The Invisible Weight Many of us Carry: Uncovering the Roots of Anxiety and Depression

lifestyle medicine Apr 12, 2024

Do you find yourself in a constant battle with overwhelming anxiety, debilitating fatigue, and a pervasive sense of dread - even when there's no obvious external cause? You're not alone.

Too often, mental health challenges like these are chalked up to simple "stress" or "chemical imbalances" that can be resolved with medication and generic advice. But what if we're missing the bigger picture?

The truth is, the roots of many mental health struggles can be found not just in the mind, but in underlying physiological imbalances that conventional medicine often overlooks. Imbalances in your sleep patterns, your breathing, and the delicate functioning of your autonomic nervous system may be the true culprits fueling your anxiety, depression, and other troubling symptoms.

It's a concept that may seem counterintuitive at first. After all, how can a physical issue be the driving force behind such deeply psychological challenges? But when you consider the profound mind-body connection, it...

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When Life Feels like Survival Rather than Living: The Highs and Lows of Dysautonomia

lifestyle medicine Apr 11, 2024

As someone living with dysautonomia, I know all too well the challenges of navigating the constant ups and downs. When I reflect on the season when my health was at its absolute worst, I remember that some days, even the most basic tasks like showering would leave me feeling utterly drained. The anticipation of social events or outings, which should bring excitement, would instead fill me with dread and anxiety. Especially before knowing what was going on with my body, I felt as if I was trapped in a body that just didn't seem to get the memo. My mind was so ready to tackle the day's responsibilities - the dishes, the family obligations, the plans with friends, an 8 hour work day that felt more like bootcamp than normality. My autonomic nervous system had other plan that my mind was not ready nor willing to accept. Stuck inside the survival mode that is sympathetic dominance, triggering a cascade of symptoms that left me feeling powerless.. and less than thriving in...

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Unlocking the Secrets of Emotional Eating: Insights from Our Metabolic Group Visit

At our recent metabolic group visit, Dr. Cheng Ruan shared a fascinating framework for understanding the psychological and emotional drivers behind weight struggles, eating habits, and behavioral changes. Through his expertise in integrative medicine, Dr. Ruan introduced us to the concept of the four key "archetypes" - Warrior, Sovereign, Magician, and Lover.

Understanding how each archetype is linked to unique patterns of emotional eating was eye-opening. And most importantly, Dr. Ruan explained how by tackling these deep-rooted thought processes, we can truly get to the heart of unhealthy behaviors and forge a path towards sustainable weight management and metabolic health.

Let's dive into each of the four archetypes in more detail:

The Warrior Individuals with a Warrior archetype are often driven, ambitious, and hyper-focused on achievement. However, this single-minded pursuit of goals can lead to burnout, stress, and emotional eating as a coping mechanism. Warriors may use food...

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Manage Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome/Hypermobility with Tai Chi

lifestyle medicine Apr 10, 2024

For those living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), finding ways to stay active and care for the body can be a real challenge. Many individuals with EDS are drawn to high-impact martial arts in their youth, such as Tae Kwon Do, heavy weight training, HIIT, etc. However, as hypermobility issues and joint problems become more apparent, they often have to step away from these demanding sports in order to protect their bodies.

Despite this difficult choice, those with EDS are determined not to give up the physical, mental, and cultural benefits they gained from martial arts training. This is where the ancient Chinese practice of Tai Chi has proven to be a game-changer.

Tai Chi is often described as "moving meditation" - a gentle, flowing form of exercise that combines slow, deliberate movements with deep breathing and mindfulness. Unlike the high-impact routines of before, Tai Chi is extremely low-impact and focused on control, stability, and alignment. As research has shown, it offers...

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Banish Snoring and Sleep Apnea with These Mouth and Throat Exercises

lifestyle medicine Apr 09, 2024

Are you one of the millions of people who struggles with snoring or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)? These common sleep issues don't just disrupt your partner's rest - they can have serious impacts on your own health and wellbeing.

But there's good news - research has shown that easy, at-home mouth and throat exercises can help tone the muscles in your airway, reducing snoring and improving sleep apnea. As a board-certified sleep medicine specialist, I've seen firsthand how these simple exercises can make a big difference.

In this blog post, I'll share the top exercises you can do to strengthen your tongue, face, and throat muscles - and get better sleep as a result.

Why Do We Snore and Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea? Snoring happens when the tissue in the back of the throat becomes relaxed and floppy during sleep. As air is forced through, it causes this tissue to vibrate, creating that familiar snoring sound.

Obstructive sleep apnea takes this one step further. In OSA, the airway...

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Reasons why you Can't stop Overeating (that have nothing to do with willpower)

When we struggle with overeating, it's easy to beat ourselves up over a perceived lack of willpower or self-control. However, there are often deeper root causes behind the drive to consume excess calories. By understanding some of these underlying factors, we can implement tailored solutions to tackle over eating. 

Lack of Quality Sleep: If you're not getting enough sleep or struggling with a sleep disorder like sleep apnea or untreated narcolepsy, your body produces excess levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. Sleep deprivation also throws off blood sugar regulation, leading to increased hunger the next day. If you suspect any sleep issues, discuss your symptoms with your provider to see if a sleep study may be beneficial. If you struggle with getting enough hours of sleep, try creating a structured sleep routine to implement every night. We recommend avoiding screen time at least 2-3 hours before your bedtime. Try reading, going for an evening walk, listening to binaural...

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Honoring Renewal This Easter! Make your traditions Non-toxic!

lifestyle medicine Mar 27, 2024

As we welcome spring and the Easter season, it's a beautiful time to embrace themes of rebirth, renewal, and enjoying nourishing traditions with loved ones. At our integrative clinic, we believe celebrating holidays mindfully is an important part of a balanced lifestyle. Here are a few ways you can celebrate minfully and set new intentions this spring! 

Embrace Mindfulness: In the spirit of springtime renewal, Easter can be a lovely opportunity to restart healthy habits and shed what isn't serving you and your goals for this year. Try a digital detox, recommit to a meditation practice, or go for a vigor-inducing hike in nature's newly blossoming landscapes. Spring is symbolic of new ideas, creativity, and productivity. If spring cleaning helps you to declutter and make room for new ideas, now is the time! 

Of course, the heart of Easter still revolves around coming together with family or chosen family. Enjoy quality time free of hustle, reconnecting over...

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Next Culinary Group Topic: Cooking Foods for Medicine and Joy!

lifestyle medicine Mar 26, 2024

At our integrative medicine clinic, we believe food is foundational for health and healing. What we put on our plates each day has a profound impact on how we feel mentally, physically and emotionally. That's why we host weekly culinary medicine group visits to help patients discover the joy of cooking nourishing foods to treat chronic conditions and build a healthy lifestyle.

This Tuesday at 3 PM, our culinary medicine group visit will explore "Cooking Foods for Medicine and Joy." We'll discuss simple, delicious recipes that bring pleasure and satisfaction to the cooking process itself - not just eating the final dish.

Studies show that taking the time to prepare your own meals mindfully can increase gratitude, improve mood, and help you become more attuned to your body's hunger and fullness cues. The very act of choosing fresh, wholesome ingredients and combining them into something delicious is an act of self-care.

At the same time, many of our favorite comforting recipes are...

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What is Bioindividuality?

lifestyle medicine Mar 22, 2024

At Texas Center for Lifestyle Medicine, we believe in the transformative potential of personalized care. We understand that each individual is beautifully unique, shaped by a complex interplay of genetics, upbringing, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices. This understanding forms the cornerstone of our approach to healthcare, guiding us as we craft tailored solutions that honor your bioindividuality and empower you to thrive.

What is Bioindividuality?

Bioindividuality is the recognition that no two individuals are alike, particularly when it comes to health and wellness. It acknowledges the profound impact of genetic predispositions, environmental exposures, and personal lifestyle choices on overall well-being. Just as our fingerprints are unique to each of us, so too are our bodies' responses to various stimuli, including the nutrients we consume, the supplements we take, and the lifestyle habits we adopt.

Why Personalized Care Matters

  1. Precision in Supplement...

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Why healing with a Community is Key

lifestyle medicine Mar 14, 2024

In our fast-paced, interconnected world, it's ironic that many of us feel isolated and disconnected, especially when navigating the complexities of chronic illness. At Texas Center for Lifestyle Medicine, we understand the profound impact isolation can have on health and well-being. That's why we started our group visit programs in 2019, designed to foster community, support, and empowerment for those managing chronic conditions. We've come a long way and have even added different types of group visits that are diagnosis-specific to bring like-minded individuals together who share similar struggles. 

Living with a chronic illness is a journey filled with challenges, from managing symptoms to navigating treatment options. One of the most significant hurdles individuals face is the sense of isolation that often accompanies their condition. When flare-ups occur or symptoms worsen, it can be difficult to maintain social connections. Others may not understand the unique struggles...

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