Tapping and Emotional Healing: The 6 Benefits of EFT Tapping Therapy

When you hear the term “emotional freedom,” what do you think of? Most likely, thoughts of feeling lighter, happier, and free of fear, worry, stress, and anxiety spring to mind. Now, what if I told you that there’s an all-natural therapy called EFT tapping therapy that’s been scientifically proven to not only help you achieve emotional freedom (by significantly decreasing stress and anxiety) but also support your overall health?

Sounds amazing, right? Let’s take a closer look at what EFT tapping therapy is, how it works, and the top benefits of utilizing this natural therapy. You may be surprised to learn how it not only fights stress and anxiety but can even have physical benefits as well!


What Is EFT Tapping Therapy?

First of all, it’s important to know that EFT is an acronym for emotional freedom technique. The idea behind EFT is that stress—particularly emotional stress—has the ability to hinder your body’s natural and innate ability to heal itself. Therefore, by releasing yourself of these emotional stressors, you open your body back up to healing.

So, how does EFT tapping therapy work? Think of it as a type of acupressure, almost like a needle-free form of acupuncture. In fact, Gary Craig, the founder of EFT tapping therapy, refers to it as an “emotional version of acupuncture.” [1]

With EFT, the goal is help generate and/or direct the flow of energy in your body by applying pressure to certain points. Interestingly, according to Craig, EFT tapping therapy is a two-pronged process that easily lends itself to being done anywhere via DIY (do-it-yourself) methods. Here’s how the process works:

First, before you begin applying any pressure, you must first key in on any specific emotional concerns you have. Then, you stimulate certain meridian points on your body by simply tapping them with your fingertips.

Now, we recently discussed Traditional Chinese Medicine and how it depends on balancing your internal energies through your meridians. So, as you may have guessed, EFT tapping therapy does follow the methodology of TCM by also sharing in the concept of meridians.



How to Perform EFT Tapping Therapy

According to TCM philosophy, there are 12 meridians, or energy pathways, in the body. Interestingly, EFT focuses on nine of these points. And according to EFT methodology, you can access these meridians by tapping on certain specific points on your body. Here are the nine points most commonly used in EFT: [2]

If you’d like to a visual, check out this video to see exactly where these meridian points are located.

To perform EFT tapping therapy, you begin by focusing on your specific emotional concern. Next, state your emotional concern in a short phrase or sentence while tapping your karate chop point a few times. Next, starting from the top of your head, work your way down, tapping each point three to four times with your fingertips.

Remember to recite your phrase or sentence as you tap each point. Once you make your way to the area under your arm, start back at the top of your head and repeat the sequence a few times.

Once you’ve gone through the sequence two to three times, take a moment to consider how you’re feeling about your emotional concern. If you’re not feeling better, repeat the sequence a few more times until you feel your emotional stress improve.

Feeling a little skeptical? I get it—it can be a lot to absorb. But you may be surprised to learn that EFT tapping therapy has been studied extensively, and scientists have found that this all-natural therapy offers some incredible health benefits! So, let’s look at the ways EFT has been shown to help improve both emotional and physical health.

The Top 6 Benefits of EFT Tapping Therapy

There are numerous benefits of EFT tapping therapy, but here are six of the most prevalent health benefits you can expect to experience.

1. Fights stress 

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of EFT tapping therapy is its ability to combat stress. Why? Well, 77 percent of Americans reporting regularly experiencing physical symptoms due to stress. [3] And up to 90 percent of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related problems. As you can see, it’s one of the most prevalent health concerns in our modern world. [4]

So, how effective is EFT at helping to manage stress? The link between EFT and stress has been studied extensively, and the research is fascinating.

In a 2012 study, researchers assigned 83 participants into one of three groups: an EFT group, a psychotherapy group, and a no treatment group. Amazingly, the researchers found that the EFT group showed significant improvements across a number of psychological distress symptoms.

Specifically, the group’s anxiety reduced by over 58 percent, while their depression reduced by over 49 percent. In addition, the overall severity of their symptoms decreased by 50 percent. Moreover, their cortisol levels (tested using their saliva) dropped by an incredible 24 percent. [5]

But that’s not all. The researchers took it a step further and compared the cortisol results with the other groups. The psychotherapy group’s cortisol level dropped by 14.25 percent while the no therapy group’s level dropped by 14.44 percent, showing that EFT tapping therapy was the most beneficial treatment of those used in the study on reducing stress.

Similar studies have confirmed these results, with findings showing that EFT being able to reduce anxiety, depression, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and more. Incredibly, findings have also shown that EFT tapping therapy can reduce pain by up to 57 percent and cravings by up to 74 percent.

Additionally, this therapy was able to increase happiness by 31 percent while decreasing resting heart rate and blood pressure levels! [6, 7]

2. Calms anxiety

As I discussed above, studies have confirmed that EFT tapping therapy is incredibly effective at reducing anxiety. But did you know that it works by calming anxiety right away?

According to a 2019 study, EFT can significantly reduce anxiety symptoms after only one session! But how does it work so quickly? Well, researchers found that EFT specifically impacted stimuli that elicits fear and anger, which can, in turn, reduce symptoms of anxiety. [8]

So, the next time you’re feeling fearful or angry, you may want to try an EFT session to help restore a feeling of calm.

3. Fights depression

Depression is becoming more and more prevalent in our society. In fact, globally, more than 264 million people currently suffer from it. [9] Luckily, EFT tapping therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression.

According to a 2016 meta-analysis of 20 studies, EFT was found to be an incredible effective treatment for depression, with an average reduction in symptoms of 41 percent. [10] Furthermore, the researchers found that EFT was as effective or superior than standard depression treatments.

4. Helps reduce pain

Another benefit of EFT tapping therapy is its ability to reduce pain. In fact a 2014 study on 59 veterans with PTSD revealed that using EFT as a supplementary therapy resulted in a 41 percent decrease in pain. When the researchers followed up with the participants six months later, the veterans still reported significantly decreased pain. [11]

Additionally, a 2017 study on 24 patients with chronic pain revealed that EFT helped to decrease pain severity along with anxiety and depression. [12]

These findings support the idea that EFT may provide a low-cost, at-home treatment for chronic pain sufferers.

5. Improves sleep

EFT benefits also extend to fighting insomnia and improving sleep. It makes sense, since our emotional concerns are known to keep us up at night, right?

According to a 2016 study on 21 veterans with PTSD, the veterans saw a significant improvement in insomnia after six sessions of EFT tapping therapy. [13] Additionally, a 2015 study revealed that EFT was more effective than sleep hygiene education for improving insomnia. [14]

6. Supports healthy weight management

Finally, one of the last—and perhaps most popular—benefits of EFT tapping therapy is its effect on weight management.

In a study published in 2020, researchers evaluated the effect of EFT on food cravings, dietary restraint, subjective power of food, weight changes, and self-reported symptoms. The study took place two years after the participants completed an eight-week course on EFT.

Amazingly, the researchers found that the participant reported reduced food cravings by 28 percent while their anxiety decreased 23 percent. In addition, their self-reported symptoms decreased by just over 10 percent. Moreover, their BMIs and weight both significantly decreased. [15]

These findings show that EFT should be considered as an adjunct therapy for weight loss.

EFT tapping therapy - Dr. Pingel

Key Takeaways

How to Make Your Own Homemade Bug Spray (+ Why It’s Better Than Store-Bought!)

It’s getting to be the time of year again: The bugs are coming out to “play.” But who wants to coat themselves in chemical-filled, toxic bug spray? I know I don’t—and I certainly don’t want my family to, either! So, I created my own homemade bug spray. Not only does it smell incredible, but it’s incredibly effective, too!

So, let’s take a look at what makes this homemade bug spray safe and non-toxic. We’ll discuss how the ingredients work to repel bugs as well. Rest assured that you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful outdoors this summer without worrying about those irritating, pesky insects. Sound good? Let’s jump in!


The Benefit of Using Homemade Bug Spray

Hands down, the biggest benefit of using homemade bug spray is that you know exactly what’s in it. After all, you’re mixing it yourself with your own hand-picked ingredients. This means you don’t have to worry about potentially harmful chemicals hiding inside.

These potentially harmful chemicals include DEET, a common chemical used in bug repellents. But a 2009 study found that DEET actually contains behavior-modifying properties and may even inhibit cholinesterase activity, which is connected to neurotransmitter function. [1]

Additionally, some studies have tied DEET use to respiratory distress and even seizures in children. [2] While there are also studies claiming that DEET has no negative side effects, it really isn’t worth the risk—especially when you have other effective options.

Interestingly, some essential oils have been found to perform better than DEET, while others aren’t quite as effective but still help to ward off bugs. [3] In fact, citronella oil, which is featured in the homemade bug spray recipe below, is commonly used in most commercial bug repellents due to its high efficacy. [4] Moreover, studies have found that citronella is as effective as DEET, dose for dose! [5]

Lavender oil has also been used for centuries as a bug repellent. In fact, studies have shown that it can repel insects for up to eight hours! [6] Lavender oil also has a very pleasant smell that induces calm and relaxation, making it a great ingredient in any homemade bug spray. And those reasons are exactly why I’ve included it in the recipe below!

How to Make Homemade Bug Spray

Now that you know the benefits of making your own homemade bug spray, take a look at this quick and simple recipe. You may even decide to double it, depending on how much time you plan to spend outdoors in the near future!


Homemade bug spray - Dr. Pingel


4 Additional Bug-Repelling Oils

Now, you may have noticed that I only used citronella and lavender oils in my homemade bug spray recipe. That’s because those oils are great bases with proven benefits against repelling insects. But there are other oils you can add to this recipe as well. It all depends on your personal preferences.

Here are four more oils you can incorporate into this recipe. Just add three to four drops of your desired oil to the recipe above!


Well, there you go! I hope you give this homemade bug spray recipe a try and find it useful in helping you to enjoy some much-deserved relaxing time outdoors this season. Here’s to a warm, beautiful, bug-free summer!


Key Takeaways

The Top 5 Mango Nutritional Benefits You Haven’t Heard About

Is there anything like the refreshing, sweet taste of fresh mango? It’s one of my favorite fruits due to its delicious taste and versatility. You can use it as a topping to many dishes or as the major flavor profile in smoothies, homemade ice creams, and more. But there’s another reason I love this fruit: mango nutritional benefits are simply amazing!

You may not be aware, but mangoes contain many nutrients liked to improved immunity, digestion, skin health, and more. Let’s take a closer look at this tropical fruit and the many mango nutritional benefits you can get by incorporating it into your diet.


What Makes Mangoes So Healthy?

As one of the most popular fruits throughout the world, mangoes are known as the “king” of tropical fruit. As such, you may be surprised to learn that they’re actually native to India, having grown there for over 5,000 years. [1] In fact, today, more than half of the world’s mangoes come from India!

Mangoes are grown from the tree Mangifera indica, and it’s actually a member of cashew and pistachio families (though it doesn’t affect those with nut allergies). The fruit contains a harder skin, the softer edible flesh, and a center stone that houses a seed.

Interestingly, all components of the mango—even the pit—have been used in natural remedies for over 4,000 years. Some of the more interesting uses include the following: [2]

So, what makes the fruit so popular and versatile as a natural remedy? Well, mangoes are commonly considered a “superfood” due to their nutritional properties.

This single fruit actually contains over 20 vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B5, B6, C, E, and K as well as folate, copper, niacin, potassium, magnesium, and much more! In addition, it’s a great source of fiber and complex carbohydrates.

So, let’s take a look at how the nutrients we just covered account for the many mango nutritional benefits people have come to expect from consuming this fruit.



5 Mango Nutritional Benefits

Here are five of the top mango nutritional benefits, along with some interesting research about each of them.

1. May boost immunity

Because mangoes are a great source of vitamin A, one of the top mango nutritional benefits lies it its immune-boosting properties.

Studies have shown that a vitamin A deficiency actually impairs your natural immunity by blocking the normal regeneration of your mucosal barriers. [3] This means that consuming enough vitamin A is essential for maintaining a strong immune system.

In addition, mango has been shown to have immunomodulatory properties in animal studies. This means that consuming mango could actually activate immune function as needed. Furthermore, it’s been shown to help increase the power of chemotherapy. As a result, scientists stated that it could serve as a complimentary therapy to chemotherapy in cancer patients. [4]

2. Supports skin health and regeneration

Perhaps one of the lesser known mango nutritional benefits is its ability protect the health of your skin.

In 2013 animal study, researchers found that oral consumption of mango extract actually helped fight UVB-related skin aging. Additionally, the researchers noted a marked increase in collagen synthesis in the mice who consumed the mango extract. [5]

Moreover, thanks yet again to its vitamin A content, mango also has the power to promote skin regeneration. The retinol in vitamin A actually helps stimulate new skin cell production! It’s been shown to not only protects against the breakdown of collagen but help slow the aging process. [6]

3. Aids digestion

Mangoes have been used to promote digestion for thousands of years in Indian traditional medicine. And scientific studies have supported this connection for years.

In fact, one animal study revealed that not only did mango have an anti-diarrheal effect but it also showed anti-microbial effects by inhibiting the growth of both Streptococcus aureus and Proteus vulgaris. [7]

Additionally, in a four-week study on 36 men and women with chronic constipation, researchers found that eating a whole mango each day was more effective at easing constipation symptoms than taking an equivalent amount of a fiber supplement. [8]

4. Supports healthy blood sugar levels

Amazingly, one of the most powerful mango nutritional benefits is its ability to produce significant blood sugar-lowering effects.

According to one study, researchers found that administering mango extract to mice lowered their blood sugar levels by more than 37 percent! [9]

And another study found that when 20 obese adults consumed freeze-dried mango daily for 12 weeks, it significantly reduced their blood glucose levels. While it didn’t result in any weight changes, the researchers stated that regular consumption of mango does provide a positive effect on fasting blood sugar levels. [10]

5. May help reduce kidney stones

You may be surprised to learn that mango nutritional benefits also include a lower risk of developing kidney stones! And it’s all thanks to the vitamin B6 in the fruit.

Studies have shown that a high intake of vitamin B6 decreases your risk of developing kidney stones. Interestingly, researchers have found that high intake of vitamin B6 actually helps to decrease oxalate production, which is commonly associated with kidney stone development.

Furthermore, researchers suggested that consuming at least 40 mg of vitamin B6 each day intake may reduce the risk of kidney stone formation in women. [11]


Mango nutritional benefits - Dr. Pingel


As you can see, there are many mango nutritional benefits that you can expect when you consume this fruit on a regular basis. You can start by adding frozen mango to your smoothies or topping some of your favorite salads with fresh mango.

You can also purée mango and then freeze it for a nice frozen treat in the summer. Whatever you prefer, it’s safe to say this is one fruit that’s worth a spot in your dietary rotation.

Key Takeaways

Better Than Botox? The 4 Best Natural Anti-Aging Remedies (+ 5 Shocking Truths About Aging!)

There’s a universal truth of which we’re all aware: With each day that passes, we’re showing signs of aging. Whether it’s physically, with our health and/or appearance, or mentally, with momentary lapses in focus or memory, it’s a common experience that comes along with age. As a result, I’m often asked if I have any “secret,” doctor-approved natural anti-aging remedies.

Now, I personally agree with the Eastern philosophy that aging is a sign of wisdom and should be more appreciated than we tend to do in our Western culture. That said, I do understand the concerns regarding age-related disease and other health conditions.

So, while I wouldn’t call them “secrets,” I do have some general advice along with some natural anti-aging remedies that may help you. And I’m going to share it with you in this article, but first I’d like to explain the science behind the aging process and how science has dispelled some common myths you may have been told.

You see, aging is the result of a change in something called your telomeres. So, that’s exactly where we’re going to start.


What You Need to Know About Aging

Believe it or not, much of the aging process is controlled by your telomeres. As a result, the top natural anti-aging remedies focus on the health of your telomeres. Makes sense, right? But what are telomeres and what do they do? Let’s dive in!

In simplistic terms, telomeres are tiny protein chains that sit at the tips of your DNA strands, or chromosomes. You can almost think of them as end caps to your DNA that actually protect your chromosomes from deteriorating (much like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces keep them from fraying).

So, the longer your telomeres are, the more protected your DNA strands will be. But as you age, your telomeres automatically shorten. Accordingly, research has shown that longer telomeres are linked to longer lifespan, a slower aging process, and lower likelihood of disease.

Now, according to molecular biologist Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, who received a Nobel Prize for her research on telomeres, your telomeres are directly impacted by your body’s stress (due to exposure to oxidative stress). And lifestyle-related stress can actually cause your telomeres to become shorter, which can actually cause your cells to basically die. [1]

It’s not really surprising is it? After all, we know that stress is linked to so many health issues. Likewise, research has shown that shorter telomeres are linked to an increased likelihood of cancer, liver dysfunction, anemia, heart disease, diabetes, and more. [2, 3, 4] Shortened telomeres have even been tied to aging skin and wrinkles! [5]

Interestingly, Blackburn authored a book, “The Telomere Effect,” with Elissa Epel, PhD, which shares that you can actually control your own aging process by lengthening your telomeres and, in effect, reverse the aging process! For years, research has shown that there are specific lifestyle choices you can make to help lengthen your telomeres. But there’s more.

Research has also dispelled some of the common myths concerning aging and even anti-aging practices. So, before we discuss some of the top natural anti-aging remedies and how they can lengthen your telomeres, let’s take a look at some shocking truths on aging and anti-aging.



5 Shocking Truths on Anti-Aging

Here are five surprising truths about how your lifestyle impacts the aging process.

1. Your lifestyle choices can directly impact your DNA and how your cells age. 

The great news here? There are elements within your control! You aren’t just stuck with whatever your genetics handed you. And science proves it.

Have you ever heard of epigenetics? It’s basically the idea that your lifestyle habits can cause certain genes to be activated or inactivated. So, for example, if you have a genetic predisposition to a certain disease, you may be able to “switch off” that gene with certain healthy lifestyle habits!

Additionally, studies have shown that certain lifestyle factors directly impact the length of your telomeres. In fact, in a 2014 study on over 4,500 women, researchers found that those who most closely adhered to a Mediterranean diet had longer telomeres than those who didn’t! [6]

2. You may not actually need a full eight hours of sleep each night.

Now, I’m a firm believer that you need anywhere from eight to 10 hours of quality sleep each night for your body to fully rest and restore. And science has shown for years that minimal sleep it linked to a variety of health concerns.

But newer studies are actually showing that sleeping at least seven hours each night is enough to help preserve the integrity of your telomere length!

In a 2012 study, researchers studied the sleep habits of 434 senior men and women in comparison to their telomere length. They found that men who reported sleeping at least seven hours a night had telomeres that were, on average, 6 percent longer than those who reported sleeping less than five hours. [7] Interestingly, the researchers found no link between amount of sleep and telomere length in women.

However, in a 2019 study, researchers studied 3,145 post-menopausal women and found that for each additional daily hour of sleep beyond five hours, the women experienced increased length in their telomeres. [8]

3. Extreme exercise isn’t necessary to live a healthier, longer life.

It’s no secret that daily exercise is a standard recommendation for a healthier life. But, interestingly, newer research is showing that intense and/or heavy exercise can actually have a negative effect on middle-aged women’s telomeres. [9] And this is largely due to the fact that extreme exercise results in excessive oxygen consumption, which actually accelerates aging! [10]

Interestingly, endurance activities such as speed walking, jogging, and swimming were found to lengthen telomeres in a 2018 study. [11] There are even more gentle exercises known to fight the aging process as well, which we’ll discuss in the next section on natural anti-aging remedies, so be sure to keep reading!

4. Stress has been scientifically linked to accelerated aging.

As we discussed above, lifestyle-related stress can cause your telomeres to become shorter. And this puts you at increased risk of disease and other health concerns, including a shorter lifespan.

In fact, numerous studies have shown that aging is associated with higher basal cortisol levels. [12] (Remember, cortisol is also known as the “stress hormone,” or the hormone your body produces during times of acute stress.)

Animal studies also have supported the idea that stress can lead to many cognitive deficits. [13] That’s not surprising, since scientists discovered that when your brain is constantly exposed to high amounts of cortisol and norepinephrine, it causes your hippocampus to shrink. And when your hippocampus shrinks, its ability to process and store memories is reduced. [14]

5. Accelerated aging is linked to disease development at a younger age.

Finally, the last surprising truth about aging and anti-aging is that aging at an accelerated pace is actually linked to a higher likelihood of developing diseases.

A groundbreaking 2019 study on young adults revealed a link between accelerating aging and disease development. The researchers discovered that those with a genetic disorder that increased their risk of developing age-associated diseases earlier in life had significantly shorter telomeres in comparison to healthy young adults of the same age.

Furthermore, those with shorter telomeres were more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and/or cognitive decline earlier in life. [15]


Natural anti-aging remedies - Dr. Pingel


Luckily, as I shared above, there are many natural anti-aging remedies you can incorporate into your daily life to help not only lengthen your telomeres but also reduce your risk of certain age-related diseases. Let’s take a look at things you can start doing today!

4 Natural Anti-Aging Remedies

Here are four of my top natural anti-aging remedies that you can start using to increase the length of your telomeres and help prevent age-related concerns.

1. Eat more avocados.

It’s no secret that I have a fierce love of avocados. But it’s not just the taste I love; I also love the amazing health benefits they offer. And that’s why it’s No. 1 on my list of natural anti-aging remedies.

You see, avocados are a great source of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. And research has shown that people who consume more of this type of fat have longer telomeres!

In fact, a 2010 study revealed eating a diet rich in omega-3s actually helps to reduce the rate of telomere shortening. Meanwhile, the study also revealed that if you don’t get enough of these fatty acids, your telomeres are more likely to shorten at an accelerated rate! [16]

Additionally, the researchers found that women who consumed diets lacking antioxidant-rich foods, such as avocados, not only had shorter telomeres but also a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Meanwhile, women who consumed a diet rich in antioxidants had longer telomeres and a lower risk of breast cancer [17].

Luckily, while I’m partial to avocados, you can find omega-3 fatty acids in many whole foods, such as some wild-caught fish, walnuts, flax and chia seeds, and more. As a bonus, the fish, walnuts, and seeds are great protein-rich alternatives for processed meats, which have been shown to shorten your telomeres! [18]

2. Drink green tea.

Not only does green tea contain a little caffeine, which can provide a nice energy boost, but it also features many anti-aging antioxidants and properties that help promote several health benefits, including helping to lower blood pressure, possibly helping to prevent cancer, helping to boost the immune system, and more. [19]

Specifically, green tea contains a polyphenol called EGCG, which is known to promote skin cell rejuvenation. [20]

But even more impressive? Scientists have found that supplementing with green tea extract for eight weeks significantly increased the length of telomeres in women between the ages of 27 and 48! In fact, after supplementation, the length of their telomeres were roughly twice as long as they were before. [21] How incredible is that?

3. Try noni juice.

If you haven’t heard of noni juice, the name may sound a little out there. But the fruit has actually been used for thousands of years as a beauty product by Polynesians!

Known for its ability to help moisturize the skin, studies have shown that it has incredible anti-aging effects. In fact, in 2012, a six-week clinical trial was conducted on 49 women ages 38 to 55 to examine the effects of noni on the skin.

Amazingly, more than 90 percent of the participants saw visible skin improvements. Additionally, daily applications resulted in significant reductions in fine lines and wrinkles as well as improvements to skin elasticity and firmness. [22]

Finally, noni fruit has been shown to enhance the expression of DNA repair genes in certain studies. [23] Give what we know about epigenetics, is it any wonder why noni commonly considered one of the great natural anti-aging remedies?

4. Practice yoga.

I mentioned above how regular exercise can lengthen telomeres. Well, research has shown that yoga is one of the best natural anti-aging remedies. How? Regularly practicing yoga can slow and even reverse the effects of aging!

A 2017 study revealed that practicing both yoga and meditation can slow aging at the cellular level. After 12 weeks, participants saw not only significantly lowered levels of DNA damage, cortisol, and inflammatory markers, but they also experienced significantly increased levels of total antioxidant capacity, and endorphin levels. Moreover, their telomeres were longer! [24]

If you’re not familiar with yoga, check out this article to help you determine which kind of yoga is best for you. There are even some suggested beginner movements for you as well!

As you can see, while aging is inevitable, there are several natural anti-aging remedies you can incorporate into your daily routine to help increase your lifespan and ward of age-related disease. Isn’t it wonderful to know that you actually have some control over your health—and your future?


Key Takeaways

Handling Financial Stress: 3 Tips to Calm Your Stress by Planning Ahead

Think back to the last time you were faced with handling financial stress. Perhaps it was during the holidays or your paycheck was less than you’d planned. Maybe your bank account took a big hit due to an unexpected medical bill or you didn’t have the money to buy an anniversary gift for your spouse or partner. Whatever the case, worrying about your finances can cause a lot of stress, which impacts your health in many ways.

The good news is that there are ways you can manage this stress so that it doesn’t cause a myriad of health effects. Let’s take a look at some ways you can stress less about money and some of my top tips for handling financial stress so that you’ll be prepared if you experience stress related to money matters in the future.

The Money and Stress Connection

If you’re stressed about finances, you aren't alone. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, a recent survey showed that money is the No. 1 cause of stress for Americans.

In fact, 72 percent of Americans reported feeling stressed about money in the last month, while 44 percent stated they regularly feel stress and anxiety due to financial problems. [1] Moreover, money has remained the top source of stress for Americans for the last 13 years. [2]

Handling financial stress - Dr. Pingel

Unfortunately, handling financial stress is weighing on our health, with more and more research confirming what you might suspect: Financial concerns are leading to many different problems and illnesses—from anxiety to depression to relationship troubles to an increase in headaches, stomachaches, and even insomnia! [3]

Even worse, studies have shown that financial troubles actually worsen mental health, while worsening mental health, in turn, increase financial woes. Researchers suggested this pattern may cause a “vicious cycle.” [4]

But that’s not all. A 2018 study followed more than 4,500 people before, during, and after the Great Recession that lasted from 2008 to 2010. Their findings? Both blood pressure levels and blood sugar levels increased during the recession for the participants.

Interestingly, the changes in these markers of heart health were more significant in people under 65, who were still working, and people over the age of 65 who also owned their homes and were responsible for the maintenance and all the costs involved in owning a home. [5]

The good news? Studies have also shown that there are steps you can take to mitigate the many effects of handling financial stress. So, let’s take a closer look at things you can start doing immediately to help lower your stress and protect your health and wellbeing.

3 Tips for Handling Financial Stress

1. Plan ahead.

It’s a given that some situations are easier to plan for than others, and it’s impossible to plan ahead for every financial curveball you’ll be thrown. But there are a few situations that impact your finances that you know are coming. For example, the holidays along with any anniversaries and birthdays come around during the same time each year.

So, take a long, hard look at your finances and determine an amount that you can set aside with each paycheck or once a month—whatever works for you. Commit to a specific amount and either put it in a separate account or in a special place at home. When those special occasions roll around, only draw from that fund.

You can also do the same for an emergency fund to help cover any costs incurred from unexpected medical expenses or other situations that may arise, such as job loss. Ideally, you want to have about six months of income set aside. And while this may take a while to accomplish, once you hit that number, you can spend any extra savings on something fun!

Additionally, when it comes to planning ahead as a way of handling financial stress, try to make a plan for how to handle your stress when financial concerns do happen. What do I mean? Have a plan for what to do to help mitigate your stress during those times. Want some suggestions? Keep reading for some specifics in the next two tips!

2. Take a time-out for yourself.

If you find that you’re in the midst of handling financial stress, you can make a plan for how you’re going to calm your stress and anxiety. How? Well, one way is to take a time-out for yourself.

It can be hard to calm a racing mind, especially when you’re concerned about money, but there are a few ways you can disconnect. Start by physically removing yourself from the location in which you were dealing with the stress. So, for example, step away from your desk for a few moments.

Find a quiet spot and try to practice meditation or take some deep breaths. Believe it or not, it really does help.  Both breathing and meditation are both great exercises to help decrease your anxiety and stress, which will help to put your mind at ease. They work by instantly calming both your mind and body. [6]

Additionally, according to a 2009 study, practicing transcendental meditation helped to decrease blood pressure and improved anxiety, depression, anger and hostility, and coping skills in college students. [7]

Those benefits could come in useful when you’re handling financial stress, right?

3. Ask for social support.

If you find that you need additional support while handling financial stress, one of the best things you can do is reach out to a trusted friend or family member. Now, I’m not suggesting that you ask them for financial help. Interestingly, studies have shown that simply having a shoulder to lean on has a very calming effect.

In fact, a 2014 study revealed that people with high levels of financial stress and minimal social support were six to seven times more likely to experience poor psychological wellbeing and numerous psychosomatic symptoms. These symptoms included pain, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, depression, dizziness and more. [8]

Interestingly, in comparison, those with high levels of financial stress who also had significant social support were about 50 percent less likely to experience poor psychological wellbeing and psychosomatic symptoms!

Other studies have also shown that friendships can actually help improve your health by providing a buffer to stressful situations. [9] Both giving and receiving social support has been shown to support healthy blood pressure levels, lower inflammation, and more. [10]

While it can be uncomfortable discussing financial situations with others, it’s easy to see how important it is to have a support system and people you can turn to in times of stress. Simply sharing your concerns and feeling supported can be a great therapeutic aid when you’re handling financial stress.

Key Takeaways

The Surprising Link Between Alzheimer’s and Gum Disease: Can You Brush Your Way to a Healthier Brain?

Brain fog and memory problems are two very common concerns for many people. After all, it’s quite scary to feel you can’t trust your own mind or memory—especially when completing important tasks. Some even worry that it could be early signs of major cognitive diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. And while I’ve mentioned several things you can do to help boost your brain health (such as supporting your body’s stress response, eating a nutrient-rich diet, and even meditating), there’s something else we haven’t yet discussed: the link between Alzheimer’s and gum disease!

That’s right—as shocking as it may seem, breakthrough science is now showing that it may actually be possible to help prevent major neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, by maintaining optimal oral health! I found this absolutely fascinating and wanted to share this research with you, as this could be a huge gamechanger for those with family histories of this heartbreaking disease. So, let’s take a look at this groundbreaking study and learn more about how the simple act of brushing your teeth may be able to boost your memory and protect your brain health!



The Link Between Alzheimer's and Gum Disease

For years, we’ve all heard about the link between poor oral hygiene or gum disease and heart health. In fact, several years ago, the American Heart Association officially recommended that all Americans brush their teeth for at least two minutes each day to help lower our risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. [1]

This recommendation was based on numerous studies, of which the findings were so strong that scientists continue to research the connection even today. In fact, a 2018 study revealed that the presence of gum disease, which is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the tissues surrounding your teeth, is linked to higher systolic blood pressure.

The researchers found that having gum disease raises your blood pressure by about 2.3 to 3 mm Hg. But there was more. They also discovered that more severe gum disease was associated with unsuccessful antihypertensive treatment. [2]

But now it seems that there’s another severe impact of gum disease—it’s impact on your brain. The truth of the matter is that scientists have found a clear link between Alzheimer’s and gum disease.

A new study has revealed that the very bacteria that causes gingivitis (a common, mild form of gum disease) can move from the mouth to the brain—and it's present in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s!


Alzheimer's and gum disease - Dr. Pingel


In 2019, researchers studied 53 people with Alzheimer’s disease and discovered an unquestionable link between Alzheimer’s and gum disease. They found that a toxic enzyme released from the bacterium gingipain (the bacterial that causes gingivitis) was located in the brains of 51 of the patients. That’s a staggering 96 percent of all people studied! [3]

Interestingly, the researchers took it a step further and designed a molecule to inhibit the bacterium. They discovered that when the gingipain was inhibited, it reduced the infection of the bacterium in the brain, reduced brain inflammation, and even rescued neurons in the hippocampus.

Furthermore, inhibiting the gingipain actually blocked the production of the very peptides (amyloid beta) known to be the main components of the plaques found in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s.

The study’s authors noted that while this bacterium won’t singlehandedly cause Alzheimer’s, its presence does increase your risk substantially—and may even cause it to progress more rapidly. They also stated in an interview that regular oral care, such as brushing your teeth and using floss, are two things you can do to help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s. [4]

And more researchers are echoing these statements. In fact, the authors of a 2020 scientific review stated, “Oral health care is a key factor for the prevention or delay of conditions associated with oral microbiota dysbiosis, such as Alzheimer’s disease.”

It’s clear that maintaining optimal oral care is a major step in reducing your risk of both Alzheimer’s and gum disease. But if you’re already brushing and flossing at least twice a day, what else can you do? Let’s take a look at some other natural therapies that can help protect both your gums and your brain.

3 Steps to Optimal Oral Care

In addition to brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily, you can also try to incorporate some of the following natural therapies to help prevent both Alzheimer’s and gum disease. The best part? They’re all really simple to do!

1. Try oil pulling.

Not familiar with oil pulling? No worries—it’s quite a simple process. Basically, the idea behind oil pulling is that you take about a tablespoon of oil (I prefer coconut oil) and swish it around your mouth for anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes before spitting it out. (Think of using it like you would use a mouthwash.) Now, I know that might sound like a long time, but it’s absolutely worth it.

Here’s why: Coconut oil actually contains anti-bacterial properties that can help fight the bacteria in your mouth that cause harmful plaque, which leads to gum disease! In fact, a 2016 study on 60 participants revealed that when the participants rinsed their mouths with 2 teaspoons of coconut oil for 10 minutes each day for two weeks, they significantly reduced the amount of harmful bacteria in their mouths. [5] Interestingly, the researchers also stated that because oil pulling has no side effects, it should be considered as a preventive home therapy to help maintain oral hygiene.

2. Take probiotics.

Believe it or not, taking probiotics can actually help increase the amount of good (“friendly”)bacteria in your mouth, thereby helping to fight both Alzheimer's and gum disease. And numerous studies have shown this benefit for many years.

Research has confirmed that taking probiotics containing L. acidophilus helped to treat periodontal diseases, gingivitis, periodontitis, and even pregnancy-induced gingivitis. [6] Moreover, recent studies have shown that probiotic use can actually decrease gum bleeding. In fact, participants who took probiotics saw a significant decrease in plaque formation in as little as two weeks! [7]

If you want to know more about probiotics, click here for information on how you can choose a probiotic that’s right for you.

3. Use oil of oregano.

Finally, another way you can help fight both Alzheimer’s and gum disease is by using oil of oregano. This supplement is available in most health food and vitamin stores, and it’s a fantastic natural therapy to ward off harmful bacteria. (And, as a bonus, it’s a great immune booster as well!)

If you aren’t interested in taking the supplements, you could actually combine a drop of oregano oil with our coconut oil and then proceed with oil pulling. For more information on oil of oregano, including its many benefits, click here.


Key Takeaways