NoraNagatani.com Ends Regular Run

My Precious Grandchildren

It is a bittersweet moment as I write this post — my 150th — and as I make this my final regular post.  I started this three years ago as a fun project and as an activity to keep my brain stimulated. It has definitely been fun and I’ve never been at a loss as to what to write. I’ve always been on the lookout for interesting topics, at least to me and hopefully to you, too, and they have always come my way. However, a couple of months ago, I launched a “Gracefully Age” newsletter with my Gracefully Age Program, so I’ve decided to put my efforts into the newsletter. Please sign up for my newsletter on the Home page of my new Web site, GracefullyAge.com.

Additionally, everyone knows most seniors have health issues. Have you gotten together with your senior friends and noticed that inevitably, the topic of conversations revolves around health or most likely, lack thereof. Do these sound familiar?

  • My back hurts or my neck hurts or my knee hurts.
  • I’m a pre-diabetic or I’ve become a diabetic.
  • I can’t keep up with my grandkids.
  • I don’t sleep well at night.
  • Etc.

As an energy healer, I have studied and practiced a number of modalities, but most recently, I came across one called, The Emotion Code (TEC). Previous to finding TEC, I had studied another modality which I liked, but it was very hard to explain to my clients. TEC turned out to be similar, but uses words that my clients and I understand. So I became certified in TEC.

I am really excited about being able to help people and seeing their pain and problems disappear using TEC. Depending on the number of trapped emotions that the person has, it could be a very quick session or it might take several sessions. It could be done in-person, over the phone, or simply by my being your proxy. Understand that everything is energy and that you simply need the desire to rid yourself of your trapped emotions that could be causing any number of health issues or diseases. For more information, please go to GracefullyAge.com/emotion-code.

As I say goodbye for now, I want to thank everyone for their support. As I shift my energies in other ways to help the senior population, I hope you will join me in my new endeavors. If you’re not getting up excited every morning to pursue your passion, then perhaps I can help. Check out the Gracefully Age Program and sign up for your complimentary session.

Good luck and all the best for the rest of your awesome life!

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Brain Rules: Part II

In my last post I introduced a wonderful book by John Medina, Brain Rules. I talked about his first chapter, the importance of exercise because it boosts brain power. In this post, I explore his Rule #7: Sleep well, think well.

In 1965, a 17-year old made the Guinness Book of World Records by not sleeping for 11 straight days. He became irritable, forgetful, nauseous and after five days he was actively hallucinating, became severely disoriented, and paranoid. He looked as though he had Alzheimer’s disease. In the last four days of the experiment, he lost motor function, his fingers trembled, and his speech slurred. However, on the final day he was able to beat scientist William Dement, who was studying him, at pinball for 100 consecutive times. Dement is often called the father of sleep research.

I used to think that many seniors don’t sleep well at night and therefore always needed a nap during the day. However, it appears that the biological drive for an afternoon nap is universal. The “nap zone” is literally fatal: More traffic accidents occurring during it than at any other time of day.

We know that lack of sleep hurts learning and cognitive skills. But it also affects other bodily functions:

  • ability to utilize food consumed falls by about one-third
  • ability to make insulin to extract energy from glucose falls dramatically
  • body’s stress hormone levels rise in an increasingly deregulated fashion
  • accelerate the aging process

Medina points out, “The bottom line is that sleep loss means mind loss. Sleep loss cripples thinking in just about every way you can measure thinking.” The amount of sleep each person needs varies, but we know for sure that it’s needed and we can certainly function a lot better by getting our requisite amount of sleep plus a power nap. Perhaps we’ll even have fewer “senior moments” and slow down our aging.

For previous posts that mentioned “sleep,” type “sleep” in the search box in the upper right corner.

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Line Dancing for Seniors in Fairfax County

Susie Thomas

Last week I talked about the fun I’m having in senior aerobics. How about doubling the fun? It’s line dancing for seniors. I’ve always wanted to take line dancing lessons, but now that I’m retired and have the freedom to travel, dance lessons would be difficult because each week would build on the previous week and I would be totally lost were I to miss a week or two. Enter line dancing for seniors in Fairfax County, Virginia — a huge class with an enrollment of over 100. However, each week perhaps two-thirds of the enrolled show up, according to an enthusiast in my aerobics class.

A light goes off in my head … even if I were to miss some classes, I could hide in the back and still try to follow someone and have fun. The tuition: a whopping $5 for for eight sessions!

The Washington Post recently had a small article that said …

Who’s getting a better workout in a step class: the gym junkie who knows the moves and fluidly mirrors the instructor, or the klutz who’s frantically jumping all over the place in a desperate attempt to keep up? If you said the klutz, you are right.

Quite an apt description of me because I definitely feel like a klutz amongst the mostly experienced students, but who cares. It is so much fun and I know my brain is getting a workout as well! The enthusiasm and smiles you see in the group are contagious. If you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend that you check to see if it’s available in your community or recreation center.

The program I’m enrolled in is part of the Fairfax County Senior Center Without Walls. It is a public-private partnership amongst the residents, local businesses, places of worship, and the County Government. It is an innovative program initiated by determined volunteers and the classes are held mostly in churches in the community. In addition to line dancing, yoga, tai chi, running-walking club, and karate are also offered.

I will miss it very much in the fall when my yoga class resumes. So line dancing will be a wonderful summer activity I can look forward to.

My classmates

Check out this video from a former class and see if you agree that it looks like a lot of fun and excellent exercise as well. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtTh-VL1S9Q&feature=channel

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Insomnia

In a previous post, I wrote about insomnia and how cherries might be able to help the problem. Not being able to fall asleep at night or getting up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall asleep again can be very frustrating and a common problem for the elderly. I came across a Web site, http://insomnia123.com that you might want to check out, if sleep is a problem. Michael B. Steinberg, MD, MPH educates you on what insomnia is in short video or text segments. Additionally, if you join (no charge for membership), you can download sleep music and get his newsletter.IMG_6584

In my very first blog post, I talked about committing to walking every day. If insomnia is a problem, try the recommended 10K steps every day. Personally, I think one of the nicest places to walk is on the sand along the ocean. As I write this post, I’m in southern California and I had the opportunity to visit the Santa Monica State Beach.

After getting up from a good night’s sleep, wake up happy. According to Whitney in her feng shui tips, she suggests that you place a picture of your loved one(s) by your bed because feng shui believes that the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing you see before you fall asleep will have a profound impact on your life. By looking at loved ones, it triggers your brain to release oxytocin, which is the “love” hormone, which makes you feel happy and secure. What a great way to start and end your day, especially if you are fortunate to have grandchildren!

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Why a Mammogram

Mammogram Machine

Mammogram Machine

I was sitting in the waiting room of a radiological center waiting for my yearly torture — a mammogram — and catching up on my Prevention magazine. What a coincidence that I saw a small article that said that mammography may identify women at increased risk of stroke. The article said a large number of benign calcium deposits may indicate plaque buildup in the arteries. The study, headed by Paul S. Dale, MD, was done at the University of Missouri. Plaque buildup, or atherosclerosis, in the arteries leading to the brain is a major cause of stroke.

There have also been previous studies that have shown a link between calcium deposits and diabetes and heart disease.  In this new research, researchers examined the mammograms of 793 healthy women, ages 40 to 90, with no history of stroke, heart disease, or diabetes.

They found the following:

  • 86 of the women, or about 11%, had calcification
  • Of 204 women who had a stroke, 115 or 56%, had calcification

Since I’m fortunate to not have any breast cancer in my immediate family, I had tried to talk my doctor out of getting a mammogram, but perhaps there might be more than one reason to have one. I encourage you to get one as well.

Ever heard of a vitamin that cleans your arteries? Click here.

7 Ways to Boost Your Brain Power

BrainOne of my favorite magazines is  Prevention. An article in a recent issue, “7 Surprising Ways to Boost Your Brain” caught my attention. Seniors have a fear of Alzheimer’s, so many of us are looking for ways to prevent it. The article says, “…according to a flurry of new reports, you can counteract age-related changes in the brain with a surprisingly simple regimen of activities guaranteed to nurture and fortify your mental musclepower.”

Here are 7 amazingly simple things suggested by Prevention that we can do to keep our brain active and alive.

  1. Google. Spend just 20 minutes a few days a week researching topics that you always wanted to learn more about no matter how frivolous.
  2. Exercise. Spend as little as 50 minutes of brisk walking 3 times a week.
  3. Brush and Floss. Floss daily and spend 2 minutes brushing at least once a day.
  4. Drink Sparingly. Alcohol consumption should be no more than 1 drink a day.
  5. Eat Blueberries. Fresh or frozen, sprinkle them on your cereal or yogurt or fold them into your smoothie.
  6. Play Sudoku.  Start on easy ones and work on them whenever you have to wait for anything.
  7. Meditate. Start with 10 or 15 minutes and focus on whatever you’re experiencing at the present moment from hearing birds chirp to the sound of your breathing.

Aren’t these suggestions amazingly simple? Numbers 1 to 5 and number 7 are pretty much a part of my regimen, but number 6 is not. I’ve seen varying levels of Sudoku and since it’s not a favorite of mine, I’ll need to check out some elementary ones. They range from easy to evil, according to one Web site. Now, do number 1 above and find some Sudoku Web sites.

Personally, I would add an 8th simple step and that is to take nutritional supplements. There are so many on the market that it can be confusing. Click here to check out one thing I take to boost my brain power. Have fun boosting your brain power!