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Loneliness Increases Our Odds of Dying by 45%

I have long recognized the importance of community, connection and fun.  I have only to look at my aging family members for confirmation. Part of the “snowbird pack,” they each fly someplace warm to escape their icy cold Ontario winters.  But escaping to these southern destinations is only secondary to the real reason they winter in Florida, Arizona and Texas.  It’s community.  Like little kids going off to summer camp, they can’t wait to depart. Checking who’s already there, when did they arrive, what activities are they already missing out on only heighten their need to get there as soon as possible.

When I retire I want to be just like them – hanging out with a bunch of people who like to have fun – golfing, tennis, ballroom dancing -sign me up. As human beings we need social connection – it’s as important as food and water. Brene Brown emphasizes this in her newest book, Braving the Wilderness (pg 54). She goes on to cite research done by Julieanne Holt-Lunstad, Timothy B. Smith, and J. Bradley Layton.  Loneliness increases our odds of dying by 45% – trumping both obesity at 20% and excessive drinking by 30%. Yes, loneliness is clearly a killer – but a quiet one at that.

Social interactions make us live longer, healthier lives. In short – we need each other. We need to stay connected. Brown writes,  “While social media is great for developing community and finding people – true belonging, real connections…require meeting people in real time face to face.”

Despite teasing my Aunt Barb about line dancing and social events that start at 5 pm and end by 9 p.m. they have actually nailed the fountain of youth – happy hour with friends!


Cold and Flu Prevention

sneezeWellness in the Hub

It’s Fall and, with the lack of sunshine and warm weather, people generally feel more tired and rundown. In Chinese Medicine, we believe that there are two factors involved in illnesses: the strength of the pathogen (that’s the virus or bacteria), and the strength of your own “wei qi” or immune system. We’re exposed to germs all the time, but we don’t always get sick. Why? Because when we’re strong and balanced, our immune system can fight off these germs. When we’re sick, in pain, not sleeping or not eating well, it makes it much harder for our immune system to do its job.

Here are four things you can do to avoid getting sick this cold and flu season:

  1. Don’t pick your nose—why??? Because germs enter your body three ways: your mouth, eyes, and nose. Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer often—also wipe down common door handles or high traffic areas like the lunch area or faucets at the end of the day with disinfecting wipes.
  2. Cover your mouth with the crux of your elbow when you sneeze; using your hands could spread your germs.
  3. Switch to warm beverages—our tummy loves warm drinks. To stay healthy try fresh ginger and lemon in your tea.
    If you feel yourself getting sick make a tea with fresh ginger, the whites of green onion, wrap yourself in a warm blanket and try to sweat it out. If your throat starts to feel sore—drink peppermint tea try to add fresh mint or put a dab of essential mint oil directly under your nose—little dabs. It will help clear your sinuses.
  4. Regular acupuncture can help keep your body balanced and strong. In Chinese Medicine, Prevention is the best medicine! If you start to feel sniffly, massage this point, Lung-7, on each wrist for 1 minute, 3x a day!


To book yourself a Fall tune-up appointment visit book online or contact us here.