We Give Thanks

We often take for granted the most basic things in life even though they really are the most important. Without them, we would not be able to live in good health and Active Wellness. This Thanksgiving, let’s pause, inhale deeply our thanks for the essentials we are blessed with and exhale any resentments or negativity.

We give thanks for Clean Air. To breathe is to live, but so many in the world do not live with clear air. The World Health Organization cites 99% of the world breathing air that exceeds guidelines for pollutants.1

We give thanks for Clean Water. We humans are composed of 55 to 60% water and our blood is 90% water. We need to keep the tank filled. Clean water renews and invigorates us.

We give thanks for Food that feeds us. The more natural the food, the better it nourishes us. We give thanks for the soil, the water and seeds that grow food.

We give thanks for Shelter. Globally, there are more than 154 million people who are homeless.2 We give thanks for the roof over our heads.

We give thanks for warm Clothes. With winter’s beauty comes winter cold.

We give thanks for Family. For many, this is one of the few times of the year that family connects and comes together physically. We give thanks for the Family Presence.

We give thanks for Friends. As the saying goes, you can’t choose your family, but you definitely choose your friends. We give thanks for our Friends who choose us back.

We give thanks for the health and longevity of our Pets. The older they are, the more precious they become. We give thanks for each year they continue to live with us.

We give thanks for the good Health of body, mind and spirit. Without good Health, there is little else that matters.

We give thanks for Hugs. Oxytocin is a chemical in our bodies that scientists sometimes call the “cuddle hormone.” This is because its levels rise when we hug, touch, or sit close to someone else. Oxytocin is associated with happiness and less stress.3

We give thanks for Love in all its magical forms.

We give thanks to all of You.

Let the people you care about know how much you appreciate them and say thank you. Nikken is happy to share the 2022 Something for Everyone Gift Guide. Items in the Gift Guide are available through 2022. Check it out here: https://issuu.com/nikkeninternationalinc/docs/holiday_gift_guide_2022.

1 https://www.who.int/health-topics/air-pollution#tab=tab_1

2 https://newstorycharity.org/homelessness-statistics/

3 https://www.healthline.com/health/hugging-benefits#4.-Hugs-can-make-you-happier

What is Altruism?

Altruism is the unselfish concern for other people—doing things simply out of a desire to help, not because you feel obligated to out of duty, loyalty, or religious reasons. It involves acting out of concern for the well-being of other people.1

Altruistic people help others without expectations of rewards or personal benefits. On the contrary, some altruistic acts may even come at some personal risk or costs. For example, when you see a homeless person sharing food with a pet, that is altruism and love in the form of sharing in the face of scarcity. Another example of altruism that can come at a cost is when a person takes off a coat in freezing weather and puts it on someone else to give them warmth and bears the cold instead.

There several types of altruistic behavior:

  • Genetic altruism involves acts that benefit close family members. For example, in many cultures, the tastiest delicacies are reserved for the eldest family member—a matriarch or patriarch—who then may turn around and give it to the youngest of the family. These are acts of affection but stem from genetic altruism.
  • Reciprocal altruism is based on a give-and-take relationship. One person may help the other but there is an understanding that in the future, the kind act will be reciprocated. For example, a worker who takes someone else’s shift as a favor, will likely expect the same in return at a later date.
  • Group-selected altruism involves a group affiliation. Altruistic acts are directed toward people who are part of their social group or supporting social causes that benefit them. If you are a member of PETA or Greenpeace or even the YWCA, you are part of group-selected altruism.
  • Pure altruism is also known as moral altruism. This form involves helping someone else, even when it is risky, without any reward. It is motivated by a person’s values and morals. For example, if an error is made on the job, but one person on the team stands up and takes the blame for everyone, that is pure altruism.

Altruism can be straightforward or it can be a bit more complicated. It is one aspect of what is known as prosocial behavior. Prosocial behavior refers to any action that benefits other people, no matter what the motive or how the giver benefits from the action.2

While all altruistic acts are prosocial, not all prosocial behaviors are completely altruistic—because altruism might be the result of feelings of guilt, obligation, debt, atonement or for rewards. For instance, if a student tutors a fellow classmate in order to receive extra credit points for doing so, that is prosocial behavior, but it may not be wholly altruistic.

Why are some people so altruistic?

• Psychologists have studied whether some people are innately more altruistic than others. In other words, are some of us born with a genetic tendency to help others? Known as kin selection, this evolutionary theory posits that people are more likely to help blood relatives because it will ensure the longevity of the line and the continuation of shared genes.3

• Neurobiologists have found that altruistic behaviors activate the pleasure centers of the brain. Simply put, doing good makes us feel good! The better we feel, the more likely we are to repeat the behaviors that produce pleasure.

• The environment also factors into whether someone behaves altruistically. In one study, children who observed simple reciprocal acts of altruism were far more likely to exhibit altruistic actions. On the other hand, friendly but non-altruistic actions did not inspire the same results.4

• Society’s rules, norms, and expectations can also influence whether or not people engage in altruistic behavior. For example, we may feel pressured to help others if they have already done something for us and we feel indebted.

• Sometimes doing something kind helps relieve our feelings of distress. When “donors” hand out money to panhandlers with handwritten signs that say, “Out of work, family needs food,” it may not be pure altruism. There may be feelings of guilt for one’s own unearned good fortune or a sense of obligation, but it is definitely an act of compassion to help alleviate someone else’s despair.

Regardless of why any of us may choose to behave in an altruistic manner, the kindness comes back to us one way or another. Altruism may benefit our health, state of mind and even our relationships with others. Performing kind deeds helps create a positive state of well-being, especially giving us good feelings about ourselves.

Some people come by altruistic tendencies naturally, but there are things you can do to help foster helpful behaviors in yourself and others. You can practice empathy by building connections and finding meaning in what you do in relation to others. Perform random acts of kindness—small things every day—such as holding doors open for others, assisting the elderly, letting someone go before you in a queue, volunteering in your community, etc.

Gift-giving is generally not considered altruism, but think about it. When you give someone a gift of Active Wellness without an expectation of something in return, aren’t you practicing a form of altruism? This season, Nikken is happy to share the 2022 Something for Everyone Gift Guide. Items in the Gift Guide are available through 2022. Check it out here: https://issuu.com/nikkeninternationalinc/docs/holiday_gift_guide_2022.

1,2,3,4 https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-altruism-2794828

Connecting with Nature in Autumn

Forest bathing may not be that familiar to the western world, but connecting with nature is universally known as a way to attain physical, mental and even spiritual well-being.

As the weather gets colder in the autumn months leading into winter, we may have the impulse to disconnect with nature by staying indoors 24/7. What we should do, is bundle up and embrace the outdoors—in a way, to embrace the Nordic way! The Mental Health Foundation in the UK did a survey recently that showed 75% of adults experienced an improvement in their mood after being close to green spaces!So let’s make an effort to keep summer outdoor habits going through autumn and into winter! We just have to take the right precautions!

Here are some ways to reconnect with nature through autumn:

•          Go foraging for leaves, pebbles, wild berries and anything that catches your eye. Create an art project, such as a collage or a miniature terrarium, with items such as feathers, bark, pine cones, acorns and anything natural. Take advantage of the most colorful season of the year!

•          Take photos as you go on a walk around your neighborhood or take a hike on a trail.

•          The UK is the leader of “green social prescribing,” which links people to nature-based activities to help reduce stress and other mental health issues.2 The US, Canada, Brazil and New Zealand also have government programs that help people find non-medical ways to address health, especially mental health. Continuing research shows reconnecting with Mother Nature is the way to less stress and therefore fewer challenges both physically and mentally!

•          Guided walks in the UK, or nature walks as they’re known in North America, encourage the benefits of breathing fresh air while learning about the natural environment, ecology and your local ecosystem. Search for these types of educational walks (or hikes) in your local area, as they have grown in popularity over the last decade.

•          Do you live where a bit of a drive can take you to an orchard or a berry patch? Autumn is apple and berry season! Many local areas allow you to go pick your own for a small fee, and you’re even allowed to eat as you pick!

•          Do you like the introspective hobbies, such as reading, knitting or painting? Take it all outdoors! Find a comfy bench or a scenic spot and enjoy yourself with the benefit of fresh air.

•          Many shelters allow people to volunteer as dog walkers. Some will require that you undergo some training first. You’d be helping a homeless dog for sure, but you’d also feel a sense of giving. And if everything aligns, you may have found a best friend and end up giving that dog you bond with through repeated walks, a new home!

•          Are you a morning person? How about going outside to watch the sun rise? And if you’re more of a night person, watching the sun set is just as breathtaking.

•          When you’re indoors, use the KenkoGround® to keep you connected to nature. All you need is a grounded outlet.

Use your imagination, put on a sweater or a warm coat and head outside, even if it’s only for a few minutes each day. You’ll find it invigorating and easily start a wonderful Active Wellness habit. To make it more fun, invite a friend or someone you’d like to befriend, to join you. The buddy system helps good habits stick. Time spent with someone can be a gift in and of itself.

As we enter the season of giving, Nikken is happy to share the 2022 Something for Everyone Gift Guide. Items in the Gift Guide are available through 2022. Check it out here: https://issuu.com/nikkeninternationalinc/docs/holiday_gift_guide_2022.

1,2 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-connect-nature-boost-your-mental-health-during-autumn-wright?trk=public_profile_article_view

Kindness Helps You Live Longer

World Kindness Day, celebrated annually on November 13, was first introduced as a day of observation by the World Kindness Movement. World Kindness Day came into being when several humanitarian groups came together at a Tokyo-based convention in 1997 and made a Declaration of Kindness. Diverse institutions and associations joined from countries around the world, including Australia, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States and many more.

What started as World Kindness Day turned into World Kindness Week, where everyone is encouraged to make a similar declaration of kindness and charity. World Kindness Week begins on November 7th and runs through the 13th. The week is celebrated by donating books, food, or clothes to local communities and pledging to empathize with other people. World Kindness Week aims to create a society where everyone can live a dignified life.

In 2019, the organization was registered as an official NGO under Swiss law. This means that it is a nonprofit organization that operates independently of any government. Now recognized and celebrated almost everywhere in the world, participants unite to perform acts of kindness. The single unifying purpose of this week is to focus on positivity and how it impacts us daily.

This week of kindness is observed with activities like dance mobs, concerts, distributing kindness-themed cards and performing random acts of kindness. At the moment, World Kindness Week is an unofficial celebration; however, enthusiasts hope that the World Kindness Movement will soon achieve official recognition status by the United Nations. Should the group be successful in their efforts, World Kindness Day would join the ranks of recognized days of observance such as International Day of Peace, Human Rights Day, and World Health Day.

Here are some discoveries about kindness:

  1. Kindness is teachable: We are psychologically wired to help someone in need.
  2. It’s contagious: Witnessing an act of kindness improves our mood, making us more likely to pay it forward.
  3. Serotonin source: Like a natural antidepressant, kindness stimulates the production of serotonin.
  4. Kindness makes you live longer: There is a 44% less chance of an early death if you are kind! (This is the theme for World Kindness Week this year.)
  5. Kindness has anti-aging effects: Perpetually kind people have 23% less stress hormone and age slower than the average population.
  6. Oxytocin source: Witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, sometimes called the “love hormone.” Oxytocin helps lower blood pressure and may improve overall heart health. Oxytocin also helps increase our self-esteem, creates an optimistic outlook and can help ease anxiety or shyness.

As we approach the season of gratitude, giving and celebration, Nikken is happy to provide gift ideas of Active Wellness, balance, mindfulness and beauty. We call it the 2022 Something for Everyone Gift Guide. Items in the Gift Guide are available through the end of 2022: https://issuu.com/nikkeninternationalinc/docs/holiday_gift_guide_2022

Source: https://nationaltoday.com/world-kindness-week/

Prepare for Winter: Boost Your Immune System

As autumn turns into winter, daylight grows shorter and temperatures go lower. In terms of darkness and lightness, we move from the warmth of the light into the coolness of the dark—in fact, winter consists of the most dark months of the year.

We think of warm weather as a time of lots of activity, vacations, and being outdoors. On the other hand, winter is associated with being indoors, dodging viruses and getting “cozy”—being snug as a bug in a rug, so to speak. This actually is not just a perception but true to life.

When we transition into winter, we are dealing with temperature changes and an overall shift in the atmosphere. This shift allows colds, flus and any number of viruses to emerge. It’s important to bolster our immune systems all year round, but especially during these transitional months when we are most susceptible to catching germs that abound in the colder climates.

We generally think of boosting immunity with a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables that are chockful of vitamins and antioxidants. Moving from autumn to winter is a great time to incorporate immune-enhancing minerals, such as iron, zinc and selenium. Iron can be found in red meat, fortified cereals, kale, broccoli, quinoa, and pulses. Zinc and selenium are found in protein-rich beef, turkey, chicken, shrimp, lobster and fish—if you are a vegetarian, you can get your fill in a handful of Brazil nuts! 

Beta glucans are natural sugars that help the immune system to recognize and destroy germs but our bodies don’t produce any of this particular type of soluble fiber, but we can eat things that contain them. Kenzen® Immunity contains mushroom blends that are rich in beta glucans, but we can also incorporate oats, barley, rice, wheat, seaweed and nutritional yeast into our daily diets. Those familiar with Kenzen® Immunity may take a couple of extra capsules when moving from season to season.

A healthy diet does wonders for an Active Wellness lifestyle, but it’s as important to get enough quality sleep. As daylight hours shorten, we are also susceptible to feeling less energetic during the longer “dark” hour.

Getting restful sleep goes a long way towards keeping mentally and physically well. Sufficient sleep will help keep us focused, less stressed and more confident. When we cannot get rejuvenating rest when sleeping, it not only affects our moods (tired and cranky) but also our overall ability to relax and feel well (tense muscles and achy body). The winter season is when it’s critical for us to recharge our batteries every night, so that we don’t face fatigue and stress during our working hours. Sleep goes hand-in-hand with boosting immunity: Research reveals that sleep deprivation prevents our immune systems from building up its forces, leading to less protection against bugs.1

There are still a few days left in October, so you can take advantage of our Autumn Kenko Makura Sleep Pack Special, perfect for getting ready for winter! Get any Makura Sleep Pack, and receive the pillow for free! In other words, when you purchase a Twin Size Makura Sleep Pack, you receive the one pillow for free—you only pay the price of the Kenko Naturest® Fit and Kenko Dream or Dream Light Comforter of your choice. When you purchase a Full, Queen or King Makura Sleep Pack, you receive two pillows for free. Don’t pass up these savings!

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5768894/

See You Next Year, Summer! Hello, Autumn!

What happens to our sleep patterns when we move from the summer months into autumn? In Europe and North America, this transition has already started as we approach the end of September.

During the summer, sunlight continues into the evening hours and the feeling of night feels delayed. That’s why it may be so difficult to get children to sleep at their regular bedtimes during the summer months! As daylight hours shorten, it may become easier to get the small ones to sleep but actually harder for adults to get their needed rest. The reason for this is our exposure to vitamin D decreases in the autumn months.

Our bodies actually manufacture vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is important in the production of melatonin, which helps us regulate our circadian rhythms and promotes restful sleep. During the autumn months, there are fewer sunlit hours so our bodies may produce less melatonin. One way to overcome this possible shortage is to make sure to spend time outside, even as the weather cools down. In other words, make sure to get sun exposure!

Depending on personal preferences, some people may find it difficult to exercise when summer heat is at its highest. Autumn may well be the perfect outdoor climate for those who stayed in air-conditioned rooms all summer long! Getting a good dose of outdoor exercise—even in cloudy weather—helps obtain the sun exposure (you can get sunburned even when it’s cloudy!) and the sleep benefits that come along with a well worked-out body. And, exercise is known to decrease anxiety and stress, all of which help promote a good night’s sleep.

One proviso about exercise is not to work out too close to your bedtime. When you exercise, your body is revved up. If you do that right before you go to bed, it might take longer to fall asleep, because your body will need to calm down. In order to get the most sleep-boosting benefits, aim to workout at least three to six hours before you plan to go to sleep.1

When we transition into autumn, just as some people will find it harder to get restful sleep, there are others who might actually find it hard to stay awake until it’s their actual bedtime. This is again related to light exposure. Falling asleep too early can also disrupt the natural circadian rhythm and lead to an exhausting day; therefore, staying in brightly lit rooms up to two hours before bedtime is recommended. This helps to keep the brain alert until it’s the correct time to start winding down.2

Depending on your sleep habits—whether you sleep with the window open or use centralized air conditioning or heating—moving from summer into autumn may be the ideal time to change your bedding. You may opt for flannel sheets instead of lighter cotton and you may choose a warmer comforter for autumn. It all has to do with temperature control, and you are the best judge of what helps you sleep best.

Our immune systems are more fragile during seasonal transitions, especially since we are exposed to colds and flu at this time of year. We need good restful sleep to keep the immune system functioning optimally. So, if you can’t get the best sleep at night, try for a “power nap” during the day. Even 20 minutes can be helpful for staying in a state of Active Wellness.

No matter what season we are in, Kenko Sleep Technology is the Nikken way to help you sleep like a baby. We just added the Kenko Naturest® Makura to our line of sleep products and rave reviews are coming in. Try this layered ergonomic pillow with three types of sleep technology—pair it with a Kenko Naturest® Fit and add a Kenko Dream or Dream Light Comforter for sweet dreams. And don’t forget that tomorrow is the last day to get 30% off the KenkoAir Purifier®, HEPA filtration to help you breathe fresh air all day and all night long!

1 https://blog.fitbit.com/transition-sleep-routine/

2 https://www.wellandgood.com/change-in-seasons-affects-sleep/

To Sleep Well You Need to Breathe Well

To ensure good sleep, we tend to think about the comfort of our mattresses and pillows, room temperature and keeping the environment dark. According to sleep specialist and neuroscientist Dr. Chelsie Rohrscheib, breathing properly is essential for staying healthy and getting proper sleep.1

She says, “Poor air quality can increase your risk of developing allergies and certain diseases such as asthma, or respiratory infections such as colds, the flu, bronchitis, COVID-19 and pneumonia. People with proper breathing experience deeper, more refreshing sleep, are able to fall asleep faster, and are less likely to experience nighttime awakenings. If air quality is low, and breathing is poor, you may wake up several times per night. This can keep you from entering the deepest, most refreshing stages of sleep, leaving you feeling tired the next day.” 2

Scientists have noted that our brains function better when it receives an abundance of oxygen. The brain does not shut down when we are sleeping but continues to process information, so it still requires lots of breathable air even when the body is resting. Since the brain uses about 25% of total oxygen intake, supplying it with enough good air is crucial for health, not only during sleep but all day long.

One of the easiest ways to improve air quality is to allow fresh air to circulate through the bedroom. This increases oxygen levels in your blood, which then increases the overall quality of sleep. That’s why many sleep experts recommend keeping the windows open to let in outside air to boost ventilation.

Just as fresh air boosts the brain’s performance, stagnant air has an adverse effect. The brain will wake us up to force us to take deeper breaths to clear out carbon dioxide and get the oxygen it needs. The fresher and cleaner the air, the deeper the sleep because the brain does not need to work hard to get the oxygen it needs. Proper hydration and nutrition can also help improve oxygen levels.

On the other hand, people with allergies should be careful with open windows during spring and summer months, when plant pollen is at its highest level. There’s also the risk that outside air quality could be worse than inside your home—if you live in an area with high pollen counts or busy traffic.

With global conditions in today’s environment, using an air purifier is a good idea, no matter where you live, no matter which season of the year.

The entire month of September, we are celebrating sleep technology with the launch of the Kenko Naturest® Makura and the Makura Sleep Packs. To make September even better, we’re taking 30% off the KenkoAir Purifier® from September 20 through September 30. You’ll see the effects of ozone-free HEPA filtration combined with the revolutionary Kenko Naturest® Makura and Fit. It’s an Active Wellness combination that will help you sleep well all year long.

1, 2 https://www.sleep.com/sleep-health/fresh-air-benefits

Putting the Restful Part Back into Sleep

A third of our lives is spent sleeping and resting, but not everyone actually feels rested after spending time in bed. There are many reasons for not sleeping—maybe tomorrow brings an event that is too exciting! Or, it could be the first day of a new job or at a new school. You could be auditioning for a gig as a musician or actor. There might be a big celebration to attend—an anniversary, a birthday, so many kinds of parties!

Whatever the reason, between 10 and 30% of adults have insomnia at one time or another, but thankfully there are simple steps to take to get a sound night’s sleep. Where and how you sleep can make a difference in how well you sleep.

When you rest in an environment that is comfortable and soothing, it helps you fall asleep. Even though you are sleeping, getting enough rest is part of the Active Wellness lifestyle. Here are a few things to try.

• Keep the room dark and quiet. In other words, whenever you’re able to, keep any stimulation out. Some people fall asleep to the TV or headset every night. If you can sleep through the night that way and get up feeling rested, that’s great, but chances are, the TV and the headset could keep you awake longer.

• Try keeping your electronic devices off and see if it helps you. The cell phone is an especially big disruptor because it can jar you awake when you’re in a nice, sound sleep, and then you can’t fall back asleep. Make sure to turn it off or at least keep it on silent.

• Give yourself the chance to calm down and empty the mind. Breathe in and breathe out, slowly and rhythmically. It may even help to count 1, 2, 3 as you breathe in and 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 as you breathe out, keeping the exhalation slower than the inhalation.

• Have you heard the “counting sheep” method of going to sleep? This is similar to counting your breaths, but parents have been known to tell their children to count sheep when they have a hard time falling asleep. The monotony of visualizing sheep and counting them has a slightly hypnotic effect that may lull you to sleep.

• Ventilation is as important as your breath. If the bedroom is stuffy, open a window. If there’s no window, try a fan. The KenkoAir Purifier® is also a big help, because it cleans the stale air.

• If you feel wired, don’t go to bed. Wait until you feel sleepy! A warm bath or shower may help you unwind.

• Make sure you get some kind of routine exercise every day. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, but getting the circulation going earlier in the day will help you be tired and ready to catch some zzzzzs.

• In bed but not quite ready to shut your eyes? Pick up a real book with pages, not an e-Book. Reading tires out the eyes and does not have the same effect as an electronic device that lights up—and paper does not give off undesired electromagnetic waves.

• To get your body to calm down and feel more connected to a natural state, try putting a KenkoGround® under your feet or neck—just make sure it’s touching your skin.

• Very importantly, make sure your bedding is comfortable. Nikken has a whole Kenko Sleep Pack, sized for different beds, that can help make your nightly slumber a restful experience to look forward to!

Nikken is launching a revolutionary pillow that takes Sleep Technology to a new level. We’ll explore this innovation next week. Meanwhile, check it out in the shopping cart: Kenko Naturest® Makura, Item 13122. It is in all the Makura Sleep Packs but once you try the new pillow, you’re going to want one or more for every bed in the house!

From Personal Need to Helping the World

Companies are started for many different reasons. Isamu Masuda founded Nikken because he personally had a need and nothing fulfilled it. In the true spirit of entrepreneurship, he thought outside of the box and found a way to fulfill his personal need and in doing so, created a company that could do the same for countless people, first in Japan and eventually, globally.

Young Masuda became the son of a single mother when his father died in World War II. His mother managed a small shop, and when he was 18, young Isamu found a job with a bus company. Over the next few years, he worked his way up from washing buses to being a desk clerk.

Married at age 27, Masuda was intensely interested in ways to improve health, possibly because he personally did not have a robust constitution. He started to work at a shop providing health-related products. His goals and career path changed when his son was born with daunting health challenges. The need to support his family and help improve the health of his son and himself, was enough to spur him into action. Doctors told him his son’s recovery would be expensive, so the new father logically decided he had to find a way to make a lot of money.

Inspiration came in the form of personal experience. Japanese people are introduced to hot baths early in life and grow accustomed to communal bathing. Families enjoy public baths with a key feature: pebbles on the floor of the baths stimulate the feet. Creatively thinking, Mr. Masuda combined the concepts of the stimulating pebbles with the age-long practice of using magnets, believed by Japanese to be therapeutic. He created the first magnetic insole that could be placed inside shoes.

His invention was a hit almost immediately. His customers claimed they felt better in different ways. They said their circulation improved, they felt more energetic and they were getting better sleep. But Masuda was not a businessman and didn’t know how to expand, so he reached out to an experienced financier. Together they grew their insole business.

Nikken sold only insoles for the first three years of business. They were sold to help improve overall energy through stability and stamina from the feet upward. Independent distributors later expanded into other countries and Nikken has now been an international company for more than 45 years.

Kenko Insoles are now available in two variations: mStrides and mSteps. Both continue on the Japanese tradition of magnets for therapeutic usage combined with the effect of the hot bath pebbles. The contemporary insoles make use of patented magnetic DynaFlux® technology. Depending on preference you can choose Kenko mSteps® insoles that are “bumpier” for more intense massage effects or Kenko mStrides® for a smoother surface. Both are durable, provide support for feet, legs and back, and are ventilated so feet stay cool.

As the flagship product line, Kenko Insoles have withstood the test of time and have built a huge fan base. Here are a few examples of what people with happy feet say:

” I used to have discomfort on my ankles for years. Since I wear the mStrides, the discomfort went away! So grateful for the technologies!” U. Pho

“I feel grounded and connected all day with my mStrides.” C. Aubry

“Ever since I was 7 years old, I’ve had challenges with my joints and being on my feet for long periods of time. I consistently wear mSteps or mStrides in my shoes and even my sandals. I like both so I just keep them, without switching them out. I no longer feel challenged when I’m on my feet!” B. Richmond

“I teach aerobics and strength training so when serious foot discomfort threatened my ability to that as well as to hike and dance, I needed help. My friend gave me a pair of mStrides and I was amazed. My feet felt great, I had tremendous energy in my legs and my class even told me I was too peppy! That was 20 years ago and I’ve never taken them out of my shoes. It’s mind-blowing how a product can be so effective and so simple to use.” C. Livingston

“When I started working at a cable plant, I had to climb stairs throughout the day while wearing steel toed boots. My back and legs were strained and I could barely walk by the end of the day. I order mStrides and put them in my boots. Now I am able to go up and down the stairs as many times as needed without worrying if I will make it to the end of the day. I am so grateful.” – A. Markus

“I am a busy mom and entrepreneur business owner. I love my mSteps—it’s one of the easiest things I can do to improve my well-being without adding another thing to my to-do list. I have improved balance and feel that it supports the flexibility of my back, while my energy levels are better during the day. Slide them in the shoes and forget about it.” A. Weinberg

How are you doing with your Summer Active Wellness regimen? Walking, hiking, running or gardening, traveling and anything you do on your feet can be surprisingly easy with Kenko Insoles. From now until September 30, you can save 20% off the Summer Active Wellness Pack. It contains three Nikken technologies—nutrition, magnetics and PiMag® water— with a jar of Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder, a pair of Kenko Insoles (choose mStrides or mSteps) and an eco-friendly PiMag® Sport Bottle.

Small but Mighty: The Powerful Blueberry

Blueberries are part of the genus Vaccinium. The main types of blueberries are highbush, lowbush, rabbiteye and half-high hybrid varieties. The most common blueberry for commercial cultivation is the highbush type. There are many varieties of blueberries each with their own characteristics in terms of size, growing season, flavor and ability to withstand cold.

Globally, blueberries are grown in high volumes in Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Morocco, but the United States is the largest producer. In Europe, Poland used to be the leading producer of blueberries but has been overtaken by Spain. Increasing demand for this delicious “snacking food,” as it’s often referred to in Europe, has resulted in new plantations being established in countries such as Ukraine, Lithuania, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, and Georgia.

In both Maine and eastern Canada, First Nation people, notably the Wabanaki tribes, were among the first to discover and use wild blueberries for nutrition and healing purposes. Fast forward to the modern world and the American Heart Association has certified blueberries as a heart-healthy food. Here are some of the reasons why:

•          Blueberries are low in calories but high in nutrients. A single cup (148 grams) serving contains 4 grams of fiber, and RDI (recommended daily intake) of 24% Vitamin C, 36% Vitamin K, 25% Manganese plus smaller amounts of other nutrients. Made up of 85% water, one cup of blueberries only has 84 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrates, making it one of the fruits allowed on virtually every type of diet regimen.

•          Blueberries are believed to have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all common fruits and vegetables. Available year round in both Europe and North America, it’s an easy and delicious way to incorporate a healthy fruit into a daily diet.

•          The antioxidants in blueberries have been shown to help reduce a primary risk factor for heart disease by preventing oxidative damage to “bad” LDL cholesterol.

•          Several studies suggest that blueberries and blueberry juice may help reduce DNA damage.

•          The blue color in blueberry skins are known as anthocyanins, which are a type of antioxidant that have associated traits, including the possibility of promoting maximum brain function and delaying mental decline. Anthocyanins also show evidence of reducing the risk of heart attacks.

•          Several studies have shown that blueberries have anti-diabetic effects by helping to improve insulin sensitivity and lowering blood sugar levels.1

•          Research suggests that blueberries may aid muscle recovery after strenuous exercise, so more studies are being conducted to gather additional data.2

Wild blueberries are slightly different from cultivated ones. Wild blueberries are smaller and grow on lower bushes. Many wild blueberries are harvested using hand-held berry rakes, but some are machine harvested. Both wild and cultivated blueberries are usually sorted, cleaned, and processed within hours of being picked. Those not sorted for fresh fruit markets are separated and partially frozen for easier transport and longevity.

Kenzen® Super Ciaga® is an immune-boosting antioxidant superfruit powder made with a combination of berries— Organic Elderberry, Organic Blueberry, Organic Blackberry, Organic Maqui Berry, Organic Raspberry.

From now until September 30, you can save 20% off the Summer Active Wellness Pack. It contains three Nikken technologies—nutrition, magnetics and PiMag® water— with a jar of Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder, a pair of Kenko Insoles (choose mStrides or mSteps) and an eco-friendly PiMag® Sport Bottle.

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5187542/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6124147/