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!

Imagine Breathing in Refreshing Forest Air

The smell of nature in the air is so sweet! Did you know that this enticing smell is not only a sensory pleasure but actually an aspect of preventive health in Japanese medicine? Called Shinrin-Yoku, its literal translation is “forest bathing.” Though any kind of nature can enhance our health and happiness, there’s something special about being in a forest.

The Japanese Society of Forest Medicine, headed by Dr. Qing Li, promotes research on the therapeutic effects of forests on human health and educates people on the practice of forest bathing, which involves slowly walking through a forest, taking in the atmosphere through all your senses and enjoying the benefits.1 In 1982, Japan launched a national program to encourage forest bathing and by 2004, a formal study of the link between forests and human health had begun in Iiyama, a place known for its lush, green forests. Now, more than 2.5 million people walk those forest trails as a way to ease stress and enhance health.2

After years of study, Dr. Qing Li has found that spending time in a forest can help reduce stress, anxiety, depression and anger! The result is a boost to the immune system, improved cardiovascular and metabolic health and an increase in the feeling of overall well-being.3

In the western world, exercise is the primary solution for promoting cardiovascular, metabolic and mental health. When you are walking through a forest and inhaling that natural air, you’re not only getting moderate exercise but also hanging out with trees, which turns out to be an important part of preventive health. Dr. Qing Li discovered this when he was a stressed-out student and went on a week of forest camping. He returned feeling restored both physically and mentally, so much so that it inspired him to research forests and their benefits on human well-being.

Those of us who don’t have easy access to a forest and forest bathing, can have the next best thing. Since indoor air quality is often worse than outdoor air, how soothing would it be to have forest-like air in doors? How much would we benefit from breathing natural forest-like air in our own homes?

Say hello to the KenkoAir Purifier®. Its middle name is HEPA 13 and it can filter air particles so small that they’re not visible to the naked eye. Due to negative-ion technology, you receive filtered air that simulates what’s found in nature—nature as in forests and lakes. In other words, you’re getting as close to forest bathing as you can without actually hanging out with the trees.

In keeping with the Nikken pledge to be in harmony with nature, the KenkoAir Purifier operates ozone-free so it’s non-toxic. It has a reusable pre-filter which can be washed and the other filters can be replaced easily every six months. You breathe cleaner air and decrease your carbon footprint at the same time—a win-win situation you can enjoy year-round, as long as you remember to replace the filters on time. If you live somewhere that has especially dense air quality, replace the filters more often. Every time you see the red light is on, you’ll know your KenkoAir Purifier is cranking so your air gets cleaner.

Lately, even the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is recommending the use of a HEPA air filter in homes. Don’t wait for visible signs of bad air to show up in your home. Mold, mildew, musty odors, dust and dander can all be addressed with good filtration. You don’t have to wait long to feel and smell the benefits from the KenkoAir Purifier.

From now through September 15, take advantage of our state-of-the-art filtration systems: all filters are 20% off. These are Active Wellness filters for the KenkoAir Purifier®, PiMag Waterfall®, PiMag® Sport Bottle and PiMag MicroJet® Showers (both hand held and wall mount models) and PiMag® mineral stones.

1, 2, 3 https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/why_forest_bathing_is_good_for_your_health

Break the Single-Use Plastic Habit

One of the most straightforward ways each one of us can decrease our carbon footprint is to break the single-use plastic habit. In this age of conveniences, take-out food and beverages as well as delivered items often come in plastic containers. Everywhere we go, we see people drinking water from single-use plastic bottles.

Single use plastic shopping bags are the biggest landfillers next to plastic bottles, but fortunately, they are slowly making their way out of the mainstream marketplace. Grocery stores have been encouraging customers to bring their own totes and only provide bags upon demand. Even so, we still need to be conscientious in choosing paper bags when we forget to bring our own re-usable totes.

Take the single-use plastic challenge for a day! Increase that to most of the week, then incrementally build up to a month. You will see it can be done and you will have made a personal contribution to the maintenance of our planet! The challenge is simple: Go through a regular day but refrain from touching any single-use plastic item, whether it’s a bag or a bottle. Keep track of your trash: you will see how much less there is when you use recyclable containers and bottles instead of plastic bags and bottles.

Another way to get rid of the single-use-plastic habit is to make your own “zero-waste kit.”1 The five recommended items to include in the kit are a re-usable water bottle, a cloth shoulder bag or tote, a metal straw, a re-usable coffee/tea cup and a set of travel utensils. Each of these five items is an alternative to a common single-use plastic item. You can take it with you when you travel, go on a hike, go on a shopping spree, and so on.

The Active Wellness lifestyle is not only about our physical and mental health but also about the health of our planet. If everyone takes the single-use plastic challenge, the results would be astounding. Why wouldn’t every person want to contribute personally when 50% of plastic products are used for single-use purposes to the tune of 380 million tons a year?2 Since only 9% of plastic gets recycled globally, no wonder 10 million tons are found in our oceans worldwide.3

Governments are aware they need to legislate environmental regulations to help solve the problem of plastic waste. The U.S. Interior Department affirms that it will phase out the sale of single-use plastic products in national parks and other public lands by 2032.4 In Europe, wherever sustainable alternatives are easily available and affordable, single-use plastic products cannot be placed on the markets of EU Member States. This applies to cotton bud sticks, cutlery, plates, straws, stirrers, and sticks for balloons. It will also apply to cups, food and beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene, and on all products made of oxo-degradable plastic.5

We can be mindful and set our intentions to decreasing our carbon footprint. We have to start somewhere. At Nikken, we are committed to living in harmony with nature, and our water and air filters certainly were created with that in mind. From now through September 15, take advantage of our state-of-the-art filtration systems: all filters are 20% off. These include filters for the PiMag Waterfall®, PiMag® Sport Bottle and PiMag MicroJet® Showers (both hand held and wall mount models), PiMag® mineral stones and KenkoAir Purifier®.

1 https://rothys.com/blogs/the-loop/10-tips-to-reduce-plastic-use-be-eco-friendly?

2, 3 https://plasticoceans.org/the-facts/

4 https://www.cnbc.com/2022/06/08/us-to-ban-sale-of-single-use-plastic-on-public-lands-national-parks-by-2032

5 https://environment.ec.europa.eu/topics/plastics/single-use-plastics_en

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.

Resolve to Reuse, Reduce & Recyle to Restore our Oceans

As members of the Global Wellness Community, each of us is aware of plastic waste. Fortunately, we are capable of decreasing our personal plastic waste. If each one of us committed to less consumption of plastic packaging, imagine the cumulative outcome for the world! One of the simplest ways is to stop buying and drinking water sold in plastic bottles. Here’s why that is so important.

One component of ocean pollution that’s especially threatening to not only ocean life forms but human life, is micro-plastics. When plastic pollution enters the ocean, large pieces are broken down over time by exposure to sea elements and become tiny particles. These particles, the estimated size of a 5mm sesame seed, break loose from the large “garbage patch” and spread throughout the ocean.

Depending on its density, some sink, some float, and some just hover in the water column. Because the plastic resembles food, it is eaten by a huge range of animals throughout the food chain, including fish, birds, turtles, whales, and even microscopic plankton, eventually working their way up to humans.1

Micro-plastics are extremely difficult to clean out of the ocean, and since they are so tiny, they travel far and wide, basically making their way to every ocean in the world. This is why most ocean anti-pollution projects, such as The Ocean Cleanup, focus on removing larger pieces of trash, before they can degrade.2

Remarkably, in 2019 a then 18-year-old named Fionn Ferreira, invented an effective new method for removing micro-plastics from the oceans. Ferreira was kayaking along the coast in Ballydehob, his hometown in West Cork, Ireland, when he came upon a rock coated in oil. Ferreira noticed that small bits of plastic were sticking to the oil-coated-rock. “In chemistry, like attracts like,” Ferreira noted.  He decided to combine vegetable oil and magnetite powder to create a nontoxic ferrofluid, a “magnetic liquid,” or liquid that acts as a carrier for tiny magnetic particles—since ferrofluids and plastics attract when in the presence of water. Ferreira would add his ferrofluid to water samples full of micro-plastics, then remove the ferrofluid using a magnet, taking the micro-plastics with it. After hundreds of tests, Ferreira’s ferrofluid was able to successfully remove at least 87% of micro-plastics from the water samples.3

Since then, while pursuing a Chemistry degree at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, Fionn has established a company focused on micro-plastic removal technology. Early tests on ferrofluids as a tool for cleaning up oil spills have been promising, but Ferreira believes that the only true way to solve the massive problem of ocean pollution is to change our consumption habits.3

Fionn is part of the new generation of scientists that has never known life without plastic pollution. He and other innovative young scientists, such as Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao who developed bacterium to transform plastic into carbon dioxide and water, are committed to restoring our oceans.

The KenkoAir Purifier®, PiMag Waterfall® and PiMag® Sport Bottle are durable filtration systems that can help us reuse, reduce and recycle. The filters are recyclable and help decrease our carbon footprint. For the remainder of January, you can take advantage of four special filter packs that give you a bonus item when you purchase a PiMag Waterfall® filter cartridge and a KenkoAir Purifier® HEPA filter in the same order.

1 https://www.good.is/articles/end-plastic-pollution-pick-it-up-bin-it-take-three-for-the-sea

2, 3 https://www.good.is/microplastics-magnet-removal

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/