Blooming Wellness https://www.bloomingwellness.com Health & Wellness Blog by Dr. Eeks Sun, 06 Oct 2019 19:50:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 EMF Shields Don’t Work https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/10/emf-shields-dont-work/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/10/emf-shields-dont-work/#respond Sun, 06 Oct 2019 19:48:20 +0000 https://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=16755 EMF shields don’t work. At least 99.9% of them. That is what I learned in my latest Causes Or Cures podcast featuring Dr. Paul Heroux. Dr. Heroux is an expert on electromagnetism and EMF radiation. He has his PhD in physics and is a researcher who focuses on EMF exposure and biological effects. He is […]

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EMF shields don’t work. At least 99.9% of them.

That is what I learned in my latest Causes Or Cures podcast featuring Dr. Paul Heroux. Dr. Heroux is an expert on electromagnetism and EMF radiation. He has his PhD in physics and is a researcher who focuses on EMF exposure and biological effects. He is highly published in this area and runs InVitro Plus, a toxicology laboratory out of McGill University Health Center, which is dedicated to studying the therapeutic and pathological effects of electromagnetism. He has analyzed several EMF shields on the market, including their scientific claims, and in the podcast explains why EMF shields don’t work.

That said, Dr. Heroux is clear about where he stands on EMF radiation and biological effects. Exposure to EMF radiation is harmful. EMF exposure comes from things like our cell phones, Bluetooth headphones and other wireless devices, laptops, etc.) The harm ( in the form of neurological dysfunction, cancer, infertility, etc.) may take years to manifest, as is the case with radiation exposure, but despite what the tech and phone companies tell you, the risk is real AND supported by quality evidence. Sadly, the populations most at risk are kids and unborn babies. Birth professionals are increasingly telling pregnant people to minimize their EMF exposure and schools in other countries ( not the USA yet, sadly) are minimizing use of wireless.

We definitely need to find a solution to our growing exposure to EMF radiation, but EMF shields aren’t it. I see them everywhere and have a lot of friends and family members who stick them on their devices, but…they don’t work. Sorry. Listen to my podcast with Dr. Heroux to learn why EMF shields don’t work. In fact, not only do EMF shields not work, they may actually be INCREASING your exposure to EMF radiation. Dr. Heroux explains why in the podcast. He also reaffirmed the beneficial behavioral changes we can make to reliably reduce exposure- things I’ve discussed with other EMF radiation researchers in previous podcasts. ( Most of them also said EMF shields don’t work, but I wanted to talk to Dr. Heroux, an expert in this area, to confirm.)

Some of these behavioral changes include:

1. Connecting to the internet via Fiber Optic cables.

2. Turn your wireless off at home when you aren’t using it.

3. Turn your wireless off at night. ( You can get a meter to set this for you, so you don’t have to manually do it every night.)

4. Distance REALLY matters! Your exposure to EMF radiation decreases by the square of the distance between your body and the EMF-emitting device. What does this practically mean? Keep your phone away from your body as much as possible. Talk using speaker phone. Also keep Bluetooth headphones or ear buds away from your body and precious brains.

5. Use wired headphones, not Bluetooth or wireless.

6. If you are pregnant, don’t put an EMF-emitting device directly on your belly and try to minimize EMF exposure as much as possible.

7 If you have kids, minimize EMF exposure as much as possible.

8. If you have a dog or a cat, make sure they don’t nap near ( or on) an EMF-emitting device.

Thanks for reading and/or listening to the podcast. I think this is an important topic so please share and tell your friends. Especially your pregnant friends and friends with kids. Hope you subscribe to my podcast too!  🙂 –  Erin

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Natural, Homemade Sunscreen: More than 70% Don’t Work https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/09/natural-homemade-sunscreen-the-truth-about-whether-or-not-they-work/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/09/natural-homemade-sunscreen-the-truth-about-whether-or-not-they-work/#respond Mon, 23 Sep 2019 17:41:47 +0000 https://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=16662     Natural, homemade sunscreen has become tremendously popular , because folks are scared of the chemicals in many conventional sunscreens. But does natural, homemade sunscreen work to prevent sun burns, sun spots or skin cancer? The short answer is No. In my latest Causes Or Cures podcast, I interviewed Dr. Julie Merten who recently […]

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Natural, Homemade Sunscreen

 

Natural, homemade sunscreen has become tremendously popular , because folks are scared of the chemicals in many conventional sunscreens. But does natural, homemade sunscreen work to prevent sun burns, sun spots or skin cancer? The short answer is No.

In my latest Causes Or Cures podcast, I interviewed Dr. Julie Merten who recently did a study on natural, homemade sunscreen recipes on Pinterest. Dr. Merten is an associate professor of public health at the University of North Florida. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Florida Public Health Review and Chair of the Skin Cancer Prevention Task Force for the Northeast Florida Cancer Control Collaborative. Her research involves behavioral skin cancer prevention. Her recent work on natural, homemade sunscreen recipes on Pinterest was published in Health Communication: “Pinterest Homemade Sunscreens : A Recipe for a Sunburn.”

My podcast with Dr. Merten is worth listening to, because we talk a lot about various aspects of sunscreen: What works, what doesn’t, the SPF riddle, and in general, who or where people are getting their health and wellness advice from. That last one is important, since social media has become folks’ go-to for wellness advice. I often see trendy wellness sites or wellness “influencers” post a spiffy graphic with a bit of health advice that isn’t backed by quality evidence, doesn’t make sense or is simply not true. Personal anecdotes are nice, and can be helpful, but they aren’t quality data. My advice is this: When you are searching for wellness advice online:

1)  Look for randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses or well-done cohort studies for evidence

2) Look at the job and/or credentials of the person giving the advice (And if he/she doesn’t have credentials, does he/she understand science/biology well or at the least, how to differentiate between quality evidence vs poor evidence?)

3) Is the person/website selling anything?

4) At the end of the day, do you trust the person/website?

Advice rooted only in anecdotes or tradition does not mean it’s not useful. It might be very good and helpful, and simply not studied in a large trial. Trials are tedious and expensive. Still, to make an informed decision about a product or taking someone’s health advice, it’s important to know the type of evidence you are working with.

Back to natural, homemade sunscreens:

If you listen to my podcast with Dr. Merten, you’ll learn who is making these homemade sunscreens and the ingredients they are using. You’ll hear that over 70% of these natural, homemade sunscreen recipes offered insufficient protection from the sun. You’ll hear about their “SPF” ( Sun Protection Values) values that were not scientifically derived from any sort of solar simulator, but seemingly pulled from the air and listed as fact. I also brought up the fact that mainstream sunscreen companies notoriously exaggerate their SPF values to trick and entice sunscreen users. Dr. Merten acknowledged that this happens and said it’s wrong. She said that an SPF value above 30 is essentially meaningless. As someone who was always a sucker for the highest SPF, lately I buy nothing over 30.

Dr. Merten also addressed common, legitimate concerns when it comes to sunscreen: Is it inhibiting Vitamin D absorption? What about the chemicals that may be endocrine disrupters? What about the coral reefs?

I use a bunch of natural products ( some have good evidence and some don’t), but sunscreen isn’t something I mess around with. I’m pale, I burn easily and skin cancer runs in my family. I need to know my sunscreen works. That said, I’m also concerned about the chemicals in sunscreen, and brought up that concern with Dr. Merten in the podcast. The chemicals I am talking about are avobenzone and oxybenzone, also commonly found in nail polish and hairspray. Both have been linked to disrupting hormones and birth defects if exposed while in utero. I asked her about a recent study published in JAMA. It was a randomized controlled trial that showed that the application of 4 popular sunscreen brands raises our plasma level of avobenzone and oxybenzone above the recommended FDA threshold. To me, that’s concerning. Dr. Merten knew about the study and gave her opinion on the podcast. (It’s interesting, so listen!)


The good news is that we can avoid the chemical-containing sunscreens altogether, and it’s not by using a natural, homemade sunscreen we are unsure of.  Sunscreen is either a chemical blocker ( like the ones containing Benzones) or it is a physical blocker. The physical-blocking sunscreens contains Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide that, instead of producing a chemical reaction, physically block the sun’s rays. These are mineral-based sunscreens, and those are the ones I use.

In conclusion, I want to stress that sunscreen isn’t proven to stop skin cancer. It helps prevent it, but it’s not a cure-all. If you are worried about sun exposure, it’s most important to stay out of the sun or wear wide hats and big sunglasses when you are in the sun. In a later blog, I am going to come back to the Vitamin D issue and how it relates to sun exposure, because it’s an important one.

More from the blog:

Why I won’t wear or make Bluetooth

Apple Cider Vinegar: Is it Really a Cure-All?

Vitamin D: An interview with Dr. John Cannell: Founder of the Vitamin D Council

From our shop:

Read Manic Kingdom! ( Based on a True Story)

Try a ZENBand here.

 

 

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Apple Cider Vinegar and Health: Is it Really a Cure-All? https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/09/apple-cider-vinegar-and-health-is-it-really-acureall/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/09/apple-cider-vinegar-and-health-is-it-really-acureall/#respond Sat, 21 Sep 2019 23:24:34 +0000 http://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=9900     I want to start this blog on Apple Cider Vinegar and Health, by sharing an original song I wrote:   View this post on Instagram Just another laundry day, trying to pass time and thinking about that God-like miracle cure #applecidervinegar…. #healthyeating #laundryday #laundryroom #miraclecures #holistic #wellness. DC: This is sarcasm. A post […]

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Apple Cider Vinegar and Health

 

I want to start this blog on Apple Cider Vinegar and Health, by sharing an original song I wrote:

 

Thank you for listening to my tune about Apple Cider Vinegar and Health. Okay…that little ditty was sarcasm, but I have met people who use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) for everything- from warts to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to preventing AIDS. If you google Apple Cider Vinegar (Which is a weak acid, Acetic Acid),  you’ll see that it is good for everything. Google is an optimist like that, but it’s not just Google. My best friend from home swears by it for preventing the flu and common colds. She tells me that when she starts to feel the least bit tired and her nose starts to drizzle, she immediately takes a spoonful of Apple Cider Vinegar, and it keeps her well. I have another friend who told me he uses it for pink eye. He told me that it’s the only thing that clears it up super-fast. I have a relative who says that since she’s started taking a spoonful of Apple Cider Vinegar a day, she feels less tired and more energetic. A lot of folks I know use it to “detox,” but they usually can’t define what exactly it is they are “flushing” out of their bodies.

I use Organic Apple Cider Vinegar ( with the mother) on a regular basis, but I don’t think it’s a super food or a super nutrient or a super vinegar. I don’t believe it’s a panacea. I don’t think any food or food-related item is super, nor do I think any food is 100% bad.  Those are privileged first-world distinctions that drive me nuts. Do you know what a “super food” is in a starving, developing nation? Any darn thing they can put in their mouths.

What does research tell us about Apple Cider Vinegar and Health?

Based on the studies I’ve read, I use Apple Cider Vinegar after big, carbohydrate dinners or sugary desserts. One study in Type Two Diabetic patients showed that ingesting vinegar after meals that rank high on the glycemic index ( meals that contain heavy carbs & sugars) significantly reduces blood glucose levels. It has also been shown to reduce post-meal insulin levels. Reducing blood glucose levels after meals, especially in Type 2 Diabetics, helps lower your risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome is what you want to avoid. In general, Metabolic Syndrome is classified by a cluster of events: (Insulin Resistance, Abdominal Obesity, Dyslipidemia and Endothelial Dysfunction.) Getting Metabolic Syndrome sets you up for a devastating cardiac event. Now,  I’m not a Type 2 Diabetic, but I’m paranoid of getting Metabolic Syndrome and like to keep my sugar on the low side. A couple other studies support the notion that regularly taking Apple Cider Vinegar not only improves short-term glucose control but long-term too, as measured by the HA1C values. (HA1C is Hemoglobin A1C and it tells you how well someone is managing their diabetes or glucose control long-term.)

Apple Cider Vinegar may also improve cholesterol levels and triglyceride levelsIt may even slow down dangerous fat build-up in our livers.   NO research specifically states that Apple Cider Vinegar helps you lose weight, however, I can see how better glucose regulation could help control weight gain. If you want to lose weight, you’re better off exercising and cutting calories than depending on Apple Cider Vinegar to do it. I know it’s not sexy, but that’s life. Losing weight and keeping it off requires time, work and commitment.

In my research on Apple Cider Vinegar and health, I saw a lot of patents pending for the use of  Apple Cider Vinegar to fight Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), though I couldn’t find any legitimate evidence, aside from personal testimony, that it works for this. Personal anecdotes are not strong data. One patent claimed that the combination of Apple Cider Vinegar and garlic works against GERD. I have no idea. If it works for your GERD, great, just don’t burn your esophageal lining. A lot of folks don’t dilute their dose of Apple Cider Vinegar with water and end up burning themselves. Speaking of burns, a lot of the literature on Apple Cider Vinegar is cautionary case studies of individuals using Apple Cider Vinegar to remove warts, skin tags, pimples, etc., and accidentally burning themselves. Unless you want a Darwin award, don’t do that.

In closing, if Apple Cider Vinegar works for you, awesome. Keep doing what you’re doing, as long as you’re safe, logical and not delusional. It’s not a panacea no matter how much you want to believe it is.

 

More from the Blog:

What does research support as the Best Diet for Depression?

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Try a ZENBand for relaxation!

 

 

 

 

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Cell Phones, Wireless and Pregnancy and the link to ADHD https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/09/cell-phones-pregnancy-fetal-health-effects-interview-yale-hospitals-chief-ob-gyn-dr-hugh-taylor/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/09/cell-phones-pregnancy-fetal-health-effects-interview-yale-hospitals-chief-ob-gyn-dr-hugh-taylor/#respond Mon, 09 Sep 2019 19:26:19 +0000 http://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=11017 What’s the deal with cell phones, wireless and pregnancy? Can being exposed to EMF radiation while in utero lead to ADHD, cognitive dysfunction and behavioral problems? One top doctor shows it can. While the latest and greatest new gadget is exciting and trendy, I always wonder how it impacts our health, especially that of a […]

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What’s the deal with cell phones, wireless and pregnancy? Can being exposed to EMF radiation while in utero lead to ADHD, cognitive dysfunction and behavioral problems? One top doctor shows it can.

While the latest and greatest new gadget is exciting and trendy, I always wonder how it impacts our health, especially that of a vulnerable, developing baby. No one ever discusses health implications when a new phone or wireless gadget hits the market, because we are way more focused on all the cool things it can do. It’s no secret that technology evolves at a super fast rate, but the human body does not. We are adaptable, but how adaptable? We can be exposed to a lot of potentially harmful things and be fine, but how much is too much? This is one reason I always tell pregnant people to minimize cell phone use, exposure to Bluetooth and wireless, and if they use our ZENBands for hypnobirthing, plug into a cheap Mp3 player. Better safe than sorry.

Today I’m excited to talk to Dr. Hugh Taylor, a highly accomplished doctor and researcher who conducted a randomized controlled trial on the effects of cell phones on pregnant mice. While mice aren’t human, they are biochemically and genetically very similar. Dr. Taylor is the chief of Ob/Gyn at Yale New Haven Hospital. He is a graduate of Yale College and the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Yale, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale and a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Dr. Taylor is the editor-in-chief of the journal Reproductive Sciences and editor of Endocrinology. He serves on the board of directors of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and is on the governing council of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation (SGI).

Erin: Can you tell us about the study you did on pregnant mice and cell phones and the key findings?

Dr. Taylor:  Sure. We had two groups of pregnant mice and put cell phones on top of their cages. One phone was always on, and always communicating with a cell phone tower. The control group used a cell phone that was plugged in, but it was not communicating with a tower, so it wasn’t getting any radiation. But it used the same charger, cord, and had the same set up. The active phone was silent and muted, to make sure noise didn’t interfere with the findings or stress the mice out. It was well-controlled. We exposed the pregnant mice throughout the entire pregnancy, and saw some pretty dramatic findings in the offspring. Behavioral wise, the two groups were quite different. In the active cell phone group, the offspring had significant memory reduction. They were more hyper-active, and less fearful about it. In other words, they were forgetful and bouncing off the wall, but didn’t have a care in the world. The closest thing that we think it resembled is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. We tested on various cages too, to make sure the cage itself didn’t create a difference.  What we were looking at was fetal brain development, the time we think the brain is most vulnerable and most sensitive to exposures, much more so than adult brains. Only fetal brains were exposed to the cell phones, and we removed the phones after birth.  Then we studied the behavior of the mice at all ages, and the differences existed for all the time frames, meaning they behaved differently throughout the duration of their life.

Erin: You also took tissue samples and did pathological studies? 

Dr. Taylor:  Yes, we took the brains out, tested some of the neurons and showed that the electrical currents in the brains between groups were different. The synapses fired differently, so there were different electrical potential across the cells. This tells us why they have these different behaviors, because there really is different wiring in the brain. Again, these mice weren’t exposed to cell phones after birth. So our findings are related to exposure only during birth. The prenatal brain was permanently altered and programmed differently throughout life.

Erin: The effects remained the same throughout the rodent’s lifecycle?

Dr. Taylor:  It did not dissipate. We looked at the effect of aging, though haven’t published those findings yet, so I don’t want to go into details. Suffice to say that at any point, at any age, the difference remained when compared to the control group. Also, this isn’t an all or nothing response. It’s a dose-related response, which means limiting cell phone exposure can have a significant positive effect. Not using the cell phone 24 hours a day would probably be helpful.

Erin: Can you think of any anecdotal evidence or case studies in humans related to this, that you can talk about? 

Dr. Taylor: There is more than anecdotal studies. I referenced one in the paper if you have that (Reference 11) . There are a lot of studies that show that women who were pregnant and lived near cell phone towers or talked a lot on their phones during pregnancy were more likely to have children with behavioral problems. The issue of that is, is it an association? It doesn’t prove cause and effect. The first critical response is usually, “Well of course they have kids with behavior issues! They are always on the phone and not paying attention to their kids.”  You always have to worry about those confounders when an association is all you’re finding. In the mouse study, the critics would say, “Well it’s a mouse, it’s not human,” but I think you need to pay attention when all the evidence is pointing in the same direction. The mouse study was carefully controlled.  The mice are genetically the same, eat the same diet are in the same cages and exposed to the radiation for the same length of time.  The only difference between the two groups of mice was the cell phone exposure, so you know that’s cause and effect, whereas in the human studies, there are so many variables you can’t control for. But when a carefully controlled animal study and the human studies are saying the same thing, that’s pretty compelling evidence, in my mind, that the association is strong.

Erin: Did you notice any other health effects besides behavioral ones, like cancers., etc?

Dr. Taylor: The NIHS has done better studies on other health effects of cell phones. In our study, there wasn’t an increase in cancers, but we really didn’t have enough mice to evaluate those types of effects. You need a bigger study to do that, and we weren’t powered adequately to do that. So it’s not surprising we didn’t find that.

Erin: From a practical perspective, what should pregnant women do to minimize their risk? 

Dr. Taylor: The first thing is this: It’s pretty clear that cell phone exposure can be harmful, but it is a dose-related response. So limit your cell phone exposure. Don’t talk 24/7. More importantly than that, don’t keep your cell phone right next to your abdomen where your baby is growing. The cell phone intensity drops quickly and is related to the square of the distance between you and the phone. So going from 1 foot to 2 feet away would be a quarter of exposure and 10 feet would be 1/100 of exposure. So it drops very quickly.  I tell people very simple things, like at night, don’t have your cell phone on your abdomen or your pillow. Use wired headphones. Turn it off or put it somewhere else, like on a table or desk on the far side of the room. Simple things. It’s important to remember that the cell phone is constantly communicating with the cell phone tower and always giving off radiation and sending out signals whether you are talking on it or not.

Erin: And during the day?

Dr. Taylor:  A lot of women carry their phones in a purse, their pockets and have it by their side.  Just get it away from your abdomen. It’s a simple thing.

Erin: Are you doing more research in this area?

Dr. Taylor: It’s tough to get funding, but in the future, there will be more papers that come out on this topic from our group.

Erin: You see kids getting diagnosed with ADHD at younger and younger ages. Do you think this type of cell phone exposure has anything to do with that? 

Dr. Taylor: It sure may. There are probably a lot of reasons for that. I’m not an expert in that field, but that is what we’ve seen in the epidemiologic evidence and animals. That is the closest diagnose. Hyperactivity, inability to concentrate, reduced memory…, exactly the type of the thing we were seeing.

In summary, guys, I’m posting the below graphic for ways you can minimize your exposure to EMFs. Also check out my Causes Or Cures podcast on which I interview top researchers on how EMFs are impacting our health in other ways. Worth a listen!

Wireless Headphones and Cancer

 

Questions or comments? Post below.

 

Thanks for reading!

Erin Stair, MD, MPH 

Read Dr. Stair’s new novel, Manic Kingdom, based on a true story of breakdown and breakthrough!

Manic Kingdom by Dr. Erin Stair

Get a ZENBand for Hypnobirthing & Relaxation : Headband, Flat, Pillow Speakers and Eye-Mask in One.

Wireless and Risk of Brain Tumors

Join Dr. Erin’s Private Facebook Group: Blooming Wellness Peer Support

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Cell Phone Addiction Quiz https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/09/cell-phone-addiction-quiz/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/09/cell-phone-addiction-quiz/#respond Thu, 05 Sep 2019 13:35:23 +0000 https://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=16465 Is cell phone addiction a real thing?  I think so. Do you think you might be addicted to your cell phone? Take this cell phone addiction quiz and see how you score. Obviously, the higher you score, the more you want to think about cutting back on your cell phone use. If you score over […]

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Cell Phone Addiction

Is cell phone addiction a real thing?  I think so.

Do you think you might be addicted to your cell phone? Take this cell phone addiction quiz and see how you score. Obviously, the higher you score, the more you want to think about cutting back on your cell phone use. If you score over 31, consider yourself addicted and try to cut back.

I realize that people use their cell phones for work, health Apps, organizational Apps and other “vital” things that may cause folks to become defensive of their cell phone usage. This quiz isn’t to “shame” or “label” anyone. It’s purpose is to create awareness of one’s cell phone usage. If you have a high score on this quiz, perhaps it’s time to consider ways to reduce cell phone time. Perhaps it’s time to think about answers to these questions: Is the cell phone preventing you from fully engaging in the real world around you? Is the cell phone causing you to “sit and scroll” too much, that might be leading to added weight gain, depression and even anxiety? Is your cell phone usage interfering with a good night’s sleep? Is it hurting your eyes? Is it interfering with cultivating intimacy with real people in real life? Do you think you might have a cell phone addiction? 😉

In past blogs, I’ve written about a phenomenon I labeled the “phone pull” which I describe as an intense feeling ( like a craving) to constantly check your phone. In my opinion, it’s a type of tech-fueled anxiety. Whether you are being pulled by a dating App, social media, a game, messenger or email…the pull is there. I noticed this pull first in myself and realized how unhealthy it is. It’s very similar to a craving for a drug, and it pulls me out of real life and into a digital world. On no planet is that healthy. Then I took this quiz to build my own self-awareness around my phone usage and figure out ways I could cut back. I cut usage little by little and notice that I feel calmer, more content and thankfully less possessed by the monster phone pull. I’ve been going on walks without my phone; running without my phone; ditching it at night when I’m in bed and during social encounters…, and I feel a lot better. I suppose it’s a digital detox. A much needed detox. Now, if I run and want to listen to music or if I want to do sound therapy ( like ZENTones) or hypnosis, I  ditch my phone and use an Mp3 player. The phone pull anxiety has dissipated, my meditation/hypnosis practice is more effective, and I’ve experienced a freeing feeling…as if I didn’t realize how much my cell phone was weighing me down mentally. Furthermore, I’m cutting down my exposure to EMF radiation (electro-magnetic frequencies), which is credibly linked to serious health issues. So, given my own experience, I think it’s very possible to have a cell phone and be addicted to it. In fact, I think it’s very common…to the point of normalizing cell phone addiction. But being normal, doesn’t make it healthy.

This quiz is not a perfect science. It’s an adaptation from a study designed to produce a valid screening tool for cell phone addiction. As mentioned, I would use it only as a tool to create self awareness. The source of that article and where this quiz comes from is the following: ( Kwon, M., et al ( 2013). The Smartphone Addiction Scale: PLoS ONE 8 (12))

 

Pregnant? Minimize your cell phone and wireless exposure.

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EMFs and Neurological Deaths https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/09/emfs-and-neurological-deaths-and-early-onset-dementia/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/09/emfs-and-neurological-deaths-and-early-onset-dementia/#respond Wed, 04 Sep 2019 19:54:19 +0000 https://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=16454 What is the link, if any, between our increased exposure to EMFs and the increased rate of neurological deaths in the developed world? Is the rise in EMF exposure at all linked to the spike in early-onset dementia? My latest podcast episode tackles this issue. Our continual reliance on wireless technology has increased our exposure […]

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What is the link, if any, between our increased exposure to EMFs and the increased rate of neurological deaths in the developed world? Is the rise in EMF exposure at all linked to the spike in early-onset dementia? My latest podcast episode tackles this issue.

Our continual reliance on wireless technology has increased our exposure to EMF ( Electro Magnetic Field) radiation like never before. Cell phones, Laptops, Bluetooth, wireless headphones…it’s everywhere. While tech companies continue to produce faster and smarter wireless technology at rapid rates, they don’t seem to ever address safety issues when it comes to EMF exposure and our health. (Mainly because they don’t have to.) The good news is that independent researchers and scientists, some previously featured on my podcast Causes Or Cures, have performed animal studies and written up human case studies concerning EMF exposure. That growing body of evidence suggests that EMF exposure is certainly not benign, absolutely impacts mammalian cells, and the World Health Organization should, at the least, readdress the dangers of EMF exposure. EMF exposure is now linked to brain tumors, heart tumors, ear tumors, ADHD and cognitive impairment, neurological issues and infertility issues. This podcast will focus on EMF exposure and neurological deaths.  EMF exposure seems especially harmful when exposed to kids and while in utero. Many health advocates are so concerned that they call EMF the “new smoking.” Yet, it’s everywhere and only getting worse. As my guest for this podcast aptly puts: “We can no longer do a controlled experiment on EMF exposure, because it’s everywhere. We are all currently part of the experiment.” What a thought, right? Just when you thought you weren’t a lab rat…

Dr. Pritchard is a researcher and professor at Bournemouth University in the UK and a professor of psychiatry at The University of Southampton School of Medicine. He is internationally known for his work on suicides and child abuse. Recently, he has been using data provided by the World Health Organization to document changing rates in deaths due to neurological diseases in developed nations. These neurological diseases include ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkison’s Disease, and early-onset dementia. The trend Dr. Pritchard has documented is significantly increased rates of  neurological deaths overall, with the USA having the highest increase over the last several years. He has also documented more cases of early-onset dementia, as early as forties and fifties, especially in the US. What is causing this increase? Dr. Pritchard offers his theory on EMF exposure as the “tipping point” for the rise in neurological deaths.

Click Here to Listen to This Podcast.

Wireless and Cancer Risk: With Dr. Fiorella Belpoggi

An Interview with the Holistic Psychologist Nicole LePera 

Mental Health and the Current Political Climate, with Gabriel Nathan

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Neuticles: Testicular Implants for Dogs and More https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/08/neuticles-testicular-implants-for-dogs-and-more/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/08/neuticles-testicular-implants-for-dogs-and-more/#respond Tue, 27 Aug 2019 10:32:24 +0000 https://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=16354 What the heck are Neuticles? They are testicular implants for dogs and more. On the street, they are known simply as fake balls. 😉 Now, if you’ve never heard of Neuticles, you aren’t alone. A lot of people haven’t. I happen to know what they are because my dad, a veterinarian, once had a client […]

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What the heck are Neuticles? They are testicular implants for dogs and more. On the street, they are known simply as fake balls. 😉

Now, if you’ve never heard of Neuticles, you aren’t alone. A lot of people haven’t. I happen to know what they are because my dad, a veterinarian, once had a client who requested a pair for his dog. I was stunned such a product existed. In short, they are custom-made testicular implants for dogs, however as you’ll learn from the podcast, other kinds of animals have a pair of Neuticles, including monkeys and at least one elephant. True story. (Apparently a rich guy in New York bought a pair of Neuticles for his elephant. How many rich guys from New York would do that? 😉 )

In this podcast, I was thrilled to connect with Greg Miller, the inventor of Neuticles, to learn more about them and him. How the heck did such an invention come about? In this podcast, you’ll hear me talk to Greg about the psychology behind Neuticles, for both the animal and the animal’s caretaker, the most common customer request Greg gets (It’s outrageous but predictable), who gets Neuticles and why they get Neuticles. If you’re into celebrities, he drops some celebrity names who apparently have dogs with Neuticles. Greg also talks about his own interesting story, where he started in life and how he ended up inventing and making a fortune on pet testicular implants. He also gives some great life advice at the end that, as irony would have it,  is completely unrelated to testicles. That said, you do need balls, in the metaphorical sense, to get anywhere in this life. This is a highly entertaining and informative podcast ,so enjoy it. To listen, click here: All things Neuticles.

Hope you subscribe to Causes Or Cures!

More episodes from the podcast:

The Social Brain Hypothesis for Depression

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal: One Doctor’s Experience 

Manic Kingdom on Amazon.

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The Social Brain Hypothesis for Depression https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/08/the-social-brain-hypothesis-for-depression-with-dr-watt/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/08/the-social-brain-hypothesis-for-depression-with-dr-watt/#respond Sun, 25 Aug 2019 11:46:28 +0000 https://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=16307   New Causes Or Cures podcast posted: The Social Brain Hypothesis for Depression Anyone who struggles with depression or knows someone who struggles with depression should listen to this podcast. We don’t talk enough, if at all, about the social brain hypothesis for depression, yet we should, because  it could help a lot of people […]

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Depression and the Social Brain

 

New Causes Or Cures podcast posted: The Social Brain Hypothesis for Depression

Anyone who struggles with depression or knows someone who struggles with depression should listen to this podcast. We don’t talk enough, if at all, about the social brain hypothesis for depression, yet we should, because  it could help a lot of people who are currently struggling. That includes people of any sex, age, occupation and relationship status. I’ve received a few phone calls from folks who listened to this podcast and thanked me. They were trying to manage their own depression, or a loved one’s, and looking for new answers, because the medication we have for depression doesn’t offer the best long-term outcomes and has a lot of side effects to consider, including withdrawal syndrome.

Dr. Douglas Watt is a forensic neuropsychologist with over 30 years of clinical practice. He has degrees from Harvard and Boston College, has served as the director of clinical psychology in two Boston teaching hospitals and has been on the faculty of the Boston University School of Medicine for 15 years. He teaches classes on affective neuroscience and its implications. He’s also a prolific writer and has written numerous articles on this topic ( the social brain hypothesis for depression) and others.

In this podcast, Dr. Watt joins Dr. Stair to discuss the Social Brain Hypothesis for Depression and why he believes depression is an evolutionary shut-down mechanism, the chemical imbalance theory is reductive at best,  and why conventional antidepressants fall short. He discusses what social rejection and loss of relationships does to us neurologically and why folks with an impaired capacity to make meaningful social attachments can become addicted to social media as a failed replacement for real-life intimate connections. In other words, our social media connections won’t help. Finally, he discusses why playfulness is a great promoter of intimacy, play as a mammilian prototype, our current play deficit and what we can do to fix it.

This is a longer podcast, but it’s full of wise gems. I know our society doesn’t like to focus on one topic for a prolonged period of time, but I  highly, highly, highly recommend listening to at least some of it. Depression and chronic loneliness are both increasing around the globe, and Dr. Watt offers a solid reason why. I implore you to listen to it if you struggle with depression! Truly.

I don’t make it a secret that I struggled immensely with my depression in my twenties. While that used to be a common decade for struggling with depression, I think it’s happening frequently at any age now. I also struggled with finding a path to recovery and, frankly, conventional wisdom failed me. I learned nothing about The Social Brain, but I wish I did, because it would have helped.  All anyone did was offer me text-book therapy lines that I already knew and throw pills at me. If I compared my path to recovery to a biking trip, I started out on the standard, well-marked conventional and paved road. I followed the rules and kept going for a while, but couldn’t ignore a gut feeling that I wasn’t feeling better. In fact, I felt worse. An inner force compelled me to swerve off the conventional road and head into the unmarked woods, where I found myself surrounded by brush, weeds and trees. I moved forward on my bike, only to hit trees, crash down hills, get bit by mosquitoes and meet complicated beings along the way who had their own vices and struggles. Confusion, scratches, feeling lost, bruises, undoing, doing…but the most remarkable thing was that I wasn’t actually tripping aimlessly through the woods. I was forging my own path to recovery. And when convention fails you in a big way, forging your own path is the only option. I wrote about that time in my life in my book Manic Kingdom. Hope you read it and hope you listen to this podcast.  

 

Other Causes Or Cures Podcasts:

One doctor’s struggle with Benzodiazepines

Wireless Technology and Our Increased Risk of Brain and Heart Cancer: An Interview with Dr. Fiorella Belpoggi

Opioids or Marijuana? What it’s like to be a Spoonie.

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Wireless and Health: Why I Won’t Make a Bluetooth ZENBand https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/08/wireless-and-health-and-why-i-wont-make-a-bluetooth-zenband/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/08/wireless-and-health-and-why-i-wont-make-a-bluetooth-zenband/#comments Sun, 18 Aug 2019 16:55:31 +0000 https://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=16184   Wireless and Health: Why I won’t make a Bluetooth ZENBand I get asked ALL OF THE TIME why I don’t make a wireless or Bluetooth ZENBand option. I encourage folks to get the phone adapter (dongle) from Amazon or, if you are really serious about your wellness, hypnosis or meditative practice and want to […]

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Wireless Headphones and Cancer

 

Wireless and Health: Why I won’t make a Bluetooth ZENBand

I get asked ALL OF THE TIME why I don’t make a wireless or Bluetooth ZENBand option. I encourage folks to get the phone adapter (dongle) from Amazon or, if you are really serious about your wellness, hypnosis or meditative practice and want to minimize distraction completely, to get an Mp3 player.  One person recently exclaimed, “What is this? The 1980s?”  So let me explain:

 

At one point, I was going to make a Bluetooth ZENBand. It was incredibly affordable to make, and wires started to feel retro, even antiquated. But I was still interested in any potential health risks attributed to EMF radiation exposure. EMF stands for electro-magnetic field. It’s non-ionizing radiation, and how things like our cell phones, Wifi and Bluetooth operate. I began casually searching studies and contacting researchers so I could pick their brains. One doctor I came across was Dr. Joel Moskowitz, director of community health at the University of California, Berkeley. He didn’t mince words. He wrote me, “Wireless headphones are the opposite of wellness.”

 

I was a bit stunned, given the seemingly ubiquitous nature of wireless technology. I put the wireless production on hold and began to dig deeper. The tedious systematic literature review ensued!

 

Trying to make a health assessment on a “new” exposure is tricky. When a new tech product comes to market, no robust studies are required to prove health safety. It’s not like a drug that requires several levels of testing. A randomized controlled trial involving humans, the gold standard of evidence, would be unethical. Hence, we have to rely on animal studies and epidemiological data and analyze trends. Essentially, is the epidemiological data trending with the results of animal studies?

 

My search uncovered that 250 scientists and doctors from around the world had sent a petition to the World Health Organization warning about the potential health problems from wireless technology. The petition was signed prior to the rise of wireless headphones and earbuds, and mostly focused on cell phones. Cell phones emit more EMF radiation than Bluetooth, but my concern with Bluetooth was its proximity to the head and brain.

 

Still, that was one petition and I wasn’t convinced. Plus, everyone I talked to would call me a “Quack” for even expressing concern. I was the object of numerous eye-rolls. Clearly, if there were no warnings and wireless was everywhere, there couldn’t be any deleterious health effects. Right….RIGHT?!?

 

My next step was to contact some of the signers of the petition and talk to them. My hope was to have them on my Causes Or Cures podcast. Several agreed, and so far, two podcasts related to EMF exposure and health problems are posted. I plan on posting more.

 

The first person I interviewed on the topic of wireless and health was Dr. Fiorella Belpoggi. She is the head of research at the Ramazinni Institute in Italy and director of the Cesare Mal-toni Cancer Research Center. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers and has conducted the largest animal study to date on EMF exposure and cancer. Her study found that EMF exposure increased the risk of gliomas, a type of brain tumor and schwannomas, a type of heart and ear tumor. The results of her study were consistent with the results of another million-dollar study conducted by the U.S. Health and Human Services’ Department of Toxicology. Both studies showed an increase in the same type of rare tumors. ( The Dept of Toxicology also found a link to pheochromocytomas, tumors of the adrenal gland.)  So, the two largest animal studies on EMF exposure and cancer showed consistent results. Dr. Belpoggi stated that there is no question that EMF radiation affects mammalian cells. When I asked her about potential mechanisms of action, given that EMF radiation was non-ionizing, she told me that the fact that it is non-ionizing is “nonsense” when studies clearly show it affects mammalian cells. To listen to her podcast, click here. I also wrote a separate blog post summarizing her points and recommendations for mitigating risk from exposure.

 

Next, I interviewed Dr. Anthony Miller, a trained medical doctor and Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto’s Dall Lana School of Public Health. He is a longtime advisor to the World Health Organization and was the Senior Epidemiologist for the International Agency for Research on Cancer. He’s published numerous studies on the epidemiology of cancer and environmental causes of cancer, so I wanted to ask him about wireless and health. When I asked him to rate the evidence for potential harm from wireless technology, he told me it was very robust. He said that he expected an epidemic of brain tumors related to EMF exposure. I then asked him how it was possible to make such a strong statement against wireless technology, when it’s used everywhere and people are either listening with their wireless headphones or on their cell phones most of the day. He told me that tech and phone companies are extremely powerful enterprises with a lot of ad money. In short, money talks. On a promising note, he said that the World Health Organization will most likely reopen the analysis of EMF radiation and its current carcinogenic ( cancer-causing) ranking. You can listen to my podcast with Dr. Miller here.

 

I also interviewed Dr. David Carpenter via Skype audio, but sadly my recording didn’t record. Dr. Carpenter is a public health physician and director of the Institute for Health and the Environment, a collaborating center of the World Health Organization. He’s a professor at the University of Albany’s School of Public Health, where he previously served as Dean. Dr. Carpenter received his medical training at Harvard medical school, has over 400 peer-reviewed publications and wrote 6 books. He echoed what the other researchers/doctors told me: that there is significant evidence that EMF-radiation causes harm and the World Health Organization needs to address it. I remember him telling me that his daughter is a veterinarian and when she ran around seeing animals, she’d put her cell phone in her bra, because it was a convenient place to put it. He scolded her, told her to never do that, because he was worried about the increasing rates of breast cancer. I related to that story, because when I’m running around without a purse, etc., I’m always wondering where to stick my cell phone. It’s ended up in my sports bra a few times- but I’ll never do that again! Dr. Carpenter also said there is zero proof that any of the EMF shields/ protection devices now flooding the market truly work. That’s worth digesting, because a person might feel protected with a “shield” and not cut back on their use of EMF-emitting devices, when there’s no solid or repeat evidence to suggest they are even remotely effective.

 

Prior to these interviews and even my notion of creating a wireless ZENBand, I had interviewed Dr. Hugh Taylor, the chief of Ob/Gyn at Yale New Haven Hospital. He is the editor-in-chief of Reproductive Science and editor of Endocrinology. Dr. Taylor published a randomized controlled trial showing that cell phone exposure in pregnant mice led to mice that exhibited symptoms that would be classified as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADHD).  You’re probably saying to yourself, “But those are mice. And how in the world does one identify ADHD in mice?”  Fair question, and I’m linking to the interview here. The most compelling finding of Taylor’s study is that he had actual objective evidence to support the ADHD observations. He and his team took pathological samples, or sections of the fetal mice brain, and analyzed them for differences. The pathological specimens between the fetal group exposed to EMF radiation were different than the pathological specimens of the group not exposed to radiation. That’s a compelling objective finding. Other researchers have documented cognitive and memory impairment in relation to in-utero EMF exposure, in addition to decreased fertility overall, and I plan on exploring these areas more in the future. I plan on exploring how EMF affects the microbiome, our memory and cognitive ability overtime.

 

I want to note that everyone I spoke to mentioned that the distance between the EMF-emitting device and one’s head/body is highly significant. If you increase this distance, even by a small amount, you significantly reduce your risk of potential harm. Your exposure decreases by the square of the distance the device is from your body. In our tech-infested lives, this is good news. It means I can put my phone on speaker if I need to make a call, use wired headphones and keep all EMF-emitting devices off of my body.

 

The studies above are a mere sliver of the expanding body of evidence showing that EMF radiation can be hazardous to our health – That wireless and health are linked and impact each other. We should be even more concerned when we consider our increasing reliance on technology and the time we spend on wireless devices. We should be really concerned about exposure in vulnerable groups, such as children and pregnant people. In the spirit of the oath I took in medical school, “First Do No Harm,”  we shouldn’t choose to do anything with the potential for great harm if it’s not necessary, and we should uphold the Precautionary Principle. For those unfamiliar with the Precautionary Principle, it’s this: “The principle that the introduction of a new product or process whose ultimate effects are disputed or unknown should be resisted.”

 

Not making a Bluetooth ZENBand is a horrible marketing decision for me, but it’s the one most consistent with my ethos as a doctor and proponent of public health and wellness. Just like I won’t fry my brain and walk around with two microwaves in my ears, I won’t wear Bluetooth or wireless headphones, so I won’t sell them to you. If I sold them to you, I’d be an awful hypocrite. When I use my ZENBand and listen to audiobooks or music for a prolonged period of time, I use an old Mp3 player. It’s a nice way to engage with the world around me and escape the distractions in my phone.

 

Finally, for the wireless and health risk dedicated doubters, remember the story of cigarettes. Cigarettes were immensely popular and mainstream for years and years. It took a very long time for the health risks of cigarettes to catch up with the popularity and profitability of smoking and the formidable power of the tobacco industry. Think about Roundup, the world’s most popular pesticide. These exposure stories usually follow a similar plot, but luckily for us, the Hippocratic Oath eventually prevails.

 

For more information on wireless and health, visit Microwave News or contact erin@bloomingwellness.com

Erin Stair, MD, MPH 

Shop ZENBands here

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Are Left-Handed People Crazier? https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/08/5180/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/08/5180/#respond Tue, 13 Aug 2019 20:46:55 +0000 http://www.bloomingwellness.com/blog/?p=5180 Are left-handed people crazier than right-handed people? If you want to listen to my Causes Or Cures Podcast version of this, click here. There is a general sense that left-handed people are crazier. Crazier in the colloquial sense of that word, not in the stigmatizing sense. After all, I’m a Lefty.  😉 In an official […]

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Are left-handed people crazier than right-handed people?
If you want to listen to my Causes Or Cures Podcast version of this, click here.
There is a general sense that left-handed people are crazier. Crazier in the colloquial sense of that word, not in the stigmatizing sense. After all, I’m a Lefty.  😉
In an official sense, a study shows left-handed people are prone to mental illness more so than right-handed people. Researchers at Yale University studied 107 patients that went to an urban, outpatient psychiatric clinic for either mood, depression, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.  They found that the percentage of schizophrenics or schizoaffectives who are left-handed is much higher than the percentage that is right-handed.  Specifically, the prevalence of left-handedness in those with mood disorders was 11% , which compares to the general population, but the percentage of left-handedness in schizophrenics/schizoaffectives was 40%. The odds ratio was 7.9 and p was less than .001. So if you are left-handed you are 7.9 times as likely to get schizophrenia or be schizoaffective than a right-handed person.
I should add that left-handedness is often associated with more health ailments than right-handedness. If you skim medical databases for “left-handedness and health” you’ll discover that it has been linked to spinal deformities, immunological disorders, migraines, neurosis, insomnia, diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, GI disorders,  psychiatric ailments in general, and “enuresis noctura,” or wetting the bed at night. At least you now have an idea of what was inside the medical charts of famous Lefties like Obama, Bill Clinton, Einstein, Darwin, Newton, Osama Bin Laden and “the worst Britain in history,” Jack the Ripper…
Why are left-handed people crazier?
The doctors and researchers are busy coming up with theories as to why left-handed people might go mad more often than right-handed people. They speculate that it has something to do with brain development or neuronal circuitry. I think it is another reason altogether. I think Lefties go mad more often than Righties, because the world drives Lefties mad. It is the world’s fault. I am left-handed so I consider me an expert opinion. In this world, Lefties are left out. There is a prejudice against us that can be seen and felt everywhere. The world craps on Lefties, and as a result, Lefties have to deal with more stress, more anger, more unfairness, more bullshit… and all of those things combine to set the stage for not only craziness, but a plethora of other health problems too. Studies over and over again link stress with an unsound mind. The world drives Lefties to insanity.  But how specifically? I’ll get there.
So are left-handed people crazier? Yes. Here is my list why.
1)   Handheld Mechanical Can-Openers
                    If a Lefty has to open a can somewhere with a handheld can opener, it will be designed for a right-handed person, not a Lefty. Then a Lefty has to pretend he/she is a Righty in order to open a can. And it will take a lot longer and probably involve cutting oneself. The world does not care if left-handed people can eat out of a can.
2) The PEN Smudge
                   Every single time you write as a Lefty, you will experience the pen smudge. And sometimes it stains for days and you can’t get it out and then you just go around looking like a dirty person who doesn’t wash your hands.

Are Left-handed people crazier than Right-Handed people?

3) Spiral Notebooks
                    These are the absolute worst for Lefties and can drive a Lefty to madness in no time.
4) Stick-shift Cars
                   Where’s the stick? Not on the left hand side of a car!  Why? Because the world doesn’t want Lefties to drive stick. ( Not that I want to drive stick, but the option should exist.)
5) Computers and those Computerized Pens you use to sign something after making a purchase
                 Computers always have the good stuff ( numbers pad, computerized pen, etc) on the right side of the keypad. The computerized pens are always on too short a leash for a Lefty to conveniently sign his/her bill. There’s always maneuvering involved. Why does the world do this? Why do stores do this? To drive Lefties mad.
6) Gym Class and Sports Woes
               There is never a Lefty baseball catcher’s mitt, golf club or field hockey stick in gym class. Or if there is, there is only 1, and it is grungy as Hell and the one that the one Lefty in each class 100 years before you used. The world doesn’t care if Lefties participate in gym class. Exercise is proven to prevent madness, but they want Lefties to go crazy.
7) The 1 pocket in pants and shorts 
              This pocket is never on the left. Always on the right. Why? Because shorts and pants makers don’t want Lefties to put anything in their pockets.
8) The Store Scoopers
            Stores supply bins full of stuff people eat, and they also supply scoopers to scoop the stuff out.  These scoopers are designed for a Righty. I eat a lot of granola and nuts.  ( Wellness, duh.) I’m like a squirrel that way. I always go to the granola and nut bins. When I try to scoop, however, it’s painful. I’m practically contorting my body around the scooper to make it work, but meanwhile granola and nuts are falling to the ground, and other shoppers are staring at me like I’m “slow” and “challenged.”
9) “Oh, great, you’re a Lefty”
                       Lefties create frustration for instructors who only know how to teach Righties.  I experienced this a lot at West Point. Especially when instructors would try to teach me how to shoot, tie knots, defend myself against an attacker, etc…. it was always, “Oh, great, you’re a Lefty. Wait over there so I can teach the Righties first, and then ( maybe if I have time) I’ll teach you.” Why? Because the world wants Lefties to get shot at and have knots that fail when they are repelling down a mountain to escape the enemy.
10) Dinner Parties
                    Dinner parties are designed to leave out Lefties since most people eat with their right hand.  If you are a Lefty and go to a dinner party, you will most likely always be placed next to a Righty. And you will bump elbows all night long, thereby creating tension and stress. Why? Because the world wants Lefties to eat alone. And being alone can drive one mad.

Are Left-handed people crazier?

11) Surgical Equipment is all Right. 
             I think the most frustrating portion of my surgery rotation during medical school was that all of the surgical tools were designed for Righties. I remember scrubbing into an operation with a particularly cantankerous surgeon. He kept saying “cut” to me, but whenever I tried to “cut,” I couldn’t. I would start sweating while the surgeon kept yelling, “Cut, cut, CUTTTTT you IDIOT!”  It was first grade arts and crafts all over again.  Why? Because most surgical tools are made for Righties.  Of course you can special-order surgical tools for Lefties, but what med student is going to do that for a 3 month rotation on a student budget? Not me! The world does not want left-handed people to become surgeons, that’s obvious.
12)  The school Room with no Left-Handed Chairs. 
               This will drive a Lefty crazy faster than almost anything.  It’s all the trend for secondary schools and universities to have the half-desk. The problem is that most (if not ALL) of the half-desks have their “half” on the right hand side. This means that a Lefty will be forced to sit in one of those half-desks and take notes and exams while their elbows wave around in the air. Why? Because the world doesn’t want Lefties in school. They’d rather you go stupid and mad.

 

13) It All Starts in 1st grade Arts and Crafts
             Like any madness, it all goes back to childhood issues.
  Every Lefty out there can relate to not being able to cut anything in Arts and Crafts, because the teacher gives you a pair of  right-handed scissors. So you are the student who frustratingly tries to cut out your shapes, hearts and snowflakes, but can’t, because you can’t cut. And the school doesn’t care. The teacher doesn’t care.  The world doesn’t care. And your artwork looks like vomit on the bulletin board for parents’ night.

Are Left-handed people crazier than right-handed?

14) Left is Evil
             The left side has always been considered the evil side. In all of those drawings of a face, an angel and a devil, what shoulder is the devil sitting on? The left. To ward off evil, one throws salt over his or her left shoulder. Witches cast spells with their left hands.  All of the blessings in Church are made with the right hand. For example, “In the name of the father, son, and holy spirit,” is never done with the left. Priests baptize babies with their right hands. If someone is considered a deviant or poorly behaved, he or she might be described as being “baptized by a left-handed priest.” The devil is always portrayed as being left-handed and there are countless bible verses that bash the left, such as, ““Then he will say unto those on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” This could be what drove Satan mad.

report-card2

In places like the Middle East, being left-handed is considered REALLY evil. In some places it is a rule that you wipe your butt with your left hand and some water. Never the right hand, only the left. And then they don’t let you eat with your left hand, because if you do, you follow Satan. So much for just being hungry and born with a different-sided brain dominance! It’s obvious that you worship the Devil.  It’s like what this guy says:

lefthandtwo

On a positive note, if I ever want to lose weight, I know where to go….
So, I hope my blog shed some light on why left-handed people are crazier than right-handed people.
It’s not our fault. It’s the world’s.
Thanks for reading! Since I’m left-handed, if you want to read my book about going crazy, check out Manic Kingdom.  😉

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ZENBands and Wellness Travel: A Review from Tao Wander https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/08/zenband-for-wellness-travel/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/08/zenband-for-wellness-travel/#respond Mon, 12 Aug 2019 09:37:01 +0000 https://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=16138 ZENBands and Wellness Travel: Wellness travel is becoming a huge trend, and I couldn’t be happier about that. Every time I travel, I have a little anxiety about how to maintain my health/wellness regimen , including exercise, good sleep, meditation, yoga and having access to the foods I like to eat and products I like […]

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Tao Wander ZENBand Review

ZENBands and Wellness Travel:

Wellness travel is becoming a huge trend, and I couldn’t be happier about that. Every time I travel, I have a little anxiety about how to maintain my health/wellness regimen , including exercise, good sleep, meditation, yoga and having access to the foods I like to eat and products I like to use. If I feel like I can’t maintain my wellness regimen while traveling, I’ll be miserable. I have to plan it out ahead of time. This brings me to the ZENBand.

Recently I’ve been connecting with wellness travel professionals and organizations, because a lot of my blog readers and customers are very conscious about wellness , and this includes while traveling. Lots of folks are using the ZENBand as a travel accessory specifically for wellness travel, and I love that. There are a few reasons why I think the ZENBand and wellness travel go together.

1) From the start, it’s made with wellness in mind, which is why I purposely don’t do Bluetooth. Anyone who knows me knows I talk about this issue a lot and feature scientists/ researchers on this topic on my podcast…, but really, would you walk around with 2 mini-microwaves in your ears and be okay with that? And not just for an hour but for hours every day? On a long trip?  My guess is no. If you are interested in reducing potential health risks from long-term Bluetooth exposure, the ZENBand is a great option for wellness travel.

2) I am always mindful of color therapy and the impact of color on mood. I take that into consideration when designing the ZENBands. I love when customers write me and request a specific color, because it makes them feel a certain way. Afterwards, I jot down a note, so if I currently don’t have the color/design, I can work on getting it. Color plays a role in traveling too. If you’re an anxious traveler, maybe you prefer a ZENBand with a calming color or design. If you want more energy for traveling or feel reluctant to go on a trip , try one of our brighter and energizing colors. Speaking of amazing colors and designs, I can’t wait to show you some of our new designs this Fall, designed by the very talented Elsha. ( Check out her website. She’s one of the most inspiring and talented people I know with one hell of a personal story. )

3) The ZENBand is super comfortable for your head and ears, which is what you want if you are traveling on planes and trains. I always travel with mine. It’s not noise canceling, on purpose, but the sound quality is great. Why isn’t it noise canceling? Because in this world, folks, you don’t want to nix one of your most important senses. You want to upgrade your situational awareness as much as possible and be aware of everything around you. Wellness is about being healthy, which includes staying alive. Situational awareness is Wellness 1010. Canceling noise means you are canceling one of your abilities to pick up potential situational dangers, and that can get you killed. ( I don’t mince words, do I? 🙂 )

4) The ZENBand is perfect for camouflaging travel hair, forehead blemishes and fine lines. The fact that we make it wider than normal headbands makes it great for hiding messy travel hair, zits and wrinkles. I actually LOVE it for this purpose. ( Not to mention, covering over stubborn grey roots that refuse to darken. ;)) It’s also stylish and discrete, with no outside labels, so you can wear it wherever you are traveling.

5) If you have trouble sleeping in hotels like I do or are concerned that a hotel might be too noisy, the ZENBand is a great tool to help coax your mind and body into sleep mode. I don’t recommend wearing it through the night, but just long enough to calm your mind and guide yourself into a relaxing state for sleep. You can listen to one of our Fall Asleep ZENTone programs (that include a great guided imagery by one of the most soothing voices around) to help induce sleep.  We have a lot of options in the ZENTones Sleep category, so check them out.  If you want more answers on the science behind the ZENTones, click here.

6) The ZENBand is super lightweight and EASY to bring with you anywhere. Seriously, it is. It’s super lightweight. You can easily toss it in your purse pocket or toiletries bag. And since we are focused on the ZENBand and wellness travel, you can use it to meditate on retreats, listen to hypnobabies scripts if you are pregnant or our sound therapy ZENTone programs too.

Truth be told, I’m biased about the ZENBand being a great and affordable travel accessory, because I made the darn thing. Now I’ll link to a review by Tao Wander, a wellness travel guru, who wrote a thoughtful review on the ZENBand and wellness travel.  I want to thank her for doing this, because reviews are the bread and butter of small businesses, yet I’m TERRIBLE at requesting them. Completely awful at it. By the way, I didn’t ask her to do this or pay her. I sent her a ZENBand to try, and she did the review and review video on her own.  So thank you so much, Tao Wander!! ( Also, check out her site. She has amazing tips for wellness travel destinations and retreats…heck, I might sign up for one! )  🙂

Want health tips? Follow us on Instagram. I keep it fun and funny, because we need more of those in life. We also do a lot of giveaways!

Follow my Health podcast Causes Or Cures, available on i-tunes and Spotify too. I’ve been lucky and honored to feature some amazing brains on hot wellness topics. These are folks who actually study the topics and do the research. Highly recommend listening to them.

 

Thanks all- See you around cyberspace,

Erin

Erin Stair, MD, MPH

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Mental Health & The Political Climate, with Gabriel Nathan https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/08/mental-health-the-political-climate-with-gabriel-nathan/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/08/mental-health-the-political-climate-with-gabriel-nathan/#respond Sat, 10 Aug 2019 23:34:27 +0000 https://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=16133 What’s going on with our collective and individual mental health and the current political climate? Do you think the current political climate is impacting our mental health at all…, or are you living under a rock? If you are living under a rock, do you have room for a few more?  Just kidding, sort of.  […]

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Mental Health and the Political Climate

What’s going on with our collective and individual mental health and the current political climate? Do you think the current political climate is impacting our mental health at all…, or are you living under a rock? If you are living under a rock, do you have room for a few more?  Just kidding, sort of.  😉

There’s been a surge of requests for therapists due to stress, anxiety and relationship troubles due to the current political situation. Social media sites are saturated with tribal and reductive back-and-forths that only increase our individual and collective sense of angst. Long-term friendships have dissolved, marriages have ended, Twitter is a battlefield and toxic stress is the name of the game. In short, we’ve come a long way, baby.

In this Causes or Cures episode, Dr. Erin Stair (me)  chats with Gabriel Nathan, chief editor of OC87 Recovery Stories, about the state of our mental health in the current political climate, why our interactions are toxic and broken, and what can be done to improve our interactions and move us towards recovery.

Be mindful that specific people and events are mentioned in this podcast, and though not the intent, some things mentioned might offend or anger you. Gabe and I have different political opinions, but let this serve as a fair warning to those whose blood pressure rises when politics comes up.

 

Listen to other episodes on Causes or Cures:

Wireless and Our Cancer Risk: An Interview with Top Cancer Researcher, Dr. Fiorella Belpoggi

What does it really mean to be Holistic? An Interview with The Holistic Psychologist

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Skincare Routine for the Summer https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/07/skin-care-routine-for-the-summer-using-coffee-grounds-helichrysum-spikenard-oil-tomato-paste-and-honey/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/07/skin-care-routine-for-the-summer-using-coffee-grounds-helichrysum-spikenard-oil-tomato-paste-and-honey/#respond Tue, 30 Jul 2019 16:05:23 +0000 https://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=16012 A good summer skincare routine can preserve a wonderful face. And yes, your face is wonderful. 🙂 Hey guys, I’m a big fan of creating my own skincare routines based on what I’ve learned from studying herbs, essential oils and how different food ingredients impact our skin. Most importantly, a great skincare routine includes a […]

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A good summer skincare routine can preserve a wonderful face. And yes, your face is wonderful. 🙂

Hey guys,

I’m a big fan of creating my own skincare routines based on what I’ve learned from studying herbs, essential oils and how different food ingredients impact our skin. Most importantly, a great skincare routine includes a great diet, and I always tell people that I eat what I put on my face. For the most part. Does that sound weird?  Maybe, but it works. That, good sleep, a steady stress reduction routine (since cortisol inhibits collagen) and my new found love, face yoga. Also, it’s okay if you don’t do the “natural route” and get Botox, fillers or whatever else is out there. You do you. There’s no right or wrong here. Personally I hate needles, artificial stuff, procedures and anything that resembles a doctor’s office, so I will be aging the old-fashioned way. At least for now. Maybe I’ll be the facelift queen in the future, who knows. Life changes and we change.

I digress, as usual… 🙂

Before I list the steps for this particular skincare routine, let me say that staying out of the summer sun is vital for preventing skin discolorations, spots and fine lines. I don’t go in the sun much at all during the summer, but when I do, I always have a massive hat and sunglasses. ( In a future blog, I’ll write more on what I do/use for sunscreen, because there are growing concerns about the toxicity of popular brands, even ones that are recommended by dermatologists. )

So, let’s get to it. Here are the steps for my summer skincare routine:

1) First, I exfoliate with used coffee grounds.

I take a pinch of wet coffee grounds from my coffee pot and exfoliate my face in a gentle, circular motion. This can get messy, but one only needs a pinch. I only exfoliate with coffee grounds these days.

2) Mix a tiny amount of Organic Tomato Paste with a tiny amount of Unpasteurized Manuka Honey

I don’t need much to do this, and neither do you. I mix it as well as I can, and always make sure the honey is unpasteurized, so its enzymes maintain their activity. The honey might be difficult to mix, but it is fantastic for the skin, especially for any scratches, scars and burns. (Click here for my blog on why Unpasteurized Manuka Honey is phenomenal for your skin, especially for wounds.)

Tomato paste contains lycopene, a carotenoid or plant pigment that makes tomatoes and tomato paste red. Lycopene has high antioxidant activity. Studies have shown that when eaten, it significantly reduces UV-induced erythema (redness/inflammation) compared to controls. Tomato paste has a higher level of lycopene than tomatoes or tomato juice, which is why I use it. I also eat a lot of tomato paste throughout the year.  May your inner chef get creative with it.  😉

After thoroughly mixing, I rub it on my face. I don’t look pretty, but that’s not the point. It doesn’t have to look pretty to work. I leave it on for approximately 30 minutes.

SkinCare Routine for the Summer

3) I rinse with cold water & rub an ice cube ( till it melts) over my face in a circular fashion.

I use ice on my face daily. It reduces signs of redness and helps reduce some of the elements of inflammation. Rubbing ice on your face and neck is also a good practice for your mental health. If you find yourself getting stressed, anxious and “hot-headed” during the summer days, grab an ice cube. When someone says, “He/She needs to cool off,” it can be taken quite literally.

4) The last step of my skincare routine, is to rub a little Helichrysum Italicum and a little Spikenard oil on my face.

I rub it in a circular fashion, outward towards my ears. Helichrysum Italicum is used in a lot of store-bought cosmetic products, but I like to use the oil itself. I also love the way it smells, and find it very calming and refreshing on hot summer days. It gives you a golden tint, which I like, though too much can make you look like you’re in liver failure. 😉  H. Italicum contains many flavonoids, or intricate carbon structures that have a variety of antioxidant, anti-aging and antiviral activities. H. Italicum is a powerhouse, with documented activity against Staph Aureus ( a bacteria responsible for many skin infections) and even the Herpes Simplex Virus.

I add in Spikenard oil ( from the Valerian flower family) because it’s been shown to have a fabulous anti-inflammatory and wound healing profile, and it mixes well with other oils.

Skincare routine for the summer

Obviously No Makeup LOL

That’s it for my summer skincare routine. Stay tuned for future posts on sun protection, homemade exfoliation products that aren’t messy, and my face yoga routine.

Hope you follow me ( and Blooming Wellness) on Instagram where I often post health tips/charts, more skincare routines, and also listen to my Causes Or Cures Podcast. I’m grateful that I’ve had so many interesting people on my podcast, many experts in their respective fields. More to come, so check it out!

Grab a ZENBand for your next flight, beach trip, spa day here.

 

Ten Health Benefits of Coffee

 

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