Easy Home Tidiness Habits To Help You Reduce Stress

Coming home to a messy or cluttered house at the end of a long work day is not conducive to relaxation. It’s that simple. Stress over time can be devastating to our health, so it is important to make our homes into places of peace, a refuge from the cares of the outside world. Keeping your home tidy is an easy way to decrease stress.

Benefits of Reducing Stress

It’s no secret that stress is bad for our health. Not only can it lead to heart problems, there have been suggested links to cancer and dementia as well. Putting some time aside each day to relax, to have a peaceful space where you can let go of your worries, may aid your physical health. You may help reduce your risk of high blood pressure or even heart attacks if you take time to relax. Stress can impair memory and your ability to learn, and, as mentioned, may be a factor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Aside from physical benefits, you may simply feel happier if you consciously choose to unwind each day. Stress may trigger relapses in depression and can lead to the buildup of cortisol, which can dampen the brain’s ability to produce serotonin and dopamine. Overall, it’s a good idea to make sure you have a space you can relax in every single day. Cleaning your home and making sure it is organized can help to create that environment.

Organization Practices

Part of keeping your home tidy and stress-free is having a good organization system in place. Lazy Susans can be used in more places than the kitchen cupboard. Clear up counter space in your bathroom by putting your lotions, face creams, toothpaste, or whatever you use daily on a lazy Susan to give you easy access and keep counters from being cluttered. Organize your linen closet by keeping sheets neat and folded together inside a pillow case. Add hooks or shelves to your bedroom to make sure you don’t leave jackets lying on floors, and books or purses askew on the bedside table.

Focus on the Bedroom

If you focus on creating a relaxing environment in one room, make it your bedroom. This should be your sanctuary from the rest of the world. Keep your chest of drawers tidy by using dividers so your clothes won’t be mixed and messy. Using multiple waste bins around the room can keep floors clear. If you are tight on space, you can transform your headboard into shelving, which can double as a nightstand as well. Whatever you do, make sure you keep your room feeling light and as stress-free as possible. This is the place you sleep, perhaps meditate, and should be a place of calm serenity. Adding scented candles in your preferred fragrance or using warmed oils can aid in relaxation. Hang soothing art and use light fixtures that make you feel at home in your bedroom.

A Home for Everything

It’s so easy, especially after having a long, tiring day, to strip your work day away when you get home. Your keys may go on the table and your shoes may wind up beneath the couch. Your purse may lie on the kitchen counter, and your jacket may end up half on a chair, half on the floor. This clutter can make a space, especially a small one, feel claustrophobic. Take fifteen minutes to assign “homes” for your high-use items. Make it a ritual to put things in their place right when you get home. Having a clear space with tidy walkways not only makes being home easier, but it feels like a breath of fresh air.

Your home should not add to anxiety or the stresses in your life. It should be your refuge and be somewhere you can safely unwind. By making little changes, you can ensure that your house is the perfect place to relax at the end of each day.

About Our Guest Author:

Alice Robertson began her career in the home organization industry as a professional house cleaner. After cleaning and organizing her clients’ homes for years, she decided to open her own home organization business. Over the years, she has built an impressive client list, helping to make spaces in homes and businesses more functional. She recently created tidyhome.info as a place to share the great cleaning and organizing advice she has developed over the years.

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Eating Better to Help Neuropathy

Do you remember why we eat? It’s to provide fuel and “building blocks” so our bodies can function smoothly, and repair themselves. Eating Better to Help Neuropathy can help you improve your neuropathy treatment!

In our last few posts I’ve talked about how simple a neuropathy diet can, and should be most of the time

Do you remember though, why we eat? It’s to provide fuel and “building blocks” so our bodies can function smoothly, and repair themselves. Thinking very consciously about this really can help you change your neuropathy treatment!

One of the biggest things I find that helps us is always having a powerful image of how we want to feel, and function! Think about it. Would you rather be building your body with empty calories from highly refined foods or from fresh, “live” foods such as vegetables, fruits and so on.

As part of good neuropathy treatment we are trying to stop or reduce “Inflammation”, the cause of much pain and suffering.

Neuropathy patients especially, need to be able to repair their bodies better, maintain an even blood sugar, and also provide things like magnesium, and vitamins.

In neuropathy, magnesium can help ease pain and restore better sleep. In our neuropathy diet, this would be from eating our leafy green vegetables, fruits and nuts and as part of our supplementations.

The B Vitamins especially help our nerve cells work better. A key neuropathy vitamin is B1 or Thiamine. This one is crucial in neuropathy and diabetes as it helps your body “burn” starches and sugars, commonly called carbs now a days.

Plant food sources of thiamine include  nuts, oats, oranges, seeds, legumes, peas and yeast. Cereals are limited in the neuropathy diet, but small portions of things like whole oats: (hint: always measure) can help your belly work better and help keep cholesterol levels in check.

One of my favorite ways to start the day is with ¼ cup gluten free granola with almonds, then, add 1 tablespoon of our pea protein powder, and finally a splash of soy or almond milk. You’ll be keeping your carbs around 15-20 grams and be getting a head start on vitamins if you do this right.

A final word about neuropathy treatment supplements. Neuropathy treatment supplements are often advised in the NeuropathyDR clinics, always under supervision, and knowing what medicines you may be taking.

But always remember, the foundation of your best  treatment at home should be eating better to help your neuropathy and prescribed activity, with co-treatments directed by your NeuropathyDR clinician.

*For more information on neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://NeuropathyDR.com.

Patients and Doctors are invited to call us at 781-659-7989 at 12:30 EST Monday, Wednesday and Thursday to talk with the next available senior clinician.

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Emotional Support is Vital for Those Who Suffer with Chronic Pain

Don’t go it alone. Here’s why accepting support from family and friends is so important in treating chronic pain.

Although it may be a shocking idea, your personal support network may be equally as important to your health as your medical treatment team—or any kind of supplemental therapies.

Why? Because the bottom line is that a positive outlook is the best medicine for good health outcomes. If you are feeling contented and supported in your personal relationships, you’ll be much better equipped to cope with pain when it arises.

Unfortunately, many people find it hard to ask for help from their family and friends. We may have heard the message that it was weak or shameful to be dependent on others.

The truth is that when we are able to accept love and support, we’re better equipped to be as independent as possible in our daily lives.

Make a list of people in your life who have helped you in big and small ways in the past, as well as people that would probably be willing to help now if you were to ask.

Now, think about the things that are making your life the most difficult or stressful right now. This list could be anything from a leaky faucet in your kitchen to a pile of medical bills. Just get it all down on paper.

Finally, begin matching the list of stress points with the list of helpers in your life. Who could come over and fix that leaky faucet for you? Who could help you make phone calls to arrange a payment plan for those bills?

You will find that most of the people on your list are grateful for a chance to help you—they just didn’t know what to do that would be truly helpful. And when your stress level decreases (now that the leaky faucet or pile of bills is a thing of the past), your overall health will be optimized. That means chronic pain becomes less of a burden because you’re better able to cope with it.

Building your support network is just one way that you can take control of your own health and overcome chronic pain.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscribe to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

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How to Use Meditation for Chronic Neuropathy Treatment

Chronic neuropathy treatment can be supported with meditation—and it doesn’t have to be fancy, structured, or even spiritual in nature. Here’s a list of 5 ways to begin a meditation practice today on your own, for free.

When you think of meditation, do you picture a very serene-looking monk sitting cross-legged on a cushion? Or maybe a young man or woman in yoga gear on a cliff by the ocean? Maybe you’ve heard that there’s only one right way to meditate, and you’d need to watch a DVD or attend a class to find out how.

Well I have great news for you! The truth is that you don’t need a class, a DVD, or a perfect body to meditate. You don’t even have to sit on a cushion on the floor. Best of all, meditating is so easy, you can start today.

Here are 5 kinds of meditation that don’t require any kind of training. You can start with just 5 or 10 minutes each day.

1. Sitting meditation

Sitting doesn’t have to mean sitting on a cushion. You can sit upright in any chair that is comfortable for you. The key factor is in having appropriate posture. Think of your head as a balloon that is rising toward the ceiling on a string; let it float over your shoulders. Now think of having a strong, upright back and an open, receiving heart. Sit in this way for 5 to 10 minutes and just notice any thoughts or feelings that arise, like clouds floating by in the sky.

2. Walking meditation

This is a special way of walking that holds less danger of repetitive stress, because you won’t cover much ground in 5 minutes. It might more accurately be called balancing meditation. Simply slow down each step and notice every aspect of it: shifting your weight onto one foot, letting the other foot rise forward, contacting the ground, shifting your weight again. Then repeat on the other side. It’s just like walking, but at a glacial pace that allows you to really notice the sensations of movement and balance.

3. Meditating in bed

For those who find sitting or walking meditation too painful due to neuropathy symptoms, the wonderful thing to know about meditation is that you can do it in any position—even lying down. (The Buddha himself said so!) The key practice isn’t your body position, although it’s best to be in a posture that allows for effective breathing. Instead, the key is in noticing sensations and thoughts and simply allowing them to pass by without judgment.

4. Mindfully doing a creative act

Meditation doesn’t even have to happen in stillness. It’s possible to engage in a daily meditative practice involving any creative act, such as cooking or creating music. Again, the key to a meditative practice is in being fully aware in each moment of how you are feeling, what you’re thinking, and what judgments are arising about the situation. If you find that your attention drifts, just gently bring it back to this moment.

5. Mindfully completing any household chore

Finally, meditation works with any activity, regardless of its nature. The dullest of household chores can be a form of meditation if they are done mindfully—that is, with your attention on sensation and awareness. For example, when you are washing the dishes after dinner, spend those 10 minutes noticing how the soapy water feels on your hands and being aware of the pattern of your breathing.

Meditation of any kind can be an effective stress relief and a self-help supplement for your chronic neuropathy treatment.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscribe to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

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Is Peripheral Neuropathy Causing Your Sleep Disturbances?

For Peripheral Neuropathy Sufferers, Sleep Disturbances Can Cause Serious Symptom that Can’t Be Ignored

Did you know that more than 70 percent of people with neuropathy also struggle with insomnia? When chronic pain and tingling in feet or hands is keeping you awake at night, it’s a good bet that you’re not getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep that you need for good overall health.

There are mixed reasons why neuropathic pain is tied to sleep problems. Pain associated with peripheral neuropathy has a tendency to feel more intense at night, when you’re tired and when there are fewer distractions available to break your focus on the pain.

What’s more, there may be another strong tie between insomnia and neuropathy. Sleep apnea is a very common cause of sleep disorders, and research has indicated that untreated sleep apnea can actually lead to peripheral neuropathy symptoms. And if you’re diabetic and resistant to insulin, sleep apnea may be even more likely to affect your neuropathy.

Of course, it stands to reason that lack of adequate sleep can make your peripheral neuropathy symptoms seem even worse than before. It’s a fact that lack of sleep tends to lower one’s pain threshold significantly.

Here are some of our guidelines for improving sleep when dealing with peripheral neuropathy:

  • Limit your caffeine intake, especially in the afternoon and evening.
  • Institute a sleep routine that helps you wind down at night and go to sleep at about the same time every evening.
  • Don’t eat a large or heavy meal late in the evening. If your body is hard at work on digestion, it’s not resting.
  • Make any needed changes to your bedroom to induce restful sleep, including temperature, darkness, and noise.
  • Limit electronics at night, including television, computers, and any handheld devices. These have a stimulating effect on your brain. If you need an activity to help you sleep, try reading an actual book!

These are simple guidelines that can help you institute lasting positive change in your sleep patterns, hopefully leading to reduced peripheral neuropathy discomfort. But true relief can come only with the support of a trained NeuropathyDR clinician who can tailor the treatment to your specific needs. Click here to find a NeuropathyDR clinician in your area.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscribe to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

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Eating More Often Can Manage Neuropathy and Weight

Eating more frequently will stimulate your metabolism—or, how efficiently you burn versus store fat, keep your blood sugar even, and help keep you warmer. Eating more frequently can also help patients who are dealing with neuropathy and weight issues that can arise from their medical condition(s).

On the surface, a statement like that might seem wrong. After all, isn’t eating at the root of weight gain, obesity, and its complications? To a point, yes. This is especially true when we consume far more calories in one sitting then we need, and load our meals with carbohydrates and poor-quality fats.

But a little-known fact is that when we eat less frequently, we become much more efficient at storing fat rather than burning it.

So what does this have to do with managing peripheral neuropathy?

Neuropathy and Weight

The bottom line is, eating more frequently will stimulate your metabolism—or, how efficiently you burn fat versus store fat, keep your blood sugar more even, and actually help keep you warmer. For patients who suffer from peripheral neuropathy, all of these improvements are crucial.

But this does not mean you can eat anything you want. What we do know is that by consuming relatively low amounts of carbohydrates in our meals, along with periodic snacks, we become much more efficient metabolically.

What I tell all my neuropathy patients—and, indeed, every patient—is to try to eat something not more than three hours apart. For example, you will start your breakfast with something like a protein shake, or a small serving of steel-cut oatmeal with a little added fat, perhaps some berries. Approximately two hours later, you’ll have six to 10 almonds, or perhaps another lean, low-carbohydrate snack if allergies are a problem.

Now, if you are insulin-dependent diabetic, some of what I say here will not apply, so please be careful here.

Again, this points out the need to work with well-trained neuropathy treatment professionals to truly manage your peripheral neuropathy and weight issues, indeed, your health in general.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.

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Don’t Fall for Quick Fixes and Miracle Cures

The one most important thing you can do as a neuropathy patient or family member is to do your homework, very carefully! Don’t Fall for Quick Fixes and Miracle Cures.

You know what I’m talking about

You have seen these ads for miracle cures as often as I have. ”Take this one miraculous supplement and your neuropathy will disappear.” Sometimes it’s just, “put this into your shoes and watch the miracles begin.”

Unfortunately, as you well know, neuropathy and most forms of chronic pain (like fibromyalgia and arthritis) need a multi-pronged approach in order for patients to improve—or, whenever possible, recover!

You also understand that quality-of-life is the most important objective for any neuropathy or chronic pain patient.

Now, I’d be the last to want to discount the value of good marketing… just as long as the solutions are ethical and viable.

But I will repeatedly tell you that the one most important thing you can do as a neuropathy patient or family member is to do your homework, very carefully!

This is exactly why at our centers we advocate a multi-pronged approach to treatment. There is no one magic nutrient, therapy, or technique that by itself is going to restore your health immediately.

This is a fact. What is most important, however, is that you keep yourself on track, making incremental—but definite—progress, on a daily basis!

You know I write about this extensively: things such as maintaining a carbohydrate controlled, dairy and gluten-free diet, getting as much physical activity as your condition allows, and really taking the time to understand the impact that a high-sugar and carbohydrate diet has on your health—and how destructive this can be. Understand that sitting for as little as 90 minutes at a time can slow your metabolism dramatically.

All of these things we have written or spoken about on our radio shows and articles during the last 90 days.

Above all, it is critical to be working with healthcare professionals, who are on your side and encourage you to improve your health—not just calm your neuropathy symptoms with medication.

This is what we do all day long—train chronic pain health care professionals to be their very best for you!

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.

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What Is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless Leg Syndrome can occur alongside peripheral neuropathy, or in patients who suffer from spinal stenosis. Patients with degenerative disc disease may also have RLS-like symptoms.

Very commonly, peripheral neuropathy is associated with profound sleep disturbance. In fact, sometimes this is what alerts the patient and the physicians that something is seriously wrong.

Perhaps, you may have heard of RLS, or Restless Leg Syndrome. RLS is a condition that is very common, and just like peripheral neuropathy, is often associated with other disorders.

Most commonly, patients will feel the sensation of crampiness, or an urgent need to move their legs about. This occurs during or at the hour of sleep.

We do know that RLS can occur alongside peripheral neuropathy. Another place where RLS like symptoms occur in the clinic, is in patients who suffer from a condition called spinal stenosis. Likewise, patients with degenerative disc disease may also have RLS-like symptoms.

We do know that just like neuropathy, patients that suffer from kidney disease, diabetes, may be predisposed towards developing RLS. Patients who consume caffeine, or take calcium-channel blockers may also suffer from RLS.

Just like in peripheral neuropathy, RLS is not always confined to the feet.

People can experience RLS-like symptoms in the upper thighs, or even the arms. Often, it is only movement, such as walking around, that stops the symptoms.

Although medication provides relief for some, it is important to pay attention to the factors that cause or worsen RLS and peripheral neuropathy.

And one of the biggest things that aggravate both of these conditions is emotional stress and upset.

Here’s the kicker, sleep disturbance is the major negative health impact of RLS. You may also be aware that sleep disturbance is one of the surest ways to aggravate almost any underlying health condition.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.

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Best Treatments for Common Neuropathy Forms

There is good potential for improvement, and even recovery, in common neuropathy forms in many patients. You need to make sure you are doing your part, but also that your treating clinician is doing everything they can for you as well!

If you are reading this, you already know something about peripheral neuropathy. You probably know millions are afflicted.

But you may not know there are many types: the most common ones are due to chemotherapy drugs, diabetes, and pre-diabetes, or metabolic syndrome.

In fact, metabolic syndrome may very well be responsible for the majority of cases that are now labeled “Idiopathic”. The Idiopathic means we just aren’t sure what the cause is.

Nevertheless, there is good potential for improvement, and even recovery, in these common neuropathy forms in many patients.

But recovery depends upon stimulating your healing capacity.

And there are several good tools which can help do just that. For example, we know a low-carb diet (I also prefer gluten and dairy-free), stopping smoking, and losing weight is key. Exercise and rehab under supervision often make a big difference too.

Research tells us our body produces substances that help nerves heal. These are called neurotropins.

So, what are the best ways to help your body along?

Well, in addition to the things we just mentioned, maintaining good mental health is key. In fact, one study showed significantly higher levels of neurotropins in people who “were in love”!

The same study also looked at electric stimulation. The results were somewhat surprising. Indications are: less is often more!

In this study, neuropathy treatment electrotherapies that are too powerful, administered for too long, or too high a frequency produced less than favorable results.

We also know that accommodation to treatment is a factor. This occurs when our bodies “get used to” any one therapy, or even a drug. It also helps explain why patient progress can seemingly plateau.

All of this highlights the need for a comprehensive approach to neuropathy treatment.

You need to make sure you are doing your part, but also that your treating clinician is doing everything they can for you as well!

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.

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Understanding Shotgun Therapy

Patients who become the most proactive in their personalized neuropathy treatment programs always do the best.

Shotgun therapy is a term applied in medicine when multiple therapies that are sometimes not exactly complimentary are presented to patients. Don’t get me wrong; sometimes in health crises this can be lifesaving!

But too often, it is we as patients who are guilty of this.

A big example of shotgun therapy is the widespread usage of over the counter cold and pain medications. This has long been a concern of pharmacists and healthcare professionals alike.

Due to a wide degree of variability in patient responses, there are many OTC drug and dietary supplement combinations out there that are probably not beneficial.

Too often herbal based dietary supplements, yes even sometimes those prescribed for neuropathy patients, fall into this category. Far too many of these “neuropathy” treatment formulas have multiple ingredients that can interact in unknown ways.

And unbeknownst to you as a patient, this shotgun therapy approach may actually be more harmful and not helpful.

As I’m sure you are aware, peripheral neuropathy can be a very frustrating condition to treat.

But one of the most frustrating things for both doctors and patients alike is where no clear neuropathy treatment plan is identified.

Every therapy and every medication you take must be part of an overall neuropathy treatment strategy. Even if that strategy is a trial to see what works best for you!

This is why those patients who become the most proactive in their personalized neuropathy treatment programs always do the best.

So as frustrating as it may be at times, I encourage you to learn as much about your underlying condition and neuropathy treatment options as possible, but do your best to avoid shotgun therapy.

Even if it’s not 100% clear on what the underlying cause of your peripheral neuropathy is, the good news is proven strategies now exist for effectively treating many forms of peripheral neuropathy.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.

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