Treat yourself to a healing vacation
Sonya’s Garden in Cavite is the tranquil setting for the executive health retreat, where you will learn how to use food, sleep, exercise and natural medicine to understand and address the cause of your disease.
Treat yourself to a healing vacation
WELL-BEING - Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit (The Philippine Star) - March 17, 2020 - 12:00am

Boosting one’s immunity is of paramount importance nowadays. Do you even know where to start?

If you are looking to escape into a peaceful retreat and at the same time learn how to change your lifestyle and improve your health, you can check out the various programs offered jointly by go2Health and Sonya’s Garden. Through a healing vacation, you will learn the science of using food, sleep, exercise and nature as medicine in addressing the root cause of your disease.

One such retreat is happening on March 30 and 31 and we asked program lead Dr. Oyie Balburias about his insights into women’s wellness (March being Women’s Month).

The Philippine STAR: What are the most prevalent lifestyle problem of working women?

Dr. Oyie Balburias: Due to their professional duties, functions and responsibilities — juggling their roles as a mother and caregiver to the family — working women suffer from chronic stress that, if persistent, will result in hormone imbalances. Persistence of hormone imbalances as a result of chronic stress later on leads to several conditions and diseases affecting women’s health, namely obesity, infertility, irregular and painful menstruations, PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids and infertility, to name a few. Hormone imbalances will also impact on the sleep quality and quantity, which in the end will further perpetuate the imbalance.

As a lifestyle coach and medical practitioner, could you share three lifestyle hacks or adjustments women can do be healthier?

Always have “me” time. Always have time for relaxation and engage in de-stressing activities (meditation and meditative exercises) or self care so the stressors will not be chronic and persistent. In doing so, there will be a balance of the sympathetic nervous system (fight) and the parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation response). Balance of this system will prevent the biologic response of our body to chronic stress which leads to hormone imbalances. Have a balanced and optimal nutrition. It’s not the number of calories, but the composition and quality of food that you are eating that will impact on your metabolism. Foods that are whole, real and unprocessed are best. Every macronutrients (fats, proteins and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients) are needed by our body. Eliminating one will result in the body system creating a biologic response.

Breathe. If you find yourself overwhelmed by chaos and challenges, the best way to deal with it is to breathe and practice mindfulness.

What relevant aspects of hormonal balance do women always overlook?

Sleep deprivation and sedentary lifestyle will further aggravate and perpetuate hormone imbalances. Chronic sleep deprivation will affect their energy level, which leads to fatigue. Chronic fatigue leads to a sedentary lifestyle, which then further contributes to fat gain and obesity. Hormone imbalances contribute to cravings for carbohydrates and simple sugars, further aggravating the condition.

Some women say they can get by with only four or five hours of sleep. Why isn’t that enough? What are the effects of sleep deprivation in the long run?

Eight hours is the amount of time that our body needs in order for the different stages of sleep to occur. NREM and REM stages of sleep, the deep sleep and not so deeper part of our sleep. In each stage, different biological, biochemical and physiological process are happening in order to prepare our resiliency for the following day. Adequate sleep is required for numerous biochemical reactions in the body. It is essential for normal cellular and tissue function, because numerous restorative functions occur during sleep, especially stages 3 and 4. Optimal sleep is important for growth hormone(GH) secretion. GH is the most potent hormone for fat metabolism. If there is a dysfunction with sleep in regard to inadequate quantity or depth there can be numerous adverse effects in the body.

What are three of the most important and readily available herbs or plants in the kitchen or garden that actually help alleviate disease or its symptoms?

Botanicals for dysmenorrhea include cinnamon bark, peppermint oil and ginger root. To decrease hot flashes, you need red clover and sage. For fibroids (myoma) and endometriosis, take turmeric, rosemary leaf and milk thistle.

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Dr. Oyie is a certified Functional Medicine practitioner and is European-board certified in Nutritional Medicine, as well as in Anti-Aging Medicine. Catch more of Dr. Oyie’s healthful and helpful insights in the Executive Health Retreat, which is open to both male and female participants. For inquiries, call or SMS 0917-1343100.

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