Natural Solutions for Breast Health | Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I was inspired to write a quick article about some natural solutions for breast health. I think we’ve all been affected by breast cancer in some way, shape or form. We see celebrities who have struggled with it, like Olivia Newton John, Christina Applegate, Sheryl Crow, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Melissa Etheridge. My own mother had it, and a friend of mine too, who beat it twice (I will share more about them in this article).

It’s becoming an epidemic and so important that we are educated, aware and know how to prevent it as well as recognize the signs.

 My Breast Journey

I used to look at my breasts in the mirror, pulling one up and comparing it to the other.  I would wish so hard to have perky, stand-up-here breasts instead of pendulous, way down-there-puppies with sparkling, multicolored stretch marks. 

Weight changes and overnutrition in my youth never gave me the opportunity to have perky, perfect breasts.  Instead, I went from flat to fat and then stretched out to swinging and saggy.  

 

Breasts define our femininity in many ways, we feel sexy because of them and un-sexy in spite of them.

I recall getting intimate with my husband and being so ashamed to get naked in front of him.  I apologetically told him I needed to be honest with him and tell him that my tits sagged, instead of being heralds of fertility and proud of them with pomp and circumstance.  I felt deflated because of them just like they were deflated. 

Turns out he didn’t care. He actually knew, and had been staring down my top for a while and loved what he was seeing – without me knowing!  Sly dog. 

Why Are Breasts Such a Big Deal? 

Breast are bold, they stick out from our bodies.  They are the first thing that enters the room, the first thing in many cases that get noticed. 

Men obsess about them, maybe because they have mother and latching issues, or maybe because they just adore the difference between male and female bodies.

Whether you think your breasts are too large or too small, they are a source of shame for many.  It’s time to take this inappropriate thought pattern and shove it where the sun don’t shine.  It’s our time to be proud of all of our shapes and sizes and stretch marks.  Be proud of the pleasure they bring us, from foreplay to feeding our babies.

Breast Judgments 

My first encounter with the dangers of judgments made on breasts wasn’t my own, but actually my mother’s.  When she was a dashing young lady, she had gone to the doctor’s office to have her yearly check-up and breast exam. 

Upon taking off her shirt to be examined, the doctor gasped at how large her breasts were (super inappropriate FYI, in this day and age but this was back in the 60s).  My mother, being incredibly shy about her sexuality, was immediately embarrassed, turned red as a lobster and searched to get dressed immediately.  

 

 

So shocked was she by this judgment that she never had another breast exam again, until it was too late. 

Judgments can damage our psyche, we don’t know how our words will fall on the ears receiving them.  Judgments serve no purpose either, except pain.  After all, no one asks the doctor to comment on how large they are, but rather how healthy they are. 

My Mother’s Breast Cancer 

Forty years later, my mother waited until blood came out of her nipple and a mass so large it was hard to avoid, came cauli-flowering out of her breast.  With two doctors as daughters, we couldn’t believe that she had let the shame of an event that happened so long ago, impact her life now. 

The diagnosis – stage 4 breast cancer.  Devastating, with little to no time to act. 

Because of this experience, I got over my breast bullsh*t and got into owning one of the most beautiful, female, flourishing features of my health. 

Importance of Breast Exams 

For this reason alone, every single woman in my naturopathic practice gets a yearly breast exam, done by our skilled naturopath assessment hands. 

 

 

But some of us don’t have access to a doctor who is experienced or willing to do a breast exam, especially since now the recommendation is to avoid breast exams. 

In countries where breast cancer is diagnosed at advanced stages, it is valuable to have patients understand breast self-examination as well as to be examined1.

So this is extremely valuable.  My mother was fortunate, even though she was at the extreme case, she survived with a combination of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy as well as naturopathic medicine.  Her cancer was so far advanced that it was an impossibility to only do the natural route. 

Self-Examination Is Invaluable 

The comment I get in clinic time and time again is that most women don’t know what normal feels like.  They feel that their breasts are lumpy and bumpy (a sign of estrogen dominance, or low iodine). 

But let me tell you, the first time I did a breast exam I thought exactly the same thing!  How was I going to identify anything going wrong if I can’t notice anything different? 

Do you know what changed it?  Practice, my friends, practice the mother of all skills. 

So I just love, love, love what my friend and colleague Dr. Véronique Desaulniers, two-time breast cancer survivor and preacher to the people, has done to make this easy. 

She has created “My Breast Friend”, a breast self-examination tool.  It’s basically a model of the breast so you can be your own best doctor. 

And what if you find lots of lumps and bumps?  Make your way to your doctor and get checked out.  It never hurts to be extra cautious. 

Prevention of Breast Cancer 

There are many things you can do at home now to help reduce cystic and lumpy breasts. Most of these strategies deal with reducing the amount of estrogen in your body. 

 

  1. Eat more broccoli family foods (cruciferous veggies)2 
  2. Reduce your alcohol intake3 
  3. Reduce your theophylline intake, in coffee, tea and chocolate 
  4. Wear a sleep mask to bed – they naturally increase melatonin which is a powerful anti-cancer hormone in the body4
  5. Of course, do your castor oil pack daily, because it helps with cleansing and detox5, microbiome balance8, inflammation9, and stress reduction10 11, which all impact your hormonal balance.

 

So get to know your boobies!  I know I’ve got saggy tits, and sometimes they really do look like sacks!  But I love them because they are me 100% and I get to know them regularly so I can keep them a part of me for the long haul.  They are my twins after all, and I can’t get another pair just like these (no judgment if you’ve had yours changed, just love!).

Do you know the difference between then and now?  Now I love my breasts, I treat them better every single day because I have learned that they are an important part of who I am.  They share my story. 

So get My Breast Friend today, to help you get to know your lovely lady lumps on your chest.

 

 

I also want to share a quick recipe with castor oil for boob and lymphatic health. Castor oil has a long history of use for breast cancer.  In fact, Hippocrates, known as the father of modern medicine was advocating it as a treatment in 460 BCE, as was another medicine man of the time, Galen in 200 BCE12.

Castor Oil for Breast Health and Lymphatic Health

  1. Mix organic castor oil from a GLASS bottle with baking soda until it becomes a paste
  2. Add 2-3 drops of organic rosemary essential oil 
  3. Rub into your armpits and over your breasts
  4. Leave on for an hour or more then rinse off

Disclaimer: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. This communication does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner. If you happen to purchase anything we promote, in this or any of our communications, it’s likely Queen of the Thrones™ will receive some kind of affiliate compensation. Still, we only promote content and products that we truly believe in and share with our friends, family and patients. If you ever have a concern with anything we share, please let us know at care@drmarisol.com. We want to make sure we are always serving Our Kingdom at the highest level.

 

1 rev Med. 2011 Sep;53(3):118-20. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.05.001. Epub 2011 May 8. The role of clinical breast examination and breast self-examination. Miller AB1, Baines CJ.

2 Kendra J. Royston, B.S.1 and Trygve O. Tollefsbol, D.O. Ph.D. The Epigenetic Impact of Cruciferous Vegetables on Cancer Prevention. Curr Pharmacol Rep. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2016 Feb 1. Published in final edited form as: Curr Pharmacol Rep. 2015 Feb 1; 1(1): 46–51. Published online 2015 Jan 25. doi: 10.1007/s40495-014-0003-9

3 Terryl J. Hartman,1 Julia S. Sisti,2,3 Susan E. Hankinson,2,3,4 Xia Xu,5 A. Heather Eliassen,2,3 and Regina Ziegler6 Alcohol Consumption and Urinary Estrogens and Estrogen Metabolites in Premenopausal Women. Horm Cancer. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2017 Feb 1. Published in final edited form as: Horm Cancer. 2016 Feb; 7(1): 65–74. Published online 2016 Jan 4. doi: 10.1007/s12672-015-0249-7

4 Giuseppe Di Bella,1,* Fabrizio Mascia,1 Luciano Gualano,2 and Luigi Di Bella Melatonin Anticancer Effects: Review Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Feb; 14(2): 2410–2430. Published online 2013 Jan 24. doi: 10.3390/ijms14022410

5 Holm TBrøgger-Jensen MRJohnson LKessel L.Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in optisol-GS and castor oil. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e79620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079620. eCollection 2013.

6 Andrade IM1, Andrade KM2, Pisani MX1, Silva-Lovato CH1, de Souza RF1, Paranhos Hde F1.Trial of an experimental castor oil solution for cleaning dentures. Braz Dent J. 2014 Jan-Feb;25(1):43-7.

7 Badaró MM, Salles MM, Leite VMF, Arruda CNF, Oliveira VC, Nascimento CD, Souza RF, Paranhos HFO, Silva-Lovato CH. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser.J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun; 25(3):324-334.

Salles MM, Badaró MM, Arruda CN, Leite VM, Silva CH, Watanabe E, Oliveira Vde C, Paranhos Hde F. Antimicrobial activity of complete denture cleanser solutions based on sodium hypochlorite and Ricinus communis – a randomized clinical study.J Appl Oral Sci. 2015 Nov-Dec; 23(6):637-42.

9 Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8

10 Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

11 Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17.

12 Lukong KE1. Understanding breast cancer – The long and winding road. BBA Clin. 2017 Jan 27;7:64-77. doi: 10.1016/j.bbacli.2017.01.001. eCollection 2017 Jun.

How to Sleep Better NATURALLY | No Supplements

“I’ll sleep when I die”. This is what one of my favourite Instagrammers, Kenzie Brenna, thought about her sleep (but she’s now getting help).  Do you think this way too?  Are your nights a living hell or a nightmare on Elm Street, instead of levitating with angels on a white, fluffy cloud? 

I used to feel this way.  I know exactly what it feels like when you lay there, trying to get into that deep restorative sleep that you know you so deserve… Or rather NEED to get into.  Because your body feels it and well, everyone keeps telling you, “You look so TIRED.”  Gee, thanks!  You actually are tired, exhausted, drained, deflated and slightly anxious about the daily rat race that you have been running.  Not to mention the intense cravings.  Oh boy! 

Your chest starts pounding, as the fluffy, white-as-snow sheep you are counting begin to trample in a stampede across your chest instead of jumping over the fence.  You toss and turn, get caught up in your sheets.  Tangled up just like the Disney princess’s hair.  UGH you get up, and think, “maybe if I pee”…  

You go to the bathroom, sit there (you just peed not too long ago) and a teeny, tiny trickle sprinkles into the toilet bowl, not enough to even wipe, you should just air dry.  Now you make your way back to the hell hole that has become your bed.  The dark hole that you fall into and can’t get out of.  You are tortured by the thought of trying to get to sleep.  Because it just seems like Mission Impossible.  If only Tom Cruise were there to help you get out of it.  Pre-Scientology.

 

 

Why do some people sleep so deep almost as though dead, and others fidget like corn being popped?

Sleep is one of the most important health practices that we must journey to learn how our own individual body best achieves it.  Yes, you read that right.  Sleep is very individual, it isn’t a one size fits all kind of thing. 

Individualized Sleep Patterns 

I remember when I was a kid growing up in a Spanish family, we always took naps.  My parents would put my sister and I down for nap.  My sister’s head would hit the pillow and before my mother and father could even give her a kiss, she was fast asleep, in Lala land.  I would wait my turn, chit-chat with my mother and father, get their kisses and think up excuses to keep them in the room talking with me because I didn’t like what came next. 

Wide awake I would stare at the ceiling, look over at my sister… she always looked so calm in her dreams.  We were sisters, from the same seed, yet so different.  I started planning ahead, leaving Marvel and Archie comics and Choose Your Own Adventure books under my bed, with a flashlight. 

So many factors can affect the natural flow of our bodies, and because we are all individuals, sleep is individual to each of us. 

Your Natural Rhythms 

We each have naturally engrained rhythms.  Ever hear someone say, “I’m such a night owl”?  There are very clear sleep types.  Dr. Micheal Breus, A.K.A. the Sleep Doctor, discusses in his book, The Power of When, four very clear-cut chronotypes: lions, dolphins, wolves and bears. 

 

 

 Your probably familiar with the popular social references of being a ‘night owl’ or ‘morning glory’.  What’s your story?  Think of it like this.  Some people naturally go to bed early and wake up before the sun rises with the sounds of the birds chirping.  Others stay up late, longer into the twilight… perhaps our genetic line descended from the vampires of Transylvania?

Natural Rhythms of Nature 

Mother Nature also consistently shows us her rhythms.  You are all too familiar with the day and night cycle, that has in part been dictating your sleep cycle since you were born, and is very important to respect.  Light and darkness affect our melatonin and cortisol (stress hormone) levels.  When these are off, distressed and disordered sleep predominates. 

The day and night cycle is something called a biological response modifier. 

But guess what, it’s not the only one… there are many of them.  These biological response modifiers affect our sleep cycle.  So there could be things that you are taking, eating, drinking, or watching that are affecting why you’re so disappointed in your nightly practice that feels  more like an insane asylum instead of a sanctuary. 

Common Biological Response Modifiers

Also known as zeitgebers!  Love that name!  It’s German – one of the amazing languages I can speak, albeit not as good as before but I’ve still got it!  Das ist zehr gut! 

Zeitgebers entrain our bodies to do certain actions.  They have a biological effect to change how we react.  They are incredibly powerful, you may not even realize it.  Some, like the caffeine in coffee, you typically do notice.  But many sheepishly slide into your lifestyle, affecting how your body regulates hormones, happiness and your health without you even knowing.

So many things that we do on a regular basis are zeitgebers and a major way to ‘fix’ your health practice, and in turn, sleep soundly.  The key is to watch when and how you are exposed to these in order to better reset the balance in your body. 

It’s not that you have to avoid them completely, it’s just that you want to make sure to do them at the appropriate times of the day.  These messengers for your body to do certain things work based on the autonomic nervous system. 

They will either stimulate your nervous system into the stressed “sympathetic” state via cortisol and adrenaline, or will ease you into the rest and digest state, the peaceful “parasympathetic” state.  

Common zeitgebers (love writing and saying this out loud!) are:

All it takes is understanding and you have the magic mix.  Are you ready to become the maestro of magnificent sleep time? 

Manifest your sleep sanctuary, maestro!

So here is what to do:

  1. Learn the zeitgebers – sleep sirens, wake up wired! 
  2. Use them at the right time of the day, and stop when you need to.
  3. Practice health everyday and feel better – sleep hygiene and health practices. 

Back to Basics For Your Sleep Biology 

So what to do with all of these zeitgebers?  Sleep hygiene is imperative, but it’s not the only thing.  We must also look at what goes on during the day to really set ourselves up for success.  Some of the ‘sympathetic’ zeitgebers are great, like cardio and certain herbs, but should be avoided after 4pm and switched to ‘parasympathetic’ zeitgebers so the body knows it’s time to wind down.  We’ll talk more on this later in this article.

Create Your Sleep Sanctuary

Here are some tips for creating an environment in your bedroom that will help to ease you into Dreamland, where you can fly like Peter Pan, relax on a yacht in a sea full of tulips, or sing karaoke with a kangaroo.  There’s no limit to the possibilities your beautiful brain might concoct when it’s getting the sleep it needs!

  1. Dark room

Darkness is a super important zeitgeber for sleep.  Darkness mimics nighttime, it’s very simple really.  Scientific studies done on rats and human subjects have shown that darkness promotes deeper, more rejuvenating and restful sleep.  Sleeping in an environment exposed to light may actually have negative effects on breathing and heart rate.

  1. Only sex & sleep in the bedroom

Keep your bedroom as a sacred space for rest, sleep and love making. No Netflix and chill here – save that for your living room!

  1. Turn off your wifi

Electromagnetic pollution such as wifi, cell phone towers and signals have been shown to disrupt our day night rhythms.  Many wifi routers have a timer setting that you can program to automatically turn off at a certain time in the evening and turn on again in the morning.  Put your phone on airplane mode and charge it in a separate room. 

  1. Same routine every night 

Regulation of the sleep cycle is benefitted by creating a “bedtime” routine within the ideal environment that you have created for your super sleep.  You want to create a pattern over time and with repetition and practice, your body will recognize the signals to shut things down and begin to drift off into sweet sleep.  This can be your beauty care and bathroom routine like washing your face and taking off your makeup (castor oil works amazing for this!), putting on your castor oil pack, reading a book.  Make it feel great for YOU. 

  1. Cool your room                                 

A cooler temperature in your bedroom mimics the natural cooler temperature of the evening as the sun goes down.  A room that is too hot will leave you restless and unable to fall into a deep sleep.  Keep it cool as a cucumber baby!

 Successful Sleep Starts In The Daytime

Now when it comes to learning to balance your bedroom routine, this doesn’t happen only at bedtime.  It’s a whole day and night routine that builds up to the sleeping beauty sonata that you are looking for every night. 

Here are some quick tips for easy daytime sleep prep.

1. Zip up the zeitgebers so you can zen out! 

Stop any major biological response modifiers by 4 pm at the latest.  Some of my patients need to cut them out at noon, because the effects are felt by their bodies longer than others.

Special note on how our body processes these zeitgebers:  It is very individual.  Some of us are very slow to detoxify, which is basically the process of clearing out molecules.  Some can have caffeine after 4 pm, and others must cut it off before 12pm or they won’t sleep.  The key is body connection, always be listening and conscious of how different stimulus affects you.  

2. Balance your hormones for sleep

Wear an eye mask to bed – This is a simple way to stimulate production of melatonin from the pituitary gland.  Some people think it’s the blocking of light that orchestrates this, but the other part of it has to do with compression around the eyes, which actually triggers the release via the nervous system.  The key is to use an eye mask with very soft, tactile and nurturing material, like the one included in the Beauty Sleep Eye Kit.

Blue light blocking glasses – If you have excessive exposure to artificial light (such as computer or cell phone screens), blue light blocking glasses are a great tool to wear after sundown to protect the brain and begin the pump of melatonin.  These ones are great.

3. Stress reduction with stimulation of oxytocin 

Castor oil packs – At night, or anytime of the day you feel overstimulated, throw on your castor oil pack, trust me.  The biggest reason I love castor oil packs so much is their effect on practicing the peaceful, parasympathetic state.  When worn before bed they are an incredible preparation for a deep and recharging sleep. 

The packs stimulate oxytocin, the love and connection molecule.  It is the most powerful and mighty hormone that actually reduces the stressed state.  That’s right.  Your castor oil pack feels like a hug, just like the hug machine created by Temple Grandin.  This is the smaller version that you can access in the comfort of your own home. 

If you consistently feel very stressed during the day, have you had your hormones tested?  They can be tested via the Dutch Hormone Test, here.  When daytime cortisol is very high, it can be helpful to start your castor oil pack practice earlier in the day.  I’ve had patients do it in the morning, that’s actually where I started because my daytime cortisol was so high.

Typically you want to do your pack before bed to wind down, and those sheep you’re always counting will carry you away on a fluffy white cloud into Never-Neverland.

Unwire your wifi – With exposure to wifi, we begin to see changes in plant’s biology.  In a study done on rats, hormonal issues with the adrenal glands were observed as well as stress mediators in the brain, the producer of melatonin, oxytocin and all other sleep aids.  Best to turn your wifi off at night and leave your cellphone/computer in another room.

4. Build your Progesterone and GABA to maintain sleep

Grateful Practice – Grateful practices are an incredible way to calm your nervous system and augment your natural progesterone and GABA.  When you are grateful, it’s impossible to be in a negative mood.  The more you practice gratefulness during the day, the better you will feel and sleep.  Use the Grateful Dung™ Bracelet as a daily reminder.

Aromatherapy – I love using Eau de Throne™ for the organic essential oils of lavender, clove, rosemary and lemon.  These essential oils, when sprayed after you poo, have a calming effect on your nervous system and gut.  They balance you out and help you feel good.  You can also spray it in your room at night, or use an essential oils diffuser.

All of the awesome health tools discussed in this article are included in the Queen Kit which you can find here.

Life Is a Stage, Set It

Not sure if you’re noticing here, but we are using, smell, touch, thought, sound and all of the senses to engage the relaxed state.  The more senses that you can engage during the day and night, the better your sleep will be. 

Life is a stage and the more you ensure to set the stage properly, the result is you will be able to serenade yourself into the sleep of a lifetime.

These are all non-supplemental practices that engage your behaviour, mindset and senses to serendipitously fall into a deep sleep.

Surrender to the fact that you have to be in charge and design your destiny when it comes to your sleep.  If not you will fall to your fate, and sleep should not be fated.  It is undeniable and the most important part of your day.  Respect it and do your duty to be the best you can be.  Time to drift off into your deep recharge!


Disclaimer: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. This communication does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner. If you happen to purchase anything we promote, in this or any of our communications, it’s likely Queen of the Thrones™ will receive some kind of affiliate compensation. Still, we only promote content and products that we truly believe in and share with our friends, family and patients. If you ever have a concern with anything we share, please let us know at care@drmarisol.com. We want to make sure we are always serving Our Kingdom at the highest level.  

 Dirk Jan Stenvers,a,1 Rick van Dorp,1 Ewout Foppen,1 Jorge Mendoza,2 Anne-Loes Opperhuizen,3 Eric Fliers,1 Peter H. Bisschop,1 Johanna H. Meijer,4 Andries Kalsbeek,1,3 and Tom Deboer4 Dim light at night disturbs the daily sleep-wake cycle in the rat. Sci Rep. 2016; 6: 35662. Published online 2016 Oct 20. doi: 10.1038/srep35662 PMID: 27762290

 Chul-Hyun Cho,1,2 Ho-Kyoung Yoon,1,2 Seung-Gul Kang,3 Leen Kim,1,2 Eun-Il Lee,4 and Heon-Jeong Lee1,2,5 Impact of Exposure to Dim Light at Night on Sleep in Female and Comparison with Male Subjects. Psychiatry Investig. 2018 May; 15(5): 520–530. Published online 2018 Mar 19. doi: 10.30773/pi.2018.03.17 PMID: 29551048

Yamauchi M1, Jacono FJFujita YKumamoto MYoshikawa MCampanaro CKLoparo KAStrohl KPKimura H. Effects of environment light during sleep on autonomic functions of heart rate and breathing. Sleep Breath. 2014 Dec;18(4):829-35. doi: 10.1007/s11325-014-0951-7. Epub 2014 Feb 13.

 Bogdan Lewczuk, Grzegorz Redlarski, Arkadiusz Żak, Natalia Ziółkowska, Barbara Przybylska-Gornowicz, Marek Krawczuk Influence of Electric, Magnetic, and Electromagnetic Fields on the Circadian System: Current Stage of Knowledge Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014: 169459. Published online 2014 Jul 22. doi: 10.1155/2014/169459

 Jodie Harris, PhD,1,2 Leon Lack, PhD,1,2 Kristyn Kemp, PhD,3 Helen Wright, PhD,1 and Richard Bootzin, PhD4 A Randomized Controlled Trial of Intensive Sleep Retraining (ISR): A Brief Conditioning Treatment for Chronic Insomnia. Sleep. 2012 Jan 1; 35(1): 49–60.Published online 2012 Jan 1. doi:  10.5665/sleep.1584 PMCID: PMC3242687

 Kazue Okamoto-Mizuno1 and Koh Mizuno2 Effects of thermal environment on sleep and circadian rhythm J Physiol Anthropol. 2012; 31(1): 14.Published online 2012 May 31. doi:  10.1186/1880-6805-31-14 PMCID: PMC3427038

Rong-fang HuXiao-ying JiangYi-ming ZengXiao-yang ChenYou-hua Zhang. Effects of earplugs and eye masks on nocturnal sleep, melatonin and cortisol in a simulated intensive care unit environment. Published online 2010 Apr 18. doi: 10.1186/cc8965

 Löken LS, Wessberg J, Morrison I, McGlone F, Olausson H. Coding of pleasant touch by unmyelinated afferents in humans. Nat Neurosci. 2009 May;12(5):547-8. Epub 2009 Apr 12.

 Halgamuge MN. Review: Weak radiofrequency radiation exposure from mobile phone radiation on plants.Electromagn Biol Med. 2017; 36(2):213-235. Epub 2016 Sep 20.

Shahabi S, Hassanzadeh Taji I, Hoseinnezhaddarzi M, Mousavi F, Shirchi S, Nazari A, Zarei H, Pourabdolhossein F. Exposure to cell phone radiofrequency changes corticotrophin hormone levels and histology of the brain and adrenal glands in male Wistar rat. Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2018 Dec; 21(12):1269-1274.

The Common Unknown Causes of Anxiety and How to Fix Them

Anxiety is crippling.  You know what I mean by this if you have ever lived through dealing with anxiety.  It grabs a hold of you, paralyzes you.  Puts pressure on your chest, prevents you from grasping a cool, clean breath of fresh air.  Your mind may race… “Am I going to die?”, you ask yourself.  It’s unlikely that you are going to die, but at that moment that is exactly what you feel and no one can change your mind, because it just FEELS too REAL.  Too dangerous to be abnormal. 

And before you dive in, I encourage you to sign up for The Anxiety Summit by clicking here. This is a free 7 day online summit that I will be speaking on from November 11-17. 

An example from my life of what anxiety can do…

On a recent trip to Florida, my family and I were having the time of our lives (minus our daughter who just got her first real job so she couldn’t escape).  Suddenly, on the daily news we start hearing about the impending doom of a category 5 hurricane headed straight toward us.

We start investigating, Googling, watching different news outlets…  Little by little, I start feeling more uncomfortable in my body. 

I text all my friends that live in Florida or were traveling there.  All is well, they either have a  central house or were already back home safe.  They wish me safe travels, and to those living in Florida, I say ‘stay safe’. 

My body begins to feel off, unraveled.  We go to get extra groceries, just in case.  I buy way, way, WAY too many olives and stock up on cans of sardines and smoked oysters because I don’t want to starve. 

And then we go to get water, the ultimate life-giving substance.  Keep in mind, now we have already been to five other stores, and forgot to check on water.  When we get to the water aisle…

The reality, urgency, fear, looming disaster, and unraveled sense, smacks us straight in the face and says,

“REALITY CHECK!!!!!”

There is no water.  Just one small case that a couple is fighting over.  I grab my husband’s hand and urge for us to go.  We need this more than anything and there is none left.

My stomach feels as though it’s in my throat.  I clench his hand tightly.  I’m pretty sure he can see the fear on my face. 

He knows I can see some on his, too.  We pay. 

We get to our car, and try more stores.  We find water.  There is a limit of three bottles per person. 

I can’t be picky and get my Mountain Valley Spring glass bottle variety.  I get what I get, because this is better than nothing.

External vs. Internal Forces that Create Anxiety

I pray for those affected by any hurricane because it is a horrifying reality to live with, and for me it proved to be the perfect example of a fear of my family’s NEEDS not being met. 

This real life natural disaster is an example of all the outside forces that can create anxiety within us. 

Certain things, we have absolutely NO control of… 

So our only choice is to just let it go. 

The things that are in our control… 

 Take control. Act as needed, be present, and always have a Plan B.

The problem with anxiety is that on top of this, it can also be a matter of:

  1. The chicken laid the egg first, OR;
  2. The egg cracked into a chicken first

We can’t always distinguish whether it was a life event that threatened our feeling of safety, or something internal that is unraveling our senses. 

So we ask ourselves this. “Why do I live with this?”

Anxiety is common in our day and age.  With all the demands placed upon us, to perform, to be perfect, to do everything.  Who can live or even keep up to those standards?

Plus, it propagates itself.  A little anxiety can turn into a full-blown anxiety attack in no time.  Many times, without any warning at all.  By that point, there is no turning back.  It is like the tropical storm that suddenly becomes a category 5 hurricane.  It is completely debilitating, destroying everything in its path. 

I’ve been there, more times than is comfortable and I’ve seen my patients suffer with it in my clinic, grossly affecting the quality of their lives and those of their present and future families. 

If this is all too familiar to you, sign up for The Anxiety Summit (Nov. 11-17) for free by clicking here.

Small Amounts of Anxiety Are Normal

There is nothing more heartbreaking than when you feel like your body, mind and soul are working against you. 

An unknown philosopher once said,

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. 

If you are anxious, you are living in the future. 

If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”

So granted, you are a forward thinker.  The fear of the unknown gets to you.

In fact, if the impending doom of the threat of a landing hurricane doesn’t cause you to become unraveled, to be cautious, safe-guarded and ready to act with your Plan B, I’m not sure that you are human.  This is a normal and healthy reaction to stressful external factors.  It is when these feelings and sensations spiral out of your control that it becomes an issue.

I know there is also those that have more to lose than others, those that have nothing.  But in reality, our world shouldn’t be about losing, but about living better. 

A Mind that Won’t Shut Off

And so you feel your mind is the home to a hamster of the future, wearing his Star Trek spandex uniform and travelling at warp speed on a wheel in your brain, which no matter how hard you try counting sheep in bow ties springing through freshly cut grass in a field of bright, shining, unstinting glory, you simply can’t quiet down. 

You’ve tried meditation, fish oils, eating well, breathing exercises… yet it feel like none of it ever works.  Or if it works, it works until the placebo effect wears off and you’ve lost faith that you can ever overcome this prison that you’ve been placed in against your will. 

And all you want to do is sleep…

“Just Breathe”

You know that you think too much, you need to quiet your mind, be more in the present, in the here and the now and as everyone around you says, “Just breathe”. 

But common’, seriously, have ever tried to do that when you are in the grips of hyperventilating and your hands are cramped up due to your out of whack electrolytes flowing through your body because you are just TRYING TO BREATHE?

Deep breathing makes you feel more anxious, and meditating gives you these weird tingling sensations that scare you even more… just catapulting you into aggravation, like nails on the chalkboard of your anxiety.  So while these words of advice may be sage to those living outside the world of anxiety, in it, they feel like the worst advice in the world ever.  Hands down and a high five on that one!

FYI, anxiety pretty much makes it impossible to take those sage words of advice and do something about it. 

So, if there is no way to respond to it while in the killer claws of tetany and anxiety, what is one to do? 

The Gift Within Your Grind

Prevention is key, get ON TOP of it.  Get ahead of it, and train yourself to be able to do the things you need to do before it happens, and most importantly, learn to work with your gift. 

Right about now you’re probably saying, “Whoa. How can you sit there and tell me that this anxiety, this jail cell in my mind, is a gift? How dare you. Stop lying.”

Look, I, like you, have lived it, and I’ve been fortunate enough to turn it around with the right know-how and tools.  Am I perfect?  No way, far from it.  Have I never suffered from it again?  Not even close to the truth!  Now, however, I know how to prevent it and I’ve trained myself with the right tools that when it begins to loom over me, I deal with it before it goes too far, before the pressure starts to set in, like the buildup of air in your ear canals as you are beginning to descend in an airplane. 

You swallow and think,  “Shit, I gotta go to the bathroom.”  Perfect timing, as always.

Like a hurricane on the edge of the Florida Peninsula, we sit on the edges of our seats unsure of what will happen in the next five days, weeks or months.  You need to prepare yourself with your Plan B.  In reality, what I have found is that anxiety is actually a gift.  It’s like a super spider-sense, a radar that gives you the feeling that things just aren’t right.  That something is wrong, and you absolutely have to fix it to move on.  Or leave it and start new. 

Common Unknown Triggers of Anxiety

So before we get to how to fix it (I’m going to share my step by step plan), I want to share with you some common triggers that had me in a state of panic for the greater part of my life.  These weren’t by any means the only ones, but when I addressed these aspects that most doctors won’t even look at, they were life-changing for me.

Now I’m sure you know all the common triggers of anxiety:

  • Overworking
  • Stress
  • Genetics (“My mom had it, too!”)
  • A health condition
  • Medication
  • Unhealthy food

But did you know there are other unlikely and overlooked reasons that could be causing the problem?

Here are the most unknown yet common reasons for anxiety outside of what you normally hear.   The reason I know these so well is that these were my triggers from an early age that sent me catapulting into a vicious cycle of anxiety.

Constipation

Believe it or not, constipation can be one of the most unknown common causes of anxiety.  The potential roots of constipation are plentiful, but let’s just consider the why.  Here, it is going to blow your mind, like a hurricane blows the roof off a house (bad analogy here, I apologize).

Stools are the byproducts or ‘trash’ that your body needs to eliminate out.  If they are not eliminated, the same thing happens as when you leave the trash from your house composting in your garage after missing Garbage Day. 

The stink builds up, those brain-numbing, barf-producing gases of decomposition, the growth of maggots and bugs attracted to the putrid smells.  It isn’t a pretty sight and you can imagine seeing this would make you anxious too.  Now imagine if this was happening INSIDE your body. 

Ughh… Bad, bad tummy ache…..

So pooping is paramount.  It was in this vital aspect of my life that three of my roadblocks were found. 

Three Common Causes of Constipation That Lead to Anxiety

1. Food Sensitivities

A large portion of my life, I lived with constipation so bad that it took over my life.  Little did I know that a large part of this was caused by food sensitivities.  These irritate the body so badly that it becomes constipated.  Dairy is one of the most common causes of childhood constipation.  I was extremely sensitive without knowing it and was consuming dairy daily.  To my surprise, I also learned that healthy foods could be sensitivities because absolutely everyone is unique and can be sensitive to foods that are typically touted as superfoods.  For me, it ended up being broccoli, almonds, and rice! 

2. Electromagnetic Frequencies

It turns out years later I started learning how these invisible fields disrupt (in certain people more than others) natural body rhythms, much like lights, but worse.  I am definitely one of these people.  Our digestive tract is intimately distracted by these invading waves and can seize up, leaving you with a load too many.  Behind my house growing up there was an electrical substation that spanned as far as the eye could see, which fed all the Northern Ontario mines their electricity.  

3. Hormonal Havoc

I have dealt with hormonal derangement like a lot of us have.  A little too much hair here, not enough there.  Too many curves here, not enough there.  Basic-bi*tch here, Debbie-downer there.  I was diagnosed with PCOS and estrogen dominance.  My periods were controlled through birth control and chemicals.  Not sure if you know it, but when this pattern of high estrogen, high androgens, and low thyroid occurs, there is often a reduction in progesterone, which is the anti-anxiety hormone. 

The Big Changes In My Life

As I began to realize that all of these things were affecting me and further perpetrating my anxiety, I made some massive changes in my life.  For years, I was doing everything ‘right’.  Taking the right supplements, seeing a naturopathic doctor, exercising, eating the right foods (or so I thought!)…

So what I didn’t need was even more supplements.  I needed to support the foundation of my health, to make what I was already investing in work even better. 

I had heard about castor oil packs for about 15 years at this time.  I had been told to do them more times than I can count on my hand or care to tally-up because I am just plain old embarrassed. 

You see, if had I started this practice years before, I wouldn’t have dealt with this crap, this bullsh*t, this paralyzation for so long.

My Castor Oil Pack Revelation 

Alas, now is the time.  So I thought to myself, what was wrong and why I didn’t want to do castor oil packs in the first place? 

  • Messy
  • Too many steps 
  • The unknown about how they really work – like do I have to wear that piece of cloth with it?
  • Is this just another snake oil? Will it overpromise and underdeliver?
  • I really don’t believe that this sh*t works… how could it?
  • Can’t I just rub the oil on my belly instead of this complicated DIY process? (NOO!)

So there I was, doing everything ‘right’ but I was still struggling with my health.  I became so sick that I couldn’t get out of bed for a week.  I hit my lowest point and I was desperate to get out of bed and live again.  So I did it. 

I took an organic cotton non-bleached bag I had gotten at a trade show, cut the straps then sewed them on differently, added in an organic cotton hand towel and made my very first castor oil pack. 

These packs did one major thing that led to supporting the 5 pillars of the foundation of my health.

They gave me back the FAITH in my body, that it could heal. 

That I could be free of the imaginary – yet very real to me – cage in my body.  It was like I’d found my way to the eye of a hurricane, feeling at peace, with the energy of the winds rolling around me, empowering me.

As I learned more about the mechanism of action of castor oil packs, to my amazement, the scientific research showed that it supported these 5 fundamental pillars of health:

F: Function of the Digestive Tract – Studies have shown that castor oil packs help to relieve constipation1 and improve the smooth muscle function2 of the digestive tract, in turn supporting better absorption and elimination.

A: Antioxidant Support – Castor oil has been shown to effectively preserve glutathione levels3, which is our body’s master detoxifying agent responsible for moving out toxic substances and heavy metals.  It is also a source of topical nutrients like vitamin E, Omega 6 and 94 and nitric oxide5.

I: Inflammation Regulation – Castor oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory6, making it excellent for reducing core inflammation, supporting the digestive process and reducing pain and discomfort.  Inflammation is known as the ‘silent killer’ and it’s important to do everything we can to reduce it in the body.

T: Tension and Stress Reduction – This is where the organic cotton compress part of the castor oil pack practice comes into play.  The soft compression of the pack on the skin stimulates sensory receptors that help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, our ‘rest and digest’ state.  The compress promotes production of our feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine7, as well as our love and connection hormone, oxytocin8.

H: Host Microbiome Balance – In our bodies and on our skin are trillions of bacteria, both good and bad.  The good bacteria you probably know as probiotics, and the bad bacteria I like to call conbiotics™.  When conbiotics™ run rampant in our systems (like con artists) they can create a protective layer called biofilm that is very difficult to break down, and makes it nearly impossible to kill them and get them out of our bodies.  Castor oil is one of the only natural substances that can break down this biofilm9 10 11, ultimately helping to restore a healthy microbiome balance.

Out of all these wonderful benefits that castor oil packs support, in my opinion ’T’ is the most important.  Tension and stress inhibit our bodies’ natural ability to cleanse, calm and poop.  All these things affect everything else. 

And for this to happen you the need the castor oil pack, you can’t get this effect alone with just the oil.  It does not work that way. 

The pack is like the foundation of your house, built out of cement and secured to the ground.  Not perfect, in times of hurricanes, but supportive enough to get you through and keep you safe and resilient in the long run.  You know they got your back. 

I am admitting, I forgot to bring my castor oil pack on this holiday in Florida.  It’s usually the first thing I pack!  I was only able to get a pack on the very last day of my trip, when I visited our Queen of the Thrones™ warehouse. 

My body had felt the anxiety of the impending hurricane, and sure enough by the middle of our trip, my nights were restless, full of tossing and turning.  I simply felt awkward in every position I laid, unsure, did I have to pee, or was I just a wee bit irritated?  Who knows.  Toward the end of our trip, my anxiety was building like the incoming hurricane, from tropical storm to a dangerous category 5.

And you know what relieved it?  Pooping, shortly after I put my castor oil pack on. 

In your future plan, meditation, mindfulness, positive stimulus, supplementation, dietetics, exercise and yoga will all be included.  But enough is enough.  You can only do one thing at a time and when an unexpected hurricane hits, prevention tactics like your castor oil pack will be your best friend.

It’s time to start here, with the foundation.  Have FAITH in your body’s incredible ability to heal.

SPECIAL NOTE:  I would absolutely love for you to sign up for an online summit that I am a part of by clicking hereThe Anxiety Summit is is a free 7 day online summit that I will be speaking on from November 11-17.


DISCLAIMER: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors, and not Queen of the Thrones™. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. Furthermore, Queen of the Thrones™neither endorses nor is responsible for the accuracy and reliability of any opinion, advice, or statement made on any of the sites. This communication does not create a doctor and patient relationship.  Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner.  Before proceeding with any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed please consult your health care practitioner.

1 Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18.

2 Sorin Tunaru,a Till F. Althoff,a Rolf M. Nüsing,b Martin Diener,c and Stefan Offermannsa,d,1 Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptorsProc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 5; 109(23): 9179–9184.Published online 2012 May 21. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201627109PMID: 22615395

3 Holm TBrøgger-Jensen MRJohnson LKessel L.Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in optisol-GS and castor oil. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e79620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079620. eCollection 2013.

4 Marwat SK, Rehman F, Khan EA, Baloch MS, Sadiq M, Ullah I, Javaria S, Shaheen S. Review – Ricinus cmmunis – Ethnomedicinal uses and pharmacological activities.Pak J Pharm Sci. 2017 Sep;30(5):1815-1827.

5 Mascolo N1, Izzo AAAutore GBarbato FCapasso F.Nitric oxide and castor oil-induced diarrhea.J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1994 Jan;268(1):291-5.

6 Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8

7 Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17.

8 Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

9 Andrade IM1, Andrade KM2, Pisani MX1, Silva-Lovato CH1, de Souza RF1, Paranhos Hde F1.Trial of an experimental castor oil solution for cleaning dentures. Braz Dent J. 2014 Jan-Feb;25(1):43-7.

10 Badaró MM, Salles MM, Leite VMF, Arruda CNF, Oliveira VC, Nascimento CD, Souza RF, Paranhos HFO, Silva-Lovato CH. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser.J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun; 25(3):324-334.

11 Salles MM, Badaró MM, Arruda CN, Leite VM, Silva CH, Watanabe E, Oliveira Vde C, Paranhos Hde F. Antimicrobial activity of complete denture cleanser solutions based on sodium hypochlorite and Ricinus communis – a randomized clinical study.J Appl Oral Sci. 2015 Nov-Dec; 23(6):637-42.