Because science matters: Announcing a new Publications section

Sharing research on Modern Wellness with the medical community

I’m pleased to announce a new section of my website, which shares with you some of the more recent articles I’ve written for research and trade publications. My goal in writing for these journals is to inform the medical community—as well as skincare practitioners—of the tenets of Modern Wellness: the importance of hydration to cell health and anti-aging; the impact of Cultural Stress on health and wellbeing; and the role of a healthy diet, joyful exercise, and positive self-talk in creating overall wellness. I’m also sharing them with you—my blog and newsletter readers—because some people appreciate understanding the science behind my recommendations for Modern Wellness.

For example, the first posted article, from the HSOA Journal of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, describes my multi-faceted approach to preventing the breakdown of connective tissue. Connective tissue breakdown is not only associated with wrinkles and an aged appearance; it also can have far-reaching, systemic effects on health.

Connective tissues are the structural components that provide the framework that literally holds the body together. Connective tissues join layers of skin, muscles, bones, and organs and provide the vascular highways that deliver nutrients to every part of the body. Most medical prescriptions for connective tissue health treat either one aspect of connective tissue—such as skin, or joints—or provide only one intervention—such as a topical cream or an internal medication. My approach, however, intends to be more comprehensive—or as I say, “Inclusive.”

What happens to connective tissue as we age

Connective tissue deterioration can occur because of oxidative stress and environmental factors, including detrimental lifestyle choices such as poor diet and smoking. Connective tissue damage may also occur because of physical injuries, such as a result of sports or accidents. Some connective tissue diseases are inherited, such as Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and others have no known cause, including systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, polymyositis and dermatomyositis. In addition, there is growing evidence that chronic psychological stress can have adverse effects on connective tissue.

As we age, cellular and connective tissue water loss occurs in response to both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Dehydrated cells may not function properly or replicate normally. The most visible indicator is wrinkle formation, which is partially caused by subcutaneous water loss that happens as we age. Connective tissue that has experienced water loss may become fragile, as collagen fibers grow rigid and elastic fibers lengthen and become lax.

Regardless of the precise mechanism of damage or location of damage, the common pathway to deterioration in all tissues is water loss. By addressing general cellular health, simultaneous improvements in systemic, cutaneous, and connective tissue health may be seen. This protocol forms the basis of the cellular water principle theory and the reasoning behind using a multidisciplinary strategy for connective tissue remodeling, repair, and damage prevention.

The program I have implemented includes therapies to protect cellular hydration, fortify the body with nutrients (vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals), and reduce stress. Research shows that when oxidative stress is reduced and the body is flushed with nutrients both topically and systemically, nutrient-deprived cells and connective tissue can seize nourishment for remodeling and repair.

Wrap-around treatment goals

The goals of our inclusive treatment are to:

  • Increase cellular and connective tissue immunity
  • Reduce inflammation and free radical damage
  • Normalize and fortify integument system (the skin and its extensions such as hair and nails)
  • Promote collagen formation
  • Address hormonal imbalance and other internal diseases
  • Encourage sleep
  • Improve nutrition
  • Offer relaxation and emotional support

Our three pronged approach includes external care, internal care, and emotional care.

External care builds immunity and strengthens cutaneous defenses against external influences or invaders. Beginning with a daily skin care regimen, external care includes cleansers, treatments, hydration, and sunscreen to repair damage and fortify the skin’s barrier function and protect connective tissue from external factors such as UV rays.

Internal care includes diets and supplements, exercise, and sleep—and may include prescription medication—all to encourage adaptive immunity. Diagnostic tests may also be necessary to identify any systemic diseases such as endocrine or vascular disorders that need attention.

Diet and supplements

The body is a self-maintaining organism, constantly regenerating itself down to every cell. Each month our skin renews, every six weeks we have a new liver, and every three months we have new bones. To renew and rebuild these organs and tissues, we need to supply our bodies with the elements that have been lost as a result of constant use, degeneration, or aging. One way to offset the loss of essential elements is to flood the body with nutrient-dense foods that will strengthen the cells and connective tissue to hold more water through all life stages. Our diet recommendations target tissue repair and regeneration, countering the effects of oxidative stress, and promoting cellular hydration. (For the specific diet and supplement recommendations, please see the article.)

Emotional care supports psychological and social balance and includes stress-reducing therapies such as massage and other spa services, as well as activities like yoga, support group participation, and counseling to nurture the psyche.

Research into the pathways of the mind-body connection has determined that both the skin and central nervous system utilize the same communication molecules, indicating that there is, indeed, a physical mind-body connection, or Neuro-Immuno-Cutaneous-Endocrine network (NICE). Conscious attention to our emotional state can both reduce stress and increase skin health bi-directionally. In other words, mind-relaxing therapies improve skin condition and skin conditioning therapies reduce stress because all systems, tissues, and organs are connected. For example, massage has been shown to increase the rate of healing, decrease depression, reduce stress, lessen pain, and improve sleep in various studies and reviews. Similarly, certain body practices, such as yoga, have also been shown to reduce stress.

In other words, it’s all connected. Your body is a single dynamic organism made up of various interconnecting systems. Modern Wellness involves optimizing the health of each to optimize the health of the whole!


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