Ancient Oils – Contemporary Benefits

Essential oils are taking the world by storm, as a lot of people are using to improve their mood, their health, and their homes. But did you know that essential oils have a Christian history? Most Christians would recognize two essential oils: frankincense and myrrh. There are lots of different references to various essential oils in the Bible. From sweet-smelling oils and incenses for the Tabernacle to purging oils that cleanse, the Scriptures use essential oils and their properties to illustrate the state of the soul using them.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is mentioned in the recipe God gave Moses for an anointing oil for the priests. It is also included in recipes for incenses. If anyone wanted to imagine the scent of the ancient Tabernacle or Temple, it would be cinnamon. The kings of Israel were anointed with the oil mix containing cinnamon. God used cinnamon to show one who had received his approval to serve Him. Now cinnamon oil is recognized for its comforting and invigorating properties. Not only that, but it is an effective cleaner. For cleansing spaces and giving yourself a mental edge, use cinnamon.

Hyssop

King David, in his repentant Psalm 51, cried, “Purge me with hyssop!” Hyssop is a cleansing oil that represented bitterness leading to repentance in the Old Testament. Reading a list of the body systems that hyssop cleans and helps, it seems like this ancient oil still has plenty of work to do. From metabolism to detoxification, from focus to easing anxiousness, hyssop’s cleansing power is impressive.

Spikenard

Spikenard oil is mentioned multiple times in the Scriptures, but the most familiar and dramatic instance using this essential oil is found in the New Testament. Do you remember the woman who broke an alabaster box, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped his feet with her hair? The Book of John tells us that the oil was spikenard. In ancient times, spikenard could be given instead of money as a dowry for a bride. This oil is now recognized for its abilities to relax  and support calm. Spikenard is excellent for those days when stress is taking over your world and clouding your vision, for uplifting your mood, promoting relaxation, and healthy skin.

Myrtle

One of the most famous women in the Old Testament was named for this essential oil. She was named Hadassah, which meant myrtle in ancient Hebrew. And, if you know your Bible stories, you immediately recognized the original name of Queen Esther. Myrtle was used for cleaning something that had become impure. Its modern uses reflect that. Myrtle is great for helping the skin.

Hopefully you can take these oils and start incorporating them into your home to uplift, help, and empower your life in the way that the Bible teaches us to.

References:

Aroma Hut

doTERRA

Essentials of Life

You’re Back from the Hospital — Now What?

If you are dealing with a lot of medical bills, such as if you have recently been involved in a car accident, then you could be worried about how you are going to handle them all. Navigating your healthcare-related bills can be very challenging, but if you follow these tips, you can make it a whole lot easier.

Check them for Accuracy

First of all, it is essential to make sure that you check your healthcare bills for accuracy. Make sure that they are for dates, times and places where you received treatment and that you aren’t being billed for any procedures that you did not receive. If you see a discrepancy, make sure that you call and address the issue immediately.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

If you are ever confused about anything on the healthcare bills that you receive, don’t be afraid to call the billing and finance department and ask questions. After all, this is what they are there for. This is also important if someone else or some other entity was involved in your injury. If you feel like your medical bills keep piling up, then see if you can get compensation as fault and negligence play a large role in injury cases.

Find Out What Your Health Insurance Company Will Cover

Whenever possible, it’s important for your insurance company to cover things. After all, this is why you pay for health coverage. If you are unsure about what your insurance company will or will not pay, check your policy or call your insurance agent. Additionally, if claims get denied, don’t be afraid to ask why and resubmit them.

 

If you don’t have insurance, or don’t wish to have insurance, be sure to look at hospitals and clinics that have different ways to pay or have low-income programs in the future so as not to add to your bills already.

Make Payment Arrangements

If you aren’t able to pay your medical bills right away, you should not just ignore the situation. It can be easy just to ignore the medical bills that come in the mail if you know that you cannot pay them, but this can lead to issues with your credit score. Calling and making payment arrangements can help you make smaller, more affordable payments on your bills and may help you maintain your credit score.

 

As you can see, there are a few tips that you can follow when it comes to navigating your medical bills. Even though dealing with and paying these bills can put a damper on things, if you follow these tips, you can help ensure that you handle them in the best way possible. Aim to make sure that you don’t pile them up in the future, by keeping a set way of dealing with them or finding alternatives to healthcare if insurance or being uninsured is not working out for you.

 

4 Steps to Take Before Starting a Weight Loss Program

If you’re like most people, you’re probably not really sure when you began gaining weight. One day you were a normal weight with a healthy body. The next day, you were overweight, tired, and oftentimes, sick.

If this description fits you, take heart. A diet change can help you lose the extra pounds and return you to a vibrant state of health. If you’re ready to start living in a new healthy body, here are the four steps you should take before starting a weight loss program.

1. Keep a Journal

An NBC News report suggests that people start their weight loss journey with journaling. More specifically, they should figure out what their daily baseline of calories, food intake, and exercise is. That information will go in their journals. The most successful diets aren’t diets at all. They are a lifestyle change. However, if you are not really conscious of your lifestyle, how can you change it? Start a journal specifically for your weight loss journey. You’ll use it throughout this process.

2. Consult With Your Doctor

Once you know your baseline, your next step is to consult with your doctor. Let your doctor know of your challenges. Bring your journal so that you can talk about what you’re facing. Also let your doctor give you suggestions for plans and a recommendation to a nutritionist if necessary.

3. Read Reviews and Do Research.

Next comes the research. Many people who are overweight have never been taught how to eat right. That’s really the primary purpose of your research: to understand nutrition. Once you understand the basics of nutrition, it will help you decide which diets will suit your body’s needs.

When you think you have found a number of suitable diet and supplement options, you should read reviews on them. Rather than trusting everything a fad diet or supplement says, read customer reviews; Xyngular says that the most powerful and inspiring stories come from customers, and that influential reviews will help others change their health. Many fad diets and supplements make promises they do not fulfill, so reading reviews from customers can be a good way to judge which are the safest and most effective.

Evaluate which diets and supplements will complement your dietary and medical needs according to your doctor’s recommendations. Write in your journal about your findings.

4. Decide on a Plan

Now that you’ve done your research, it’s time to decide on a proper diet. If you’re still unsure what that is, consider this: according to WebMD, a healthy eating plan should include fresh vegetables and fruits, unprocessed foods, whole grains, lean meats, and nuts. These types of diets keep you full longer, which helps you lose weight and keep you healthy.

Final Thoughts

The best weight loss plans aren’t crash diets; in the long run, the healthiest diets include plenty of fresh produce, plus legumes, lean meats, and nuts. Changing your diet can be a big lifestyle change. If you want to implement this lifestyle change effectively, your best bet is to study nutrition, talk to your doctor, adjust your diet, and record your progress in a journal. This will help you approach your new diet from a healthy mindset.

5 Quick Ways to Take Better Care of Your Body

Who doesn’t want to get healthier these days? Fortunately, even small adjustments to your daily routine can create big results over time. Whether your goal is weight loss, improving muscle tone, heart health, or better performance at the gym, all it takes is one small step to get started. Smartphone applications make it especially easy to set goals, make adjustments, and track your progress over time. Here are five little things you can do today that will help maximize your health.  

1. Get 10,000 Steps

If you use your phone or an activity tracker,  you can see how many steps you walk and how many flights of stairs you climb each day. Increasing your daily steps is an easy way to get more active. Set a specific daily steps goal and track your progress so it will be easier to stick to your new wellness goal.

Another way to get more steps into your day is to park at the end of the parking lot every time you stop to run an errand. Also, when you get home at the end of a long day, you can go for a quick walk around the block to complete your daily goal.

2. Eliminate a Serving of Sugar

Calories from sugar are empty calories—as sugar doesn’t provide our bodies with essential nutrients. Make a goal to eliminate just one serving of sugar from your diet each day. Some people will need to reduce at least one cup of coffee, serving of chips or cookies, or a can of soda. Others will need to order no sugar in their coffee or skip dessert. Eliminating 100 calories of sugar a day and walking more can gradually lower your total weight over time.

3. Download a Guided Meditation

If you’re feeling stressed, then you can turn to your phone’s app store for help relaxing. You might listen to bedtime stories, do a guided meditation, or just breathe while you listen to music, nature sounds, or other sound patterns.

Meditation helps you to focus your breathing and inhale and exhale enough to truly release the body’s tension and stress. You can also use the bedtime stories to fall asleep and nature sounds for background noise throughout the night.

4. Get Enough Sleep

If you’re like most, your sleep “schedule” involves staying up late and waking up early for work, then sleeping in like crazy on the weekends. Are you really surprised that you feel so tired? Set your phone to Do Not Disturb, create morning alarms, and start a bedtime ritual. By keeping your sleep schedule regular, you train your body to stick to a consistent sleep schedule—which promotes better quality sleep. Keep track of the number of hours you sleep each night to ensure that you’re meeting you’re meeting your sleep goals.

If you find that you still have trouble sleeping, then you may want to look for a mattress that offers you better support. Did you know that a supportive mattress keeps your spine aligned? When your back is healthy, you get better sleep at night and experience less stiffness when you wake up. While comfort is important, an ultra-plush mattress with limited support will not give you the restorative sleep your body needs.

5. Talk to Someone Everyday

You need at least one friend, relative, or even a therapist who you can easily talk to in times of stress. Even if you’re not going through a difficult time, understand that social interaction is a basic human need. Your social life has a direct impact on your mental and physical health. So if you’ve been feeling antisocial, take more opportunities to talk to the people in your life—no matter how busy you are.

These small changes can make a big difference in your health. If you put your needs first, you will be in a better position to help others and meet your many personal and professional obligations.

 

A Guide for Supporting Your Body with the Right Supplements

Most people lead busy lives, and this is just one of the reasons health issues are on the rise today. A lack of sleep and little time to exercise or prepare nutritious meals means that adding supplements to your diet could help get you the nutrients you need. Genetics, health history, and other lifestyle factors can also play a part in the type of supplements we need to feel our best. The science behind supplementing and healthy dieting lies not only in external factors but also our cells. Here are some healthy supplements to include in your diet to make taking on every day less of a challenge.

Vitamin D

This vitamin has the ability to change the way that your genes function and helps to boost your immune system so foreign chemicals and harmful substances can’t damage your organs. We get vitamin D naturally from the sun. However, if you live in an area that doesn’t get lots of sunlight or you spend most of your time indoors, taking vitamin D in supplement form can prove helpful. Between 45-70 ng/mL is recommended to keep your bones strong and protect your immune system.

 

Zinc

Zinc is a natural mineral that works to fight off the flu and the common cold and is also used to stabilize brain function for a balanced mood. Your body also needs zinc for proper digestion, since this mineral works to release gastric acid. Zinc supplements can also help with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. You can take zinc as part of a multi-vitamin or take the mineral alone after a meal.

 

Glutamine

If you suffer from food allergies, this could be due to a lack of glutamine. Glutamine helps to repair the linings of the stomach and intestines and is used by the cells in your intestines to ensure that you process your food thoroughly. The supplement also helps to you maintain lean muscle mass, which is necessary to help your body efficiently use energy and manage your weight.

 

Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency has been linked to conditions like ADD and ADHD, chronic fatigue, and muscle pain. Your body may also not have enough magnesium if you have digestive issues and your intestines have not been able to properly absorb all the nutrients in your food. This is especially true if you suffer from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Taking about 400 mg of magnesium in supplement form each day can help to stabilize your mood, improve digestion, and boost your energy.

 

Your body only works with what you fuel it with. If you feel a lack of energy or have other issues you think could be solved with supplementing, talk to your doctor and get advice based on your medical history and genetics.
Resources:

https://wholelifenutrition.net/articles/gluten-free/right-vitamins-supplements-replenish-your-body

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-982/zinc

https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/the-benefits-of-glutamine.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASEA_(American_company)

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/

7 Foods That Stop UTIs In Their Tracks

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are infections of the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. These infections are 10 times more common among women than men, with more than half of women experiencing a UTI at least once in their lifetime. Most of the time, a doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat these infections. For some patients, though, a UTI will recur within 6 months of the initial episode. In these cases, complementary treatment may be necessary, including a diet rich in antioxidants and polyphenols. Let’s look at 7 of the best foods to add to your diet to combat frequent UTIs.

1) Water

Water is one of the best and simplest ways to treat a UTI and to prevent future infections. Among other health benefits, drinking sufficient water can help flush out the harmful bacteria setting up camp in your bladder.

2) Blueberries

Blueberries are packed with those antioxidants and polyphenols that help your body fight infections. They also prevent bacteria from binding to cells in the urinary tract, and boost your immune system. Add blueberries to smoothies and desserts or eat them whole.

3) Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate is another snack that is rich in antioxidants. It’s lower in sugar than milk chocolate, but it’s still chocolate, so use it sparingly.

4) Garlic

Garlic is often touted as a natural antibiotic. Raw garlic is best, but you can try garlic tea if you don’t feel like eating a garlic clove. Or you can add it to a vegetable smoothie for an extra boost.

5) Cranberry

Cranberry is the most commonly recommended UTI remedy, but it doesn’t work the way you think it does. Rather than curing the infection, it works to prevent bacteria from attaching to the bladder and worsening the infection.

7) Hibiscus

If we can include water and omega-3s in a list of food-based remedies, herbs (or to be more specific, flowers) can be included too. Hibiscus is one of the best known anti-UTI herbs. Drink it as tea or take it in pill form like Harmony (Amazon), which combines hibiscus with the beneficial D-mannose sugar from cranberries.

6) Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 will address certain nutrient deficiencies that may be weakening your immune system. They will also help reduce inflammation and ease irritation. Find Omega 3 fats in cold water fish like salmon, or use fish oil supplements like Viva Naturals Triple Strength (Amazon).

While you’re recovering from a UTI, be sure to avoid foods and beverages high in sugar and/or acid. Orange or tomato juice, soda and sugary juices, and sweet junk food can prolong the infection and even make it worse. If symptoms don’t get better after a week, visit Christian Health Centers for patient-focused, affordable healthcare.

Five Ways Your Smile is Imperative to Your Health

Your smile is important for more than just cosmetic reasons. The health of your teeth and mouth can affect your entire body. Those who practice good oral hygiene and visit the dentist regularly also tend to be in better health overall. Dental ailments can attribute to many different illnesses of the body, including heart disease and diabetes. Having a beautiful smile can not only make you more attractive but also healthier.

It is essential to keep your smile healthy for a number of reasons. Brushing, flossing, and visits to your dentist are crucial to the health of your mouth and general wellbeing. To learn more about how your smile affects your health, continue reading.

Bacteria In The Mouth

Your mouth is full of harmful bacteria. These germs can multiply very quickly, and when they aren’t removed, can spread to the rest of your body. Not brushing your teeth can lead to illnesses such as influenza and the common cold. People with compromised immune systems are even more vulnerable to harmful bacteria in the mouth.

Tooth Decay And Tooth Loss

An unhealthy mouth leads to more tooth decay. If cavities are ignored for a long time, the teeth become damaged beyond repair. A rotten tooth will need to be removed because it can quickly lead to infection in the mouth. Keeping your smile looking right is essential to the prevention of decay and tooth loss.

Bad Oral Hygiene Leads To Bad Breath

Not only does brushing and flossing keep your teeth looking attractive, but it also keeps your breath smelling good. Neglecting your mouth can quickly lead to foul breath, which is unpleasant for you and other people around you. The best way to keep your breath fresh is to brush and floss daily, as well as use mouthwash.

Diseases And Dental Health

Your smile can affect other parts of your body. Some health issues can be linked to bad oral hygiene. Cardiovascular disease, respiratory infections, diabetes, pulmonary diseases, dementia, erectile dysfunction, and kidney disease can all be caused by bad oral health. Bacteria from the mouth often travels into the bloodstream, causing severe health problems. Keeping your mouth clean can help you live a longer and healthier life.

A Nice Smile Leads To More Confidence

Individuals who are unhappy with their smile are often lacking in confidence. This lack of confidence can lead to depression, anxiety, and poor self-esteem. An attractive smile will lead to more confidence, which often means a happier life. Those who feel good about themselves tend to live longer and more fulfilled lives. According to Broadway Dental, “we enhance our patients’ lives through our high-quality, personalized dental care.”

So don’t wait. Get to the dentist and get things resolved. Keep your smile looking beautiful by maintaining good dental hygiene and by visiting a cosmetic dentistry clinic. Not only does your smile affect the way you look, but it also changes the way you feel. When you keep your smile looking and feeling great, your body will thank you for it.

Why Are You Waking Up Tired?

You’re going to bed earlier and sleeping in later, but you’re still waking up tired and unrested. You’ve tried herbal teas, hot milk, exercising, and other tips that are supposed to help you sleep, but nothing seems to be working. What could be the reason you’re waking up tired? Consider the following possibilities.

An old or low-quality mattress

If your mattress is eight or more years old, it’s likely time for a new one. Even if it’s not that old, a low-quality mattress has the same effect. The inner springs, foam, or other materials may have broken down enough that the mattress simply doesn’t support you as you sleep. This can lead to constant tossing and turning as you try to find a comfortable position, which then interferes with your sleep.

Your partner is tossing and turning

If your partner isn’t sleeping well, this can also affect your sleep — especially if the bed is too small. The restless sleep of your partner transfers to your side of the bed, interrupting your sleep and making you restless as well. You may not even realize that your partner is disturbing your sleep if it doesn’t wake you up completely. Asking your partner how they slept last night can be a good way to confirm or rule this one out.

Your mattress is too small

Did you know that two people sleeping on a double bed have as much space as they would if they were sleeping in a crib? If the thought of trying to sleep in a crib makes you shudder at the lack of comfort, now you know why sleeping on a full-size mattress might be the cause of your poor sleep. Try upgrading to a larger, quality mattress to see if it makes your sleep more restful.

Sleep apnea

If you’ve looked at your situation, changed your mattress, talked to your partner, and feel that none of those are the problem, sleep apnea may be the problem. A condition in which the sufferer stops breathing repeatedly, you would wake up often as a result of not breathing, but may not recall waking up. This can lead to feeling exhausted, despite feeling as though you slept through the night. If you suspect sleep apnea, make an appointment with your doctor. Meanwhile, try one of these home remedies.


A restful night’s sleep is the successful result of several factors coming together, including good health, good bedding, and a well-rested partner. Don’t endure another bleary morning; get to the root of your fatigue and start the day off right. But if you still find that you’re having difficulty sleeping, sign up for MemberCare with Christian Health Centers today for patient-focused, affordable healthcare.

5 Ways to Improve Your Physical and Emotional Health (At the Same Time!)

Whether you are striving to improve overall health, deal with emotional issues, struggling through physical health problems, or would simply like to learn more, you are in the right place! Let’s walk through some ways you can improve both your physical and emotional health.

1. Boost Your Nutrition

Eating a nutritious diet filled with organic whole foods and lots of fruits and vegetables can make you feel physically great.  A healthy diet can also replenish your emotional well-being by helping to improve your moods through high levels of vitamins and minerals.

2. Get More Sleep

When you enjoy adequate and high-quality sleep each night, you will feel more energized throughout the day. The benefits of sleep affect your emotional health and make you less likely to experience depression or anxiety. Sleep allows your mind to process thoughts, experiences, and emotions. The average adult needs about 8 hours of sleep per night.

3. Minimize and Manage Stress

Although a certain amount of stress is normal, too much stress can and does wreak havoc on your physical and emotional health. It can lead to various physical illnesses like colds or chronic conditions and it can contribute to emotional issues like anxiety and depression. Decrease as much stress as you can and manage the remaining stress through modalities like prayer, exercise, deep breathing, stretching and small segments of quiet throughout your day.  Don’t forget to allow for small margins of time between events so that you can be mentally and physically rested and ready.

4. Use Essential Oils

More and more research is surfacing that proves essential oils can profoundly benefit both physical and emotional health. Oils can help with a variety of conditions from calming anxious feelings to insomnia, colds, and much more. According to Source to You, high-quality oils like the oils from DoTerra are the most potent and beneficial.

5. Stay Active

Exercise and an active lifestyle feel good and boost energy, but the benefits of exercise go far beyond. It can improve the immune system’s ability to fight off illness and boost moods—the benefits are many and varied. Start small and begin by incorporating a simple walk into your daily routine and notice how much better you feel.

Incorporate all of these practical strategies into your daily life and begin experiencing the difference in your physical and emotional health!

Making Wellness Resolutions that Stick

This is the time of year where we get a chance to make a fresh start, with a new year. A clean slate to write on what we want and dream ourselves to be. Psychology Today reports that the top two New Year’s Resolutions are quitting smoking and decreasing alcohol consumption, other sources site losing weight, getting organized, and getting fit through regular exercise. The sad, and not so shocking truth, is that most people fail at keeping these commitments long term. Within one week 22% fail to keep their resolutions, 40% after 1 month, and half after 3 months. In fact only 1 out of 5 people who make New Year’s Resolutions keep them for long term, and truly make it a life style change.
What is the reason for this dismal performance as a society? We have all the resources, and information, literally at our finger tips, yet still we often fail. We can access online support groups, look up healthy recipes on Pinterest, do free workout classes on YouTube, but still Americans are among the most unhealthy and overweight in the world. If it is not lack of information, or access to resources, then what is the problem we face? Psychology Today states the top 3 reasons are
  • Vague and Unclear Goals
  • Failure to Gauge Progress
  • and Weak self-control or self-regulation.
We at Christian Healthcare Centers are committed to Whole-Person Focused care and Community-Building. Our philosophy is promoting lifestyle change, not dieting, or short-lived programs. We believe that we have been given all that we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), and that we must spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24). To that end, in 2018 CHC is holding monthly CHC Wellness Club meetings as a community of health minded people that want to make lasting change in the course of their lives and health. We hope that these sessions will be the extra encouragement and accountability, that we all need to overcome our weak self-control, and make progress toward the abundant life that Jesus talked about in John 10:10.
Meetings will be held the first Wednesday evening of each month, with the first being held this Wednesday, January 3rd here at the Christian Healthcare Centers building on East Beltline Court in Northeast Grand Rapids. The sessions start at 5pm, but there is an optional weigh-in portion that people can come for at 4:30pm for those who want to track their progress. This is offered as a FREE service to our members, but those who aren’t signed up for CHC membership are welcome to join as well for a $10 per session fee. Sessions include a brief educational portion at the beginning, and then will mainly focus on a round table discussion of the challenges, victories, and failures that we all face in trying to live a healthy lifestyle. For more information you can email Alex Corcoran at acorcoran@chcenters.org.