Making Health Resolutions

Making health resolutions is an annual event for many of us. For example, I resolved to lose 10 pounds for at least a dozen years. I eventually reframed that specific resolution, and it’s led to achieving and maintaining my annual resolution, which is to keep my numbers, not just my weight, at acceptable levels. That means numbers related to cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides, blood sugar and body-mass index—and if the weight decreases, so much the better.

We can practice Active Wellness as a Global Wellness Community and individually, every day. We can commit to keeping joints mobile, maintaining muscle flexibility and exercising mental agility. Staying hydrated, eating healthy food, drinking alcohol conservatively, exercising consistently and getting restful sleep are all necessary to keep the numbers in check. Health resolutions challenge us to stick to them. Here are five tips to help achieve health resolutions:

1.         Listen to your body. Dr. Nikole Benders-Hadi says, “By consciously listening to your body you are better able to discover what your body actually wants and what makes you feel healthier. You may be surprised to learn you need more sleep or need to drink more water or eat healthier.”1

2.         Find an exercise you really like. Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo says, “Every New Year, people spend a lot of money on gym memberships, workout studio memberships, and online fitness programs. Even though most people start strong, most of them fail to turn their new routine into a long-term habit. Even so, there are ways to improve your odds of sticking to your exercise goals. To begin, pick an activity that you will enjoy and that fits into your schedule.”2

3.         Take time for self-care. Putting ourselves higher up on our priority lists can have a beneficial impact on our well-being. We can really help others better when we are in good shape ourselves. Dr. Candice Seti says, “Self-care can be about scheduling time for yourself, planning fun or relaxing activities, or focusing on healthy behaviors. For example, “I am going to eat four whole-foods based meals a week. Or, “I’m going to take 10,000 steps for five of the next seven days.”3

4.Just cut down on the “bad’ and up the “good” a little bit at a time. Don’t withhold. Some people are able to give up sugar completely or walk three miles a day every day. Know yourself and set your goals accordingly. Aim to keep the scoreboard of healthy behaviors on the plus side and commit to doing better a little bit every day.

5.         Check out PiMag® products for hydration, True Elements® Marine Organic skin care for state-of-the-art COSMOS certified formulas, KenkoAir Purifier® for filtered indoor air, and Kenzen® organic nutrition for smart supplementation. Nikken can help you stick to your health resolutions!

Remember to change your water and air filters to keep your units functioning optimally and take advantage of our four special January packs that each contain a bonus item when you purchase a PiMag® Waterfall filter cartridge and a KenkoAir Purifer® HEPA filter in the same order.

1, 2, 3 https://www.choosingtherapy.com/new-years-resolutions/

Find Your Super Power and Build Upon It

Nikken held its annual Leadership Summit on December 10 and 11 this year. Guest speaker Antoine Zervudacki, CEO of Letsmake Innovation and a Nikken collaborator, spoke about the need for change and sustainable growth in management. He described four archetypes for transformative leadership; in reality, these archetypes may pertain to anyone in pursuit of self-development. We may see ourselves in each archetype or in one specifically.

The Visionary is always looking to the future. This archetype specializes in defining strategic vision, guiding teams and inspiring colleagues to action. The Visionary transforms with special powers of communication. Areas to work on include staying connected to day-to-day realities, teamwork skills and focusing on details.

The Insighter has ears and eyes open to opportunity. This archetype focuses on the client and specializes in research, trends, market expectations, data, deep analysis and nurturing intelligence in teams. The Insighter is gifted in understanding complex situations and turning them into opportunities but may need to learn how to be flexible when change is needed and to pay more attention to teamwork.

The Maker embodies hands-on energy and focuses on generating results through effective processes. This archetype specializes in managing projects, improving procedures and meeting collective objectives on time. The Maker knows how to solve problems in a timely manner and to create success out of failures. Due to a passion for achievement, the Maker needs to balance personal and professional lives as well as those of the team and try not to deviate from long-term strategies.

The Humanizer has a heart that beats for people. This archetype specializes in building trust, empowering team members, communicating transparently and transforming strengths into a winning advantage. Conflict resolution is a major strength while strategic dimensions and solid use of data are areas for growth.

We are constantly transforming as we practice Active Wellness, develop into Humans Being More and share the benefits with the Global Wellness Community. It’s definitely an adventure to explore the archetypes we embody in our changing roles as students, teachers, parents, children, artists, entrepreneurs, inventors, engineers and so much more. Let’s tap into our super powers and make 2022 the best year it can be!

Why We Wear Jewelry

Jewelry was an early form of decorative art. The study of some primitive cultures shows that organic materials were used in the past. It was not until a later stage of human development that people chose precious and possibly scarce materials from far away to create jewelry.1

In many cases, jewelry was used as personal adornment, and also to convey the wearer’s social roles. Jewelry was also used to ward off disease and other evils, and sometimes even to work “magic” against opponents. In religious rituals, jewelry enhanced acts and signs of prayer and devotion to divinities.2

Jewelry that was made out of precious materials surfaced 5,000 years ago. In Mesopotamia, jewelry was fashioned from metals designed as leaves, spirals, and bunches of grapes and inlaid with brightly colored stones. The Ancient Chinese had high regard for jade and silver. Brooches made of precious metals were used in Ancient Greece and Rome to clasp clothes together. Mayan jewelry was generally made from jade, gold, bronze, silver, and copper. Gold was highly coveted in Ancient Egypt such as was displayed in artifacts from King Tut’s tomb. These ancient cultures considered jewelry as a status symbol and only the affluent wore it. In the Middle Ages, royalty and nobility wore jewelry made from gold, silver, and precious gems, while those from the lower classes wore ornaments made from base metals like copper and pewter.3

As times and traditions changed, the mindset about jewelry has also transformed. It has become a mode of self-expression and creativity that’s not limited to costly metals and stones. Jewelry can now also be made from textiles, leather, plastic, glass, or crystal. Fashionable and luxury jewelry is worn by people from all walks of life. These days, people wear jewelry to reflect their mood, style, and individuality.

Kenko Jewelry is the Nikken line, and whether it’s a pair of earrings, a necklace or a bracelet, each piece incorporates magnetic technology, comfort and style. Kenko means health or healthy in Japanese, and as with every Nikken product, our jewelry is made with the purpose of enhancing the Active Wellness lifestyle. Through the end of the year, there is special holiday jewelry, ideal for gifting, in addition to our regular year-round items. Check out the Holiday Gift Guide and get them while they last!

1, 2 https://fashion-history.lovetoknow.com/fashion-accessories/history-jewelry-fashion

3 http://www.historyisnowmagazine.com/blog/2021/9/20/a-brief-history-of-jewelry

How Do You Celebrate the Holiday Season?

We light candles for many reasons and especially during the holiday season. Each culture has its own rituals for lighting candles, but most use them to celebrate and honor traditions. The ancient Romans in particular lit candles in their temples and spiritual spaces. The lighting of candles before a shrine as a show of respect is also common in Buddhist and Hindu traditions. In types of Christianity, votive candles are often used in this way and are also lit to represent prayer intentions.1

Nowadays, we light candles to set a romantic mood and to relax. Some people light candles throughout their homes for their different scents and the warm glow they radiate. We light and blow out candles on birthday cakes and make wishes—an old tradition steeped in the belief that smoke took one’s prayers to the heavens to be heard and answered.

During the holiday season, Jewish people light the Hanukkah menorah with nine candles, eight of which symbolize the “miracle of the oil” while the tallest middle candle is used to light the others. Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah annually celebrates the rededication of the temple. According to tradition, the Jewish warriors only had enough holy oil to light the eternal flame for one night when they entered the temple. Miraculously, that small bit of oil burned for eight days — the exact amount of time it took to press and consecrate more oil.2

Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration where a candle is lit each night. There are three red candles on the right (representing the struggles of the past and present), three green candles on the left (representing a hopeful future), and one black candle in the middle (representing the skin color of people of African descent. The black candle is lit on the first night and each subsequent night of Kwanzaa, one of the other candles is lit, alternating from left to right. On the final night, all seven candles are lit, and children receive gifts.3

Many Christians celebrate Advent, which begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. During Advent, a horizontal evergreen wreath with four candles is hung. Beginning on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, a candle is lit each Sunday, signifying the wait for the birth of Christ.4

Diwali is the five-day Indian celebration of the power of light over darkness. Diwali was on November 4, 2021 but the actual dates change annually according to the Hindu lunar calendar. Diwali marks a time of wishes for the coming year, and candles are lit throughout the home and community to represent the power of light. Floating candles are sent out on the water to Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and prosperity.5

No matter how you celebrate the holidays, we wish you joy, Active Wellness and prosperity. For wonderful gifts, please take a look at the Nikken Holiday Gift Guide.

1 http://alusi.com/candle-traditions-around-the-world/

2, 3, 4 https://wonderopolis.org

5 https://homesick.com/blogs/news/behind-the-flame-the-symbolic-meanings-of-candles-through-time

Feeling Thankful

We often hear advice such as, “Be thankful.” Or, “You should think of all the things to be grateful for.” “Just think how lucky you are.” The truth is, feeling thankful and thinking about it are two separate activities. We can be asked to think about it and we can choose to do so, but feeling grateful just comes over us.

Thinking about gratitude is intellectual—a mental exercise that is important to practice. It can help get us out of a bad mood and elevate our attitudes. When we think about gratitude, we choose to be grateful. When we choose to be grateful, we take a positive approach to living.

On the other hand, feeling thankful comes from the heart. It’s not something we do by choice. We simply give in to that warm, wonderful feeling. We may even shed a tear of joy or relief. Feeling thankful is a state of being that comes from within. External forces may enhance it or decrease it, but the source is in our hearts, or in some cases, our stomachs. We talk about the flutter in our hearts when in love and the knot in our stomachs when in fear. Neither is something we choose; they are feelings that overwhelm us. That is how feeling thankful works, too.

During the Thanksgiving season, we consciously gather with friends and family to share our communal gratitude. We feel thankful for friends and family year-round, but the holidays seem to be designated times for verbalizing or showing our gratitude by actions. Not everyone celebrates in November and the timing really doesn’t matter. What matters is to set time aside to show those we are thankful for that we are grateful to have them in our lives.

At Nikken, this Thanksgiving we want to express how thankful we are to the members of our Global Wellness Community. We are thankful for your community spirit, your steadfastness, your loyalty and trust. At Nikken, we feel gratitude daily, weekly, monthly and as the years go by, we are humbled and awed that together we continue on our adventurous journey as Humans Being More. We continue pursuing Active Wellness and sharing an energetic lifestyle. We share how to build a Wellness Home with everyone we care about. From the heart, we thank you for being part of our community and helping it to grow. On Thanksgiving and every day, we give thanks to you.

Restful Sleep is So Sweet

Scientists don’t yet understand exactly why we need sleep so badly.  They believe it restores us physically and helps us organize things in our brain.1 We do know, however, that we can’t live an Active Wellness lifestyle without it. We cannot force ourselves to fall asleep, just as we can’t force ourselves to digest food more quickly or to eat as much as we want without gaining weight. In other words, we can’t control our sleep patterns; however, we can create the right conditions for sleep, both mentally and physically. That is, we can create good sleep habits for a pleasant sleep experience.

The study of sleep makes for fascinating science. Here are some interesting facts about other species:

• English bulldogs are the only canines known to experience sleep apnea, a breathing disorder. Their unusual airway anatomy (short snouts and underbites is the likely reason.2

• Sea otters hold hands when they sleep so they don’t drift away from each other.3

• Whales and dolphins literally fall half asleep. Each side of their brain takes turns so they can come up for air.4

• Trees go to sleep at night by relaxing their branches and perk them up in the morning.5

• Snails can sleep for three years.6

• Giraffes can get by on an average of 30 minutes of sleep each night.7

There are also intriguing facts about humans and our sleep patterns:

• We are the only mammals that willingly delay sleep.8

• Thirty minutes of exercise each day correlates with 14 minutes of extra sleep per night.9

• Parents of newborns lose about six months’ worth of sleep in their child’s first two years of life. Each additional child increases the mother’s loss of sleep by 46%.10

• Sleepwalking is most likely to occur between the ages of three and 17, with 15% of people thought to be sleepwalkers.11

• Women sleep longer than men. The reason is that women tend to multitask more than men; therefore, their brains work harder and take longer to recover.12

• We can dream in color or in black and white. About 12% are believed to dream exclusively in black and white.13 Today about 75% dream in color, while only 15% did before color television became available.14

Scientists used to think that everything shut down when we sleep, but over the last 60 years, they’ve discovered that our brains are very active while we sleep. In fact, some parts of the brain use more oxygen and glucose while asleep than when awake. The timing of our need for sleep is based on how long we have been awake and our body clock. For example, if we stay awake all night, we will feel more tired at 4 am than at 10 am.  Recent breakthroughs may have identified the gene that makes some people cope more easily with a lack of sleep.15

Have you tried Kenko Sleep Technology to help you get a great night’s sleep? For the entire month of November, Nikken Registered Customers will receive cash back in the form of Nikken Reward Points on the purchase of any Kenko Naturest® Fit or any Kenko Sleep Pack. There’s nothing else like the Kenko Naturest® Fit anywhere—it’s only from Nikken. Designed with natural latex nodules to massage you while you sleep, the reflective fibers help keep you warm while promoting air circulation. Tourmaline interspersed between 800 gauss magnets help create a calming effect, to help you get your best night’s sleep, every night! The Kenko Naturest® Fit transforms any mattress into a Kenko Sleep System that supports your body’s natural abilities to recuperate while sleeping!

1, 15 https://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/facts-about-sleep.html

2, 3,4, 8, 14 https://health.clevelandclinic.org/22-facts-about-sleep-that-will-surprise-you/

5, 6, 7, 10, 12 https://www.thegoodbody.com/sleep-facts/

11, 13 https://www.thinktank.org.uk/blog/1363-30-fun-facts-about-sleep.php

Sleep Can Be Your Superpower

To maintain an optimal level of Active Wellness, we can eat right, exercise regularly, use a good air filter and drink hydrogen water. Even more importantly, we need to sleep well and sleep enough! According to sleep and brain scientist Matt Walker, “Sleep is a non-negotiable biological necessity. Sleep is the Swiss army knife of health.” 1 Humans are the only species who intentionally deprive ourselves of sleep, creating the public health challenge of the century.

What are some of the benefits of getting a good eight hours of restful sleep? Matt Walker states that in studies of restful sleepers vs. sleep-deprived participants, the hippocampus in the brain shows significant memory signals in the good sleepers but not in the sleep-deprived. Here’s why:

  • Sleep prepares the brain for learning activities.
  • Sleep helps create permanent memories after learning.
  • Deep sleep acts like a transfer system for memories and learning.
  • Gene activities are impacted by sleep. Good sleep increases immune system activities, while poor sleep is associated with an increase in genetic stress activities and chronic inflammation.

Disruptions of deep sleep can impact brain functions, leading to certain dysfunctions. The good news is that scientists can now research ways to rectify this situation, as it is believed that sleep loss leaks into every aspect of physiology. Here are some tips for good sleep:

  1. Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time as regularly as possible. The body likes regularity and a fixed schedule. (This is why new mothers who are sleep-deprived or those who are on a split shift and can no longer adhere to a regular sleep schedule say they have “fuzzy” brains or “can’t think.”)
  2. Keep it cool. It takes a two to three degree drop in body temperature to fall asleep and stay asleep. 65º F or 18 Cº is generally ideal for most people.
  3. When you can’t sleep, get out of bed and preferably go to another room. The bed should be associated with sleep, not with tossing and turning.
  4. Go to bed only when sleepy.
  5. Turn off all electronic devices. In other words, don’t fall asleep with the TV on. Don’t have your mobile phone on and blinking and buzzing throughout the night.
  6. Stay away from alcoholic or caffeinated beverages before bedtime, preferably hours beforehand.
  7. Don’t take sleeping pills, unless prescribed by your physician. It’s easy to form a dependence on sleep aids, but it is not a natural way to go to sleep. We can retrain our bodies to rest naturally, but like any activity, it takes practice and patience.
  8. Invest in comfortable bedding. Make sure your mattress has the firmness that supports your comfort level.

For the entire month of November, any Nikken Registered Customer will receive cash back in the form of Nikken Reward Points on the purchase of any Kenko Naturest® Fit or any Kenko Sleep Pack. There’s nothing else like the Kenko Naturest® Fit anywhere—it’s only from Nikken. Designed with natural latex nodules to massage you while you sleep, the reflective fibers help keep you warm while promoting air circulation. Tourmaline interspersed between 800 gauss magnets help create a calming effect, to help you get your best night’s sleep, every night! The Kenko Naturest® Fit transforms any mattress into a Kenko Sleep System that supports your body’s natural abilities to recuperate while sleeping!

1 http://t.ted.com/NKWxqbD

Meaningful Activities Help Overall Well-Being

Buttoning a shirt. Tying shoelaces or a necktie. Scratching that hard-to-reach spot on the back. These are some of the things we may take for granted but are actually “meaningful activities” because they are everyday aspects of Active Wellness and impact the quality of our lives. Sometimes a life event might transform these everyday activities into goals.  Beginning in 2010, that’s what World Occupational Therapy Day celebrates every year on October 27: helping people across their lifespans to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities.1

We might not think about these daily activities until they’re hard to do. Finding ways for us to do them is what occupational therapists are concerned with.2 An occupational therapist will talk with us about our needs and goals. They’ll do tests to find out our strengths and challenges, then come up with a plan to reach our goals. This will include exercises and activities to strengthen our skills. While the word “occupation” usually means a job or profession, it can also refer to daily activities that let us live independently and bring meaning to our lives.

The World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) is the international voice of the profession and globally comprises 101 national organizations. World Occupational Therapy Day is the opportunity to promote their holistic approach to maintaining mobility throughout life. Occupational therapists focus on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person, who is considered an integral part of the therapy team. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science.3

This year’s theme for World Occupational Therapy Day is “Belong. Be You.”4 OTs (as occupational therapists are known for short) do just that: help us belong in our Global Wellness Community by being ourselves, as purposeful participants in Active Wellness.

1 https://www.aota.org/conference-events/otmonth/what-is-ot.aspx

2, 3 https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-is-an-occupational-therapist 4 https://wfot.org/world-occupational-therapy-day

Bones and Joints Work Together

Walking, jumping, typing, wiggling our toes, bending, pointing, drawing, sitting, sleeping—what do these and virtually all activities have in common? They require our bones and joints to work together. The world acknowledged the importance of healthy joints with World Arthritis Day on October 12, and healthy bones will be the focus on World Spine Day on October 16 and World Osteoporosis Day on October 20.

Our bones and joints truly make great teammates. Did you know:1

  • The adult human body has 206 bones, with 26 of them in the foot and 54 of them in the hand, including the wrist.
  • The femur, or thighbone, is the longest and strongest bone of the human skeleton. In contrast, the smallest and lightest bone is located in the middle ear and called the stapes.
  • The hyoid is a V-shaped bone located at the base of the tongue. It’s the only bone in the human body that is not connected to another!
  • Bones are composed of calcium, phosphorus, sodium and other minerals, as well as the protein collagen. Making up the skeleton of the body, bones protect organs as well as produce red and white blood cells.
  • The place where two bones meet or connect are joints, which are formed by short bands of tough fibrous connective tissue known as ligaments.
  • Some joints move and others don’t. For example, joints in the skull do not move, while synovial joints do. Synovial joints are located mostly in our arms and legs.
  • Hip and shoulder joints are the most mobile and known as ball and socket joints. They enable our arms and legs to move in multiple directions.
  • Ellipsoidal joints allow our fingers to bend and stretch; hinge joints enable knees and elbows to move; gliding joints work in the ankles and wrists by gliding against each other.

The more we practice Active Wellness, the healthier our bones and joints are and the longer they’ll last. Consistent physical activity, a balanced diet and getting plenty of sleep will help us stay healthy and keep our bones and joints working together our entire lives.

1 https://www.bidmc.org/about-bidmc/wellness-insights/bones-and-joints/2018/08/fun-facts-about-bones-and-joints

Celebrate World Vegetarian Month This October!

October is World Vegetarian Month and there are many facts, historical and nutritional, that may be little known but of interest. By definition, a vegetarian is a person who decides to abstain from meat whether it be for health, religious, or moral reasons. The term “vegetarian” is believed to have come into existence in 1847, whereas prior to that, those who refrained from consuming meat were known as “Pythagorean.”1 There is no proof that the famous Greek mathematician and philosopher was vegetarian but many sources say he and his adherents followed a restrictive diet that did not include animal flesh.2

Some other historical figures who are known or purported to have been vegetarian include the esteemed artist and philosopher Leonardo da Vinci, feminist and author of Frankenstein Mary Shelley, the founding father of the United States Benjamin Franklin, and Indian activist and leader Mahatma Gandhi. Historians note that the Mahatma strayed from vegetarianism briefly but renewed his commitment when studying law in England, even though it required 10 to 12 miles of walking to find vegetarian restaurants!3

In North America, vegetarianism became a movement in 1850 and is attributed to William Alcott who helped start the American Vegetarian Society.4 He happens to be a relative of Little Women author Louisa May Alcott. In current times, many celebrities are known to be vegetarians and the movement is growing as scientists continue researching the the health benefits of plant-based living.

Globally, India has the highest percentage of vegetarians when compared to other countries, with roughly 30 percent of the population adhering to a plant-based lifestyle.5 Generally acknowledged by nutritionists and dieticians to be a healthy way of eating and even a way to sustain weight loss, it is important to know that some vegetarian foods can be high in calories and fat. For example, if you cut out meat but replace it with lots of cheese and nuts you could end up consuming the same number of calories or even more. On the other hand, eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, soy and moderate amounts of nuts can help you maintain a healthy weight.6

Here are some important nutrients to keep in mind when eating a vegetarian diet: 7

• Protein—Protein is important for maintaining healthy muscles, skin, bones, and organs. Ovolacto vegetarians may have an easier time getting enough protein but vegans should be sure to eat enough soy products, meat substitutes, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

• Calcium—This mineral is important for building strong bones and teeth. Vegetarians who do not consume dairy products can find adequate calcium in leafy greens, broccoli, fortified soy milk, and fortified juices.

• Vitamin B12—The body uses this vitamin to produce red blood cells and it is mostly found in animal products. Vegans must include a B12 supplement, consume enriched cereals, or drink fortified soy milk.

• Iron—Iron is a crucial component of red blood cells and lack of iron can lead to anemia, or iron deficiency. Dried beans and peas, whole grains, leafy green vegetables, and dried fruit are good sources of iron. Be sure to combine the above foods with foods high in vitamin C (oranges, strawberries, hot peppers) because vitamin C aids in iron absorption.

• Zinc—This mineral is an essential component of enzymes and formation of proteins. Good sources of zinc include whole grains, soy products, nuts, and wheat germ.

Kenzen Nutrition is composed of a complete program based on organic ingredients. At Nikken, our goal is to help the Global Wellness Community fill the nutritional gaps in any daily diet. Founded on a whole-food philosophy, our organic-based solutions help bring your daily food regimen closer to nature and make it easy to practice Active Wellness.

1, 4 https://nationaltoday.com/vegetarian-month/

2, 3, 5 https://www.britannica.com/list/8-of-historys-most-famous-vegetarians

6 https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/get-the-facts-about-vegetarian-diets

7 https://www.depts.ttu.edu/hospitality/pdf/SmartChoices2011_Veg.pdf