Mitochondria & Health

The mitochondria inside every cell of your body are responsible for creating the energy that is needed for that cell to perform it’s role inside the tissues, organs and systems of the body. Each cell has 100s to 1000s of mitochondria and some perform better than others. The more well performing mitochondria each cell has, the more energy it provides to the cells, and the better the cell performs.

Virtually all leading causes of death and major diseases are linked to mitochondrial dysfunction. It’s becoming more common that someone you know will have signs of early aging, fatty liver, migraine headaches, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, autism, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, obesity, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple sclerosis, autoimmune disorders such as lupus & Sjogren’s and cancer.

To answer the question of how can we support and encourage healthy mitochondria, it’s useful to know what causes mitochondria damage or dysfunction. As these chronic diseases are all becoming more prominent in society, it’s quite obvious to me, what the causative factors are. We have fake “foods” that line the grocery store shelves which provide very little real nutrients. We have more and more chemical toxins in our environment and food every day. We have busy lifestyles that move further away from nature and our natural cycles with nature. And we have a confused society whom have lost sight of their spirit, strength and autonomy in their own state of health. The major causes of mitochondrial dysfunction are toxic metals and other environmental pollutants, alcohol, cocaine, free radicals (oxidative stress), chronic stress, and many prescription drugs such as Acetaminophen, antibiotics, Aspirin, AZT, Griseofulvin, Indomethacin, methamphetamines, l-DOPA, NSAIDs, statins.

Avoiding and eliminating these from your life will not only start to reverse mitochondrial dysfunction, it will also change society better in where you “put your money”, what companies you want to have power in this world. But it doesn’t stop there. The mitochondria also needs to be nourished and supported with healthy fats, B-vitamins: especially 1 (thiamin), 2 (riboflavin), 3 (niacin), protein especially amino acids: carnitine, cysteine and glutamine, minerals: especially Iron, magnesium, manganese and antioxidants such as CoQ10, glutathione, ALA, resveratrol, NAC, vitamin E, proanthocyanidins, melatonin, pyrroloquinoline quinone.

Supporting your mitochondria is the key to gaining vitality and balance back into your life. To do this involves decreasing exposure to all toxins (cleaning, agricultural, cosmetic, food, etc.), using natural methods when possible to replace pharmaceuticals, increasing consumption of antioxidants and nutrients especially beneficial to mitochondria, managing stress, getting adequate rest and respecting natural circadian rhythm. Of course the mitochondria also has a natural cycle, which involves death and birth. Autophagy and mitophagy are natural processes of recycling old cells/mitochondria so that new healthy ones can take it’s place. This can be attained through fasting, cold exposure, ketogenic diet and strength training.

The spring cleanse in May will provide a full package, holistic program to support your mitochondrial health and reboot your entire system!

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    herbal tea

    Stay Healthy Naturally

    Health is simply a state of balance or homeostasis, when all functions in the body are working cohesively to bring about optimal vitality. Staying healthy therefore involves a holistic approach to supporting all the systems in the body.

    The foundation of natural health is based on the understanding that the body is intelligent and there is a vital force directed to work 24/7 to come back into balance. All a person needs to do is support this natural force and the systems, organs and tissues involved.

    Probably the first and most important way to stay healthy is to prevent getting sick. Through my observation, in our modern day culture, stress is the number one cause of lowering immune system and a person getting sick. Stress can come in the form of physical, mental/emotional or spiritual. There are also different forms of each of these categories as well. For example, physical stress can be lack of sleep, too much exercise, eating junk food, or an open wound. Emotional stress could come from watching the news and staying in a fear state, depression, “heart break” or any emotion that over powers the natural state of balance. First identify what is the stress, learn how to manage and applying the changes is essential in staying healthy.

    1. Some ways to reduce stress
      1. Take time to do nothing, sleep
      2. Meditation
      3. Gentle exercise: yoga, walking, Qi gong
      4. Avoid overeating and eating the wrong foods/drinks.
      5. Change your perspective. Reflection with gratitude. Love and Laugh

    As stated above, we have natural mechanisms in our highly sophisticated and intelligent biology to keep us healthy and warding off potential pathogens. This is typically considered the first line of defense of the immune system. It is the innate immune system. The innate immune system is extremely sophisticated and massive. The innate immune system includes your:

    • Skin & microbiome
    • Mucus membrane & microbiome
    • Stomach Acid
    • White blood cells (immune cells that are designed to “attack” and clean up unwanted cells)
    • Bodily responses: coughing, sneezing, runny nose, tearing, fever, loss appetite

    Ways to support your innate immune system include:

    1. Listen to your body’s responses such as fever and coughing, and support it. Do not suppress it with drugs. There are herbs which can minimize the discomfort and severity if these symptoms become dangerous, but understand and trust your body is trying to heal.
    2. Skin care. Use natural nourishing products free from synthetic fragrances and oils which will further burden your immune system and disrupt your microflora.
    3. Maintain healthy mucus membrane through good hydration, hygiene and breathing exercises.
    4. Make sure you have adequate nutrients that are essential for the immune system: Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamins D-C-A-E, B’s, essential fatty acids.  
    5. Herbal remedies for restoring balance and specific to your particular imbalance. Some ways of using herbal remedies include:
      • Herbal Elixir: ginger, lemon, apple cider vinegar, thyme, garlic, horseradish, (honey)…
      • Herbal Tea:  turkey tail, usnea, chaga, pine needles, juniper, birch leaves, self heal,    peppermint, echinacea, licorice 
      • Herbal Soup: bone broth with ginger, shitake mushroom, garlic, astragalus, turmeric…
      • Herbal Bath: hot epsom salts bath with essential oils (lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus…), oats, chamomile, self heal

    Another very important aspect of staying healthy is to reduce your exposure to pathogens*. Some ways to reduce exposure to pathogens include:

    • Sanitation, but not sterilization so as to keep your microbiome balanced and healthy.
    • Use good quality natural products that feed your skin and microbiota. Products with petroleum based products are void of vitamins and minerals which are in good quality products. They most likely also have synthetic preservatives, additives, fragrances etc, which burden and clog you inside. Avoid synthetic and harmful cleaning products, cosmetics, scents, food, drinks, smoking, etc
    • Practice regular hygienic practices: neti pot, oral cleansing, bathing…

    * Even though we want to reduce exposure, It’s important to remember that exposure to natural biological microbes in small doses and spread out over some time is fundamental for life. A natural biological bacteria, virus, fungus, yeast etc., does not become a pathogen unless it starts to cause damage to surrounding cells. Inside our bodies there are highly sophisticated mechanisms which, as just one example, manufacture the perfect defense cells. It can only do that if it has the information of what type of defense it needs to manufacture. That’s the immune system. It is an operating system that updates itself constantly and naturally. We are part of the ecosystem of life, our microbes evolve with the outside environment’s microbes. You can not sustain health by living separate from it. Specifically what I mean is that trying to sterilize everything and burdening the body with drugs or injectables will only work against you. There are some exceptions but that topic leads into a more esoteric conversation about death.

    jen's meditation

    Heart Energy Meditation

    I wrote and recorded this short and powerful meditation for anyone who’s needing to replenish heart energy. We are powerful energetic beings capable of so much love, influence and creativity. The problem is most of us forget or just don’t know. We let circumstances of everyday stressors cloud our vitality. We coil into submission, reduce the space we take up, breath less of the air, plentiful surrounding us. Why? Because we do not know how powerful we are. We do not know our importance and the gifts we can contribute to life and community.

    If you’re ready to come out of hiding, simply listen to this meditation daily and see what beautiful magic you can create. This is my gift to you, with all my heart <3 namaste <3

    Jen Luong’s Heart Energy Meditation  ©2021 All rights reserved

    Back to Nature

    We are part of nature, connected by a fluid essence which ebbs and flows in and out of all living things. This we call energy. Nature is perfect in all it’s various forms and degrees of creation to death. Only with death we get recycling of energy, giving birth to new life. With life we turn the gears of myriad mechanisms, rippling out effects, fueling interdependently, the structures it interacts with. Whether ethereally or physically, energy travels throughout the web of life until it gets used up, transmuted, only to start again. 

    There is no need to fear death or nature. At least not chronically. By staying holistically healthy we dance with life as long as it allows us. Living with spirit is synonymous with living energetically. Spirit is our individual expression of how energy transforms our life, our being. In living with spirit we maintain the sense of freedom; because spirit is not bound to the physical flesh. This also means that you are never alone, rather you are an extension of all of life.

    Freedom is not health or happiness per se; it is not the absence, or fear of anything unwanted. It is unattachment … of emotion, of cultural expectations or pressures, of greed or physical things. Freedom is the opposite of attachment, what the Buddhist’s say is the cause of suffering. How do we live in freedom? Do you even want to live with freedom? Then we must trust nature, and live with spirit. That is all there is and all there ever was. 

    It may seem like spirit is passive and reactive, like water being directed in a river. However, water is strong and can effortlessly carve stone and destroy cities. Yet it is essential for giving and maintaining life. Be like water, natural and free. We are mostly water, so if in doubt, go back to nature for the path to freedom.

    Our Public “Health” Care

    Is our public “health” care system really encouraging health care? Let’s take a look at what health actually is to answer this question. Even according to the WHO, health is, “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. So what is the public health regime care promoting right now? Social distancing. Masking. Isolation. Lockdowns. Vaccines. Fear.

    Aside from the mountain of scientific evidence and pleas from real health care professionals, it does not take a genius to weigh out how unhealthy all of the above are. Yet the alarming rates of suicide, violence, crime and poverty all directly resulted from lockdowns are ignored to highlight the fear of a virus that on record kills less than 0.5% of the population (even this number is an over estimation).

    When we can step outside of the smoke of propaganda and fear, it’s that simple. So, to any rational, level headed person, it’s obvious that avoiding the virus is not actually the intent here. Why shut down businesses that have never been a threat? Why neglect children from activities and socialization when children it’s nearer to impossible for children to get sick from this virus? Why obsess over chemical antimicrobials when we know it’s unhealthy and impossible to live a sterile life? Why inject an experimental vaccine that has been said by the manufactures to have serious side effects including death, while not even effective in preventing transmission?

    We all know these ‘measures’ are not health promoting. Let’s just all come out and admit it now before we accept Google’s new dictionary definition of health to meaning, “a state of dependency of chemicals and centralized dictatorship”.

    Remember health is a state of balance. Where all your organ systems are functioning harmoniously. We have this innate ability and when we naturally allow and encourage these processes, we have homeostasis, health.

    happy family

    Psychosomatic Health & Disease

    Psycho refers to mind, and soma means body. By now, I expect that most people understand there is at least a connection between the mind and body. Maybe this is a new concept to you? How can that be that our thoughts can change blood pressure, or breathing changes state of mind? Maybe you’re skeptical, and that’s okay. I’ve become so much more aware as I observe human psychology now in our current situation, how easy it is to fall prey to the common narrative of the time.

    The common narrative of this time, in this part of the world wants you to believe that mind and body are separate of each other. I believe what happens in studying the systems in isolation is inevitable dissociation. Firstly, the way in which science is performed in the West is very linear and compartmentalized. It uses a language which requires articulation of tangible and measurable components. This is already difficult to do when dealing with the mind, let alone a dynamic organism with many moving pieces. Secondly, research projects have a beginning and end. There is an agenda and hypothesis as to what will be uncovered. Once the information sought after is found, a conclusion of some sort is packaged neatly into a paper and then the rest of world will be told to follow this narrative. One of the problems with this type of science is that it is not complete. This is the reason why a new discovery is always uncovered even centuries later. The other problem is that we stop questioning when such conclusions are found. And worse of all, when someone challenges this common narrative, they are put to the stake as a heretic, nut job or … conspiracy theorist.

    I digress, back on the mind body connection, for which you my reader is a believer of. To understand it is rather quite simple if you do not isolate them at all. But let’s not go there just yet. Let’s talk science. What connects the mind and body? Chemicals, specifically neuropeptides. For example, endorphin is the neuropeptide which is known as the happy hormone. Endorphins are created in the brain when triggered by many different activities such as exercise, massage, yoga, meditation, laughter… the things that already make you happy. Once released into the blood stream, they attach to opiate receptors then relaxes the mind and body even further. Remember this is just one chemical, and one example. There are many other chemicals and processes that work in integrating mind and body. However, once you understand the interconnectedness of mind-body, there’s should be no denying. Now you should now have a trail of questions:

    • What are some other peptides, hormones or chemicals which connect mind and body? NPW, NPB, NPY, … So many!
    • What systems of the body are affected by the mind? Cardiovascular, Immune, Digestive, Reproductive… ALL of them.
    • What are some other mental and physical states are affected or is a result of bodily functions? Stress, Fear, Love, ALL of them.
    • Are there synthetic or exogenous chemicals which try to mimic these endogenous chemicals? Yes, pharmaceuticals
    • If pharmaceuticals are being made, why deny the connection of mind and body? Hmmmm good question. Perhaps profit and dependency on their drugs and common narrative?

    Immune System 101

    Your immune system is your number one defense against all pathogens (disease causing agents). Is that a bold statement or the truth? Both. Why the idea that a natural defense system which is inherent and free, can be a novel idea, only tells you that our society has been so programmed to rely on drugs, vaccinations and other outside influences far too readily.

    Our bodies, and components of, have had billions of years of evolution to perfect the many processes it automatically and constantly plays out. Your immune system is just one component of this perfect design.

    The immune system comprises of anything which works to protect you from disease (dis-ease). From the outside, it starts at the skin. Your skin has trillions of cells which act as a barrier for pathogens. Some of these cells are part of you, skin cells, hair, etc. Some are also bacteria, viruses and fungi that for the most part live symbiotically on your skin to kill or deter other ‘germs’. Pathogens may also come into your body through orifices or openings such as your ears, eyes, nose, mouth, anus and vagina. These openings will have another layer of defense, aside from the microbiota, such as mucosa (tissues which produce mucus to trap and destroy pathogens) and cilia (cells with hairs to trap potential pathogens). If you ingested something that can make you sick, there is mucosa, stomach acid and physical barriers which prevent the pathogen from getting into the blood stream. If you have a cut or wounds, your body also instinctively produces clotting factors to quickly seal up potential infection sites. These are all the first line of defense which is part of the immune system.

    Once a pathogen proliferates and potentially causes dis-ease in the body, two types of immune response kicks in. One is called cell-mediated response. This is the stimulation of T cells, primarily T cytotoxic or killer cells. Cytotoxic T cells are like burly bouncers that come in and beat up infected cells to a pulp. Other immune T cells, like the bouncer’s assistance’s will try to keep the peace or clean up the mess by carrying away the beaten up infected cells. The other type of immune response is the antibody response. This is when cytokines (chemical messengers), like secret agents go around looking for riff-raff and misfits. Once they identify any cell which could cause disease or disruption to the peace, they mark them. B cells then stimulate plasma cells to produce (manufacture) antibodies. These cytokines are important for T cell, cell mediated immunity as well, as antibody immunity. Antibody immunity is when the antibodies attach to specific receptor sites of the antigen (pathogen), sort of like a bandage, keeping the cells from causing too much damage. These antibodies also act as markers. Once T cells recognize the marker, they can attack these cells.

    So as you can see, the immune system is very sophisticated and works in multiple ways alone and in combination to keep our bodies balanced and healthy. The best thing you can do is to support this natural intelligence by providing your body with moderate exercise, clean fresh air, nutritious foods and herbs, laughter and happiness. It’s all related, interconnected and essential to real sustainable health.

    Quarantine Making You Sick?

    The novel Corona virus is on everyone’s mind and the entire planet is practically shut down. Social distancing, self isolation and other measures are mandated. Practically no one is leaving or coming out of the country. But does that mean you should stay inside your house? Is it safe to spend all day inside watching depressing news and not getting any sunshine?

    No, I think this is the recipe for becoming more susceptible to getting sick. Health is more than just avoiding viruses. Health itself is a state of dynamic balance of physical, mental and emotional. Without sunshine you can become deficient in vitamin D, an essential nutrient for your immune system. Without fresh air and movement, mucus gets sluggish and starts to congest inside your respiratory tract. Without exercise, your circulation and motivation slows down. Vitality wanes, depression sets in and then starts a cycle of stress chemicals and hormones. This disrupts your health and makes you more susceptible to getting any kind of infection.

    I’m not suggesting everyone ignores government mandates. Elderly and immuno-compromised people are more at risk and so anyone in contact with them should be very careful to not transfer anything potentially dangerous. But even those people should still be getting fresh air, sunshine and some movement. They should not be infected with fear and negativity. If you can not get out for a walk, simply step out onto your doorstep, anywhere outside, do breathing exercise, sunbathing and smile. These things are free and should not offend others.

    While inside do not sit in front of your TV set all day, and worse, watching the news. News these days are not objective, without motive and political agenda. They usually highlight all things depressing, insight fear, distrust, and even hatred. If you get caught up in a dualistic battle of political or cultural differences, you are setting up your nervous system for war, and robbing your immune system of any energy required in normal everyday cleansing and processing. Obviously your ability to ward of viruses is then weakened. So while you are inside more often, fill your days with laughter, uplifting music, dance, and positive/creative energy.

    Try new healthy recipes. Eating processed and artificial foods can also make you sick. Limit these at the very least. Eliminate them if you want vitality and creativity to fuel your days. Junk foods are not only void of essential vitamins and minerals necessary for proper body function, they contain preservatives, artificial flavors and colour. They have way too much refined sugar, salt, flours, rancid vegetable fats and who knows what else. Theses chemicals burden your immune system and so again, make you weak to defend against pathogens.

    The novel coronavirus although is stirring up a frenzy, is not new. Sure it might have mutated slightly, but should not be cause of alarm for the majority of the population. In nature we have mechanisms in our body which are designed to fight off such microbes. We just need to know how to support those systems, not work against it. In many cultures viral infections is a normal part of building up the immune system. There are some uncomfortable symptoms with infections such as fevers but a fever itself is a good thing. It is a sign that your body is fighting the infection. We need to go back to knowing how to minimize the discomfort and potential dangers of infections while going through these illnesses. Even just 18 years ago, when my daughter contracted chicken pox, her day care encouraged all the children to go through it together. It was a simplier, smarter and less fearful time back then.

    Humans have been living with viruses and bacteria for the entirety of our existence. Some of them are inert, while some are in fact essential. There is increasing research these days on the different microbiota in our GIT, respiratory, digestive, skin and vaginal surfaces. Many scientists are discovering how we are not as in control as we like to think we are. These microbes can make us crave certain foods, manage our emotional health, digestive function, keep our skin clear and even influence who we are attracted to. We carry around more foreign microbes in and on us than we have our own cells.

    This whole Covid-19 pandemic is riddled in so many ambiguous information, that you have to wonder how much of what we are hearing from the news/media is actually true. I will not go into all the questionable things in this article, but just the idea of shutting down whole economies on a global scale, and trapping people indoors to feed them with fear, is ludicrous and scary. We are not at threat of contracting the corona virus, we are at risk of losing freedom and autonomous rights to question, make money and fend for ourselves.