The importance of slowing down

We are busier now more than ever. We take on more responsibility and sign up for more projects. We try to fit 36 hours worth of activities and tasks into a 24-hour period and wonder at the end of the day why we feel so drained. ????????????????????????????????????It’s not just the physical either.

Do you feel rushed throughout the day, sometimes for no apparent reason? It’s like our brains can’t just turn off; constant stimulation is something we are subconsciously striving for. But, do you ever think of how nice it would be to just take in our surroundings?

Slow down and take a moment to truly appreciate the world around us with these tips:

1. Remember that energy is finite.
Simply understanding that we don’t have to always be full of energy is beneficial enough. Allow yourself to relax knowing that your energy has a limit, but you don’t always have to get there.

2. Know that you don’t have to do it all.
There is a societal pressure to “do it all,” sometimes at our own detriment. Learn to delegate or even to let things go until another day and time.

3. Prioritize the right things.
Do you find yourself performing tasks or doing other activities and then feeling stressed at the end of the day when you didn’t accomplish what was most important? It happens, and now is the time to start prioritizing appropriately.

4. Stop and smell the roses…literally.
Take a walk in a garden, smell the flowers, and live technology-free while doing so. Studies show that performing this action actually helps you find satisfaction in life by teaching you about appreciation.

Slowing down and taking inventory of everything you have to be grateful for can do wonders for your psyche. It’s important to care for your soul and spirit so you can live with more intention and in the moment.

Leveraging genetic data for disease prevention

7544773_SFor years, genetic data has provided valuable insights into a range of diseases, from cognition and psychiatric disorders, inherited disorders such as Down Syndrome and Tay-Sachs disease, and more.

As such, genetic testing has gained rapid popularity for finding answers to one of the most targeting and focused issues that humans face – disease prevention.

What are Genetics and Genomics?

Genetics can be defined as the study of heredity. In other words, Genetics are traits that are passed down from one generation to another.

Genomics, on the other hand, is a branch of molecular biology that includes the genes and gene products of an individual. Here, genes are analyzed on their behavior with the environment and themselves.

How are Genetic tests done?

Blood samples, skin, hair, or other tissue are used to perform genetic tests. Depending on the suspected disorder, these samples are scrutinized by laboratory experts to detect abnormal chromosomes changes, proteins, or DNA. These tests can identify genetic conditions and an individual’s risk of developing or passing a genetic disorder in the future. There are over 1,000 genetic tests such as molecular genetic tests, chromosomal genetic tests, and biochemical genetic tests.

Is Genetic Data really useful?

In short? Yes.

Genetic data is considered a powerful source to manage and care for people who have common diseases and inherited diseases. Researchers spend a lot of effort to study genetics in order to increase knowledge regarding diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.

Genetic nature is defined from the day a baby is born. These genetic contributions remain until death. Therefore, using genetic data can be used to pinpoint diseases in the early stages. As a result, genetic data has become more fruitful than conventional methods such as testing blood pressure or glucose levels.

Impact of Genetic Data towards disease prevention

When someone is given a particular drug treatment, they respond differently from one another. This way the drugs’ potential can be authenticated depending on the person. This genetic variation study is called Pharmacogenomics.

This is the most reliable proof that genomics’ contribution towards creating individualized treatments and developing clinical care. Not only now, but even in the past, genetic data has been proven to impact the accuracy of finding correct medications for people. For instance, the studies between genetic variants and drug responses have managed to discover Warfarin. Warfarin is a powerful anticoagulant medication that has been recognized to prevent stroke and venous thromboembolism. Not to mention, this medication is prescribed worldwide.

Thanks to pharmacogenomics, medicine labeling has been updated with more accurate information as well. For example, Irinotecan, which is used as an anti-cancer chemotherapy drug, and variations in the gene UGT1A1 were tested. A dosing reduction label update was suggested according to the data. Genetic data revealed that patients with certain genotypes are prone to the risk of neutropenia (a condition where a person’s white blood cell count is abnormally low). Another example is the genotyping of variants in HLA-B*1502, which can potentially identify patients who are at risk for rare and fatal skin diseases such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis.

New medical discoveries from Genetic Data

  1. Prevention of Preeclampsia and Eclampsia

A research team at Baylor College of Medicine has discovered that certain maternal and fetal gene variants are more prone to preeclampsia. Preeclampsia leads to organ dysfunction in mothers and growth complications in babies. This happens because of blood pressure rising up suddenly. If this instantaneous elevation of blood pressure isn’t controlled, disorders such as eclampsia can threaten the life of the patient with fatal seizures. Preeclampsia and Eclampsia are responsible for 10% – 15% maternal deaths.

The causes of Preeclampsia are still unknown and this is among one of the most difficult conditions to predict. However, this particular research conducted by the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Baylor suggests that this genetic signature can potentially support women who are at risk. Moreover, this condition can be prevented by prior preparation.

  1. Breast Cancer prevention

Major Genetic study done by involving more than 450 departments and institutions from all over the world has discovered that some women with particular DNA are at a higher risk than others to have breast cancer in the future. According to Dr. Laura Fachal from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the studies that had been conducted in the past revealed that DNA plays a huge role in breast cancer. However, it is important to gather the exact genes that are involved. This new study, on the other hand, was conducted by looking into 110,000 breast cancer patients. After the DNA comparison of these patients, researchers identified 352 risk variants. Although the exact number of targeted genes is unclear, they found 191 genes. The crucial point is, per five genes that are newly discovered, less than one had been previously identified and studied.

According to Dr. Alison Dunning from the University of Cambridge, this new study led the researchers to acquire a more intricate map of what causes and develops breast cancer. This genetic study has opened the doctors and clinicians the path of providing women a clear picture of their level of risk towards breast cancer. Knowing the genetic risk, prevention can be started sooner than before.

  1. Preventing blindness

As stated by Koji Nishiguchi, associate professor in the Department of Advanced Ophthalmic Medicine at Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, they have managed to develop a new gene therapy to treat blinded mice. Mice that are affected by inherited retinal degeneration were used in the experiment. The results showed a great deal of visual restoration in them. This study has assured this method’s potential for clinical application for humans with similar conditions.

Nishiguchi’s team is planning to have a clinical trial for the new therapy that is being developed to treat humans with retinitis pigmentosa by 2025. Retinitis pigmentosa is a rare condition that causes peripheral vision loss and difficulties to see clearly at night. This particular therapy will target the patients who couldn’t overcome the disease with conventional gene therapy.


Undoubtedly, Genetic Data studies have supported disease prevention in the past. Now, with the pre-eminent science and technology, it’s just a matter of time until the researchers develop directive medications for diseases.

We understand that the study of genetics can be an overwhelming topic of undertaking and we’re here to help. Please contact us today for more information.


Functional medicine is about bringing together multiple disciplines

44485807_MOne of the biggest criticisms of western medicine is that it’s slow to progress and that it takes an all-too-skeptical view of other approaches such as Eastern medicine, the traditions of Native Peoples and other practices not typically enshrined in the canon of western medicine.

Yet, if there is one thing that drives functional, integrative, naturopathic, and other ‘alternative’ medicinal treatment providers more than anything else, it is the desire to continually push forward, not get complacent or too comfortable with the status quo, and always be cognizant of the fact that no one has all the answers, in any situation.

It’s not about having the answers. It’s not about “fixing” the problem, but rather digging down and finding the root cause of the patient’s ailment. That’s what functional medicine does.

Fortunately, many practitioners of functional, and other, methods of treating illness themselves transitioned from the world of traditional Western medicine. They understand that we all must work together for the betterment of the citizenry we serve.

In the age of social media and instantaneous communication, it isn’t difficult to get caught up in the overheated hyperbole of the situation, but it is important to step back and have an objective look at the facts. The doctors and nurses working in these fields are taking the risk of being seen as an outlier, but even more are assuming the risk that comes with operating within a new frontier of medicine.

While this may place practitioners, researchers, university professors, and many more who are studying the efficacy of alternative approaches in an unwanted spotlight, it isn’t warranted. Approaches taught in the offices of functional, integrative, and naturopathic clinics around the world are receiving the attention they deserve. The more research, the better, and professionals from all disciplines must work together.

So next time someone writes off functional medicine as “new age” or “hippie healing,” point them to this article to show them that functional medicine brings together a multitude of disciplines and philosophies to heal the individual, not just to temporarily “fix” the problem.

5 Steps to improve your overall health and well being

122620740 - healthy breakfast sandwich with boiled egg and avacado macro viewAre you living a healthy lifestyle? And no, we don’t just mean going to the gym twice a week.

A healthy lifestyle is made up of a lot of other factors. A stress-free life, healthy habits, healthy food, a happy living environment – all these factors contribute to your overall well-being in more ways than you know. The absence of fulfillment in even one of these areas can have a negative impact on your life, which can then lead to dissatisfaction, stress, and ultimately a poor quality of overall health.

Are you looking for ways to improve your overall health and well-being? Below are five simple ways in which you can begin immediate integration.

1. Eat Good Food

You are what you eat. It’s true. Our body creates new cells every day using the nutrients it extracts from what we eat. Therefore, everything in your body, from your skin to your internal organs and blood, quite literally, comprises from what you eat. Including whole foods and fresh produce in your diet has the ability to transform your body from the inside out.

Changing your food habits is the first step towards a healthy lifestyle.

2. Perform More Physical Activities

Before technology and automation took over our lives, a lot of our work consisted of standing and moving around. This has drastically changed in the 21st century when jobs have led to sedentary lifestyles with limited movement. Nevertheless, it is important that we make a conscious effort to move our bodies around more often.

Simple everyday tasks such as playing with a toddler, taking a walk to the nearest bus stop, riding a bicycle to work, or going for an hour-long walk around the garden can add up to significant active hours in your lifestyle. And remember, if you eat good foods, you will receive all the energy required to lead an active lifestyle.

3. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a stress-relieving technique that has come to light in recent times as we allow minutes, hours, days, and weeks to pass right by us in our fast-paced every day lives. Practicing meditation can connects you to your inner self, thereby letting you pause, observe, and keep a calm and stable mind in every situation.

You don’t need any expensive equipment or setting to observe mindfulness; here is a simple mindfulness session you can try:

In a still hour, sit silently in a place where you can observe the world around you. Take in the nuances of your surroundings. While you’re doing this, concentrate on your breathing. Look around. Observe the delicacies of nature around you. Smile. Do this for at least 10-15 minutes every day.

4. Talk to People That Make You Happy

In our hurried daily lives, people have been reduced to acquaintances. We no longer feel like connecting with them. It is time to change this.

Good human interactions have been proven to relieve stress and, in some cases, have also contributed to increased longevity of life. Is there a friend you’ve lost touch with over the years? Why not give them a call this weekend. An old lady in the neighborhood? Why not catch up with her over a cup of hot tea. Maybe even bring her some fresh flowers. How long has it been since your entire family had dinner together? Why not switch-off your phones for a few hours this Sunday and have a hearty laugh reminiscing over stories from the past. And if you’ve got some time to spare, why not visit the nearest care-giving center and be the reason for a smile on a few unknown faces.

All these interactions will not only reduce your stress levels, but they will also spread happiness to someone around you.

5. Cut Off From the Online World

We’ve all heard the clever antidote – “Disconnect to Connect.”

Social media might seem harmless at first. However, too much social media can negatively impact your overall well-being without you even realizing it:

  • An Austrian research conducted in 2014 demonstrated that participants who used Facebook for 20 minutes experienced lower mood levels compared to those who just browsed the internet for the same duration. (1)
  • A study from “Computers and Human Behavior” found that people who used multiple social media platforms – seven or more experienced greater levels of anxiety compared to people who used none or just two social media platforms. (1)
  • A research conducted at the Penn State University in 2016 revealed that looking at other people’s photos lowered one’s self-esteem. (1)

It is imperative that you fully disconnect or at least limit your social media interactions to a few hours per week.

If you remain mindful about the above five tips, you will begin to see a major difference in your overall health and well-being in just a few days. And once you experience a healthy, productive, and proactive lifestyle, you’ll be sure to continue moving forward.

Click here today if you are ready for a lifestyle change for the better!

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