Archive for the ‘Balance’ Category

Progesterone to the rescue… again

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Back in 2002, Progesterone was a hot topic in the news. Dr. John Lee’s books (What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause… also his similarly named books on Premenopause and Breast Cancer) were on an “end aisle” in every major book store in the country and each highlighted the benefits of natural progesterone. That information and Arbonne’s Balancing Creams (USP Natural Progesterone) turned my life around and gave me my health back. Wahooo!!!

Now, progesterone is again making news. Monday, March 15th, 2010, in the Life Section (D) of USA Today, the Cover Story by Rita Rubin reveals progesterone is showing promise in the treatment of brain-injured patients. The article highlights the case of Marc Baskett, a patient who suffered serious injury in a traffic incident in 2004. While not back to 100% physically, his speech gives no indication he was once in a deep coma. His brain is functioning fully, thanks to immediate treatment with progesterone. Progesterone is best known as a female hormone… but truth be told, both men and women have progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone just in differing amounts. The article quotes Arthur Kellerman, chairman of emergency medicine at Emory University in Atlanta, as stating that it “might be more accurate to call progesterone a “protection hormone” instead of a female hormone”.

The USA Today article also states that “A small study of progesterone in the treatment of traumatic brain-injured patients, including Baskett, was so promising the National Institutes of Health has financed a larger, nationwide study that is to start enrolling patients this week. Scientists are still trying to unravel how progesterone protects the brain, but laboratory and animal studies suggest that it is critical for normal development of the brain and reduces swelling from trauma.”

I find it noteworthy, that while scientists and drug companies have tried for over 30 years to find a medication to improve survival and function in brain injured patients, (Kellerman noted) “Every single clinical trial of a treatment for brain injury has failed. That is until the 100-patient pilot study of progesterone. The trial, designed mainly to test the hormone’s safety, uncovered no serious side effects… Even more striking, the study found patients given progesterone were 50% less likely to have died than those receiving a placebo. And among moderate brain-injury survivors, those who received progesterone were less disabled. Some, like Baskett, made a full recovery. ”

Progesterone is natural and relatively inexpensive to produce from either soy or yams. I understand that drug companies cannot patent what is natural and must therefore alter nature to come up with a formulation they can exclusively own, making it monetarily worth their while to produce. (Progestin is the prescription form of natural progesterone and the PDR does note side effects from its use.)

This study could yield the evidence necessary to raise hopes for the use of natural progesterone to standard practice for brain-injured patients.

Personally, I still can’t help but wonder “What if I knew then what I know now about the benefits of natural progesterone… could I have avoided a hysterectomy?” I now add to my “What if’s”… what if natural progesterone could help other brain issues… could it have helped my first husband who suffered and died from an inoperable brain tumor? Perhaps time will tell.

As an end note… if you seek more information about Arbonne’s Balancing Creams you can contact me or your Arbonne Independent Consultant. As an Arbonne Independent Consultant and Regional Vice President, it is my goal, my honor and privilege to provide excellent customer service to each of my clients and to those in my network of Consultants.

Balancing Hormones

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

This is a subject about which I am passionate! I will share more from my personal experience in future posts, but for now, I hope you will appreciate this overview of “The Positive Power of Progesterone” (With thanks to Eunice Ray for sharing, March 13th, 2010)…

Dr. Allan Leiberman, Environmental MD, Charleston, SC.

Progesterone gets its name from “for gestation” because its highest levels occur during pregnancy. Without the high levels a mother would reject her boy baby. But, progesterone is present and functioning throughout our entire life. It is equally important to both men and women.

Everyone is trying to reduce their cholesterol levels but cholesterol is the essential molecule we begin with to synthesize Progesterone as well as all of our sex and adrenal hormones. This is one good reason you should explore the alternatives to taking cholesterol-blocking drugs. Let’s focus on Progesterone, the subject of this alert. Progesterone’s contributions to health and well being are:

1- Essential for maintaining pregnancy.
2- Lowers blood pressure.
3- Converted by the adrenal glands into all of the stress hormones.
4- Promotes calmness.
5- Relieves water retention.
6- Protects the brain against estrogen induced brain fog.
7- Helps form the protective layer around nerve endings.
8- Provides significant protection against heart disease.
9- Offers protections against osteoporosis.
10- Is necessary for balancing many other hormones and nutrients in the body.

And most importantly, it balances the proliferative effects of estrogen preventing breast, prostate and uterine cancer. The epidemics of these cancers, remember, are caused buy dominance of the hormone estrogen. Not because there is an overabundance of estrogen in our bodies but because we have so little progesterone. During Menopause your estrogen levels drop about 50% but your progesterone drops 99% leaving what Dr. John Lee calls “estrogen dominance”. Another disastrous situation of young women is the occurrence of anovulatory menstrual cycles. If you don’t ovulate, even if you have normal menses, you do not make progesterone. It is estimated that as many as one third of women are having anovulatory cycles.The point of all this is that risk of cancer to the breasts is increased in young women with little to no progesterone and to perimenopausal and menopausal women when again progesterone is very low to absent.

Therefore, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for women to have adequate levels of progesterone. (200-600 times more progesterone than estrogen.) The only way to be sure if you have adequate levels is to measure it in the saliva. This applies to both men and women. The only way to measure the free and available levels of hormones is to use saliva. Blood levels measure only the bound and non-usable form.

Although I have said this before it bears repeating again and again. A physician with many years of experience said, “I have never seen a woman with high levels of progesterone ever get breast cancer, not one.”

Also, the most common pathology of the breast found on mammography and thermography is Ductal Carcinoma in Situ. It is said to represent stage 0 cancer. Dr. Lee felt strongly that this was caused by a deficiency of progesterone and if supplemented the lesion returned to normal. And men, don’t feel left out because treating men with progesterone often also reverses prostate cancer.

Living a balanced life. Part 2 of 2

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

For me, I accomplish that which is first formulated in my mind and then writen down. There seems to be “magic” in putting pen to paper. Sometimes it is in the form of lists of goals and such. Other times it is merely scheduling a priority on my calendar by finding an opening and jotting it down. Of course, activity has to follow. The good news is that repeatable activities do get easier over time.

Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “Eat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” When it comes to things we don’t want to do, it is helpful to “Eat that Frog”. (I highly recommend Brian Tracy’s book by that name!) The principle is that we can learn to stop procrastinating and get more done in less time.

In the introduction to his book, Brian Tracey says, “Your ability to select your most important task at each moment, and then to start on that task and get it done both quickly and well, will probably have more of an impact on your success than any other quality or skill you can develop!
If you develop the habit of setting clear priorities and getting important tasks completed quickly, you will run circles around a genius who talks a lot and makes wonderful plans but gets very little done…
The MAIN IDEA = The key to reaching high levels of performance and productivity is for you to develop the lifelong habit of tackling your major task first thing each morning. You must develop the routine of “eating your frog” before you do anything else and without taking too much time to think about it!”

With the unpleasant task out of the way, the rest of the day can flow smoothly. Those who haven’t grasp that principle often spend days or hours dreading what they know they should or need, but don’t want, to do resulting in failure to execute.

Some would say I am a “lucky one”, and I do recognize that I am oh, so very blessed to “own my life”. I am not owned by a “boss” ruled by a “job” that tells me what to do, when and how to do it, where to go, when I can eat lunch or vacation. These choices are mine alone. I get to decide. I am certainly not perfect, but I do purpose to choose wisely. I rarely use an alarm clock. I wake when I am ready to start my day.

With these freedoms come responsibility. I am responsible to myself and the business I am building. I am my own boss, and I cannot “bench” my best player. I have to stay in the game. Fortunately, I love what I do! Some would say I don’t work a day of my life… but truth be told, few work harder than I do.

About two years ago I began to schedule (write down) time on my calendar to exercise daily. It has worked great!
That may have been, in part, why I exercise first thing in the day. I didn’t enjoy it at first. I now look forward to it. It has become a habit and I enjoy giving myself that gift each morning. I am more alert and ready for whatever the day holds if I have had that time for myself first. It doesn’t hurt that I am an early riser.  ;)

Then a year and a half ago I caught myself saying that I wish I had more time to quilt. I love expressing myself creatively and quilting has long been a medium I enjoy… but there have been seasons to life when there was little time for quilting.
I was reminded that if I didn’t take time for myself I had no one to blame but myself… so I scheduled ½ hour for quilting each morning after my quiet time for reading in my favorite book and walking on the treadmill in my basement. How cool is that. It took far too long for me to put into practice what I had always hoped to do!
In fact, I have heard it said that the difference between hopes and goals is that hopes haven’t been given a deadline.

Even with all that in mind, I can become “driven” with such a narrow focus that I neglect to enjoy some of life’s most simple pleasures… anticipation, enjoying the moment, and reflection. I have made a mental shift and I am working on getting better at those, again.

Achieving balance is more a journey than a destination. Would you let me know if you are you traveling the same road? I’d also like to hear from you if you’d like to step out of the “rat race”, off life’s treadmill, and take ownership of your own life. I’d love the opportunity to share with you how you could do as I have done! It is achievable!

I’d also like to challenge you to make it a habit to make ‘you’ a priority in your schedule. Take time for yourself each day. Perhaps you will exercise, read in a book, or be creative as I try to do. You might delight in creating a personal spa experience in the privacy of your own bathroom.
You could allow yourself time to sip tea perhaps by yourself as you reflect on simple pleasures, or with a friend as you “catch-up” on happenings in each other’s lives.
You see, some of the gifts we give ourselves allow us to be a blessing to others, too. We can all make a difference in the lives of others and it doesn’t have to cost us anything. Consider:

  • Do those who you love know it… today?
  • Have you freely cast a smile at a stranger today?

How much better if everyone would regularly practice random acts of kindness!!!

Here’s to making ours a better world while working on achieving a balanced, healthy life.

Living a balanced life. Part 1 of 2

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

To stay healthy, I strive to live a balanced life. When achieved (for even a moment), staying “balanced” can seem like walking a tight rope.  It takes effort to not slip and fall.

We often hear, “Live each day to the fullest.”
And yet it is also said, “Stop and smell the roses”.

Can we have it all?
I think the answer is yes and no.
Yes, we can have it all, but not necessarily all at the same time.

There are seasons to life. Responsibilities and priorities can change, but they also might have us focused on one area of our life for a “time” and then shift to allow us to enjoy other responsibilities and priorities.

When homeschooling my boys from K-12, school had to be a daily priority. That was our ‘work’ during that season of life. My job was to teach and direct the plan for their education; their job was to learn. Simple? Yes! Easy? No! It required consistency in activity and discipline to successfully graduate and launch them into college and life. Now my “nest” is empty. I have entered another “season of life”.

Most agree that regular exercise is recommended for everyone. Some feel daily is important. Some feel 2-3 times a week is enough. Those training for the Olympics have certainly focused more on exercise than the rest of us, but they may not always do so. To prevent workout boredom and monotony, Adam Zickerman’s book, “The Power of Ten” says you can get results in 20 minutes a week and includes 5-7 exercises that target all five major muscle groups. The question is, “What is your goal and what works in your current schedule allowing for living a balanced, healthy life?”
The answer to that question will likely be different for each of us.

Please join me again tomorrow for part two of this post.