Post-Graduation is One of the Most Stimulating Times of Life

Transitioning from high school or university life to the work world can be daunting or exciting, depending on each graduate’s personal outlook on life. Personal growth, professional development and real world experience are all part of the transition.

Every graduate will deal with this major life transition in different ways. And, depending on the graduate’s mindset and individual characteristics, a “nine-to five” job may simply not be the best use of time. Others may even have job offers lined up and fall into a first out-of-school work opportunity with little effort.

New graduates are fortunate to live at a time when there are side hustles and other options to choose from. Side hustles are usually part-time or temporary situations, but in some cases, can lead to bigger jobs or full-time careers. Some graduates may already have experience with side hustles as they worked through school.

•          Dog walking is a perfect part-time job for someone who loves the outdoors and of course, dogs. People book dog walkers per walk and by the amount of time spent. There are dog walkers who specialize in senior dogs and special needs dogs as well as those who are strong enough to walk athletic dogs.

•          Those who love pets in general can become pet sitters. During the summer months when many people travel, pet sitters are highest in demand. People who love their pets as family members are often willing to pay to have them cared for in the comfort of their own homes when they go on vacation, travel for work or simply need to be away from home.

•          Graduates who are proficient on social media can make quite a bit of money when they become “influencers.” Whether it’s on TikTok, YouTube, podcasts, vlogs (video blogs) or any other platform, the more followers amassed, the more money advertisers are willing to pay. Influencers generally have specific expertise, and sometimes in surprising areas, such as makeup techniques, creating arts and crafts out of junkyard findings, and so many ways to cook or combine unexpected herbs and spices. Some young people develop entire musical or artistic careers by performing on their social media platforms and being found.

•          Graduates who feel fulfilled when they are of service can become helpers for senior citizens. This can involve driving the elderly to their appointments or anywhere they need to go. It can be about running errands, such as buying groceries or accompanying them for some outdoor time at a park.

•          On the other end of the age spectrum, graduates can help new and working parents with babysitting or nannying. Some parents will require licensed caretakers but networking with friends and families can produce lucrative childcare leads that are mutually beneficial.

•          There are websites and apps that pay people to test their functionality. There are websites that pay people to take tests and/or surveys.

•          Work as an online tutor or if willing, as an in-person tutor. Tutors generally specialize in particular age groups and subject matter. Tutors for high school math and elementary school reading are often in high demand. There are also tutors who specialize in college entrance exams.

•          Network marketing has been a source of income for many students and graduates. It’s not only a way to make money but also a way to stay in touch with old friends and make new ones. At Nikken, there’s a whole new generation of entrepreneurs who have decided to forgo corporate life to be their own bosses.

No matter what choices graduates make, this is truly an exhilarating time, full of possibilities and decisions. To make sure the transition is not overwhelming, here are some tips for graduates to succeed in their new lives:

•          Manage time. Be punctual to interviews, meetings, appointments and dates! It shows character and respectfulness. Do not procrastinate: do what you can do today.

•          Manage personal finances. Even if you win the lottery, always spend less than you have and put some away. Even if you don’t need it, you may be able to help someone who does. Learn how to create a monthly budget and adopt the green way of reduce, recycle and reuse.

•          Shy or outgoing? Both types can cultivate effective communication skills. Say what you mean and mean what you say. It will help in every relationship, personal or professional, through an entire lifetime. Be yourself and avoid pretense. Communicate in a way that errs on the side of kindness.

•          Be quiet for a little bit of time every day. Some call it meditation, but being quiet with yourself doesn’t have to be a time of deep meaning. It can be time to breathe deeply and give yourself a time out. Being quiet with yourself means no phones or electronic devices, no TV, no virtual assistants.

•          Maintain good health. Having so much going on at this time of life, it’s common for graduates to forget to eat regular meals, exercise daily, drink lots of water and get enough sleep. Developing Active Wellness habits will keep you functioning at high energy levels with an active immune system.

If you’re looking for a great gift for the graduates in your life, today is the last day to take advantage of the huge 30% off sale on all sizes of the Kenko Naturest® Fit mattress topper! Since the Fit is portable, it’s easy to roll it up and take it on vacation or when traveling.

Congratulations to all the graduates of the class of 2022 from Nikken! We welcome you to our Global Wellness Community!

Be Active All Summer, Have Fun and Stay Safe

Every year, we look forward to warm weather so we can bask in the sunshine and spend more time outdoors. We thaw out, revel in picnics and embrace the bounty Nature has to offer!

Here are a few tips for summertime Active Wellness that will keep you healthy while you enjoy fun and games, vacations and get-togethers.

•          When hiking or in woodsy areas, use insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and full-length trousers to prevent mosquito bites and ticks.

•          Use sunscreen with at least SPF 15 for UV protection and don’t forget to reapply eery two hours, especially after swimming or sweating. Apply sunscreen first and then insect repellent.1

•          Wear wide-brimmed hats.

•          Whatever activity you pursue, both indoors or outdoors, stay hydrated by drinking water frequently.

•          The more active you are, the more important it is to get restful sleep. Aim for at least seven hours each night.2

•          As you attend celebrations throughout the summer, remember that alcohol is dehydrating, especially under the sun. So, monitor your intake and always drink plenty of plain water.

•          Go barefoot when you can! Whether it’s at the beach or on grass, take advantage of the warm weather and get grounded naturally.

•          Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing that is loose-fitting. This helps sweat evaporate more quickly to keep you cooler.

•          Do strenuous exercises in the morning or evening to avoid the hottest times of the day. When outdoors, try to find shady areas.

•          If you’re going on vacation, plan an active one. Include family members in camping, hiking, swimming, etc. Include bike rides or walking tours when visiting cities.

•          Try to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity in weekly.3 If you can’t make it outdoors, do it at home or at a gym. Yoga, Pilates, dancing, Zumba—it all counts.

•          Summer fruit and vegetables are delicious and beneficial, especially if you’ve had a hard winter. Check out what your local farmers’ markets are offering and enjoy seasonal produce at its freshest!

•          When enjoying outdoor meals, remember to wash hands, utensils, containers and work surfaces before handling food to prevent bacteria from spreading.

•          Wash fruit and vegetables before cutting or peeling to help remove bacteria that may be on the rind or skin.

•          Throw out leftover food if it’s been sitting out for more than two hours. If it’s hotter than 90°F or 32°C, throw it out after one hour.5

Have a wonderful summer and remember, Nikken is celebrating fathers the entire month of June. You still can purchase the Father’s Day Pack through June 30. It targets the immune system and gut health with one bottle of Kenzen® Immunity and one bottle of Kenzen Lactoferrin® 2.0. You also receive a bonus bottle of Kenzen® Mega Daily 4 for men at no cost, an added retail value of $53 US / $65 CA.

You also have through June 30 to take advantage of the huge 30% off sale on all sizes of the Kenko Naturest® Fit mattress topper! Don’t miss this chance to upgrade your sleep in every room! Since the Fit is portable, you can even take it with you on your vacations or other travels!

1, 3 https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/infographic/healthy-summer.htm

2 https://www.gundersenhealth.org/health-wellness/eat/8-tips-to-stay-healthy-this-summer/

4, 5 https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/how-to-have-a-happy-healthy-summer.html

Fatherhood Then and Now

As we adapt our lifestyles to environmental challenges and our evolving communities, there is one notable area which is changing and heartwarming for everyone involved: fatherhood.

Generations ago, fathers played the roles of protectors and breadwinners for the family. They were guardians who fought off enemies and the scourge of natural disasters. Mothers played the roles of nurturers and educators and were often children’s sole source of emotional support and physical affection.

As women entered the work force—jumping from 33% to 60% between 1948 and 20011—men’s roles in parenting adjusted accordingly to share in the duties of the primary caretaker. The effects of these changing roles are being studied and have already shown some positive effects not only on fathers but also on their children. Historically, research on child development has focused more on the sensitivity of mothers to fulfilling their children’s needs. However, in the last 20 to 30 years, research has increasingly focused on fathers. This is due to the growing role modern day fathers play in caregiving.

A study conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) found that fathers tended to be more involved in caregiving when they worked fewer hours than other fathers, had high self- esteem, lower levels of depression and hostility, and coped well with the major tasks of adulthood. In general terms, those fathers lived with co-parenting mothers who worked more hours outside the home than other mothers.2

Other research on the role of fathers suggests that the influence of father love on children’s development is as great as the influence of a mother’s love. Fatherly love helps children develop a sense of their place in the world, which helps their social, emotional and cognitive development and functioning. Moreover, children who receive more love from their fathers are less likely to struggle with behavioral or substance abuse problems.3

Fatherhood has become more complex as fathers take on more caregiving. Three areas of fatherhood that anthropologists and behaviorists have reported notable changes in are:

1. Commendation: Fathers of the past took on the role of disciplinarian and were sparse in their compliments. Modern fathers use positive re-enforcement to sustain outstanding performance in their children.4

2. Accessibility: Children have the freedom to talk to their fathers more than it was possible in the past. Now fathers communicate freely with their children. Very few topics are off-limits with the modern father. 5

3. Emotional Availability: In the past, fathers were mainly involved in protecting their children from physical harm. Now fathers want to be part of every little detail of their children’s well-being, from mental to physical health. 6

In the 1970s, attachment theory was the focus of child development studies, focusing on the first years of children’s lives and their bond with their mothers. Michael Lamb, a forerunner of fatherhood research and still continuing with studies at the University of Cambridge in the U.K., explains, “That went along with the assumption that the bond with the mother was the only [primary] relationship kids could form.”7 However, Lamb and a small number of other researchers were all coming to the same conclusion: Babies can form as strong an attachment to their dads as to their moms. From that seed has grown an intriguing but limited body of evidence stating that not only are men built to care for children, but that being an involved dad impacts kids’ physiologies, psychologies and outcomes for the rest of their lives.8

It wasn’t until the turn of this century that researchers discovered the fascinating detail that men’s bodies transform when they become fathers. Oxytocin—the “love hormone”— has been known to play a role in a mother’s initial bonding with her child after birth. Recently, researchers have observed that the same spike in oxytocin occurs when fathers hold and play with their newborns. The new fathers also register an increase in prolactin—a hormone best known for helping women produce breastmilk. Its purpose, it turns out, is greater than that.9

University of Notre Dame anthropologist Lee Gettler explains that the presence of prolactin goes back hundreds of millions of years to our animal ancestors—before mammals existed (even before breastfeeding existed). Over the past decade, Gettler’s research has come to some conclusions about the hormone’s function in modern-day dads. “Fathers with higher prolactin play with their babies in ways that are beneficial for their babies’ learning and exploration, and the fathers also seem to be more responsive and sensitive to infant cries,” he says. In other words, this ancient hormone plays some role in increasing dads’ desire to be close.10

In the book Do Fathers Matter?, science journalist Paul Raeburn summarizes findings from a 2007 Swedish study: “Children whose fathers played with them, read to them, took them on outings and helped care for them had fewer behavioral problems in the early school years, and less likelihood of delinquency or criminal behavior as adolescents.” When you talk to involved dads, you quickly discover that the positive effects of becoming one aren’t just for the children. Fathers’ own ideas of manhood expand during the transition, as do their abilities to form rewarding human connections. Having an involved dad has been associated with fewer cognitive delays, better school readiness, a decrease in tantrums and aggressive behavior, and lower rates of depression.11

Happy Father’s Day from Nikken! On June 19 this year, Nikken is celebrating fathers and men’s health with a self-care pack that empowers men with Active Wellness. Our Father’s Day Pack, available June 1 through June 30, targets the immune system and gut health with one bottle of Kenzen® Immunity and one bottle of Kenzen Lactoferrin® 2.0. You also receive a bonus bottle of Kenzen® Mega Daily 4 for men at no cost, an added retail value of $53 US / $65 CA.

1, 2, 3 https://www.apa.org/pi/families/resources/changing-father

4, 5, 6 https://guardian.ng/life/life-features/fatherhood-in-the-past-and-fatherhood-today-what-changed/

7, 8, 9, 10, 11 https://www.todaysparent.com/family/parenting/the-science-of-how-fatherhood-transforms-you/

Mental Health is Part of Men’s Health, Too

Now more than ever, mental health is in the news. Perhaps triggered by the pandemic, more people are openly discussing issues such as depression, anxiety, phobias and eating disorders. Men, even more than women, often suffer in silence and it has a lot to do with the different ways boys and girls are brought up.

One of the most significant social stereotypes is that boys are in some way stronger or tougher than girls.1 Yet little girls grow up to be women who have to be tough enough to go through childbirth. This stereotype of masculine strength creates boys who grow into men who suppress their feelings. In other words, it has been engrained in them that feeling vulnerable is a sign of weakness and discussing their anxiety or depression is “unmanly.” Men need to be freed of the stigma attached to their feelings of imperfection, loneliness and helplessness—because all these so-called negative thoughts are part of being human and living through the various stages of life, regardless of gender. Simply feeling able to confide in a therapist, friend or any trusted person is a big step towards mental health.

Research supports the fact that men who cannot speak openly about their emotions may be less likely to recognize mental health issues.2 And, if they don’t recognize they are going through some kind of crisis, they are not going to seek help. Instead, they commonly turn to coping mechanisms such as drinking alcohol to excess, doing drugs or acting overly aggressive. Some other mental health symptoms in men include unexplained anger, irritability, frustration, trouble concentrating, persistent feelings of worry, engaging in high-risk activities, unusual behavior that impedes daily functions and thoughts of suicide.3

In fact, in England, the suicide rate is three times higher in men than in women.4 In North America, the rate is four times higher with men than women.5 Those contemplating suicide often believe no one feels the way they do. “You are not alone”— This statement alone can help someone who is suffering through a mental health crisis, because the knowledge that a specific feeling is not unique, makes it somewhat more acceptable as part of society at large.

Risk factors for mental health issues with men include social isolation, substance abuse, unemployment, military-related trauma, genetic predisposition, mood disorders and health challenges specific to aging in those 85 and older.6

In their 2018 report, the World Health Organization emphasized that cultural stigma surrounding mental health was one of the chief obstacles to people admitting that they were struggling and seeking help, and this was especially pronounced in men.7 Because so many men have been brought up to think of mental health as not concrete, the subject has become known by various media as a “silent epidemic” and a “sleeper issue that has crept into the minds of millions.”8

The fact that men’s mental health is trending in the news gives hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. New fathers and mothers can lead the way by treating boys and girls more equitably, by nurturing and encouraging both genders to articulate both thoughts and feelings, and to be generous and kind to as many as possible. It’s never too early to guide a child into living as an active participant in the Global Wellness Community.

Since June 19 is Father’s Day and June is Men’s Health Awareness month, Nikken is celebrating fathers and men’s health with a self-care pack that empowers men with Active Wellness. Our Father’s Day Pack, available June 1 through June 30, targets the immune system and gut health with one bottle of Kenzen® Immunity and one bottle of Kenzen Lactoferrin® 2.0. You also receive a bonus bottle of Kenzen® Mega Daily 4 for men at no cost, an added retail value of $53 US / $65 CA.

1 https://raisedgood.com/little-boys-more-fragile/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=little-boys-more-fragile&fbclid=IwAR0QajpmC_g1RJI1n-pOegAmQP5sbvMM6vt1tIwmACwZGedn_pxJwa6QYps&fs=e&s=cl

2, 3 https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/m/men-and-mental-health#:~:text=While%20there%20isn’t%20a,rather%20than%20talking%20about%20it.

4 https://www.healthline.com/health/mens-health/mental-health-care-for-men#symptoms

5, 6 https://www.mhanational.org/infographic-mental-health-men

7, 8 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/mens-mental-health-man-up-is-not-the-answer

Scientists are Reconfirming What Nikken Has Stated for Many Years

Mushrooms are good for you and the benefits vary between the hundreds of species, especially in boosting immunity. Lactoferrin also boosts immunity by supporting gut health, which in turn helps improve overall well-being. Two of the most popular items (for good reasons) under the range of Kenzen® Nutrition are Kenzen® Immunity and Kenzen® Lactoferrin 2.0.

The scientific and self-care communities are putting both mushrooms and lactoferrin in the news, so much so that they’re currently trending. At Nikken, that is no surprise, but it does seem to have taken some time for the mainstream media to have picked it up. The good news is that we continue to receive lots of reconfirmation on the research that served as the foundations for two of our bestselling formulations.

University of Massachusetts Amherst nutritionist Zhenhua Liu, an associate professor in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, and recipient of a new $300,000 research grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will investigate whether incorporating mushrooms into Western-style diets can improve gut health and provide a preventive buffer against disease.

Dr. Liu says, “Intestinal dysfunction is thought to be one of the underlying mechanisms that contribute so significantly to the development of Western-style diet-related diseases. For example, oyster mushrooms possess a unique dietary composition rich with multiple nutrients lacking in the Western-style diet, such as dietary fiber and vitamin D. It’s a perfect supplement as a natural whole food to improve the quality of Western-style diets, with the added benefit of improving our overall gut health.”1

With fatty and sugary foods contributing to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers and a host of other chronic health issues across the U.S. and Europe,2 nutritionists and dieticians around the world have their work cut out for them.

Gordon Saxe, MD, PhD, whose research focuses on using food as medicine, is the principal investigator of MACH-19 (Mushrooms and Chinese Herbs for COVID-19), a multi-center study led by University of California San Diego and UCLA. He has found that “mushrooms have the advantage that they co-evolved with us. Bacteria, viruses and other fungi prey on mushrooms just like they prey on humans. And mushrooms have developed exquisite defenses against those pests, and we believe they can confer those to us when we eat them.”3

The importance of mushrooms is explored on multiple plains in the book Entangled Life, written by Cambridge mycologist Merlin Sheldrake. He explores not only the functional food aspects of mushrooms, but also the fact that 90 percent of plant life depend on their relationships with fungi. Sheldrake explains, “These fungi don’t just feed plants, they protect it from disease, they hold the soil together, and they’re conduits for carbon, soil’s main component, which helps it retain water and makes it fertile.”4

It would be unlikely that any of us could eat enough mushrooms of the many beneficial varieties or physically create enough natural lactoferrin to produce the desired immune and gastrointestinal benefits. For example, the oyster mushroom referred to by Dr. Liu as being so beneficial, is only one of 14 mushroom species contained within Kenzen® Immunity. Enoki and shiitake are the other two commonly found in Asian cuisines; however, in Kenzen® Immunity, the mushroom blend is developed to be in the highest concentrations of beneficial compounds. In addition, Kenzen® Immunity includes mushrooms rich in alpha and beta glucans, specialized sugars that the human body cannot produce on its own but are believed to provide immune support.*

Lactoferrin (LF) or lactotransferrin has recently come under the spotlight. Diet and supplements have long been believed to support a well-functioning immune system, and favorably influence the body’s ability to fight infection. Although LF is produced by the body itself, as a secretion by exocrine glands (such as maternal milk or tears) it can also be taken as a supplement, where it then acts as nutraceutical or functional food. Some of the most well-known characteristics of LF is that it is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic. Its ability to limit iron availability to microbes is one of its crucial amicrobial properties.5

Lactoferrin clearly has immunological benefits, as it enhances natural killer cell activity. It stimulates the defense system and can restrict the entry of virus into host cells during infection.6 LF may therefore be an excellent supplement to take, as a way not only to help prevent immune-related issues but also to expedite recovery.

As a protein, Lactoferrin’s main biological function is to bind and transport iron, an essential mineral that helps hemoglobin carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Providing a superior delivery system to support better utilization and balance of iron in the body,* Kenzen Lactoferrin® 2.0 is naturally iron-binding, which studies have shown to have a positive effect on iron absorption, blood iron levels and digestive issues.* Our formulation contains organic Inulin, organic Ginger, organic Turmeric and organic Rhodiola, that work together with Lactoferrin to produce antioxidant effects and anti-inflammatory properties for overall health.*

Father’s Day is on June 19 this year, so for the entire month of June, Nikken is celebrating fathers with a self-care pack that empowers men with Active Wellness. Our Father’s Day Pack, available June 1 through June 30, targets the immune system and gut health with one bottle of Kenzen® Immunity and one bottle of Kenzen Lactoferrin® 2.0. You also receive a bonus bottle of Kenzen® Mega Daily 4 for men at no cost, an added retail value of $53 US / $65 CA.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

1, 2 https://www.massachusetts.edu/news/good-your-gut-umass-amherst-research-examines-benefits-eating-more-mushrooms

3 https://www.news-medical.net/news/20211112/Study-assesses-whether-medicinal-mushrooms-and-Chinese-herbs-can-help-treat-COVID-19.aspx

4 https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/aug/23/the-future-is-fungal-why-the-megascience-of-mycology-is-on-the-rise

5,6 https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2020.01221/full#:~:text=Bacteria%20and%20Lactoferrin,of%20its%20crucial%20amicrobial%20properties.

The 5 Pillars of Wellness Relate to Health and Wealth

Do you know about the 5 Pillars of Wellness? These 5 Pillars are the foundation of Nikken and what our founder believed to be the essence of a balanced lifestyle. The pressures of daily living — a busy schedule, the demands of work, inadequate family or personal time, not enough rest, environmental challenges — can lead to a life thrown out of balance, a disturbance of our natural equilibrium. A balanced approach to living strengthens each of the 5 Pillars of Wellness — Healthy Mind, Body, Family, Society and Finances — and results in a more satisfying, healthy and rewarding lifestyle.

Each of the 5 Pillars relates to the others. Healthy Mind and Body go hand in hand. If you have a Family, you cannot be in balance unless each member is somewhat stable in mind and body. As we reach out past the family, we participate in our communities, just as Nikken is proactive in our Global Wellness Community.

Finally, we have the Healthy Finances Pillar. Simplistically put, this particular pillar is about making money. Unless we are born with so much money that we never have to work a day in our lives, our personal finances help determine whether we can be independent or not. When we have a hard time making ends meet, we worry (unhealthy mind) which takes a toll on our overall well-being (unhealthy body). Inevitably this will impact our relationships within the family and our community. Healthy Finances therefore are a critical part of an Active Wellness lifestyle.

Many people join Nikken because of our groundbreaking products that help us maintain or even improve upon a Healthy Mind, Body and Family. But how many are aware that Nikken also provides a way to contribute to the Healthy Society and Healthy Finances Pillars? Let’s take a single product and see how it might impact every pillar. Let’s use the KenkoAir Purifier® as an example.

•          You purchase a KenkoAir Purifier® because you have furry pets that are shedding a lot and there is a lot of pollen with the spring season. There’s more sneezing and itchy eyes than usual in the household. Or, you purchase a KenkoAir Purifier® because your area is affected by summer fires. It can be that you simply don’t feel your home smells fresh.

•          Once you place your KenkoAir Purifier® your home, you notice it is working hard (the sensor is showing you each time it changes color from blue to red and back again as it ramps up or down, depending on air quality).

•          After a few days (or weeks) you notice the sneezing and itchiness have abated somewhat. Or, you don’t notice the smoky outdoor air at all. Your friends come by and comment on how fresh your house smells.

•          You’re socializing a bit more because you feel more energetic now that allergens or whatever else was in your indoor air is negligible, if not entirely gone.

•          You want to share your newfound companion, KenkoAir Purifier®, with your family members who don’t live with you, so they can breathe more freely, too.

•          You also want to share your “breath of fresh air” with friends, because after all, friends share good things with each other.

•          After hearing from you, your extended family and friends may want to try the KenkoAir Purifier® for themselves. You help them with the purchase and introduce other products that may benefit them. You may also introduce the business potential with Nikken as a way to earn some supplemental income.

•          Each “share” you do that ends up in a purchase, results in a check in the mail for you from Nikken. It’s known as a commission, but you didn’t think of it as selling anything. You just wanted to share something really beneficial, because it’s the air you breathe every single day in your home that made the difference!

This actual scenario repeats itself around the world. There are people who discover this sharing of benefits as a way to make money. Many are stay-at-home mothers and ironically, the pandemic transformed many unemployed people into entrepreneurs—no need to leave home when you simply connect digitally.

Imagine how your Society and Finances Pillars would stabilize and expand if you consciously and conscientiously shared your discoveries of the different benefits of KenkoAir filtration, Nikken Sleep Technology, magnetic technologies, alkaline PiMag® water, Kenzen® organic nutrition, True Elements® marine organic skin care, and Kenko massage technology! In other words, what could happen when you share with intention?

Since May is designated as National Asthma & Allergy Awareness month, Nikken is participating by offering you affordable access to top quality HEPA 13 air filtration with 20% off each order of the KenkoAir Purifier®. In addition, each order of the KenkoAir Purifier comes with items that provide an extra line of defense to support an Active Wellness lifestyle—Kenzen® Hand Sanitizer, Kenzen® Surface Cleaner and the Surface Cleaner refill. May is almost over, but you still have almost a week to experiment with sharing the benefits you’ve personally felt, and to see how your intention impacts the size of your commission check!

Achoo and Gesundheit!

Whether you say “gesundheit” or “bless you”, the intent is the same: to wish good (health) to the person who sneezes. Sneezing is a protective reflex that babies are born with, and luckily, it doesn’t disappear with growth or aging. We don’t need to learn how to sneeze and we can never forget how to do it!

Sneezing may feel annoying, but in reality, it helps the body get rid of things that are irritating or harmful. By sneezing, newborns (as well as older babies, children, and adults) can expel germs and particles from the nose and help protect themselves from getting sick.

Sneezing is how the body clears the nose. When pollen, smoke, dust or even fragrances and odors enter the nostrils, each individual’s nose may react differently. If it’s irritating or tickling in some way, the body tries to ease that feeling and does so with an achoo! In this way, a sneeze is one of the body’s first defenses against invading bacteria and/or viruses. Other foreign particles that can trigger sneezing include mold, mildew, dander and smog.

Sneezes also perform another vital role in the body. In 2012, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania discovered that sneezing is the nose’s natural way to “reset.” They found that cilia, the cells that line the tissue inside the nose, are rebooted with a sneeze. In other words, a sneeze resets the entire nasal environment.1

When we are allergic to something, sneezing is one of the most common reactions as the body tries to clear its airway of the offending allergen. Researchers aren’t sure why some people sneeze multiple times. It may be a sign that your sneezes aren’t quite as strong as a person who only sneezes once. It could also be a sign that you have ongoing or chronic nasal stimulation or inflammation, possibly as a result of allergies.

The most important indoor pollutant is tobacco smoke. It is strongly associated with allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory ailments.2 The most common sources of outdoor pollution include ozone, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.3 These pollutants have been shown to be especially hazardous to adults and children with asthma.

•          Ozone is a big contributor to smog. It’s produced when sunlight reacts with the fumes produced by cars and industrial plants. Although ozone helps protect from UV rays, when it’s present at high amounts on the ground level, it acts as an irritant to the lungs, aggravates asthma and makes breathing difficult.

•       Sulfur Dioxide is a water-soluble gas commonly emitted into the air by coal-fired power plants, refineries, smelters, paper and pulp mills, and food processing plants. Sulfur dioxide has such a pungent odor that for some people, just the smell can cause sneezing. Sulfur dioxide is a precursor for sulfuric acid, an air pollutant that plays a major role in causing respiratory distress.

•          Nitrogen Dioxide is produced largely by burning fuel. In urban areas, it’s produced when there is a lot of traffic congestion or diesel fumes. Indoors, it’s produced by unventilated heaters and gas stoves.

The air that we breathe not only can cause sneezing, but it can also produce runny noses, burning eyes and respiratory distress. An interesting fact is that allergies are more prevalent in highly developed countries in North America and Europe than in less developed nations.4 This suggests that something about contemporary lifestyles may be causing more allergies.

Some items we tend to overlook that can cause allergies include artificial food coloring (especially red dye), latex (commonly found in medical gloves, adhesive bandages and other medical devices), nickel (an element often mixed into gold-toned jewelry), cosmetics (makeup is often full of chemicals, perfumes, and dust mites (that often live in pillows, sheets, mattresses, carpets or even stuffed animals). And of course, the more fumes we breathe in from car exhaust, vehicles that run on diesel, and industrial air pollution, the more likely we are to suffer from breathing difficulties.

What is the bottom line? Indoor air quality is just as important as outdoor air quality, with tobacco smoke being the worst and most offensive air pollutant that clearly promotes both allergy and asthma. Diesel fumes likely promote allergy, whereas other outdoor air pollutants act more as irritants that can aggravate allergies and asthma. Although we are not in control of outdoor air, we can take steps to make sure our indoor air quality is healthy. Keeping dust to a minimum and washing bedding often, using fragrance-free detergents and cleansers, brushing pets often and disposing of fur—these are all part of an Active Wellness lifestyle—and always use a good air filtration system indoors.

Since May is designated as National Asthma & Allergy Awareness month, Nikken is participating by offering you affordable access to top quality HEPA 13 air filtration with 20% off each order of the KenkoAir Purifier®. In addition, each order of the KenkoAir Purifier comes with items that provide an extra line of defense to support an Active Wellness lifestyle—Kenzen® Hand Sanitizer, Kenzen® Surface Cleaner and the Surface Cleaner refill. This offer lasts through the end of May, so take advantage of it while you can!

1 https://www.healthline.com/health/why-do-we-sneeze

2, 3, 4 https://www.medicinenet.com/air_pollution_and_allergies__connection/views.htm

New Studies Show Microplastics Affect Indoor and Outdoor Air

When we hear or read about microplastics, it’s generally in the context of water pollution, since plastics, as they take hundreds of years to break down, systematically leach from landfills into our waterways. A less known way that microplastics might adversely impact our health is through the air we breathe.

What microplastics are we breathing in every day—when working at home, driving to the office, outdoors cycling or running, or in different environments? There’s a big gap in knowledge and thanks to researchers around the globe, answers will be found but time is of the essence. The American Lung Association’s chief medical officer Albert Rizzo, poses the analogy between the decades-long effort to convince the government that smoking causes cancer and the current attempts to prove the adverse reactions caused by inhaling and ingesting microplastics. “By the time we got enough evidence to lead to policy change, the cat was out of the bag. I can see plastics being the same thing. Will we find out in 40 years that microplastics in the lungs led to premature aging of the lung or to emphysema? We don’t know that. In the meantime, can we make plastics safer?”1

Plastics continue to fragment in the environment, “shredding” into fibers even finer than a strand of human hair and therefore easily airborne and inhaled. Realistically, we live in a cloud of airborne dust particles and our bodies have grown accustomed to them; however, people with dust allergies and/or those who are asthmatic, show visible signs of suffering. Add microplastics to the mix of airborne dust and the results may well be concerning.

This spring, scientists from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom announced they had found tiny plastic particles in living humans, in two places where they hadn’t been seen before: deep inside the lungs of surgical patients, and in the blood of anonymous donors. Together the studies signaled a shift in the focus of concern on airborne microplastics.2

Dick Vethaak, a professor emeritus of ecotoxicology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and co-author of the blood study, says, “Plastics should not be in your blood. We live in a multi-particle world, so the trick is to figure out how much plastics contribute to that particle burden and what does that mean.”3

In both studies the plastic particles found were primarily smaller than one micrometer, small enough to have been inhaled. Whether such particles can pass from the blood into other organs, especially into the brain, which is protected by a unique, dense network of cells that form a barrier, isn’t clear. “We know particles can be transported throughout the body via the river of blood,” Vethaak says.4

The lung study done at University of Hull in the U.K., showed just how intrusive airborne particles can be. Researchers were stunned to find the highest number of plastics of various shapes and sizes embedded deep in the lower lung lobe. One of the fibers was two millimeters long. “You would not expect to find microplastics in the smallest parts of the lung with the smallest diameter,” says Hull environmental ecologist Jeannette Rothchell.5  And, according to Kari Nadeau, a Stanford University physician and director of allergy and asthma research,” the particles identified in the University of Hull lung study are known to be toxic to humans and have caused lung irritation, dizziness, headaches, asthma and more.”6

Another team—at the University of Plymouth in the U.K.— decided to compare the threat from eating contaminated wild mussels in Scotland to that of breathing air in a typical home. They concluded that people would take in more plastic by inhaling tiny, invisible plastic fibers floating in the air around them, fibers shed by their own clothes, carpets and upholstery, than they would by eating the mussels.7

Since May is designated as National Asthma & Allergy Awareness month, Nikken is participating by offering you affordable access to top quality HEPA 13 air filtration with 20% off each order of the KenkoAir Purifier®. In addition, each order of the KenkoAir Purifier comes with items that provide an extra line of defense to support an Active Wellness lifestyle—Kenzen® Hand Sanitizer, Kenzen® Surface Cleaner and the Surface Cleaner refill. This offer lasts through the end of May, so take advantage of it while you can!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,7 https://apple.news/ANZkcJ1YzT5qNJI9q0XwZLA

Air Quality Affects Children in Many Ways

To breathe is to live! The quality of air we breathe is so important that it impacts us even before we are born; the air a pregnant woman inhales is the air that transfers into the womb where new life is formed.

Studies conducted through the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Child Health and Human Development division, suggest minimizing exposure to air pollution during pregnancy, infancy and early childhood — all key periods for brain development. Studies have linked exposure to common air pollutants in pregnancy to low birthweight, preterm birth and stillbirth. Exposure to poor air after birth has an even greater effect on developmental risks. A few studies have found a higher risk of autism and of lower cognitive functioning in children living near freeways.1

When we think about air quality, we generally bring up images of smog and industrial pollution or exhaust from vehicles in traffic. In reality, indoor air impacts young children more because many sleep 12 or more hours inside homes. Two of the deadliest issues that low IAQ [Indoor Air Quality] bring to children are allergens and asthma. They are exposed to particulates of dust, dirt, smoke, and pollen which often settle on the furniture inside the home. By getting rid of these types of airborne particles through effective air filtration, we can reduce or eliminate their ill-effects on children and help them maintain a healthy respiratory system.

Children face special risks from air pollution because their lungs are growing and because they are so active and breathe more rapidly than adults. Just like the arms and legs, the largest portion of a child’s lungs will grow long after birth. Eighty percent of their tiny air sacs develop after birth. Those sacs, called the alveoli, are where the life-sustaining transfer of oxygen to the blood takes place. In addition, the body’s defenses that help adults fight off infections are still developing in young bodies. Children have more respiratory infections than adults, which also seems to increase their susceptibility to air pollution.2

As children grow, they end up spending increasingly more hours outdoor, but during the first five years, indoor air quality impacts them most. Household cleaning products, dust mites, central air systems, pet dander and even chemical air fresheners can cause allergic reactions. And if there is a smoker in the family, that is the worst air polluter of all. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, allergies can lead to hives, eczema, asthma, infections and more.

Asthma affects more than 230 million people around the globe and is the most chronic disease among children.3 Underdiagnosed and undertreated because people think of it as a simple breathing problem, it can be serious enough to be life-threatening and is the cause of more than 10 million school absences a year in the U.S. alone.4 Asthma occurs everywhere in the world but can be exacerbated not only by poor air quality but also by humidity levels and genes. It’s estimated that a child with a parent who has asthma is three to six times more likely to develop asthma than a child with parents who are not asthmatic.5

May is National Asthma & Allergy Awareness month and May 3 was World Asthma Day. During the entire month of May, various organizations, including the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and others, drive public awareness campaigns to educate the world about the importance of clean air.6

Nikken offers you affordable access to top quality HEPA 13 air filtration the entire month of May with 20% off each order of the KenkoAir Purifier®. In addition, each order of the KenkoAir Purifier comes with items that provide an extra line of defense to support an Active Wellness lifestyle—Kenzen® Hand Sanitizer, Kenzen® Surface Cleaner and the Surface Cleaner refill.

1 https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/air-pollution-impacts-childhood-development-study-shows

2 https://www.lung.org/clean-air/outdoors/who-is-at-risk/children-and-air-pollution

3,4,6 https://nationaltoday.com/national-asthma-awareness-month/

5 https://www.webmd.com/asthma/asthma-risk-factors#:~:text=Your%20inherited%20genetic%20makeup%20predisposes,have%20a%20parent%20with%20asthma.

Plastic: Why We Need to Learn How to Dispose of It

Plastic is strong, flexible and durable. It’s extremely useful and in the last decades, it would be hard to imagine life without it. Plastic’s strength is also nature’s nemesis, because plastic virtually never breaks down. For example, a plastic bottle can last for 450 years in the marine environment, slowly fragmenting into smaller and smaller pieces until it becomes microscopic. Those microscopic specks, otherwise known as microplastics, don’t go away. It’s mind bending to realize that every piece of plastic that was ever produced is still with us in some form.1

According to Surfers Against Sewage, one of the United Kingdom’s most active and successful environmental charities, 12 million tons of plastic find their way into the oceans every year, and scientists have discovered microplastics embedded deep in the Arctic ice. It’s no wonder that 80% of the marine debris studied is made of plastic.2

Fishing debris such as nets and lines, filmlike wrap such as what is used on store bought vegetables, and latex, which makes things such as balloons, are responsible for the most deaths among 80 marine megafauna species that include dolphins, whales, seals, seabirds and sea turtles.3 As of 2018, 100,000 marine mammals and turtles plus one million sea birds are killed by plastic pollution annually.4

Plastic debris affects wildlife adversely via three key methods: entanglement, ingestion and interaction.5

• Entanglement occurs when marine animals are trapped or constricted most commonly by plastic rope, netting and abandoned fishing gear.

• Ingestion occurs when a species unintentionally or indirectly ingests another species that contains plastic. For example, if a fish eats microplastics or even a larger size piece of plastic waste and a shark eats that fish, then both have ingested plastic waste. By the same token, humans ingest plastics whenever microplastics are embedded in sea creatures turned into seafood.

• Interaction includes collisions, obstructions or abrasions. For example, floating fishing gear has been shown to cause abrasion and damage to coral reef ecosystems upon collision.

With one in three fish caught for human consumption now containing plastic, the question is no longer are we eating plastic but how bad is it for us? Researchers caution that it’s unclear what effect microplastics can have on the human body but they have been found in everything ranging from fish and shellfish found at the super market to tap water. In seawater, plastic absorbs chemicals such as PCBs, which have been linked to endocrine disruption and even some cancers. Even people who do not eat fish are impacted, because 70% of the oxygen we breathe is produced by marine plants, and to breathe is to live!6

Plastics are not going away. Its usefulness pervades our lifestyles: diabetics benefit from plastic each time they use their disposable syringes; they’re in the appliances used in hip replacements; construction workers wear it in their protective helmets; it’s in our computers, phones and cars.

One of the main problems is the pervasiveness of single-use plastics. A plastic bag, for instance, is used for an average of 15 minutes when shopping and may take up to 300 years to deconstruct into microplastic!7  Reuter, an international news agency, reported that as of 2018, 481.6 billion plastic bottles were used worldwide in a single year. That’s 40 billion per month and 1.3 billion per year.8 And, plastic production has been forecast to grow by 60% by 2030 and to treble by 2050.9

Practicing an Active Wellness lifestyle not only means being mindful of our own health but also the health of planet Earth. We are all part of nature and each one of us can do something daily to decrease the amount of plastic waste we produce. Since single use plastic is one of the biggest problems we face, that’s a good place to start. Visit repurpose.global to calculate your own annual plastic footprint.

You still have a few days left to take advantage of our special PiMag® Water Packs, available through April 30, 2022. PiMag® products not only help filter out bacteria and alkalize water but also help eliminate the use of plastic water bottles. The special PiMag® Water Packs give you two items with one at the regular price and the second at 50% off. You will benefit personally as well as be part of the environmental solution that planet Earth needs.

1,2,4,7,9 https://www.sas.org.uk/our-work/plastic-pollution/plastic-pollution-facts-figures/

3 parade.com/zoo, April 17, 2022, Kathleen McCleary

5,6 https://ourworldindata.org/plastic-pollution

8 https://habitsofwaste.org/call-to-action/plastic-bottles/#:~:text=Plastic%20Bottle%20Facts,plastic%20is%20wasted%20each%20year.