What’s next after a Marie Kondo style decluttering? Top 10 tip for a Non-Toxic Home make over

There’s been such hype since Marie Kondo is on netflix on teaching people how to find joy in decluttering our home from non-joyful items.   It’s personally helped me create both physical and mental space in prioritize what’s special to honor in my own home.

In honor the theme of building a happy, healthy non toxic home, here’s a guide to share.  Also a Youtube video of a webinar I did recently that breaks it all down.  Enjoy!

Top 10 areas for Decreasing Toxic Exposures in you home.

Certain chemicals applied to your skin or in the air can be absorbed by your body and may cause harm to your cells and organ systems. They can cause inflammation and increase the body’s production of free radicals, thus increasing your likelihood of developing chronic health problems.

1. Food

  1. Shift your food purchases and consumption to organic when possible. It is most important to use organic dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc.) Free-range meats and eggs are desirable to purchase as organic. Minimize the use of large fish (swordfish, tuna, etc.) as they are higher in mercury.
  2. Purchase organic strawberries and apples, and refer to the Environmental Working Group or Consumer Reports websites to stay current about which fruits and veggies are most important to eat organic.

2. Products

  1. Purchase the most natural cleaning and other household products you can find
  2. Avoid spraying pesticides or herbicides in your home or your property.
  3. For hair products (including shampoo and colors) look for products without alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate, paraben, phthalate or other petrochemicals. Check your local yellow pages and magazines to see if there is an environmentally oriented hair salon in your area. Use Hair wax instead of hairspray.
  4. Avoid using hair sprays.
  5. Avoid perfumes or other skin or hair care products that use synthetic fragrances.

3. Skin Care and Makeup

  1. Use low-toxin makeup and skin creams (avoid products with: phthalates, parabens, propylene glycol, alcohols and fragrances). In general, skin care products from health food stores without the above ingredients are a safer bet.
  2. Consider using antioxidant creams on your skin: low solvent products with CoQ10 and Vitamin C. Antiperspirants and Deodorant
  3. Avoid aluminum-containing antiperspirants and antacids. Since virtually all antiperspirants contain aluminum, it may be advisable to minimize or discontinue use.
  4. Use natural make-up (sold at Whole Foods, Bare Escentuals®, 100% Pure®) www.100percentpure.com
  5. Use natural body lotion or cream, may also use coconut oil or shea butter as a moisturizer

4. Water

  1. Water can have many toxins and thus regular consumption of unfiltered water can significantly contribute to the toxic load of your body. Water quality will vary from city to city but in general it is better to filter tap water with a multi-stage carbon filter or reverse osmosis filter.
  2. Try to avoid bottled water in soft plastic containers as the plastics often leach into the water. Minimize the use of plastic water bottles that have been in a hot car. Minimize the use of camel-back type plastic water containers. Mineral waters in glass bottles are generally safe.
  3. Drink approximately 6-8 glasses of water or healthy liquids each day. Use glass when possible.
  4. Filter shower water in order to limit your exposure to chlorinated hydrocarbons.

5. Plastics

  1. Plastics can disrupt hormones in your body. Avoid plastic bottles and containers with the numbers 3, 6 and 7 on the bottom. These are most likely to leach plastics into the food, juice or water that they contain.
  2. Buy juices and water in glass containers when possible. Avoid PVCs.
  3. Do not microwave in plastic containers. Minimize washing plastic containers in the dishwasher under high heat.
  4. Minimize the use of cling wraps; try to use paper wraps.

6. Dental Care

  1. Avoid mercury amalgam fillings.
  2. Get second opinions on root canals.
  3. Pick a dentist who is aware of healthy choices for the mouth perhaps a more holistic or biologically oriented dentist who does not place new mercury fillings.
  4. Pick a non flouride toothpaste.  Use water pik, xylitol mouth rinse, and a xylitol toothpaste. Optimize your mouth and gut microbiome can also improve your oral health.

7. Home

  1. Use only green and low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) products in a remodel or a new home. Avoid furniture with particle board or buy used furniture that has had a chance to “off gas.” Let a new car off gas by keeping the windows open.
  2. Use an air filter such as a HEPA filter with a charcoal filter to clean the debris in the air.
  3. Minimize the amount of regular carpet in your home, or use natural carpets.
  4. Avoid using pesticides in your house.
  5. Take off shoes at the door to decrease indoor chemicals and pesticides.
  6. Change the filter on your furnace every 3 months, using the best allergy furnace filter you can find.  

8. Electromagnetic Fields / EMF

  1. If you have headaches or regional pain, decrease exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields.
  2. Minimize cell phone use.  Avoid putting cell phone in your breast or pant pockets
  3. Minimize your use of portable phones at home and shift to corded phone.
  4. Take the clock radio away from the head of your bed.
  5. Get the fields measured in a potential new car before you buy it. (www.ewg.org)
  6. Use this awesome hot logic minioven to heat your food to go instead of a microwave.

9. Home and Personal Care Products to avoid

  1. Chemical based cleaning products (disinfectants, bleaches, oven and drain cleaners, furniture polish, floor wax, window cleaners, etc).
  2. Mothballs, incense and commercially available scented candles
  3. Tap Water
  4. Chemical air fresheners
  5. Hairspray Nail Polish
  6. Perfume (use essential oils instead)
  7. Make-up containing chemicals
  8. Chemical soaps, body wash, lotions, creams
  9. Aluminum based antiperspirantsur Household Product Recommendations

10. Try these products instead

  1. Purchase a household water purification system (both for drinking and showering) www.aquasana.com
  2. Consider purchasing an air purification system. Change your air filters regularly Make or purchase chemical free cleaning products.
  3. Diffuse essential oils as your air freshener
  4. Diffuse essential oils as your air freshener

 

 

Women’s Health – Take Action

Have you struggled with your hormones? If so, you are not alone.

Functional health is a much more personal approach to healthcare. It ensures that each patient is treated according to their specific needs and imbalances individually, rather than treated as a diagnosis.

Aiming to return the body and mind to optimum balance and functionality, functional healthcare can often prove the most preferable route for women to embark upon to solve their health issues.

Functional healthcare can help with things such as:

  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Insomnia and Sleep Disorders
  • Digestive Issues
  • Obesity and Weight Management
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Menopause
  • PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)
  • Fertility Problems
  • Postpartum Issues

How Does it Work?

By using all natural methods and personalized care, functional healthcare aims to enable patients to not only cure their ailments but get to the root cause of them as well. Whether it be herbal medicine, nutritional therapy, or stress management, functional medicine techniques can greatly reduce the severity of many health complications and by doing so help to prevent them from progressing further.

Becoming better aware of your health issues and their potential causes, triggers, and treatments is a part of how functional medicine helps you to heal yourself and STAY healed. Getting to know all aspects of your health issue and implementing positive change to avoid them worsening cultivates awareness both in your body and in your mind in order to achieve optimum health.

Boosting hormonal function is vital in overall physical and mental health, Estrogen, in particular, is associated with the proper functioning of the female reproductive system, among many other benefits.

Try these foods for healthy hormones:

  • Seeds: flax seeds and sesame seeds
  • Fruit: apricots, oranges, strawberries, and peaches
  • Vegetables: yams, carrots, alfalfa sprouts, kale, and celery
  • Soy products: tofu, miso soup, soy and yogurt
  • Dark rye bread
  • Legumes: lentils, peas, and pinto beans
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Chickpeas

Including these foods in your diet will help women lower their risk of developing hormonal imbalances!

WANT TO LEARN MORE AND STAY CONNECTED?

Sign up for our 14 Days to Health FREE Video Series here: https://onnalomd.com/14daystohealth/

And click here to join our amazing Facebook Community group:  www.facebook.com/groups/happyhealthcommunity

80 Percent Of Adults Will Experience Adrenal Fatigue

Did you know that 80 percent of adults will experience adrenal fatigue in their lifetime?

Although this negatively affects the vast majority of the population, there is controversy within the medical community whether this condition is a legitimate diagnosis or not. This disagreement only arises due to the inability to identify and treat it in a uniform way. Adrenal dysfunction manifests in everyone very differently and because of this, there is no ONE way to solve this problem.

Adrenal fatigue is caused by stress on the adrenal glands. This causes an imbalance in the hormone production (particularly cortisol).The most common identified of adrenal fatigue is an overall sense of energy depletion. – this can take many forms.

Collectively, the excretion of cortisol, adrenaline, and testosterone in response to stress all play a role in increasing the heart rate and blood pressure, slowing digestion, and shutting down executive brain functions, among other physiological changes collectively known as the ‘stress response’.

Understandably, this elevated level of stress has serious energetic implications on the body, as well as affecting:

  • Memory
  • Sleep Quality
  • Immune Health
  • Thyroid Function
  • Blood Pressure
  • Fertility
  • Blood Sugar Levels

The question arises, “How can you treat a condition that affects so many functions in the body?”

Functional Medicine’s Role In The Fight Against Fatigue
Medical doctors often treat adrenal fatigue with drugs or energy-boosting supplements. All of these products have one thing in common – they only treat the symptoms of tiredness, instead of addressing the actual cause of the adrenal dysfunction. On the other hand, functional medicine focuses on identifying which areas of the patient’s lifestyle need to be adjusted, what strategies the patient can implement to overcome the fatigue and the appropriate treatment plan the caters to the patient’s individual needs.

This adrenal fatigue-healing recipe encourages balanced blood-sugar and cortisol levels

Try it in place of your morning coffee and you will feel the difference!

INGREDIENTS:
– 1 tablespoon supergreens powder
– 3 cups of kale
– 1 cup frozen organic blueberries
– 1 teaspoon maca
– 1-2 tablespoons MCT oil
– 1 lemon (or lime), skin removed
– 2-4 drops stevia

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Blend until pureed
2. Enjoy!

The Simple Way To Breathe To Reduce Stress

Ever feel stressed out? Ever get anxious, worried, depressed, or upset?

There’s nothing more crucial than to have control of your breath when you are in a place of uncertainty, fear or even panic. When you routinely engage in a patterned in a breathing. Be it 5 minutes to 11 minutes to 31 minutes a day. Your body will be trained to know how to handle distress when situations arise.

Try this for 5 mins every day before you start your day. Or while driving or commuting or waiting in line in the store. Learn to use your breathing to regulate your nervous system and release it from reacting to every situation that arise.

Try this technique from the © The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan:

Posture: Sit in any comfortable meditative posture with a straight spine, chin in, chest lifted.

Eyes: Close your eyes.

Breath: Concentrate on your breath. Inhale through the nose in eight equal strokes. Exhale through the nose in one deep and powerful stroke.

Time: Continue for 11 minutes.

To Finish: Inhale deeply, hold the breath 5-10 seconds, and exhale. Inhale deeply, hold the breath 15-20 seconds and roll your shoulders. Exhale powerfully. Inhale deeply, hold the breath 15-20 seconds, and this time roll your shoulders as fast as you can. Exhale and relax.

So when your coworkers are being difficult, breathe in for the count of 8 strokes and breathe out in 1. If you kids are fighting in the back of the car nonstop. Breathe in 8 breathe out 1. If you are feeling that nothing is working out in your favor that day. Breathe in 8 breathe out 1. Breath is one tool that won’t go away no matter what. Our lives truly depend on our breath. Train it. Befriend it.

 

“The eight strokes will make you watch and count the breath and that will force you to relate to your breath. Best procedure is that you do this exercise every evening. Eleven minutes a day of eight-stroke breathing can give you enough energy to balance your (daily) consumption of (pranic) life and take you out of stress. Is it possible? Do you have eleven minutes?”
-Yogi Bhajan

 

Compliments of the © The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan. Learn more here: 3HO Website

 

Take The Toxic Out Of Your Cleaning Webinar

Detoxify Your Home

It’s easy to assume that what we buy in the store is safe for us to use. Unfortunately, it’s not so simple. Lurking in your cleaning cabinet, laundry room, or under your sink are nasty chemicals that can wreak havoc on your health and the environment.

It is my goal during this webinar to help bring to your awareness the potential dangers and irritants that you’re breathing in and coming into contact with on a daily basis.

Do you want your kids to be sleeping in a bed every night wrapped in sheets that emit chemical vapors?
Do you want your pets laying on a floor that was cleaned with ingredients that have been proven to cause cancer?
Do you want to be exposed to skin irritants that can cause an array of dermatological issues?

If your answer is ‘no’ to any of these questions, you will benefit from this webinar.

What You’ll Learn

During this webinar, you will learn:
– What the federal guidelines allow in terms of chemicals that are safe for home use, as well as what the process is for a cleaning product to get approved and make its way into a store.
– Some of the most harmful chemicals that could be in your home, and learn about the effects of long-term use.
– The dangers of chemically-created fragrances such as those used in laundry detergent, dish soap, floor cleaners, and other cleaners.
– How toxic cleaning products are affecting the environment.
– What “toxic burden” is and how it is affecting you.

This might seem like a lot of new things to worry about, but fear not! This webinar will wrap up with tips on how to make your home and cleaning products green and eco-friendly, so as to keep your loved ones out of irritants and harmful vapors.

Got Self-Care?

The Importance of Self-Care

When is the last time you took a moment purely for yourself?

Turns out, having some time for self-care is one of the best things that you can do for your health and happiness. Contrary to popular belief, self-care is not selfish. Self-care is actually essential for all of us in our healing journey.

The challenge is that all too often we prioritize other things above self-care (ie: doing the dishes, laundry, going to work, cleaning the house, paying the bills, watching tv, spending time with others, etc…).

The good news is that there are small and powerful ways that you can take care of yourself in a better way, starting today. Relax, put your feet up, and enjoy one of the videos below.

In honor of your best health, we are sharing 5 of our favorite TED Talks related to self-care.


  1. Why we all need to practice emotional first aid by Guy Winch


  2. The power of vulnerability by Brene Brown


  3. All it takes is 10 mindful minutes by Andy Puddicombe


  4. Want to be happy? Be grateful by David Steindl-Rast


  5. How to make stress your friend by Kelly McGonigal

Guide To Boosting Your Cognitive Health Part 4: The Ketogenic Diet

We’ve been discussing a number of ways that you can help support your best cognitive health the past few weeks. With proper brain function, you can be more equipped to live the happy and healthy life that you desire. In this series, we have discussed the importance of nutrition for your cognitive health as well as the impact that lifestyle has on your overall wellbeing. Furthermore, we have shared how to use the Kirtan Kriya meditation to improve brain performance as well.

Today we dive into the many benefits of the ketogenic diet on your brain health.

What Is The Ketogenic Diet?

Have you heard of the ketogenic diet? You may have heard of it as the “Keto Diet.” At its core, this is a low carb diet, but it is also so much more.

Instead of carbs, it is centered on high quality proteins and fats. When you eat less carbs, your body is better equipped to enter a state that is more naturally print to breakdown fats (from your food and your body) which then results in ketones as you enter a state known as “ketosis.”

Most people are in a state where their primary form of energy is from carbs (glucose). However, for those who are in a steady state of ketosis, that primary fuel source switches from glucose to ketones. In other words, when successfully following a keto diet, your brain and organs will use ketones as their primary energy source.

How Do I Know If I Am “In Ketosis”?

You can measure ketones in your blood and urine to ensure that your body is staying in ketosis on the ketogenic diet.

A Ketogenic Meal

On the traditional ketogenic plate, 10% of calories will come from healthy carbs (ie: leafy greens, nonstarchy vegetables, and limited amounts of legumes and berries). Then 20% of calories will come from high quality proteins (ie: omega-3-rich wild-caught fish and
grass-fed/grass finished animal protein. The last 70% or so of calories will come from high quality healthy fats (ie: avocado,
unsaturated and medium-chain triglyceride oils, nuts and seeds, and coconut). This 10/20/70 keto suggestion includes all your drinks, snacks, and meals for each day. You are unique, so your macronutrient distribution may vary based of your health, physical activity, and practitioner’s expertise.

It is essential to remember that calorie size isn’t the same thing as physical size. For example, even though healthy fats is about 70% of your total plate, that doesn’t mean you’ll have a salad that is 70% filled with nuts and seeds, with only a few sprigs of lettuce. It is based off the total calorie content. For a handy tool to figure out the calories behind the foods you eat, download the free app My Fitness Pal. You can even make goals based on your macronutrient content such as the Keto 10/20/70 suggestion- and My Fitness Pal will help you meet those goals too! Great, right?

Check out this image below to see how the Ketogenic Diet differs from the Standard American Diet (SAD).

(Property of Metagenics)

The Benefits:

There are many benefits to being on a ketogenic diet. The most common benefits include weight loss, an increase in brain
performance, balanced blood sugar, and improved cardiovascular health.

Mental focus is improved with the ketogenic diet because the brain uses ketones instead of glucose as a source of fuel. Studies show that this switch can actually help the brain to grow more nerve factors and synaptic connections between brain cells. The benefit for you? More alertness, a better focus, and better cognitive abilities. Balanced blood sugar is promoted through the intake of less carbohydrates because this supports insulin metabolism in the body. Furthermore, the absence of carbs from the diet helps the body to focus on breaking down proteins and fats. When on a reduced calorie ketogenic diet, one can experience weight loss and it can also help to reduce cravings and suppress appetite. While carbs may help to increase energy during a workout, they are not the best form of energy for a smooth clean burn that lasts all day. Alternatively, in ketosis, the brain has a consistent stream of ketones to supply the body with increased performance. Lastly, a ketogenic diet supports optimal metabolism and cardiovascular health because it is shown to help blood lipid and fatty acid metabolism.

How To Begin

To start, you want to focus on simply reducing your net carbs to less than 50 grams a day. Be mindful to explore the variety of carbs that come from leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables, and limited amounts of legumes and berries. Using an app like My Fitness Pal will automatically calculate your daily carbs for you. This list here has a comprehensive amount of ideas to try when first starting the keto diet: Keto Food List.

Some of our favorite recipe blogs to get started with the Keto Diet:

  1. Keto In Pearls
  2. Ketogasm
  3. I Breathe I’m Hungry

Keto Adaptation

As you begin the keto diet, you may notice some changes in your body. Be aware that it may take the body about  2-4 weeks to switch from burning fat as fuel as opposed to carbohydrates. For some people, this can leave you with a feeling similar to the flu. Symptoms may include feeling achy, nauseous, a sense of withdrawal, or drowsy. If you experience this, don’t be alarmed. The switch from burning fat instead of glucose is a revolutionary transition for your body. This starts for some people a few days after being on a ketogenic diet and it typically ends one or two weeks later. Then you’ll start feeling all the positive effects of the new diet.

If you’re facing a challenging keto adaptation, try this tips: drink more water, increase consumption of electrolytes (be mindful to avoid those sweet “sports” drinks), eat more healthy fats, participate in more exercise, sleep more, try an exogenous salt supplement, and practice stress reduction/ mindfulness activities.

In Summary

There are so many benefits to being on a keto diet. Many people love it and feel that it has forever transformed their life for the better. Of course, it is important to note that everyone is different and that there is no one-size-that fits all. While some people may be the ideal candidate for a keto diet, others are not. Thus, it is important to work with a qualified healthcare practitioner who can assess your digestive health, blood sugar, brain health, and overall metabolic state to support you in your quest for a life of health and happiness.

We hope that this information is useful for you on your journey for the best cognitive health. If you’d like personal support in this process please click here to learn more about our Happy Health Brain Longevity Program. Also, be sure to check out our entire series on cognitive health by clicking the links below:

Guide To Boosting Your Cognitive Health Part 1: Nutrition

Guide To Boosting Your Cognitive Health Part 2:  Lifestyle Tips

Guide To Boosting Your Cognitive Health Part 3: Kirtan Kriya

Guide To Boosting Your Cognitive Health Part 4: The Ketogenic Diet

Guide To Boosting Your Cognitive Health Part 5: Is your blood sugar affecting your brain?

PS: You are invited to click here to sign up for our free 14 Days to Health Video Series and to join our Facebook group for personal support: The Happy Health Community. 

References:

  1. Freedman MR, King J. Kennedy E. Popular diets: a scientific review. Obes Res 2001; 9(supp 1):3S,11S,12S.
  2. Volek, JS, et al. Comparison of energy-restricted very low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets on weight loss and body compositionin overweight men and women. Nutr Met. 2004 Nov;1:13.
  3. Meyer J. The Ketogenic Diet and Mental Performance.Available at: http://blog.prymd.com/the-ketogenic-diet-and-mental-performance. Accessed September 13, 2017.
  4. D’Anci KE, Watts KL, Kanarek RB, Taylor HA. Low-carbohydrate weight-loss diets. Effects on cognition and mood. Appetite. 2009Feb;52(1):96-103.
  5. Yancy Jr. WS, et al., A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet to treat type 2 diabetes. Nutrition & Metabolism 2005; Dec 1; 2:34.
  6. Brinkworth GD, et al., Long-term effects of a very low-carbohydrate diet and a low-fat diet on mood and cognitive function.Archives Internal Medicine 2009; 169(20):1873-1880.
  7. Volek et al. Body composition and hormonal responses to a carbohydrate-restricted diet. Metabolism 2002;51(7):864-70.
  8. Yancy Jr WS, et al. A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-fat diet to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia: a randomized,controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 2004;140(10):769-77.
  9. Gibson AA, et al., Do ketogenic diets really suppress appetite? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obes Rev. 2015; 16:64-76.
  10. Volek J.S., et al. Metabolic characteristics of keto-adapted ultra-endurance runners. Metabolism. 2016 Mar;65(3):100-10.
  11. Adam-Perrot A, et al. Low-carbohydrate diets: nutritional and physiological aspects. Obes Rev. 2006;7(1)49.58.
  12. Volek, JS., and Stephen D. Phinney. The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living. Beyond Obesity LLC., 2011.
  13. Hudgins LC. Effect of high-carbohydrate feeding on triglyceride and saturated fatty acid synthesis. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 2000Dec;225(3):178-83.
  14. Hudgins LC, et al. Relationship between carbohydrate-induced hypertriglyceridemia and fatty acid synthesis in lean and obesesubjects. J Lipid Res. 2000 Apr;41(4):595-604.
  15. Keogh JB, et al. Effects of weight loss from a very-low-carbohydrate diet on endothelial function and markers of cardiovasculardisease risk in subjects with abdominal obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar; 87(3):567-76. correct
  16. Krebs NF, et al. Efficacy and safety of a high protein, low carbohydrate diet for weight loss in severely obese adolescents. J Pediatr. 2010 Aug;157(2):252-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.02.010. Epub 2010 Mar 20.

Adrenal Fatigue Webinar Recording

Do You Suffer From Chronic Exhaustion?

According to a poll conducted by YouGov, 6 out of 7 Americans report not feeling refreshed upon waking, regardless of the amount of sleep they had.
Out of the Americans who slept 7 to 8 hours a night, 45% expressed feeling tired or fatigued three times a week. 27% of them also shared they wake up tired at least 4 times a week.

54% of Americans that sleep six hours or less each night, also, wake up tired at least 4 times a week as well.

In short, most Americans are tired most of the week, every week!

A Glance At Adrenal Function

The adrenal glands are responsible for the production and secretion of many essential hormones within our bodies, such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones facilitate our collective stress response. This reaction is composed of slowing down certain functions, such as digestion, brain activity, and psychological reactions, in order to preserve energy for combating stress.
These hormones also aid in the increase of heart rate and blood pressure to equip the body to fight the apparent danger, which in our modern society is very little immediate “danger” at all.

When this stressed state becomes chronic, our adrenal glands have trouble catching up. This presents many of the common symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue, such as:

Persistent physical and mental fatigue
Difficulty handling stress
Food cravings
Weakened immunity
Depression and anxiety
Weight gain
And much, more more!

Does this sound like you?

During Don’t Let Adrenal Fatigue Impact Your Life, you will finally get the chance to take control of your health by improving your adrenal function, stress response, and more with the expertise of functional medicine!

This is guaranteed to be life-changing and we cannot wait to help people take control of the stress in their life so that the stress does not control them any longer.

 

 

Guide To Boosting Your Cognitive Health Part 3: Kirtan Kriya

Kirtan Kriya

Your cognitive health has a dramatic impact on your entire life. With proper brain function, you can be more equipped to live the happy and healthy life that you desire. In this series, we have discussed the importance of nutrition for your cognitive health as well as the impact that lifestyle has on your overall wellbeing.

Today we are jumping into one of our favorite topics that has wonderful benefits for your cognitive health, Kirtan Kriya, a singing meditation.  Rooted from the teachings of Kundalini Yoga.

What is Kirtan Kriya?

Kirtan Kriya (pronounced KEER-tun KREE-a) is a way of meditation from the Kundalini yoga tradition. In Sanskrit, kirtan is a song and kriya is used to express a certain set of movements. This technique has been used for thousands of years to help bring the mind, body, and emotions in balance. This helps to support the healing process and to promote cognitive health.

How does it work?

This is a meditation, but sometimes it is known as a singing exercise. You complete it by singing the sounds, Saa Taa Naa Maa. In addition, repetitive finger movements, or mudras, can be used in conjunction. This is not a religious practice, but it is beneficial for all types of people from all walks of life. Specifically, when practiced for just 12 minutes a day, it has been scientifically proven to decrease stress levels. Furthermore, this meditation actually promotes activity in areas of the brain that are essential for memory.

Is there any science to prove it?

Yes. Not only has it been practiced for thousands of years with profound benefits, but there are also multiple studies publishing the many benefits of Kirtan Kriya. For example, there was a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in April of 2016 stating that the Kirtan Kriya increased brain function. It went on to describe that cognitive health through the use of Kirtan Kriya increases brain connectivity (which improves memory) and it also decreases mood aberration.

“The Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation believes that the various parts of Kirtan Kriya are each vital to the whole, and recommends practicing it in the traditional way to fully reap the benefits of the exercise. That said, other methods of reducing stress, like deep breathing, listening to music and other types of meditation may be beneficial to your health.”

How do you practice Kirtan Kriya?

  1. Repeat the Saa Taa Naa Maa sounds (or mantra) while sitting with your spine straight. 
  2. For 2 minutes, sing in your normal voice.
  3. For the next 2 minutes, sing in a whisper.
  4. For the next 4 minutes, say the sound silently to yourself.
  5. Then reverse the order, whispering for 2 minutes, and then out loud for 2 minutes, for a total of 12 minutes.
  6. To come out of the exercise, inhale very deeply, stretch your hands above your head, and then bring them down slowly in a sweeping motion as you exhale.

The mudras, or finger positions, are very important in this kriya (see illustration below).

  • On Saa, touch the index fingers of each hand to your thumbs.
  • On Taa, touch your middle fingers to your thumbs.
  • On Naa, touch your ring fingers to your thumbs.
  • On Maa, touch your little fingers to your thumbs.

Can I do it by myself at home?

Certainly! I designed this simple handout for you so you can start practicing at home today. Please click here to download your copy.  We recommend following along with this video here to use as a beautiful guide: Kirtan Kriya Video.  Here’s an explanation video.

In Summary

We hope you find this a powerful and enjoyable exercise and we hope that this information is useful for you on your journey for the best cognitive health. If you’d like personal support in this process please click here to learn more about our Happy Health Brain Longevity Program. Also, be sure to check out our entire series on cognitive health by clicking the links below:

Guide To Boosting Your Cognitive Health Part 1: Nutrition

Guide To Boosting Your Cognitive Health Part 2:  Lifestyle Tips

Guide To Boosting Your Cognitive Health Part 3: Kirtan Kriya

Guide To Boosting Your Cognitive Health Part 4: The Ketogenic Diet

Guide To Boosting Your Cognitive Health Part 5: Is your blood sugar affecting your brain?

PS: You are invited to click here to sign up for our free 14 Days to Health Video Series and to join our Facebook group for personal support: The Happy Health Community. 


Please view our resources listed below: 

Kirtan Kriya Yoga Singing Exercise

Journal Articles

Arizona Geriatrics Society Journal
Title: Kirtan Kriya Yoga Meditation: A New Dimension in Alzheimer’s Prevention
Khalsa, DS.
Arizona Geriatrics Society Journal. 2013; 18(2):12-16
Published October 2013

Complementary Therapies in Medicine
Title: A randomized controlled trial of two simple mind-body programs,
Kirtan Kriya meditation and music listening, for adults with subjective
cognitive decline: Feasibility and acceptability
Available online 5 March 2016
Kim E. Innes, Terry Kit Selfe, Dharma Singh Khalsa, Sahiti Kandati. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 26 (2016) 98–107
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2016.03.002

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/prime-your-gray-cells/201606/yoga-and-kirtan-kriya-meditation-bolster-brain-functioning

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Functional Medicine Webinar Recording

Patient-centered care is what sets functional medicine above all else. This integrative, science-based healthcare approach has been noted as the wave of the future.

Our goal is to share with you an in-depth look into functional medicine, why it’s our preferred treatment method, and how it helps. The Way Of The Future “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” -Thomas Edison Functional medicine has been a long time coming!

While conventional medicine certainly has a place, functional medicine is better suited for chronic conditions and getting to the root of the cause, not just masking it. The National Institutes of Health defines conventional medicine as “A system in which medical doctors and other healthcare professionals treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery.”

The key point is symptom treatment. Functional medicine approaches healthcare more holistically by examining every factor involved including, symptoms, genes, environment, and lifestyle to treat the causes of disease, not just the symptoms.

According to the Institute for Functional Medicine, functional medicine was developed based on the understanding of “the importance of an individualized approach to disease causes based on the evolving research in nutritional science, genomics, and epigenetics.”