Pain and the brain: How perception, mindfulness and personal experience all play a critical role in managing pain

The human experience and pain are symbiotic; pain is universal, yet highly individualized. We need to feel pain to navigate and survive in our environments. Our reaction to pain is formed at an evolutionary level, meaning our primitive brain reacts and starts a cascade of physiological events. However, pain is a complex phenomenon, in that each person experiences it differently making the experience subjective, with no specific diagnostic tools to accurately capture the full capacity of the situation.

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Acute vs. chronic pain: What’s the difference and why do treatment options need to vary?

Understanding pain, and the suffering that it causes, still eludes us despite decades of research in the field.

Chronic pain is recognized as the most frequent cause of disability in the United States and many other industrialized nations today. The diagnosis, physiology, symptoms and treatment of acute vs. chronic pain are quite different and require separate consideration.

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Cool down and energize on hot Tahoe mornings

I don't know about you, but these peak-of-summer mornings are getting a little too hot for a steaming cup of coffee. Yes, yes, iced coffee is an easy option but as we love all things health and wellness related, we thought we'd look for some awesome alternatives to that morning cup of Joe that will help refresh, hydrate, boost you up and give you a glow.

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Summer superfoods to cool down

It's hot! And we're all reaching for a drink to help us hydrate, replenish ourselves and cool down.

It's all too easy to crack an ice cold beer at this time of year, or sip on an iced latte on route to the beach, but how can we really maximize the benefits of our daily hydration options?

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Slow down, you’ll get there quicker

It's finally here. This most loved and hated season. The one so many of us rely on for our paychecks, and the one we so look forward to in the depths of winter. And yet, it's inextricably one that many of us despise in equal measures with the onslaught of traffic, never ending construction zones and myriad of alternative transport options that invade the sidewalks.

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Food to Help Fight Anxiety

There are lots of obvious foods and drinks that we know to exacerbate anxiety: caffeine, too much sugar, alcohol … but what if we could eat our way to being calm instead of fueling the symptoms?

Refined sugar, while giving us that initial high, can cause massive crashes in energy, lethargy and mood swings. Caffeine has a similar effect on the body after that initial burst of fire.

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Acknowledging anxiety triggers: Part 1

Do you ever wake up with a tight chest feeling like you can't quite catch your breath? Have you found yourself immobilized in a busy street while the world rushes on around you? Are there days when you notice that you can't seem to calm your mind, like it's jumped on a runaway train that's going around in circles, incessantly honking, asking you to take notice but you've no idea how to address the thoughts, or even where exactly they're coming from?

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Detox your every day with simple changes

For the past two weeks we've been talking about spring cleaning your health in this section: making the switch to spring eating, and beginning to eliminate processed and refined sugar from your diet in order to expel toxins from your body and in turn cleanse, nourish and support your liver during the change of season.

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Eating with the seasons for optimal health: Spring edition

Generally speaking, we all feel a little more inspired and uplifted come spring time. Once you catch sight of a few buds on the trees trying to burst open and there's a run of 60 degree days, we're able to start thinking about shedding a layer or two and everything seems a little more possible. It's easiest at this time of year to adopt a more positive outlook toward the future, set some goals, and let go of the heaviness and introspective nature of winter.

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Start your sugar detox now: Spring cleansing

We're all about detoxing for spring over these next few weeks, both physically and emotionally, in our houses and our diets. With that in mind, embodying a fresher mindset and starting to make the switch from earthy, warming foods, to a lighter, more cleansing palette. This is a great time of year to eliminate stimulants such as coffee and tobacco as we find ourselves being naturally boosted by the budding blossoms, change of light and overall sense of renewal.

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Lessons from the wild: Recovering from trauma

It is no secret that stress and trauma affect nearly everyone. Developmental trauma, accidents, falls, loss, abuse, violence, witnessing a horrific event, medical and/or dental procedures, ongoing fear and conflict, and chronic stress are just a few of the many experiences that can leave us feeling like we are just surviving — not thriving.

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Lessons from the Wild: Recovering from trauma (Part II)


Somatic Experiencing® was developed by Dr. Peter Levine following his observation that animals in the wild do not appear to suffer from post-traumatic stress, even though daily they are faced with life threatening situations. Dr. Levine observed the mechanisms by which animals are able to shake off the high levels of nervous system arousal and return to their daily lives. He then developed an approach to working with the human nervous system to not only reduce symptoms of stress and trauma but to also release the energy that is embedded in the underlying system. A holistic and multidisciplinary approach, SE now has over 45 years of successful clinical application in the treatment of shock and developmental trauma and is taught throughout the world as an effective method for resolving symptoms of traumatic stress.

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Does your child keep getting ear infections?

Five out of six children will have at least one ear infection by their third birthday and it is at this particular time of year that the little ones might be coming home from school repeatedly with runny noses, coughs and … ear infections.

Most ear infections are a consequence of colds that ascend along the auditory tube: in infants and preschool children we see uncharacteristic symptoms such as refusal to eat, restlessness, fidgeting with ear and even diarrhea.

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