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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Stress Relievers — Reducing Cortisol

Are you stressed? Here we are in the middle of the holiday season and even running regular errands like grocery shopping can be stressful. Traffic is heavier, parking lots are more crowded, and you have more to do with the holidays upon us. Occasional stress is not harmful; it’s the continuous, relentless one that is the problem.

Cortisol is a “stress hormone” that is produced by the adrenal glands. It is secreted in greater amounts during your body’s “fight or flight” response. Small amounts of cortisol are fine, but when it’s continuous, many problems start to develop such as a depressed immune system, sleep problems, blood sugar abnormalities, and abdominal weight gain so it’s important to get the body back to a relaxation state.

Elizabeth Svoboda of Prevention magazine recommends the following:

  • Say “om” — practicing meditation can cut cortisol by 20%
  • Make a great iPod mix — listening to background music can cut cortisol by 66%
  • Hit the sack early or take a nap — there was 50% more cortisol in the group that slept 6 hours or less vs. those that slept for 8 hours which gave the body enough time to recover from the day’s stresses.
  • Sip some black tea — cut cortisol by 47%
  • Hang out with a funny friend — even simply anticipating laughter can cut cortisol by 39%
  • Schedule a massage — this can cut cortisol by 31% and not only reduces stress, but promotes production of dopamine and serotonin, the “feel good” hormones released when we socialize with friends or do something fun.
  • Do something spiritual — cut cortisol by 25%; church-going subjects had lower level of the stress hormone, but you can also take walks in nature’s “cathedral” in the woods or along a beach or even doing volunteer work.
  • Chew a piece of gum — cut cortisol by 12 to 16% to instantly defuse tension. Gum chewing increases blood flow and neural activity in select brain regions.

I hope you’ll find at least a couple of suggestions useful to you and can be implemented immediately. Happy Holidays!

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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Weight Loss Support — How Dr. Oz Can Help

Dr. Mehmet Oz

I love the Dr. Oz Show … and so do millions of other people. His show offers so many interesting and intriguing topics such as weight loss support, natural remedies, skin care, sleep, stress, healthy eating, obesity, depression, cooking tips, self help, supplements, vitamins, and many more including the most embarrassing questions. I don’t watch the show every day, but where I do watch it is at the gym. I’m generally at the gym every other day and if I’m there in the afternoon, I make it a point to watch the Dr. Oz Show while I’m on the treadmill. So I got to thinking, there are so many people that need to lose weight for health reasons, especially seniors, and here’s where Dr. Oz comes in for the weight loss support and to make walking interesting. Dr. Oz appeals to a broad range of people so he can offer you weight loss support by keeping you so interested in his program that you will stay on the treadmill for an hour. So that’s how Dr. Oz can help and give you weight loss support.

There are many ways to lose weight, but it first takes a commitment on your part. It is easier if you have your family or people that you can count on for support. Not everyone does. There’s a club — Club Shrinkit — where you don’t have to diet and it even pays you to lose weight, but exercise is recommended so I’m always thinking of ways to help people start walking. If you have any creative ideas to make walking interesting, please leave a comment.

I hope you’ll see how Dr. Oz can help you with your weight loss support and exercise program if you’re not already a fan. If you need to make that first baby step, check out this post. Click here.

Yoga: A Cure for Insomnia

In previous posts, I’ve talked about insomnia and have recommended cherries and walking to solve sleep problems. I was recently at a meeting where someone mentioned yoga as a panacea to sleep problems. So I visited Gus, who owns and teaches at Cosmos Yoga and Healing in Alexandria, Virginia.

Cosmos Yoga and Healing

Cosmos Yoga and Healing is especially designed for his students to walk into a calming environment. The color, music, and smell of the room will leave a person relaxed by the end of the session. Gus teaches the Iyengar school of yoga which stresses body alignment and aims to unite the body, mind and spirit for health and well-being.

How can yoga be a cure for insomnia? Gus tells me that it’s through correct breathing, stretches, and alignment of the body. Additionally, about 10 to 15 minutes is spent in meditation where one “centers” oneself as well as removes toxins from the mind. He says we have too many things in our mind and the correct environment will bring a different mood. Stresses such as driving in traffic, a bad day at work, kids to care for — yoga removes the stresses, balances the body, and helps you to see clearly. With your body balanced and your mind cleared — it will help you fall asleep.

Gus

Gus’s definition of yoga … “Forever Young.” He says that the most positive energy we can get is from the sun’s rays so he encourages his students to get fresh air. If you live or work in the Alexandria, Virginia area, plan to check out this studio and try a class. Click here for a schedule.

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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