Blog – Helios Academy

Blog @ Helios Academy

The holistic journey of MenoPassage

MenoPassage – A holistic journey through the menopausal years

Emotional turmoil: the dance of hormones and Serotonin

 The menopausal years are often fraught with emotional turmoil, anxiety, depression, irritability, a shorter fuse… and of course we tend to look outward for all the myriad reasons… If we take menopause on as a MenoPassage, a passage into a great new chapter in our lives, we get to look inside a little bit more for the causes of this emotional turmoil.

Most women are aware that menopause is a time of fluctuating hormones, and that may well be the cause of the emotional turmoil. But how does it actually work? Why do the change in hormones affect our moods and perceptions so profoundly? Well, we may want to look a little bit deeper at how the brain works and look at the dance of the hormones with Serotonin, the “happiness molecule”, a major neurotransmitter dictating our sense of wellbeing, our ability to focus and our willingness to explore the world.

Let’s have a closer look at Serotonin for a moment.  It fulfills an impressive number of critical roles throughout the body –it promotes feelings of well-being,  and arms us against adversity, providing us with resilience.  But not only does it affect the emotions, it also regulates appetite, temperature, energy balance, platelet coagulation, bone remodeling, sleep cycles, the inflammatory response and  our  libido, just to name a few [2]. To make all these processes happen, serotonin works in a dynamic equilibrium relying on communication from other molecules – most notably enter the hormonal players: estradiol and testosterone, as well as the stress hormone cortisol, as well as many others including Vitamin D. Indeed, hormones play a very important role in modulating serotonin signaling.

When we look at Serotonin levels, we need to also look at

  • how it is made and what boosts its production,
  • how it is broken down and what boosts the breakdown

We will see that it is made from the precursor Tryptopahn, via 5HTP… both substances you can ingest as a supplement… and  this pathway is vastly enhanced by estradiol…

Estradiol enhances the production of serotonin and suppresses the enzyme that breaks it down,  MAO A,  thus extending the longevity of the neurotransmitter. Thus Estrogen is a GREAT SUPPORT for SEROTONIN

This relationship between estradiol and serotonin becomes a lot more evident in perimenopause, when estradiol levels eventually plummet, leaving serotonin somewhat unsupported. This does make a case for potential hormone replacement as a remedy, as it represents one way to support continued high levels of Serotonin. However, now that we understand this, we may be able to look at a variety of other ways of accomplishing the same.

The serotonin system relies heavily on estradiol from the onset of puberty and beyond. This mechanism may also surface in the postpartum period because again estrogen levels suddenly plummet.  In circumstances when estradiol levels decrease profoundly, the serotonin system can struggle to adjust. Loss of equilibrium in the serotonin system can then manifest as mood disorders.

 Let’s have a look at another player: Testosterone

Testosterone may actually lower Serotonin! Its influence on the brain is finally getting much needed research attention.

Some evidence suggests that testosterone may do exactly the opposite, in essence diminishing the longevity of Serotonin.

But this is where the old-fashioned dualism of the line dividing androgens (testosterone) and estrogens becomes blurry and not well-defined.  Many of testosterone’s effects on the brain are paradoxically estrogenic in nature. This is because testosterone also gives rise to estrogen, which in turn supports Serotonin, as we have seen above. Thus it steps on the brakes and the accelerator at the same time, the net effect is more blurred.

 Now enters another key player: CORTISOL, the “stress hormone”

And here we find an unexpected kinship between Cortisol and Serotonin

Stress is one of the primary risk factors for developing mood pathologies. When threats are chronic, unrelenting and intense in nature, vulnerable individuals respond by overactivating the production of cortisol, creating a stress cascade that can become a wrecking crew. High Cortisol levels may well engender diminished serotonin levels, because cortisol is yet another substance that promotes the breakdown of Serotonin.

Yet the plot thickens even more when Serotonin emerges not merely as an innocent passive bystander: it can itself promote the production and outpour of Cortisol, thus contributing to its own demise!  This in turn can cause insomnia, depression, anxiety and panic disorders.

 Ah, and there is one more player: Vitamin D

With respect to serotonin, adequate vitamin D levels are essential for appropriate serotonin biosynthesis. This is probably the one player in the whole drama that is easiest to influence to optimize Serotonin levels.

Now that we understand the territory, we can look at a variety of ways of supporting the serotonin system throughout the menopausal years:

  • Support Serotonin production by increasing intake of 5-HTP and/or L Tryptophan. Unfortunately, eating more turkey and bananas, as is purported sometimes, does not seem to be effective, you may actually need to rach for the supplement bottle.
  • Support the Serotonin system by practicing mindfulness and meditation as well cultivating positive attitudes and response. Seek out pleasurable and fulfilling experiences.
  • Seek exposure to bright light (3000 lux), or even better, sunlight, this has been shown to definitely enhance Serotonin production.
  • Exercise, preferably vigorously, at least 3 times/week.
  • Consider phytoestrogen or bioidentical estrogen supplementation
  • Examine the contribution of Testosterone
  • Stress reduction is absolutely essential. It may be beneficial to get an adrenocortex hormone profile (24hrs urine test) to evaluate your Cortisol levels upon awakening and throughout the day. If they are high, this can be adjusted with life style modification as well as an herbal regimen, such as ashwagandha and other adaptogens.
  • Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can definitely support this system, as we will explain in a future blog, you may wish to consult with a knowledgeable practitioner.
  • Make sure your VitD level is optimal, in my clinical practice, I like levels close to 60 ng

We now have a better understanding of how our hormones interact with our neurotransmitters. By shedding light on this process, we can make adjustments that can alleviate the burden of menopause and allow us to journey through MenoPassage with greater strength and confidence.

by Angela Ingendaay, MD

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MENOPASSAGE: a holistic approach

MENOPASSAGE: a holistic approach to the menopausal years

MENOPAUSE: we help you make it a great part of your life

Part 2:  what you can do…

For some women, menopause and the shift of hormones that happens around that time can be quite destabilizing, giving rise to a lot of emotional turmoil and need to reassess the direction in life. At the Helios Academy, we offer guidance and support to help make these years the Passage to great new potential – we call it MenoPassage

Referring to the tremendous inner creative act that can occur around menopause, Christiane Northrup MD writes:

“What you are changing into is the powerful, luscious, fertile, ageless goddess you were meant to be—an expression of the divine, feminine life force unencumbered by cultural expectations that keep you small, overly cautious, and afraid to upset anybody.”

MENOPASSAGE: a holistic approach

Unraveling this creative life force is a clearly a process. It may seem far away, as you may feel that the ground under your feet seems is getting shaky, your mood swings seem ever more intense and the rest you wish more than anything is harder and harder to find,  when the ship seems to have lost the its rudder, it may seem daunting to figure out what to do first. And yet all of this instability can be harnessed to unfold a new creative impulse.  Luckily, there is a well proven roadmap that can guide a woman through this maze of symptoms and emerge as a woman with great new strength.

This midlife madness is really no different than any other challenge in life. It is perfectly feasible to regain control of health and happiness by identifying and tending to all the areas of life that are calling for attention: menopause symptoms, nutrition, fitness, beauty and – perhaps most importantly – the emotions.

First, address the menopause symptoms. The most important lesson here is: we are all different, and no one recipe fits all. You will probably want to work with a healthcare practitioner that can guide you through your specific constellation of personal and family history, your accumulated stressors and how they have affected your body and how you can best release that burden to minimize symptoms. Of course, the discussion of hormone replacement, herbal support and various forms of complementary medicine such as acupuncture also come into play here.

Address everything, the most basic habits, eating, sleeping, exercising, breathing, relaxing, taking time to smell the roses… Leave no leaf unturned, it is time to take deeper care of yourself. Whether it is dieting and exercising or working with a practitioner that can help you sort out the deeper imbalances that make this such a challenging time, you have a great chance to discover your own uniqueness not defined by youth.

Secondly, it becomes essential to hone into your deep quiet place in a new way, allow yourself plenty of quiet time to address the big questions that inevitably arise: “Who am I? What is my purpose?” It’s a great time to embrace the Unknown. As Joseph Campbell says, “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” This is precisely what makes MenoPassage such a fertile ground for transformative change.

As you do this, you may well unearth a load of past hurts and stressors that are now coming to the surface as the hormones are retreating and your brain chemistry is changing. This is where it becomes particularly beneficial to learn about simple tools you can use for yourself to release these burdensome emotions, as well as possibly getting some deeper counseling.

Most importantly, DON’T LOOK BACK, there is no need compare yourself to your younger self and other younger women. This bad habit of fantasizing about the youthful past while simultaneously worrying about the future will most certainly sabotage any efforts to live in the present.

You actually get to redefine yourself, what you think you ought to look like, act like, be to others, and take a leap forward into being something real for yourself. You get to redefine what beauty is to you, not what the media dictates. You get to make peace with the very personal history etched into your face, every wrinkle tells a story and the inner glow of your smile brings your face to life in a whole new way.

Most importantly, practice a positive attitude, it is the greatest secret weapon. You get to see the positive in daily challenges so that you can make adaptations. You may be able to start doing things you always dreamed of doing, as well as  celebrating a new you that can live from a place of deeper peace.

All this will definitely take you out of your comfort zone. You will most likely wish to have a support system to keep you on track, compassionate friends and new friends who are also going through menopause. Having a nurturing group of friends to call when you are having a tough day can be the most helpful thing to keep you on this side of sanity.

“You are in the process of discovering your ageless goddess self, and she has many ways to express her creativity and experience the pleasures in life, from feeling good in her body and rediscovering her sexuality to beginning a new relationship, project, or way of living.” ~ Christiane Northrup

At Helios Academy, we offer to guide you through this process step by step, offering you expertise

–         in supporting the challenging changes in your body with both Western and Oriental medical approaches

–         in helping you release the burden of stress and hurt to access greater love for yourself beyond all else

–         in accessing amazing resources that can help you feel great, look great and move forward into an even more creative You, for you to emerge into this new phase of life.

You don’t need to do this all by yourself. We will guide you and also invite you to join a group of peers undergoing the same journey.

We are holistically-minded doctors, counselors, and educators. We bring decades of experience to this area and love to guide women going through “the Change” to the core of their own well-being.

by Angela Ingendaay, MD

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MenoPassage: a holistic journey through menopause

We help you make menopause a great time in your life

Part 1: Introduction

Menopause is definitely a time when many take a pause – whether it is accompanied by highly irritating symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood swings etc… or is a more silent passage, we cannot deny that as a woman we spend several years transitioning into a new phase. But while our bodies are showing signs of aging and requesting more care and attention, this phase also can allow us to be ever more expansive with a great assertion of who we really are.

I have coined the term MenoPassage to point to the great marvels inherent in this time of change, the great new potential that lies beyond the gate of ceasing menstruation and all the hormonal fluctuations that accompany that time. It is so clearly a natural transformation point in a woman’s life. And the gifts become more readily available when we embrace the passage. As Dr. Christiane Northrup says:

“How much easier it is when we can become conscious about the desire to give birth to something new and remember that there are many ways to do that without actually becoming a mother again. “

The gate into the next phase is often obscured by a whole array of problems that seem to arise out of nowhere, and yet are a compilation of the struggles of previous years. Stressors have accumulated as we have struggled through various challenges in our lives, creating and raising a family, building a career, dealing with losses, and they have all made an impact. Now that the supporting and nourishing hormones are retreating, the impact of these stressors suddenly becomes much more apparent. The need for sorting things out and dealing with them effectively becomes imminent.

This is precisely what makes MenoPassage such an opportunity. The discomfort of this period leads us to find new solutions. For many, it is the first time of not being able to take youth, beauty and stamina for granted. And yet, by dwelling with these feelings, addressing all the issues and then learning to release them, attending to the need for more self-care and proper support, we can take a major turn for the better. As Anthony Robins stated:

Transformation begins when you can no longer dwell in a place of pain.”

There is a well proven road map that can guide a woman through the maze of symptoms, it really just requires treating this midlife madness like any other challenge in life. It is perfectly feasible to regain control of health and happiness by identifying and tending to all the areas of life that are calling for attention: menopause symptoms, nutrition, fitness, beauty and – perhaps most importantly – the emotions.

At the Helios Academy, we guide you through the process, resting on both the Western and the Oriental model of this passage. We believe that with insight and understanding of what is actually happening, we have already won half the battle. 5 element Classical acupuncture sheds a very different light on the need for self care at this time of life and is highly beneficial in untangling the knots that lead to difficulties around menopause and then providing the proper support. This generally takes the from of acupuncture, and can be supplemented with herbs and other forms of support.

Within the Western medical model, we do recommend adequate blood testing without being overly concerned about “the right numbers”, looking at the test results in the perspective of the whole person. We do support bioidentical hormone replacement, and also feel that it is not the right or complete answer for every woman.

It is a time to take a pause, reassess and gently build upon the beauty and health that you do have, unfolding new potentials by attending to your needs with deeper care. Celebrating your uniqueness from this deeper place will catapult you through the gate of MenoPassage into a new phase of life, release you into greater care for yourself, your family and your community, accompanied by ever greater creativity.

At Helios Academy, we offer to guide you through this process step by step, offering you expertise:

–       in supporting the challenging changes in your body with both Western and Oriental medical approaches

–       and in helping you release the burden of stress and hurt

for you to emerge into a new phase of life, a new peace and creativity.

We are holistically-minded doctors, counselors, and educators. . Dr Angela Ingendaay has been practicing Western medicine and 5-Element Classical Acupuncture for more than 20 years and has guided many women through this challenging time of life. We bring decades of experience to this area and love to guide women going through “the Change” to the core of their own well-being.

by Angela Ingendaay, MD

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Testimonials & Case Stories-Integrative Medicine

Testimonials from Helios Integrative Medicine

Below, you will find a series of testimonials from patients that have found benefit from this type of healing, have found that it has truly enhanced their lives.

When I first came to see Dr. Ingendaay, I felt that my life had become utter chaos, Over the next six months, things changed greatly for me. I’ve calmed down, my heart has opened, and I’ve let go and become more authentic. I’ve moved from a fragile state to solidity. I am now walking my path with intention, upright and on my way. I feel better, clearer, and more focused – all through the wise guidance and skillful acupuncture of Dr. Angela Ingendaay, whose background as a medical doctor along with her skill in Classical Chinese acupuncture are truly rare.

Mary P.
Sacramento, California


I had come to a major crossroad in my life. An intense and prolonged struggle had left me exhausted and sick, with frequent respiratory infections and severe asthma. Dr Ingendaay’s treatments have affected a profound change. I can feel the light of my heart blossoming light in a very new way, and I have much greater physical and emotional vitality. My health has vastly improved and I am inviting greater change into my life.

I very much feel that the acupuncture sessions support profound change in all levels of being. Whatever you are seeking to improve, allow yourself this opportunity to be supported!

With Love,
Erin K.
Sacramento, California


I have two daughters, age 6 and 8, and both were riddled with anxiety. The older one especially was prone to terrors and self destructiveness as well as chronic stomach pains. As the girls began experiencing the emotional and physical balancing they naturally forgot their fear. Now, they ask for the treatments. Dr. Ingendaay has provided unparalleled support for my children’s healthy and balanced growth. 

With deep appreciation,
Marlene B.,
Chico, California


I had no idea when I began acupuncture with Dr. Ingendaay that the experiences would change my life in such a profound way. 

I came to her with severe diabetes affecting my nervous system and my heart. After having treatments regularly, I began to realize how my mental state had a direct relationship to my physical health. Dr. Ingendaay’s focus was very much on allowing me to regain strength in myself rather than on treating my illness. The tests show that my body has recovered considerable healthy ground, and I feel much more in control. I find a new growth within myself, I am stronger emotionally, mentally, and physically. For the first time in way too long, I feel good.

Dr.Ingendaay truly connects with her patients. There have been treatments with her that I come out of feeling like someone heard my deepest, darkest, ugliest feelings, though none of it was spoken about. I have had some of my most profound enlightenments during treatments with Dr. Ingendaay. I look forward to continuing acupuncture with her.

Allison G.
Grass Valley, California


When I came to Dr. Ingendaay, I was in my sixties, with debilitating joint pain that should have been addressed surgically. I had come to a rather unhappy end of a career as a school teacher, things were not looking good for me. Since working with Dr. Ingendaay, my pain has markedly diminished – and above and beyond that, I started feeling a major opening of new creative energy. I started embracing a new career as a writer. On all levels, I was able to move forward in my life with new zest and pleasure.

I am now in my seventies and attribute my good health, high energy level and emotional balance to Dr. Ingendaay’s persistent care.

Susan L.,
Oregon House, California


When I first came to Dr. Ingendaay, I was suffering from chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. As a result of her acupuncture treatments, I am now free of pain and have a much wider range of activity. Gradually, I have started feeling some real sense of inner well-being, which I am now able to start cultivating for myself. After a long search for a source of healing, I have found that these acupuncture treatments have helped more than anything else. AMEN.

Julie M.
Nevada City, California


I had considerable chronic pain in my neck and back. I was new to acupuncture and was amazed how little pain I felt during the treatment. In fact, I find myself becoming completely relaxed, going into something like a trance. Again and again, Dr. Ingendaay has helped me be free of pain. In addition, I have come to her for depression, anxiety and fatigue. Her treatments have helped me so well that I now am almost free of medications and my sleep is deep and sound. I have recommended Dr. Ingendaay’s practice to many of my friends. I know they will get the very best treatment on all levels.

Diane G.
Grass Valley, California


I started seeing Dr. Ingendaay for acupuncture because of back pain resulting from a car accident. I have received much more than I bargained. – the pain and tension in the back are resolving, and in the process, I am feeling like a “normal” human being for the first time in a long while, loving and compassionate. She started weaning me off the antidepressant I had been taking for 6 years, and I feel more emotionally balanced than I have for many years.

My overall experience of the treatments is great, I always feel very relaxed. I now feel acupuncture is helpful even if you have no physical ailments. I continue to have treatments weekly and will do so as long as I can.

Linda M.
Oregon House, California


I came to Dr. Ingendaay with a recurrent episode of hyperthryroidim. In addition, I felt emotionally quite strung out and my digestion was very poor. After several months of treatments, my thyroid condition has normalized, I am off medications, and I am feeling considerably more vitality and emotional well-being.

Dr. Ingendaay sees the person that is behind the patient. She is able to decode your emotions and thinking, and connect them to your physical alterations, treating your being as a whole of body, mind and spirit.

Grace M.
Oregon House, California


I have been Dr. Angela Ingendaay’s patient for over five years. During that time she has brought my blood pressure under control and provided me with welcome relief from persistent allergies. Over time her treatments have helped me maintain a renewed sense of balance and personal harmony. Dr. Ingendaay is a remarkably observant and active listener. She is a patient and caring healer who has improved the quality of my life considerably.

Graziela N.
Sacramento, California


I am a singer and came to Dr. Ingendaay feeling rather frustrated about the state of my sinuses. They were constantly congested and infected, to the point where I could hardly enjoy my art and profession and was on multiple medications. After the first session, I felt my sinuses clear up to a large extent, for the first time in a very long time. A change of diet and three more sessions were sufficient to allow me complete relief. I have regained the pleasure of my vocation and feel much healthier and happier. I no longer take any medications. I am deeply grateful.

Sharon H.
Grass Valley, California


I am 82 years old. I thought for sure I would never be able to be free of the constant sinus congestion that had troubled me since my teens. And of course, being this old, I was having trouble keeping up with the active career I still have as a consultant engineer, sneaking long naps into the course of each day. I had had every medical treatment in the book and was very tired of taking medications.

Then I started having treatments with Dr. Ingendaay and within 8 weeks, my condition had significantly improved. My sinuses had cleared by 80 %, and my energy level was considerably better. I am now going strong, without naps, without medications.

Paul J.
Grass Valley, California


Before I met Dr. Ingendaay, my life had come to a complete halt for several years. I had been an anaesthesiologist and had had to give up my career because of severe symptoms of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. I had become bed ridden for several years. I felt rather desperate about the total lack of hope.

I started treatments with Dr. Ingendaay and experienced a true miracle – the pain and fatigue gradually receded with regular treatments. It is now three years later, I have regained my life, my vision, my hope, more so than I have ever had.

I came to see my life in a very new way, came to see I belong “in the sky”. So I now am a pilot and own a plane, and vastly enjoy my excursions.

Susan S.
Grass Valley, California


I am a lawyer and have been suffering from frequent and intense headaches for many years. A gradual hearing loss made it difficult to practice my profession. When I discovered that the medication I was using for my headaches was actually accelerating my hearing loss, I decided there must be another way to manage this condition.

I then discovered Dr. Ingendaay. I was hugely relieved to discover that I could become more centered, sleep better and experience a great relief in the frequency and intensity of my headaches, all without medications. I am now on much milder drugs and feel much more resilient to stress.

Frank J.
Grass Valley, California


I had a rare form of lymphoma, mycosis fungoides. The doctors had told me this would not become invasive and endanger my life, but required frequent treatments with light therapy to keep it at bay. I sought out the care of Dr. Ingendaay and was highly surprised when this tenacious condition started to recede, only to vanish completely within the course of 3 months. And my other problems vastly improved as well. I have become a true believer!

Betsy P.
Grass Valley, California


I was sixteen when I met Dr. Ingendaay. I had had a difficult childhood – at 11, I had had to have a complete removal of my large intestine. The experience left me exhausted, I was bed ridden for more than a year and did not know how I was going to finish high school.

I then encountered Dr. Ingendaay. After the first session, I told my mother: “I finally found someone that can heal me.” The sessions opened whole new vistas for me and always left me feeling deeply relaxed, joyful and strong in myself. I soon went back to school and was able to catch up quickly. I am now a graduate of an ivy league school and am studying architecture. My life is forever marked by this blessing.

Mary W.
Grass Valley, California


 

 

 

Stop food cravings NOW – with ease – Testimonials

A simple, fun and effective method.

Stories and Testimonials

At the Helios for Wellness Academy, we offer you an amazingly simple and effective tool to release food cravings NOW, once and for all. Our method is fun and simple to learn and yet leads to lasting and deeply gratifying change.

I have myself been astounded at how effective this method is. I have seen a number of people release deeply entrenched food habits within 15 minutes and never go back to them. Completely simple, painless, no struggle involved.

Some wonderful examples

A woman in her sixties related to me her diet had consisted primarily of rice crackers and cheese for the past 30 years. She could not wait to get to her crackers and cheese at night and satisfied all her dietary needs with just that. She definitely had food cravings that inhibited her from having a well balanced diet. She engaged in our method, and as soon as she completed the exercise, this habit was out of her life and she moved on to a well balanced diet. She never looked back, simply moved on to what she knew would work for her.

She then came to me again and said;” I wish I could be the kind of person that likes to eat vegetables.” We did another exercise of the same kind and that was all she needed.

Her life changed quite a bit after that, she had been a middle school teacher in an inner city neighborhood. Once she started getting more mental clarity from releasing her food cravings, she launched her own business and became the marketing director for a major health food store.

In her own words: “This was truly a miracle.”

A 68 year old man with severe diabetes and various other health problems related that ever since he was a child, he had enjoyed ½ gallon of milk a day and had never been able to let this go. “It’s just what I have always done.” In addition, he frequently had ice cream, at least 3-4x/week and at least ½ – 1 pint at a time. Last but not least, he also enjoyed cookies and pastries, the more the better.

Needless to say, he had been admonished by his doctors and friends his whole life and had tried a variety of diets and “plans” without success.

We worked together 3 times, each time for a 20 minute session. Yes, it did work like a dream… he forgot about the desire for milk altogether, replaced it with water. He no longer desired ice cream, even if his friends offered him some. And the desire for pastries was vastly diminished. His diabetic control has improved considerably within the period of 6 weeks.

He is astounded at the freedom it gives him in relation to food. “It’s really that the desire for these foods that I loved so much has faded, I am not struggling with it at all. And I have no sentimental attachment to the habit I had ever since childhood – I thought that would be a difficult one, but it was not.”

A highly professional woman came to me to try and kick the coffee habit. She mostly felt she needed it to have the kick to keep going in her very active lifestyle and did not see how she could let it go. However, she suffered from insomnia and felt she needed to make a shift. So we worked for 15 minutes, after which she really did not like the thought of having it anymore. She substituted it with tea, but that did not work quite as well as she had hoped. She went back to coffee, and it did give her some satisfaction, but it really did not feel like the thing to do anymore.

Finally, she discovered an herbal coffee substitute from the Ayurvedic tradition, a drink that actually enhanced her focus while tonifying her body and initiating a cleansing process. Since then, she feels her energy and focus are much improved and her insomnia is resolving.

A case in point – once you let go of a craving, your innate intelligence to be well wakes up and you intuitively search for what will work for you.

From a doctor in her 70’s: “I have never had good portion control. I love food and it’s one way that I satisfy myself at the end of a hard day at work. I know all the risks of being overweight, all too well actually… but it never mattered to me until now that I am retired and no longer need to do this – but I simply cannot stop eating too much.

So, I consulted with Dr. Ingendaay who guided me through her method. I was astounded, 2 months later, after the Christmas holidays, I went back to her and had lost 10 lbs, to my own surprise. I realized that without even thinking about it, I had reduced my portion size. I was no longer doing the heaping and it was no struggle at all, just something I no longer did…”

We offer a very simple technique that is fun and easy to learn and will help you chose the foods that serve you best.

Watch this free introductory video 

 

by Angela Ingendaay, M.D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Releasing food cravings NOW – Part 7

Questions and objections?

We offer a very simple technique to stop food cravings that is fun and easy to learn and will help you chose the foods that serve you best. A lot of times, when I present this method, people tell me they feel they are not quite ready yet… so let’s talk about it.

What do the food cravings say to being released with ease? “We object!” – of course they would say that… the good news is – there is no need to listen to them, just use the tool as described, and they will disappear, out of sight and out of mind.

Now that we have said that… here are some of the common objections we get to hear:

  • “I am not ready to give this one up yet.”

This may seem like a big hurdle to overcome when trying to release food cravings, but if you just let yourself go through the exercise and see the desire vanish, you will have a completely different relationship to it. And if you really still want it back, we can teach you another exercise that will put the desire right back where it was originally – promise.

  • “But I love my …”

Just consider this: the love for this particular food is taking up a whole lot of space in your “love capacity”, if you let it go, your love will be redirected to other things that may serve you better. Food craving is not the best way to go…

  • “But my mother used to make it for me…”

Nothing wrong with that, you can still enjoy it, why do you have to crave it and have it all the time?

  • “What if I really do want to still enjoy it?”

You will still be able to enjoy this food, you just won’t carve it, “need it”, the desire won’t occupy your mind all the time.

If you put a little trust into learning and using the release tool we teach, you will soon find that the food cravings are no longer taking up all the “real estate” in your mind and you can use it for better purposes. The food cravings will go back in the closet and their objections will no longer matter.

How so?

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Or

Watch this free introductory video

 

by Angela Ingendaay, M.D.

 

 

 

 

Release Pain Naturally

NATURAL PAIN RELIEF: a novel approach

A simple way to release pain from trigger points

Most of us will suffer from stiff, achy muscles and tendons and can trace the pain back to painful “knots” in various parts of our bodies. This aching may last for a long time, even after applying various forms of treatment and using anti-inflammatories. While most of these aches will heal over time without treatment, the process is often slow and debilitating. In some cases, a lack of early intervention can lead to more serious symptoms, and temporary or permanent disability. Sadly, people often take little or no remedial action, most often because the costs of manual therapy can be prohibitive.

The good news is that the vast majority of this type of chronic pain can be treated simply and effectively by addressing the root cause, the irritated nervous system. Indeed, this kind of pain has been attributed to the activation of Trigger Points, hyperirritable spots in the fascia surrounding skeletal muscle. They are associated with palpable nodules in taut bands of muscle fibers often tender to touch.[1] The term itself was coined in 1942 by Drs. Travell and Simons, who hold that most of the common everyday pain is caused by myofascial trigger points and that ignorance of that basic concept could inevitably lead to false diagnoses and the ultimate failure to deal effectively with pain.[11]

How does the hyperirritability happen?

It involves the peripheral nervous system and the neurotransmitters that acts as its agents. The theory is that trigger points form from excessive release of acetylcholine, which overstimulates muscle fibers and causes them to contract for excessive periods of time. This in turn will compress local blood supply and restrict the energy needs of the local region, and thus cause pain. Indeed, the trigger point has been found to have an abnormal biochemical composition with elevated concentrations of acetylcholine, noradrenaline and serotonin.[12] (Travell and Simons 1999)

Trigger points form in muscles as a local contraction in a small number of muscle fibers inside of a larger muscle. These in turn can pull on tendons and ligaments associated with the muscle and can cause pain even deep within a joint where there are no muscles.
Once one of these trigger points is activated, it can elicit pain not only in its own surrounding but further out in other parts of the body. This would be experienced as “referred pain”. The activation of TP’s gives rise to a distinct pattern of pain that can be predictably mapped out. Indeed, Drs. Travell and Simons have created a very precise map of the pattern of distribution, activation and radiation of pain.

Trigger point pain is usually experienced as a deep aching, sometimes sharp especially with deep palpation. Movement and pressure may make the pain worse. The intensity of pain will vary according factors such as:

• The degree of trigger point irritability
• The site of trigger point (some areas are more sensitive)
• Any associated tissue damage
• How long the trigger point has already been activated

Activation of trigger points may be caused by a number of factors, including acute or chronic muscle overload, activation by other trigger points that cause a chain reaction, psychological distress (via systemic inflammation), direct trauma to the region, radiculopathy (irritability of a nerve root) , infections and various other health issues.

What can be done about it?

Trigger point therapy uses a variety of techniques to “deactivate” these painful knots and make them disappear.

What is one trying to accomplish?

The primary goals are as follows:
– reduce the pain and spasticity
– lessen the pain feedback pathways . Yes, whenever we are working with the nervous system, we are always dealing with feedback loops that keep certain processes activated. In this particular case, we want to INTERRUPT the feedback loop so that the activation can be TURNED OFF.
– stimulate the blood supply helping to remove debris and toxins from the area.
– encourage the release of powerful pain-killing endorphins and prevent their breakdown for more long-lasting effectiveness.
To this date, the primary approach of “trigger point therapy” uses physical techniques, which definitely have their validity. The main idea is to
– stretch out tight muscles, which will indirectly affect other tissues
– open out the plastic-wrap-like myofascial bag that surrounds your muscles
These methods are excellent but often need to be repeated over longer stretches of time and require the help of a well-trained practitioner.

At the Helios Academy for Wellness, we are offering a novel approach to the treatment of pain caused by the activation of trigger points.

We base our approach on the concept that aspects of the peripheral nervous system are overstimulated and use the topical application of amino acids and neurotransmitters as a way to downregulate the activation and accomplish all goals mentioned above with the use of 2 topical creams.

The method

– is highly effective in reducing even chronic pain
– reduces pain in a remarkably short period of time.
– leads to long-lasting results
– has no toxic side effects
– engenders a greater overall sense of well-being.

How does it accomplish that? Please stay tuned for our next post.

by Angela Ingendaay, M.D.

 

 

PAIN and the BRAIN

Natural pain relief through Endorphins

Chronic pain is intensively difficult to bear and treat. Luckily, there are multiple factors that can modulate and ease the experience. Looking at what happens in our brain when we have pain can help us to find solutions to this gnawing problem.

Of course, pain is a self protective mechanism. It allows us to sense that there is something wrong or harmful going on in our bodies that we need to attend to. It prevents us form overstepping our boundaries and thereby make the problem worse. But many people with chronic pain are plagued by an ongoing perception of pain that may or may not have a physiological basis.

Research has shown that the perception of pain can indeed be modulated in the brain. In fact, the brain can suppress the sensation of pain through a “gate” in the spinal cord. And the mind may decide the degree to which the “gate” is open, which therefore influences the amount of pain we actually experience. Thus the mind and the brain have some level of control…

The brain exerts this control via certain neurotransmitters, primarily serotonin, GABA and the endorphins. These are the molecules of natural pain relief. Unfortunately, chronic pain itself and multiple other stressors, especially if combined with a low protein diet, can deplete their production and thus make the problem worse.

Let’s have a look for a moment at the endorphins. We all know that exercise, laughter and joy, and a variety of “peak experiences” can release endorphins, and that this is associated with a wonderful “high”. They are the body’s own form of morphine and actually thousands of times stronger. Chronic pain sufferers, however, typically become significantly deficient in their endorphin-producing capacity. This makes it more difficult for them to find natural pain relief. And what’s more, even if these patients are already on opioid medications, they still need to produce their own endorphins activity to support their effectiveness. Thus supporting the body’s production of endorphins can be critically beneficial.

There are several ways to raise one’s capacity to produce endorphins. First of all, it is essential to have a high protein diet that provides the necessary amino acids. To raise and sustain endorphin levels, daily protein consumption should be at least 30 grams, three times per day. A supplement of all 22 amino acids at 700 mg 3x/d can also be very helpful for natural pain relief.

In addition, there is an amino acid, d-phenylalanine (DPA), that slows the action of the enzymes that degrade the endorphins.4-7 Unfortunatley, our endorphins are constantly being broken down. If we can manage to slow this process down, pain can diminish within twenty-four hours. In certain pain clinics that use more natural methods, pain relief has been witnessed within ten minutes after the ingestion of as little as 500mg of DPA.

The usual dose in chronic pain patients is 500-2000mg of d-phenylalanine, two to four times a day. This will optimize natural pain relief. I recommend starting with 500-1000 mg and increase the dose as desired.

There is a further refinement to this method: instead of taking DPA, one may wish to consider taking DLPA, a form of the amino acid that is bound to l-phenylalanine (LPA). LPA is an essential amino acid used by the body to create a number of vital compounds, including l-dopa, dopamine, norepinephrine, adrenalin, and thyroid hormone. DPA is quite a lot better at preventing the breakdown of endorphins, but DLPA is more energizing as it is involved with a larger variety of neurotransmitters. It is also more readily available in health food stores.

For anxious or agitated patients, DLPA can sometimes be experienced as overly stimulating, while more mood-stable patients find it to be both pain-relieving and energy-enhancing. The usual recommended DLPA dose is: 1000-2000mg, three times a day. I recommend to start at a dose of 750-1000 mg and go up from there to accomplish the desired result without getting overstimulated. It is best to not consume after 4 pm to not interfere with restful sleep.

Although this will not completely end the pain, it will help the brain to modulate it to the best of its ability. We will look at the other two neurotransmitters, Serotonin and GABA in a future post. We will also look at a variety of more psychological techniques that can help to ease pain. Many of these are based on Eastern traditions, as these inherently have a deep understanding of our innate ability to release pain.

Putting it all together

Nutrition that heals. Part 3

What Works

Low Lectin Diet

According to Dr. S. Gundry, “The Plant Paradox”

Abbreviated version for your convenience (Dr. A. Ingendaay)
the book is excellent in explaining exactly how we can best work with Mother Nature to optimize our nutrition.

It also delineates several stages of this diet. (See next blog post)

6 weeks of adhering to these recommendations should make a significant shift for the better and give you more resilience in consuming other types of food.

“Lectin, oh, lectin why are you my bane?

You taste so good and yet you cause me pain.”

Essentially:

Vegetables: a wide variety, check out the “no list” which includes mostly vegetables that have a lot of seeds, such as zucchini and all the night shades

Fruit: Must check out list and be conservative, no fruit juice

All meat and fish that has been properly raised without corn and grains. Pasture fed, organic

The eggs of these animals.

Dairy: mostly NOT bovine, except, cream cheese and heavy cream, see below

Nuts and seeds: see list below

Grains: only Millet is allowed. A variety of unusual sorts of flour is allowed, no grain flour

Legumes/Beans : NO

No sugar, stevia as sweetener

Oils: best to cook with Avocado or coconut oil, for salads, olive oil, flax seed and macadamia nut oil are particularly good

Even SIMPLER: begin with the following and refine as you go along:

Beware of certain vegetables: all those that have a lot of SEEDS, as well as the night shades.

Be sparing of fruit . No fruit juice, no sugar, may sweeten with Stevia, high percentage chocolate is ok

Beware of grains and legumes of all kinds. Millet is ok.

No bread, pasta, rice etc…No beans of any kind

No potatoes or corn

Avoid cow dairy except for heavy cream and cream cheese

Avoid certain nuts and many types of seeds

Oils: best to cook with Avocado or coconut oil, for salads, olive oil, flax seed and macadamia nut oil are particularly good

THE YES LIST

Vegetables:
all cruciferous: broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts

Leafy greens: bok choy, collard greens, kale, lettuce, spinach, endives, mustard greens etc…

Cabbages of all kinds

Arugula, kohl rabi, radicchios

Sauerkraut, kim chee…

Celery, onions, leeks, chives, scallions

Carrots and beets only RAW or FERMENTED/PICKLED

Radishes, asparagus, fennel

Mushrooms

Cilantro, garlic, parsley, basil, mint

Seaweed and sea vegetables

Sweet potatoes and yams, rutabaga, parsnips,

Millet

Dairy products: real Parmesan, Buffalo butter/mozzarella, Ghee, Goat cheese/milk/yogurt

Cheese: French, Italian or Swiss.

Whey protein powder

Heavy cream and sour cream (organic!)

Oils: best to cook with Avocado or coconut oil, for salads, olive oil, flaxseed and macadamia nut oil are particularly good

Nuts: macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans, chestnuts, brazil nuts, pine nuts

Coconut and its milk, not its water

Seeds: Flaxseeds, sesame, hemp seeds, psyllium

Olives: YES, all

Vinegar: YES, all

Herbs: YES, all

Wine: red, 6 oz/day

Spirits: all, 1 oz/d

Fish: any wild caught, 4 oz/d.

Fruits: limit all but avocado, (yes, considered a fruit)

All the berries, cherries, crispy pears, pomegranates, kiwis, apples, citrus, nectarine, peaches, plums, apricots, figs and dates

Vegetables:
all cruciferous: broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts

Leafy greens: bok choy, collard greens, kale, lettuce, spinach, endives, mustard greens etc…

Cabbages of all kinds

Arugula, kohl rabi, radicchios

Sauerkraut, kim chee…

Celery, onions, leeks, chives, scallions

Carrots and beets only RAW or FERMENTED/PICKLED

Radishes, asparagus, fennel

Mushrooms

Cilantro, galic, parsley, basil, mint

Seaweed and sea vegetables

Sweet potatoes and yams, rutabaga, parsnips,

Millet

Meat
Pastured poultry (not “free range”), chicken, turkey duck..including their eggs

Grass fed! Beef, vension, wild game, lamb

Sweeteners: Stevia

Chocolate: 72% or higher

Flours: Coconut, almond, hazelnut, sesame, chestnut, sweet potato, arrowroot, sorghum

THE NO LIST

All refined starchy foods,

Flour made from grains ( wheat, rye, buckwheat)

Oats, Quinoa, kasha, spelt, corn, wheatgrass and barley grass

Rice (if you must, better have white rice)

Potatoes

Cereal

Vegetables: peas, all beans including sprouts, all lentils, legumes, chickpeas, soy including tofu,

cucumbers, zucchini,

pumpkins,

squashes of any kind, melons of any kind,

all nightshades including eggplants, tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, chili peppers

 

Nuts and seeds: Pumpkin, sunflower, chia, peanuts, cashews

Oils: soy, corn, grape seed, peanut, safflower, sunflower, vegetable, canola

 

by Angela Ingendaay, M.D.

 

 

 

 

 

Nutrition that heals: Avoid the lectins

Nutrition that heals. Part 2

What are lectins and why should I avoid them?

Lectins are a type of protein that can bind to cell membranes. Lectins offer a way for molecules to stick together without getting the immune system involved, which can influence cell-cell interaction.

Lectins are abundant in raw legumes and grains, and most commonly found in the part of the seed that becomes the leaves when the plant sprouts, aka the cotyledon, but also on the seed coat. They’re also found in dairy products and certain vegetables. While lectin content in food is fairly constant, the genetic altering of plants has created some fluctuations.

Lectins in plants are a defense against microorganisms, pests, and insects. They may also have evolved as a way for seeds to remain intact as they passed through animals’ digestive systems, for later dispersal. Lectins are resistant to human digestion and they enter the blood unchanged.

Why are lectins so important?

Lectins are thought to play a role in immune function, cell growth, cell death, and body fat regulation.

Immune response and toxicity

Because we don’t digest lectins, we often produce antibodies to them. Almost everyone has antibodies to some dietary lectins in their body. This means our responses vary. Certain foods can even become intolerable to someone after an immune system change or the gut is injured from another source. The presence of particular lectins can stimulate an immune system response.

Lectins and the intestinal wall

Lectins can damage the intestinal lining, (…) and the gut can become “leaky,” allowing various molecules (including stuff we don’t want) to pass back and forth amid the gut wall. We may also not absorb other important things, such as vitamins and minerals, properly.

Lectins and immune response

When lectins affect the gut wall, it may also cause a broader immune system response as the body’s defenses move in to attack the invaders.

Symptoms can include skin rashes, joint pain, and general inflammation. Other chronic disorders may be correlated with leaky gut — for example, researchers have even noted that children with autism have very high rates of leaky gut and similar inflammatory GI tract diseases.

Lectins and grains

Unrefined grains are more nutritious than refined versions because they contain more nutrients. However, they also provide more lectins (and other anti-nutrients).

Grain, cereal, dairy, and legume (especially peanut and soybean) lectins are most commonly associated with reports of digestive complaints. Legumes and seafood are the most abundant sources of lectins in most diets.

How can we reduce or neutralize lectins?

Sprouting

Sprouting seeds, grains or beans decreases the lectin content.

Generally, the longer the duration of sprouting, the more lectins are deactivated. In some cases the lectin activity is enhanced by sprouting (like alfalfa sprouts). The lectins in some grains and beans are in the seed coat. As it germinates, the coat is metabolized – eliminating lectins.

Soaking and cooking

If you must have grains and legumes, soak beans and legumes overnight, and change the water often. Drain and rinse again before cooking. Adding sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda) to the soaking water may help neutralize the lectins further.

Fermenting

Fermentation allows beneficial bacteria to digest and convert many of the harmful substances.

This might be why the healthiest populations stick with fermented soy products like tofu, miso, tempeh, tamari and natto. Even some vegetables, such as cabbage, may have fewer antinutrients when fermented. Cultures with a history of grain eating traditionally have used some form of fermentation to treat grains. If you’ve had sourdough bread or beer, you’ve had fermented grains.

Not all lectins are completely destroyed by these methods, and some particularly stubborn lectins in beans remain no matter how lengthy the treatment. Thus, these techniques don’t totally reduce the negative effects for everyone.

Extra credit

Certain seaweeds and mucilaginous vegetables have the ability to bind lectins in a way that makes them unavailable to the cells of the gut.

The “Blood Type Diet” is based on how our blood cells react with lectins in foods.

Some experts hypothesize that it’s no coincidence the top 8 allergens also contain some of the highest amounts of lectins (including: dairy, egg, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish).

 

by Angela Ingendaay, M.D.