Photo: woods wheatcroft photography

Know this: there is nothing wrong with you. It is not your fault that the concept of “relationship success” seems like empty words. The problem is, you were never modeled or taught critical emotional intelligence skills that foster connection. When given these skills, you will thrive. What you are missing is a map of how to do foster connections.

Creating a successful relationship can be simple and even easy. It comes down to moving through your stress and tension, getting to vulnerability, and connecting. That’s the formula that no one ever taught us. Because of that, we often need guidance in developing these three key skills.

You can do it. We see couples turning around their failed relationship using this process. We see men in our free groups and trainings turning around their lives with this Emotional Algorithm, and its three ROC stages:

  1. Relax Release the effects of the physiology of the stress and its resulting tension, resistance, fear, trauma, collapse, rigidity, and frozenness. The freeing will unlock the hold you created, allowing you to surrender, setting you up for: sensing, feeling, focusing on your experience, relaxing, and being in the zone. This new emotional frame allows for emotional You change from reacting to responding.
  2. Open Being vulnerable is the key to being receptive, empathetic, honest, and available. Establish a new setup for new behaviors. When you initiate new patterns, empathy is natural.
  3. Connect Once open, you can choose to reach out, receive, allow, collaborate, communicate, engage, and risk connecting with others. From a base of inner connection, you reach out to others. You create what the scientists who study Attachment Theory call secure bonds.

ROC your world

This order is the natural progression of change. You can enter the algorithm at any point to create movement. For example, you go to connect to someone, and it’s not happening. If you open up to the person, feel your resistance, then release it, you will connect.

Each component is backed by research and years of developing methods to effectively achieve its benefits. Collectively, you have an exponential benefit with the Emotional Algorithm to achieving inner personal and professional relationships success.

This process of experiencing and utilizing your emotions to enrich your life is instinctual. Your ancestor processed these abilities. A baby comes into the world with the need to use them. Because this algorithm is hardwired into our operating system, we have the drive to remove what prevents its functioning. Once activated, we relax, and life gets easier. Also, because it’s buried in others too, when you are functioning from this place, others will naturally relax, open, and connect. You do it, and others will follow.

Not having secure attachments to others will produce stress and even trauma. If that stress or trauma is not completed and released, you can get stuck. Then your disconnection needs to unwind by starting at Release.

The Sandpoint Men’s Group spent the last twelve years honing this algorithm. We discovered how to teach these concepts in a fun way. No one can learn a skill if it was never even demonstrated, let alone taught. The first weekend in May we are teaching a small group of men how to fill in the gaps in their deep emotional intelligence and connecting skills. The entire weekend will be done in a setting of safety and confidentiality. Contact me for more information, or visit www.freetowin.co/15

Owen Marcus, MA Certified Advanced Rolfer & author, www.align.org, 37 yrs experience – call if you have questions: 265.8440.

PHoto: MichaelGaida / Pixabay

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Eating is such an important part of our health. This includes not just what we eat, but also how and when we eat, as well as how much.

Trying to figure out what foods are best is a process of personal exploration and discovery. Especially when it comes to determining what not to eat.

We can reach outwardly and talk to others about their experience, read books, and listen to podcasts. I’ve heard so many different opinions and ideas of what is right and wrong when it comes to eating. There are even federal dietary guidelines for Americans telling us what to do.

Sorting through all this information has left me with one conclusion – that diets are best personalized by the individual. Yes, this means that the same plan is not good for everyone.

We are all different in how we absorb and metabolize nutrients. And these differences can change over time. This is affected by factors such as our lifestyle, genes, gut microbiome, current state of health, stress, and overall toxic burden.

There is an emerging field, called nutrigenomics, that is researching personalized dietary advice based upon genetic testing.  They are pushing the envelope on normal dietary rules. The ones that tell everyone what to eat and not eat, like more whole grains or less sugar.

Nutrigenomics would offer an individualized plan. This type of approach requires genetic testing, even analyzing your gut microbiome. There are companies out there today offering exactly these kind of tests.

But I think there is an even more effective way of figuring out what kind of food we may want to avoid. One that brings our attention to our own body. We can do the testing and analysis right in our very kitchen, without costing anything. This is called an elimination diet.

An elimination diet is a process of removing foods that often cause problems in most people, and then reintroducing them back into our diet one-by-one to see how we respond ourself.

It is a short-term eating plan that supports us to individually determine, from our own experience, what our body likes and doesn’t.

You would start by removing dairy, eggs, gluten, sugar, processed meats, trans fats, and soy. There is more, and make sure you include the foods you crave as these are likely the ones you are most sensitive to.

You could also have an intolerance to natural chemicals in some foods, like oxalates and salicylates, or chemicals produced by your body after eating certain foods, like histamines. Remove these foods too.

Stay on this restricted diet for several weeks. I like to reach for three weeks in order for my body to remove the build up of toxins and reduce the overall inflammation I’ve accumulated.

There are many health problems associated with eating foods our body doesn’t tolerate well. And we may actually eat these every day. Headaches, depression, joint aches, asthma, low energy, digestive problems, and skin irritations are typically related to what you eat.

Going on a three week elimination diet will allow your body to recover and begin functioning efficiently again. It will also make you more sensitive to foods that have been causing problems.

Often, symptoms that have been challenging will resolve themselves simply by removing aggravating foods. I recommend adding in anti-inflammatory foods during this time, such as fatty fish and dark leafy greens.

The elimination diet offers a personalized approach to eating that reduces inflammation, helps support repair of damage caused to your gut, and promotes a greater awareness to foods. Getting in touch with your own bodies response is key to individualizing what you eat.

Come on down for a comprehensive guide.

Scott Porter is a Functional Medicine Pharmacist at Sandpoint Super Drug. He is a member of the Sandpoint Wellness Council.

Photo:Unsplash / Pixabay

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Fruits and vegetables are very potent at promoting health and are incredibly beneficial to our bodies. We already know they are full of vitamins and minerals, but did you know they are loaded with bioflavonoids?

Flavonoids are plant nutrients that are responsible for the many brilliant colors of fruits and vegetables, particularly purple and blue. They are perhaps the most beneficial phytochemicals found in food, and are the largest family of a class of plant compounds called polyphenols.

Citrus fruits, like oranges, lemons, and limes are good sources of vitamin C. They also contain a rich amount of bioflavanoids, which help promote good health. Often you’ll find flavonoids added to a supplement as an aid to enhance the action of vitamin C.

On their own, bioflavanoids are considered an antioxidant and used in treating allergies, viruses, arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions. I’ve even heard them referred to as super-antioxidants. They will scavenge many of the potentially harmful free radicals floating around in our bodies.

Flavonoids in plants are produced as a protection against parasites, oxidative injury and harsh climatic conditions. We can get them from our diet and as a supplement.

They support strong cell formations and can suppress poor cellular growth resulting in a sort of anti-carcinogenic effect. Some flavonoids appear to be much more potent antioxidants that even beta-carotene, vitamin C or vitamin E.

Other foods that are rich in flavonoids include red bell peppers or sweet peppers, strawberries, broccoli, garlic and spinach. Brussels sprouts are on this list as well, but they are not my favorite vegetable. Some teas, especially green tea, can be potent sources.

Many flavonoids can actually bind to metal ions, stopping these metals from behaving as catalysts that enhance free radical production in the body. They can support the body’s circulatory system by helping to keep vascular permeability, integrity, and resiliency.

They also have a broad array of other biochemical benefits. For example, flavonoids are involved in gene expression, capillary and cerebral blood flow, platelet aggregation, liver function, enzyme activity, and collagen, phospholipid, cholesterol, and histamine metabolism.

The skins of red and black grapes are rich in the dark red-violet flavonoids, and these are present in red wine. Now I do like that. These are referred to as proanthocyanidins. It is this aspect of cranberries that is thought to inhibit bacterial infections, such as urinary tract infections (UTIs), though this is not conclusive through clinical trials.

Proanthocyanidins are the principal polyphenols in red wine that are under research to see if they lower overall mortality or coronary heart disease. One of the most studied polyphenols is resveratrol, which is found in the skin of grape skins and seeds.

Research has been crediting resveratrol with possible protective effects against a variety of diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

In part, this is because resveratrol seems to mimic the effect of caloric restriction on cells. Calorie restriction can activate nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), which in turn can spur a couple of our “longevity genes”. Thus, resveratrol is showing promising results in reducing the effects of several age-related conditions.

There are over 6,000 unique flavonoids identified in research studies. This phytonutrient comes in many forms, like tannins, quercetin, catechins, and hesperedin.

We just don’t know all the details about how they function as antioxidants, but studies have documented better protection of certain cells following consumption of flavonoid-rich foods, like blueberries.

On a side note, nicotinamide riboside is a direct precursor to NAD and offers fundamental support to increase the availability of NAD. I’ve been reading some very promising material on improved metabolism and endurance, as well as extended lifespan in laboratory studies with this.

Come on down and we can talk more.

Scott Porter is a Functional Medicine Pharmacist at Sandpoint Super Drug. He is a member of the Sandpoint Wellness Council.

Photo: byrev / Pixabay

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I recently read that intestinal permeability, sometimes called leaky gut syndrome, contributes to at least 50% of chronic complaints, as confirmed by laboratory tests. This is when the lining of our small intestine gets all inflamed and irritated.

When this happens the liver and lymphatic system can be compromised, and our immune system gets weakened. Some of the difficult diseases to cure are caused by this very situation, one where our body begins attacking its own tissues. This is called auto-immunity.

One very prevalent contributor to leaky gut is Helicobacter pylori. This is a type of bacteria that can live in your digestive tract and, if out of control, attacks the lining of your stomach. It is estimated that this affects half the population in the U.S. age 60 and over.

Keep in mind this lining is a protective barrier against stomach acid. Damaging it leads to ulcers which may bleed, cause infections, or keep food from moving through your digestive tract. It is very common in people who have GERD or heartburn.

H. pylori can live for years in our stomach before symptoms start. It can also travel and infect any organ it likes to. Many people get it during childhood through contact with saliva or other body fluids. But adults get this too. There are tests available for identifying this infection.

Stress, particularly chronic, effects cortisol levels and the resulting imbalances can lead to triggering digestive disorders. Sources of stress includes dietary, emotional, pain, environmental, biological, and hidden inflammation.

Dull burning pain in your belly may be a sign of an out of control H. pylori infection. Other signs include bloating, burping, nausea, and weight loss. Though there are other things that can cause these same symptoms, like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

More subtle clusters of symptoms like brain fog, allergies, fatigue, and other chronic illnesses are often related to H. pylori. Thyroid production is affected because the body is stressed by the infection. This reduces your body’s ability to manage mood and weight.

This bacteria can drill holes in your gut, allowing big food molecules into the blood stream. The body will react to try and dilute, or get rid of, these toxins. When it can’t, they will settle somewhere which can lead to auto-immune disorders.

It will also take away certain vitamins and amino acids necessary for detoxification to happen through biochemical pathways referred to as methylation. This shuts down these processes and can make things bad really quick when toxins keep recirculating in our body.

H. pylori also consumes nutrients from our body to keep itself alive, like vitamin B12 and manganese. It neutralizes stomach acid which results in blocking absorption of important minerals, thus affecting cell mitochondria. This can reduce our overall energy levels.

There are different approaches to treatment of H. pylori, like multiple antibiotics, and medicines that block the chemical histamine or reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. There is some concern about these working long term though and their side effects. Other herbal supplements are showing promise in some studies, like berberine, mastic gum, bismuth, zinc carnosine, and geglycyrrhizinated licorice root.

I think it’s a good idea to start by attending to stress and correcting adrenal hormones. Then move on to repairing your digestive system, supporting detoxification, and replacing missing nutrients.

H. pylori is stubborn. It can cover itself with a protective barrier and bury itself in the mucus layer of the stomach lining. Once it’s back in balance, it can take up to six months to finally start feeling really normal again because of the amount of damage it does.

Stop on by if you want to hear more.

Scott Porter is a Functional Medicine Pharmacist at Sandpoint Super Drug. He is a member of the Sandpoint Wellness Council.

Photo:poppicnic / Pixabay

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Not Moving Could Shorten Your Life

March 17, 2017

If you are like most of us, you spend most of your day in a few positions – and a lot of time sitting. Within the last two generations, physical activity has dropped by 32%. This lack of movement increases the likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease by 82% [1]. It also causes a 114% increased risk […]

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How to evaluate the potency of a probiotic

March 7, 2017

The gastrointestinal tract is host to countless bacteria, some estimate as many as 100 trillion microbes alone. These have a powerful impact on our health. As the benefits of probiotics are becoming more and more understood, the number of available products has also escalated. I still always start with the basic principle that diet is […]

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The Many Advantages of Intermittent Fasting

March 7, 2017

As the days become sunnier and warmer, I notice the extra weight I gained while in hibernation over the winter. When I’m up on the hill skiing, I’m all bundled up and the little extra gets me down a run a bit faster. But as the snow melts, I feel motivated to let some of […]

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What barberry, goldenseal and tree tumeric have in common.

March 7, 2017

Berberine is a chemical found in barberry, goldenseal, Oregon grape, phellodendron, goldthread, and tree tumeric. It is usually found in the bark, stems and roots of these plants. It has a long history in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. It is very yellow and has been used as a dye in wool and leather. It is […]

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Which type of magnesium should be used?

March 7, 2017

Magnesium is not one of the most present minerals in our body in terms of quantity, but I do consider it one of the most crucial. It is also a major nutrient deficiency in most adults. I’ve seen numbers suggestion as high as 80% of us are low. As a co-factor in almost all of […]

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Digestive and Systemic Enzymes Keep Us Alive

February 8, 2017

The vast majority of enzymes are very special proteins in our body that are vital for life. Without their help, the chemical reactions cells need to stay alive wouldn’t happen, or happen fast enough. There are about 3,000 enzymes identified in the human body, and as many as 50,000 we have yet to discover. Enzymes […]

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