Four Ways to Restore Your Mitochondria During the Holiday Hustle and Bustle
Everyone knows the holidays are times of stress, busyness, and parties (and partying) galore. What you may not know is that the “season of joy” could be wreaking havoc on your body and depleting your Vital Force. But integrative cardiologist Stephen Sinatra, MD, FACC, and spiritual counselor Tommy Rosa say you can restore the mitochondria that supports Vital Force and secure your health during the holidays and beyond. Here, they show you how.
The holidays are fast approaching, and if you’re not careful, they could toss you into a relentless cycle of depletion. In addition to the daily challenges of work, family, and taking care of yourself, now you’ve also got to worry about holiday parties and events, and finding the perfect gift for everyone on your shopping list. Just thinking about the hustle and bustle in coming weeks saps your energy and stamina. Even though you should be enjoying yourself, you may instead be worrying: If I keep up this pace, I’ll surely get sick…really sick.
The worst part is, you’re right. Struggling through the hectic pace of the holidays can leave you exhausted and depleted, and could even set you up for illness. But Dr. Stephen Sinatra and spiritual counselor Tommy Rosa say there is a way to keep your body and spirit in balance from the holidays straight through the new year: Nurture your Vital Force.
“We are all born with an inner core energy called Vital Force that, when strong, leads to healing, good health, and overall well-being,” says Dr. Sinatra, coauthor of Health Revelations from Heaven: 8 Divine Teachings from a Near-Death Experience (Rodale Books, 2017, ISBN: 978-1-635-65066-2, $14.99). “But if you don’t nurture this energy, it can’t sustain you. Many aspects of modern life destroy or weaken your Vital Force, and that’s when you get sick. This is especially true during the holidays, when everyone is already stressed out, experiencing a host of mixed emotions, and overscheduled.”
What exactly is Vital Force? Well, it’s called chi by the Chinese, ki by the Japanese, prana by Hindus, and breath of God by Hebrews and Christians. But when scientific types talk about Vital Force, they tend to focus on the mitochondria that produce it, explains Dr. Sinatra. Mitochondria are tiny cucumber-shaped power plants in cells that produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the energy of life. Our body must make ATP continuously or else we perish. But we store enough for only 8-10 heart beats.
Thousands of studies have now been published on the link between abnormal mitochondrial dynamics and their involvement in diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, diabetes, obesity, autoimmune conditions, cancer, heart disease, headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome, and even aging itself. More than 50 million people in the United States are said to be affected by conditions involved in mitochondria dysfunction.
Here’s where things get interesting: Dr. Sinatra’s coauthor, Mr. Rosa, learned about Vital Force during a life-altering near-death experience (NDE) following a terrible accident. During his stay in Heaven, eight revelations of good health were imprinted onto his psyche. These revelations dovetailed with the knowledge that Dr. Sinatra had already gained through his studies of scientifically and medically validated clinical research, as well as his own experiences as a cardiologist. Upon meeting Mr. Rosa at a lecture in 2010, the two friends began working together to uncover the science- and medical-inspired insights on Mr. Rosa’s spiritual lessons.
“Every living thing is imbued with Vital Force at conception,” says Dr. Sinatra. “It can also be called Life Force, General Vitality, or simply vibration. A person’s Vital Force or vibration increases or decreases throughout that person’s life based on the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual choices that are made each day. The better the choices, the higher the vibration or Vital Force and the stronger and healthier you become.”
Our Vital Force—AKA mitochondria—can be depleted by many things in our environment, like viruses, bacteria, heavy metals, fungi, parasites, and molds—as well as toxins caused by negative emotions from within, notes Dr. Sinatra. These factors can lower our vibration and make us sick. But when mitochondria and ATP are supported, not only can organs, particularly the heart, be repaired, but they can also be rejuvenated.
Dr. Sinatra says that just because you’re busy (and likely exhausted) during the holidays, you don’t have to become so depleted that you need the whole month of January to recover. Keep reading for four tips to help you nourish your mitochondria and bring your Vital Force back to its full power during the holidays, when you need it the most.
Minimize exposure to dangerous toxins. Though it is impossible to totally avoid Dr. Sinatra’s list of the most toxic substances you’re likely to be exposed to in daily life—which range from pesticides to heavy metals to prescription drugs—you and your loved ones should try to avoid or minimize exposure to them as often as possible.
- Alcohol. You’ll likely be attending one or more parties during the holiday season, but Dr. Sinatra advises capping your boozy beverages at the recommended intake. You don’t want to have too much fun at the expense of your health. Moderate intake of alcohol—one drink daily for women, two for men—may have therapeutic value, but drinking more than that is asking for trouble. Liver destruction, nutritional deficiencies, and premature aging are among the many consequences of heavy drinking.
- Indoor and outdoor pollution. Air pollution does damage to cells and organs over time. And believe it or not, those deliciously scented seasonal candles, air freshener sprays, and wall plug-ins are actually filling your air with harmful substances and should be avoided. If you want to fill your home with a holiday scent, try diffusing essential oils like cinnamon, pine, or peppermint instead. Further, use an air purifier indoors to reduce dust and other particulate matter. Install a water-filter system to purify your water—the body’s most needed beverage. And avoid walking, jogging, or biking in the city during rush hour to avoid outdoor pollution.
- Cigarette smoke. Lung cancer aside, smoking is the most destructive habit for the heart and nearly every other organ in the body. Each puff carries a toxic payload of chemicals and carcinogens. If you smoke, you need to stop now. Maybe you’re already planning to quit in the new year, but why not go ahead and stop this dangerous habit now? Seek help through your physician or a credible smoking-cessation program. Further, avoid celebrations where there will be smoking indoors. And if you quit the habit long ago, beware of backsliding. There’s nothing like a party atmosphere to tempt you to take a celebratory puff for old times’ sake.
- Personal care products. Although personal care products may seem like great stocking stuffers, they can also harbor dangerous chemicals. Most deodorants, for instance, contain aluminum, which is known to cause DNA alterations, and may, over time, lead to breast cancer. Antibacterial soap contains triclocarban and triclosan, which have been found to disrupt reproductive hormone activity and interfere with cell signaling activities, including in the brain and heart. Whenever possible, use (and gift) natural products, and use them minimally, because what goes on the skin goes into the skin…and into the body.
- Phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA). These common compounds, used in plastics and found in products ranging from toys, cosmetics, soaps, lotions, food packaging, and water bottles are dangerous to all. As you shop for holiday presents, steer clear of plastic containers and plastic products whenever you can.
Support your Vital Force through rhythmic deep breathing. Deep and rhythmic breathing helps the respiratory system remove the toxins that deplete your Vital Force. In addition to disposing of carbon dioxide, the respiratory system includes several protective mechanisms to prevent infiltration of toxins from the air we breathe. By the way, deep rhythmic breathing is also a great way to diminish stress and tension when you’re standing in a long checkout line, while cooking a festive dinner, or when you’re untangling an enormous ball of holiday lights. Be aware of these stress triggers, and use your breathing to calm yourself down. Dr. Sinatra recommends you practice this exercise at least five minutes every day:
- Sit erect (but not stiff) in a straight chair with a pillow placed between your shoulder blades. Remove your shoes. Place your feet firmly on the floor or, weather permitting, barefoot on the earth outside.
- Gently open your mouth. Let your jaw hang softly.
- Breathe in and out through your nose, with your awareness on each inhalation and exhalation.
- Place your hands over your navel and, with your eyes closed, feel your abdomen rise under your hands.
- When your breathing is calm and slowed down, your Vital Force is nurtured.
Use a sauna to sweat out toxins and rejuvenate your body. Sweating in a sauna is an excellent way to detoxify the body. It helps you eliminate heavy metals, toxins, petrochemicals, insecticides, and pesticides that reside in our subcutaneous fat. While they are pricey, a home sauna offers your family the gift of detoxification and improved health. If buying a home sauna isn’t a realistic option for you, you can always give gift certificates for sauna sessions to your loved ones.
“Several of my patients strongly believe that they ‘cured’ themselves by sweating out such toxins in infrared and Swedish sauna,” says Dr. Sinatra. “Another great way to sweat out toxins is through regular exercise, which also promotes detoxification.”
Raise your vibration through positive thoughts. Along with the other self-healing powers of your body, your thoughts and actions can either raise or lower your vibration, affecting your Vital Force. Negative emotions like fear, lack of faith, anger, jealousy, greed, ego, self-pity, and negative thinking lower your vibration and make you vulnerable to illness. Incidentally, you may find yourself grappling with some of these negative emotions more than normal around the holidays—many people find them difficult as they bring up complicated feelings. Luckily, you can choose to avoid behaviors, circumstances, and thoughts that lower your vibration and can embrace others that raise it. Practice raising your energetic vibration through positive thoughts throughout the holidays to enhance your Vital Force. If you need help getting started, try focusing on some of the themes of the season at hand: gratitude, generosity, giving, receiving, and forgiveness.
“Because your Vital Force is so crucial in maintaining the life—and the aliveness—in your body, you need to be committed to nurturing it back to its fullest potential, especially during times of busyness and stress, like the holiday season,” concludes Dr. Sinatra. “It’s an ongoing job that will continue to pay off for you. When the Vital Force is strong, you become the healthiest, happiest version of yourself, because you are supported and well, all the way down to the cellular level, where true healing occurs.”
Dr. Stephen Sinatra and Tommy Rosa are coauthors of Health Revelations from Heaven.
Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, FACC, is a cardiologist and psychotherapist with 40 years of clinical experience treating heart disease. He is the host of HeartMDInstitute.com and the creator of Vervana Marketplace (vervana.com), which offers wholesome, high-quality products from all over the world. He lives in St. Petersburg, FL.
Tommy Rosa is a spiritual counselor who helps people conquer their fear of death. He is also the founder of the Unicorn Foundation in Stuart, Florida, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to educational endeavors and community outreach projects. He lives in Stuart, FL.
About the Book:
Health Revelations from Heaven: 8 Divine Teachings from a Near-Death Experience(Rodale Books, 2017, ISBN: 978-1-635-65066-2, $14.99) is available from major online booksellers. For more information, please visit www.healthrevelationsbook.com.