Are You in Tune with Your Circadian Rhythm?

We’re reminded that humans are part of Nature when we discover the many similarities between all living things. One interesting commonality has to do with our circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioural changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. These natural processes respond primarily to light and dark and affect most living things, including animals, plants, and microbes. One example of a light-related circadian rhythm is sleeping at night and being awake during the day.1

The study of circadian rhythms is called Chronobiology, from the Greek “chronos” meaning time, and “biology” which pertains to the study of science and life. The body follows an internal timekeeping system known as the circadian clock and this clock is what regulates the natural circadian rhythm. 

What makes up the circadian rhythm? Our daily cycles of sleeping and waking, hunger and digestion, hormonal changes and other bodily processes all pertain to the circadian rhythm. Circadian comes from Latin, “circo diem,” which literally translates to “about a day.” Most circadian rhythms automatically reset every in 24 hours, the timeframe for “circo diem.”

Circadian rhythms are not only affected by light and dark, but also by interactions with people, meal times, and hormonal fluctuations. For example, when the sun rises in the morning, the body produces cortisol, a hormone that makes us feel refreshed and alert. After waking, a healthy person will become increasingly tired throughout the day until the sun goes down, when feelings of tiredness are at their highest. As the sun begins to set, the pineal gland will release melatonin, a hormone that reduces wakefulness and alertness.

There are variations on when people feel tired and when they feel alert throughout the day. Two examples are “early risers,” who go to bed and wake up early and “night owls” who go to bed relatively late and then sleep in. Our sleep rhythm may evolve and change with age – older people tend to go to sleep and wake up earlier in the day than younger people, while babies will sleep in multiple phases throughout the day and night.

A master clock in the brain coordinates all the biological clocks in a living thing, keeping the clocks in sync. In vertebrate animals, including humans, the master clock is a group of about 20,000 nerve cells (called neurons) located in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus where it receives direct input from the eyes. In the grand scheme of Nature, researchers have identified similarities in the master clocks of people, fruit flies, mice, plants, fungi and other organisms!

When our circadian rhythm goes out of whack, it can cause insomnia, weight gain, mood changes, anxiety, shortened attention spans, daytime sleepiness and lethargy. The good news is that we can help keep our circadian rhythm functioning smoothly.

  • Wake up every day at the same time: Keeping a regular sleep schedule will help reset your circadian rhythm. Even if unable to fall asleep at the desired time, make sure to set an alarm and wake up at the set time anyway. This will keep you on track.
  • Different meal times: Circadian rhythms regulate when we feel hungry and how we digest food – some studies have found that eating sooner or delaying meals can alter how your circadian rhythm adjusts those processes.
  • Exercise: Proper exercise can improve sleep quality and duration, while a healthy sleep-wake cycle ensures more strength and endurance when you work out. However, exercise is also stimulating if you work out too close to bedtime. If you find you don’t get enough sleep at night and want to reorient your circadian rhythm, try incorporating regular exercise into your routine. But as with all things related to the circadian rhythm, timing is important so do not exercise within 1-2 hours of your bedtime.
  • Keep your electronic devices off or out of sight. Light from electronic devices at night can confuse our biological clocks.

Nikken has the solutions to help you enjoy Good Nights and Sweet Dreams! Until the 30th of September, you can SAVE up to 40% on selected Nikken rest and relaxation products which can help you to support your body’s natural abilities to recuperate while sleeping!

Visit www.nikken.com/eu/ – Rest & Relaxation / Special Offers sections to view the various sleep products available.

1. https://www.nigms.nih.gov/education/fact-sheets/Pages/Circadian-Rhythms. 

15th September 2022

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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 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 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 shoe and forget about it.” A. Weinberg

How are you doing with your Summer Active Wellness Support regimen? Walking, hiking, running or gardening, traveling and anything you do on your feet can be surprisingly easy with Kenko Insoles. Until 31st August, you can SAVE 25%* on both mSteps and mStrides. 

*Offer not valid on Wellness Subscription.

25th August 2022

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Small but Mighty: The Powerful Blueberry…

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 Lithuania, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, and Georgia.

Did you know…

  1. Blueberries are low in calories but high in nutrients. A single cup (148 grams) serving contains 4 grams of fibre, 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The blue colour in blueberry skins is 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. 
  4. Several studies have shown that blueberries have anti-diabetic effects by helping to improve insulin sensitivity and lowering blood sugar levels.1
  5. 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.

Nikken’s Organic Kenzen® Super Ciaga® is an immune-boosting antioxidant superfruit powder made with a combination of berries – Organic Acai Fruit, Organic Blackberry, Organic Elderberry, Organic Raspberry, Organic Blueberry and Organic Lingonberry.

Mixed it with PiMag® water, it makes a delicious cooling summer drink and you can take it anywhere with you!

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

18th August 2022

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Summer Walking: A Fun Way to Better Health…

Summer means more daylight hours and warmer temperatures, which makes it a great season for walking outdoors. Walking is known to help release endorphins that elevate our mood and decrease stress levels. When done consistently and enough to increase heart rates, walking can even burn calories and help us lose weight.

Depending on where you live and how hot the summer days get, you can create a walking regimen. In climates that are very hot, it’s best to limit walking to early morning and evenings when temperatures are lower and tolerable. Frequent but short brisk walks are just as beneficial as longer walks. Both help to build stamina and strengthen the heart, so you don’t need to take one long, extended walk to meet your distance goals. You can split up the distance into a few short walks. If counting steps matters to you, then simply wear a pedometer.

There are many ways to incorporate a walking habit into your daily routine. You may walk part of the way to work or even all the way, if it isn’t that far, on your lunch break, or take the stairs whenever possible. Perhaps get the whole family involved and take a walk after the evening meal. Walking helps digestion!

If you haven’t been walking for some time, gradually build up time and distance. Even though walking is a gentle exercise, overdoing should be avoided. Make sure you:

  • dress comfortably in loose-fitting clothes. 
  • dress in light colours if the sun is already up or hasn’t set yet.
  • watch out for traffic, depending on where you’re walking.
  • carry a water bottle with you and sip regularly. 
  • wear a visor, sun hat or head covering you feel comfortable in.
  • wear shoes that offer good support. If you are hiking or going on uneven terrain, you may need sturdy boots instead of comfy shoes. Make sure you wear your Nikken Kenko mSteps or mStrides for that added comfort and support.
  • wear sunscreen everywhere your skin is exposed. You can get sunburned even when you cannot see the sun.
  • use walking sticks if you want to work out your arms.

Walking is one of the easiest ways to incorporate daily exercise into an Active Wellness lifestyle. Get everyone in the household involved and see how fast communications improve between generations! 

Until 31st August, you can jumpstart your walking habit with fantastic offers on our popular Kenko Insoles and KenkoTherm® DUK Tape – kinetic tape to help support your fitness and your daily activities.

11th August 2022

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You Can Have Your Antioxidants On-the-Go…

Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures.These unstable molecules are known as free radicals, and antioxidants are sometimes called free -radical scavengers. If the body cannot process and remove free radicals efficiently, oxidative stress can result. This can harm cells and cause the body to malfunction.

One of the buzz words in the wellness industry is “inflammation.” Like pollution, UV exposure, cigarette smoke and excessive intake of alcohol, inflammation is the cause of so many physical ailments. Unlike bad habits and environmental elements that cause physical or mental dysfunction from the outside, inflammation is internal and caused by an increase of free radicals produced inside the body.2

Antioxidants can help fight free radicals that are produced inside the body as well as those that the body is exposed to externally. Vitamins C, E and carotenoids are antioxidants that are known to help protect the cells from damage from free radicals. Other types of naturally occurring antioxidants include flavonoids, tannins, phenols and lignans. Plant-based foods are the best sources for these types of antioxidants and are found not only in fruit, vegetables and nuts, but also in seeds, herbs, spices and even cocoa.3

Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries are among the top fruit sources of antioxidants. Sweet potatoes, carrots, red and green peppers, kale, spinach, and broccoli all contain the antioxidant carotene. Red, orange, deep yellow and dark green leafy vegetables are ideal to eat daily for their antioxidant values as well as for their delicious flavours. Walnuts and pecans are some of the nuts with the highest antioxidant content.As a bonus, these fruit, nuts and vegetables are not only high in antioxidants but also in fibre, low in saturated fat and cholesterol and good sources of vitamins and minerals. When you add them regularly to the diet, you are tripling your potential health benefits.

In addition to eating the right foods, certain things can be done to help prevent cell damage and oxidative stress. All these behaviours are part of the Active Wellness Lifestyle:

  • Limit or eliminate certain foods from your diet, especially refined and processed foods, trans fats, artificial sweeteners and food with certain dyes and additives/preservatives.
  • Don’t smoke cigarettes. Don’t vape.
  • Consider switching to natural cleaners to limit exposure to chemicals.
  • Limit exposure to pesticides and use natural alternatives such as water mixed with vinegar and lemon oil/juice or herbs such rosemary and peppermint. 
  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Exercise regularly but don’t overdo it. When you push your body over its limits, inflammation results and you are doing more harm than good.

Since eating right is so important, summer might be a challenging time of the year, because many people go on holiday or are spending more time away from home, where it’s easy to prepare healthy meals. That’s when Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder can become your primary weapon against any deficiency in natural antioxidant consumption. Formulated as a powder specifically to make it portable during traveling, Kenzen® Super Ciaga® is abundant with berries – blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. 5

You can take these deliciously combined antioxidants with you virtually anywhere you go and simply mix with water. One scoop of this “power powder” in a couple ounces of water or smoothie can give your immune system a much welcome boost!

With Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder, you can truly take your antioxidants on-the go! 

1, 2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/301506#benefits

3, 4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/multimedia/antioxidants/sls-20076428#:~:text=Antioxidants%20are%20substances%20that%20may,to%20tobacco%20smoke%20or%20radiation

5. https://wordpress.com/post/nikkeneurope.wordpress.com/3174

29th July 2022

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Be Active All Summer, Have Fun and Stay Safe…

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

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

  • When hiking or in wooded areas, use insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and full-length trousers to prevent mosquito bites and ticks.
  • Use sunscreen with at least SPF 15 for UV protection and don’t forget to re-apply every two hours, especially after swimming or sweating. Apply sunscreen first and then insect repellent.1
  • Wear wide-brimmed hats.
  • Whatever activity you pursue, both indoors or outdoors, stay hydrated by drinking water frequently. As you attend celebrations throughout the summer, remember that alcohol is dehydrating, especially under the sun. So, monitor your intake and always drink plenty of plain water.
  • The more active you are, the more important it is to get restful sleep. Aim for at least seven hours each night.2
  • Go barefoot when you can! Whether it’s at the beach or on grass, take advantage of the warm weather and get grounded naturally.
  • Wear lightweight, light-coloured clothing that is loose-fitting. This helps sweat evaporate more quickly to keep you cooler.
  • Do strenuous exercises in the morning or evening to avoid the hottest times of the day. When outdoors, try to find shady areas.
  • If you’re going on holiday, plan an active one. Include family members in camping, hiking, swimming, etc. Include bike rides or walking tours when visiting cities.
  • Try to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity in weekly.3 If you can’t make it outdoors, do it at home or at a gym. Yoga, Pilates, dancing, Zumba – it all counts.
  • Summer fruit and vegetables are delicious and beneficial, especially if you’ve had a hard winter. Check out what your local farmers’ markets are offering and enjoy seasonal produce at its freshest! Wash fruit and vegetables before cutting or peeling to help remove bacteria that may be on the rind or skin. 
  • When enjoying outdoor meals, remember to wash hands, utensils, containers and work surfaces before handling food to prevent bacteria from spreading.

Until the 5th July 2022 take advantage of our Summer Hydration offers with 20% off the PiMag Waterfall®, PiMag® Water Bottle and the refreshing KENZEN® Super Ciaga®!

Have a wonderful summer!

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

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

23rd June 2022

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Fatherhood Then and Now…

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Commendation: Fathers of the past took on the role of disciplinarian and were sparse in their compliments. Modern fathers use positive re-enforcement to sustain outstanding performance in their children.3
  2. Accessibility: Children have the freedom to talk to their fathers more than it was possible in the past. Now fathers communicate freely with their children. Very few topics are off-limits with the modern father. 4
  3. Emotional Availability: In the past, fathers were mainly involved in protecting their children from physical harm. Now fathers want to be part of every little detail of their children’s well-being, from mental to physical health. 5

In the 1970s, attachment theory was the focus of child development studies, focusing on the first years of children’s lives and their bond with their mothers. Michael Lamb, a forerunner of fatherhood research and still continuing with studies at the University of Cambridge in the U.K., explains, “That went along with the assumption that the bond with the mother was the only [primary] relationship kids could form.”6 However, Lamb and a small number of other researchers were all coming to the same conclusion: Babies can form as strong an attachment to their dads as to their moms. From that seed has grown an intriguing but limited body of evidence stating that not only are men built to care for children, but that being an involved dad impacts kids’ physiologies, psychologies and outcomes for the rest of their lives.7

It wasn’t until the turn of this century that researchers discovered the fascinating detail that men’s bodies transform when they become fathers. Oxytocin- the “love hormone” – has been known to play a role in a mother’s initial bonding with her child after birth. Recently, researchers have observed that the same spike in oxytocin occurs when fathers hold and play with their newborns. The new fathers also register an increase in prolactin—a hormone best known for helping women produce breastmilk. Its purpose, it turns out, is greater than that.8

19th June 2022 – Happy Father’s Day from Nikken to all fathers across the Global Wellness Community!

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

3, 4, 5. https://guardian.ng/life/life-features/fatherhood-in-the-past-and-fatherhood-today-what-changed/

6, 7, 8. https://www.todaysparent.com/family/parenting/the-science-of-how-fatherhood-transforms-you/

17th June 2022

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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.1

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 ground-breaking 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 going on and itchy eyes than usual in the household. 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 colour 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. 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, the 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! 

  1. https://nikkeneurope.wordpress.com/2019/12/27/build-your-personal-5-pillars-mindset/

26th May 2022

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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, the body can expel germs and particles from the nose and help protect itself from getting sick.

Sneezing is how the body clears the nose. When pollen, smoke, dust or even fragrances and odours 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! This way, a sneeze is one of the body’s first defences against invading bacteria and/or viruses. Other foreign particles that can trigger sneezing include mould, 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, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.3 These pollutants have been shown to be especially hazardous to adults and children with asthma.

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 colouring, latex (commonly found in medical gloves, adhesive bandages and other medical devices), 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.

Indoor air quality is just as important as outdoor air quality. 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.

Nikken’s KenkoAir® Purifier with its replaceable HEPA 13 filter, addresses all your needs in regards to indoor air filtration, helping to remove up to 99.95% of dust, moulds, pollen, event pet dander! 

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

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

19th May 2022

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Do You Have Allergies?

Allergies can be irritating, but they can also be managed, especially if you stick to an Active Wellness lifestyle. An allergy occurs when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance, called an allergen. It could be something you eat, inhale into your lungs or touch. Allergens can cause coughing, sneezing, hives, rashes, itchy eyes, a runny nose and a scratchy throat. Although there is no cure for allergies, you can manage them with prevention and treatment.

Over 150 million people have allergies in Europe.That’s why it’s important to know what you are allergic to and avoid those allergens as much as possible. Some allergens are easier to avoid than others – the main sources of allergens are medication, food, insects, latex, mould, pets and pollen.2

Many people suffer from allergies but don’t know the causes. Because many allergies are irritants but not life-threatening, it’s common practice to take any number of over-the-counter allergy medications. If the medication helps stop the symptoms, then people simply keep taking them without knowing the root cause. The most common side effect to taking allergy medications is sleepiness, so over the years, new formulas have popped up that are “non-drowsy.” Most commonly used are antihistamines, cortisone ointments, decongestants and epinephrine – people with severe allergies carry “epi-pens” so they can self-inject epinephrine to counteract serious allergic reactions.

An Active Wellness lifestyle may not be able to get rid of your allergies; however, being healthy can certainly bolster your overall immune system to help you cope with them. For example, with seasonal allergies from pollen or certain trees, sometimes the allergic reactions disappear. Whether this is your body’s way of adapting over the years or the result of healthy living can’t be proven, but it certainly might be helpful.

There are treatments without using medications. For example, people with airborne allergies may choose to wash out their noses daily with a nasal saline solution or with plain water. Others may choose to diffuse natural scents to help the nasal passages open.

With food allergies, avoiding the known ingredients, generally takes care of any issues. The most common food allergies are to milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.3 Food allergies are different from food intolerances. For example, you can be lactose-intolerant but not allergic to lactose – food intolerance does not involve the immune system. To determine any possible food allergies, track what you eat, when symptoms occur, and what seems to be helpful.

Insects that may cause allergies are generally divided into three groups: stinging, biting, and non-stinging/biting. Stinging insects such as bees, wasps, hornets and fire ants inject a toxic venom when they sting. Biting insects such as mosquitoes, bedbugs, fleas and certain flies may cause itchiness, swelling, rashes and/or pain.

One particularly unusual development that may result from a Lone Star tick bite is becoming allergic to meat. This is because a tick transfers alpha-gal, a sugar, into the person’s bloodstream. When the person’s immune system reacts to it, the meat allergy develops because alpha-gal is also found in beef, lamb and pork.4

Your indoor environment plays an important role in keeping allergens away. Dust mites and pet dander are common offenders that can be filtered out with a good air purifier. Nikken continues to support an Active Wellness lifestyle and helping to prepare ourselves for the allergy season, through its innovative solutions such as the KenkoAir® Purifier. With built in HEPA 13 carbon filters, the KenkoAir® Purifier helps reduce symptoms of seasonal allergies as well as removing dust, pollen, pet dander and odours from indoor air. 

  1. https://www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/information-training/facts-and-figures/
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/allergies/
  3. https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/food-allergy-and-intolerance
  4. https://www.allergycliniclondon.co.uk/can-tick-bite-give-you-meat-allergy/

12th May 2022

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