“The Energy Scene” is a Canadian wellness and travel series. Phil Delaire travels to exciting cities and explores diverse perspectives on health and wellness. As a one-person film crew, he integrates into the background as an observer, to try and capture the personalities that surround him. From energy scenes around the world, he tries to reflect on lessons learned and find ways to put them into everyday practice.

Original Music produced by Benjamin Bidlack and can be found on iTunes.

The Health Benefits of Oil of Oregano

The Health Benefits of Oil of Oregano

Ancient civilizations like the Romans, the Chinese, and those in the middle east have used oregano medicinally throughout history.  However, the Greeks may deserve the credit to be be the first to have used oil of oregano. The word “oregano” is derived from two Greek words: “oras” which means mountain and “ganos” which means joy. Basically naming oregano “joy of the mountains.” The Greeks credited Aphrodite, the goddess of love, with creating oregano with the purpose of bringing joy to mankind. Quite the tagline – Oil of Oregano – bringing joy to mankind.

Oil of Oregano is produced from the leaves and flowers of the origanum vulgare plant species.  There are many origanum varieties, but the vulgare is what makes the oil of oregano so effective.  Some may say that “vulagare” is a good name since they believe the oil has a bit of a “vulgar” taste in your mouth.  Many of the other varieties of origanum can be used for cooking or for their lovely aroma – however the vulgare is the one that needs to be picked at its peak, especially those in the mountainous areas of Greece and Turkey, since they have the highest grade.  Then the plant needs to be distilled properly and naturally to ensure that the key medicinal actives are preserved.

That is why taking the oregano spice will not perform the same way as the oil of oregano.  The same goes for the flower essence of oregano.  They simply do not have those key medicinal actives.

Thymol and carvacrol are two phenols found in oregano oil.  Phenols are chemical compounds quite commonly found in nature.  Cloves, vanilla bean and mint plants get their taste and odor from phenols.  Phenols are found in amino acids in proteins, hormones like adrenaline, the “poison” secreted by poison ivy.

Today, all phenols used in industry are synthetic and are used for thousands of industry cleaners, disinfectants, scented candles, and as a raw material for everything from aspirin to explosives to wood preservatives.  Synthetic phenol can be a powerful disinfectant and bacteria killer, but it can be highly corrosive and toxic.  Phenols can burn skin and can cause internal damage if inhaled, and that is why they need to be used with care.

One of those phenols mentioned, carvacrol, is the key super ingredient in oil of oregano because that is the one that has been shown to help break through the outer cell membranes that protects the bacteria from the immune system. Studies have shown that oil of oregano is effective at killing bacteria, and could also help the immune system take better action against viruses, fungi and parasites.

When you consider all facets that are concerned with achieving a level approach to wellness – movement (exercise), food, sleep, etc – quality not quantity should always be your highest level of concern.

That is why when considering an oil of oregano, the quality of the oil is of utmost importance then.  For if the quality is not high, then the original medicinal properties of why the greeks and other societies has used this plant, you need to consider:

  • Was the plant grown in the wild or farm raised?
  • Is it a high carvacrol species vs a low carvacrol?  How much of that super ingredient is actually in there?
  • Is it relatively low in thymol?
  • Is it extracted in a natural process?
  • It is free of all chemical and pesticide residues?

A study released in 2001 by a Georgetown researcher found that oil of oregano be an effective treatment against dangerous, and sometimes drug-resistant bacteria.  Two studies have shown that oregano oil—and, in particular, carvacrol, appear to reduce infection as effectively as traditional antibiotics.  Harry G. Preuss, MD, MACN, CNS, professor of physiology and biophysics, said of his research teams study:

“While this investigation was performed only in test tubes and on a small number of mice, the preliminary results are promising and warrant further study.  The ability of oils from various spices to kill infectious organisms has been recognized since antiquity. Natural oils may turn out to be valuable adjuvants or even replacements for many anti-germicidals under a variety of conditions.”

Uses for Oil of Oregano

  • According to the Huffington post – One lab test in 2001 found that oregano oil was effective in killing staphylococcus bacteria, and another published laboratory study out of the UK found that it showed effectiveness against 25 different bacteria.”  It is said that Oil of oregano, when properly distilled from the flowers and leaves of the oregano plant, could be one of nature’s most powerful antibiotics.
  • A couple of drops on the skin at the sternum.  On the feet.  Rubbed into your shin which helps with lymphatics because this is where they are attached.
  • Some uses for oil of oregano has been used on potential gum infections OR jaw infections caused from a tooth abscess.
  • To help your immune system fight a respiratory infection, put one drop of oil of oregano in a bowl of steaming water. Put a towel loosely over your head and inhale the steam once a day until you feel better.
  • Due to the anti-inflammatory effects, some experts have advocated the use oil of oregano to treat skin conditions like acne and rosacea. Combine equal amounts of oregano oil and coconut oil and apply it to your problem areas with a cotton swab before you go to bed.
  • Oil of oregano also contains thymol, an ingredient used in many mouthwashes to combat bacteria, plaque and bad breath. Try adding a drop or two of oil of oregano on your toothbrush with or without toothpaste.

Personally, I like using it a bit more frequently when the seasons begin to change, and will use 1 or 2 drops daily in the morning.  If I feel like “something is coming on” then I might take a few more. drops  Some will claim that if you take too much, you can start killing some good bacteria as well, which is valid, but I rather get the bad out first, but if you are taking more than 30 drops a day, I have heard from a doctor that at that time, you may want to supplement with a high quality probiotic.

The therapeutic use of oregano oil should be avoided in infants and children, and pregnant or nursing women. It also should be avoided by people with high blood pressure or a heart condition. Again, it is always a good idea to talk to a doctor and to disclose your use of alternative therapies in case of contraindications with other medications or treatments.

In her great little book “Oregano Oil” Joyce Johnson ND writes that about 1,000 pounds of oreganum vulgre is needed to make one pound of oil.  Johnson feels that “this is why superior medicinal quality oregano oil is quite expensive.  However, it is also very potent and a little goes a long way as a natural remedy or treatment, making this healing herb a good investment.”

The Energy Scene – Episode 01 – Encinitas, CA

The Energy Scene – Episode 01 – Encinitas, CA

If you were to read any post on internet videos the first rule is to keep them to “only a few minutes.”  So…ya…just wanted to let you know that I broke that one.  If you’re going to try and make a TV show, I had no choice but to make it into the 22-minute range because there was no way I was going to make an hour long show!

I would like to thank Paul Chek and the Yang Family for their help in making our pilot episode.  A special note to the creative musical talents of Benjamin Bidlack for his numerous, original contributions to this show. Paul has been a great friend for a long time.  It was through him that I would run into my friend and business partner Rory Mullin.  Rory was from Toronto, but we were on the same course in California at the time by coincidence.  For more information on Paul or the Chek Institute check out http://www.chekinstitute.com, as they have lots of courses that may peak your interest.  Their Holistic Lifestyle Coach I is a great course that could benefit anyone, not solely those in the health and fitness industry.

I have always been fascinated by surfing and when I found out that Rob was a surfer, I wanted to become his new Canadian friend, when I met him at our first course together.  We took the Chek Practitioner Level III course together as well a few years later and it was incredible to catch up with him on this past trip to shoot the video.  He has a great setup to see clients and is a top health practitioner.  If you would like more information on Rob, you can visit him at http://www.robertyang.net.

The second episode of The Energy Scene is set in Tulum, Mexico and will be released when I’m done writing the script for it!  It is about a time that I spent at a re-“treat” with “Misty Tripolli & The Groovers.”  They played host to me for a quick 2 ½ day adventure in movement.  It was short…but this trip and its group of people impacted my core.  It is a scene that has energized me since my return in December, and I have been reflecting on that trip for some time!  It is going to be tough to put this experience on to a script.  We hope you enjoy our pilot.  Feedback is always welcome.  In addition, ideas for future Energy Scene episodes are much appreciated!