Monthly Archives: December 2011

Happy Holidays!!

Just wanted to wish everyone a very happy holiday and a healthy new year! Have a safe, fun, and love filled winter break! 




The Wellness Blog will be inactive for most of the break, but we will be back in January to SPRING INTO WELLNESS!


Here are dates below to book into your calendar now!


23 – Students return back to class

31 – Kathryn Ellis at 5:30-7:00 in Casino Ballroom – “Nourish Your Body in the New Year”



9 – Dr. Oz patient Dave Held at 6:00-7:30 in the Little Theater – “How Dr. Oz Saved My Life”



4-10 – Spring Break

13 – Wellness Planning 101: A Strategy for Stress Reduction at 5:30 in Casino Ballroom

20 – Women’s Health Panel at 5:30 in Casino Ballroom

28 – Native American/energy/spiritual healer, Eileen Ellis will be presenting in the Little Theater at 7pm

29 – “Transformation Menopause” at 5:30 in Little Theatre



16 – Relaxation Workshop at 7:00pm in Little Theatre with Kelly Brown

25 – Movie That Will Change Your Life TBA – 7:00 PM Little Theatre



12 – WELLNESS Expo in Casino from 11:00-6:00

17 – Holistic Health Graduate Students Final Presentations in Little Theater






25 Tips for Healthy Holidays

Hi Everyone!


Just wanted to share this list with you before the Holidays officially took over. This is from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and gives a lot of great tips for staying healthy the entire holiday season.




The holidays are meant to be just that – holidays– but a lot of people find this time of year more stressful than wonderful. Worries about family dynamics, party preparation, and overeating can often overshadow enjoyment and turn the season from jolly to dreary.

To help keep your season as mirthful as possible, we’ve compiled 25 tips to boost your spirits and nourish your body through the New Year!

1. Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. Keeping a regular meal schedule will keep you from being famished by the time the big meals roll around.

2. Sleep. It improves everything.

3. Wash your hands. What’s worse than getting sick for the holidays?

4. Keep it manageable. Whether you’re throwing the party or attending six of them, just make sure your plans are within reach. Make fewer delicious dishes, or cut down your RSVPs to whatever you can handle with pleasure, not pain.

5. Don’t worry. Remember what the season is really about to you, and keep a positive outlook. If the times get tougher, though…

6. Breathe. Find a quiet place, breathe in for 5 counts and out for 10 a few times, and center yourself.

7. Drink water. Staying hydrated is key, not only for reducing cravings, but also for making sure you can keep up with the holiday rush!

8. Eat beforehand. Whether it’s a meal a few hours before the big meal or a handful of veggies on your way out the door to a party, it’s definitely better not to get famished.

9. Bring a dish. Check with your hostess first, and if it’s all right, you can bring a dish you know you can feel good about indulging in. Check out our 101 Healthy Holiday Recipes for ideas! ** This was posted around Thanksgiving time on the GCU Wellness Blog **

10. Go easy on the alcohol. After a few drinks, you might find your resolve to stick to your health goals quickly diminishing. If you steer clear of the booze, your head and your body will thank you the next day.

11. Only go for your holiday favorites. Love sweet potatoes but don’t much care for the green bean casserole? Choose reasonable portions of the dishes you love most and leave the others on the table.

12. Plate everything before you eat. Even if you go back to the snack table several times, you’ll be more conscious of the quantities you’re consuming if you see it all on a plate first.

13. Chat between bites. Remember that the food is there to be an accessory to the company, not vice versa.

14. Wear something form-fitting. You’ll be more inclined to skip seconds when you’re wearing a snug sweater than you will in a loose blouse.

15. It’s not all or nothing. Overate at your first holiday party? That’s no reason to give up on the season and wait until New Year’s to recommit to your goals. Remind yourself that it’s not too late to make healthier decisions going forward.

16. Travel Healthy. Nutritious noshing on-the-go can be tough, so check out our tips for How to Eat Healthy While Traveling.

17. Bring a jump rope. It’ll take up almost no space in your suitcase, and you only need a small space to get in a sweat-breaking workout.

18. Stick to a budget. The season for giving can be a financial burden to some, and it’s not uncommon for credit card and layaway interest to accumulate into debt that could last through next year. Figure out what you can afford, and remember – it’s the thought that counts.

19. Get active as a family. Take the family for a walk or play a game of pick-up football! Get some exercise in and spend quality time together – it’s a win-win.

20. Plan activities that don’t involve food. Invite friends over to make wreaths, ornaments, or holiday cards. Not all the holiday festivities have to take place around the dinner table.

21. Don’t snack on candy. Sweets are abundant this time of year, but the simple sugars in holiday treats can cause a blood sugar spike that will warp your mood.

22. Run a 5K. Many charities choose the season of good will for their run/walks to raise awareness. Find one near you with the Runner’s World RaceFinder to work off any holiday treats while helping your fellow man.

23. Meditate on your goals. Not only will you be more likely to stick to them, but you might also come up with some New Year’s Resolutions while you’re at it!

24. Project Positivity. Sometimes holidays just are stressful. If things start to turn downhill, keep a happy outlook. You’ll encourage others around you to do the same.

25. Focus on the spirit of the holiday. The parties, the commotion, and even the food are all secondary to the true meaning of the season, whatever that may be to you. Be it a spiritual time, a family time, or just a relaxing break – we wish you a healthy and joyful holiday season.

1 Minute Relaxation

Hello Everyone!

I am going to post guided relaxations for the next few days to calm everyone before, during, and after finals. Hope you all can find time to relax. These are great to do before bed, when you feel anxious, or whenever you get a free moment.



7 Steps to Stillness
1.Take a moment to be comfortable in your environment.
2.Keeping your eyes open, gently rest them on a chosen point somewhere in front of you.
3.Withdraw your attention from all sights and sounds.
4.Follow the thoughts suggested on the commentary
5.Acknowledge and appreciate the positive feelings and thoughts which may spring directly from this exercise.
6.Stay in these feelings for a few moments.
7.End your meditation by closing your eyes for a few moments and creating complete silence in your mind.


Labyrinth Walk in Casino Dec. 16,19, & 20

Hello Everyone,

The Labyrinth walk was really well received and is going to be available in the Casino for everyone to take advantage of.

Instructions and information about the labyrinth will be able as well.

The walk will be able Friday, Dec. 16 and Monday the 19th and Tuesday the 20th

Please stop by when you have a chance! 

Chemicals in our Personal Care Products

Hi Everyone!

Ellen Scavuzzo has truly become an advocate for healthy products and bringing awareness to what things really are. As you will see, not everything that is labeled to be great for you, really is. Before everyone buys new cosmetics, lotions, and beauty products this holiday, take a look at Ellen’s advice!



The average American woman uses 12 personal care products a day, resulting in exposure to more than 120 chemicals, many of which are likely linked to cancer, birth defects, asthma, allergies and other health problems. Many of these chemicals end up in our bodies, our breast milk and our children; contaminate drinking water and wildlife; and build up in the food chain (Campaign for Safe Cosmetics).” 

This statement sums up to me why I have become so passionate about this fight against companies being allowed to flood the personal care market with toxic chemicals.  And most of us are blind to what actually is in our products.  Before starting the holistic health program at GCU, I was like most women using all different kinds of products that say “natural” or “organic” because I was led to believe and trust the companies that were putting the products on the market.  Just in the morning alone, I would go through at least 10-15 products on a daily basis such as shampoo, conditioner, and hair products like a styling agent, foundation, blush, mascara, eye shadow, lip gloss and fragrance, not to mention, body lotion, face wash, toner, face lotion, and eye cream.  And this was only in the morning!


When I started the holistic program, I also started to investigate the meaning of organic and here is where I started discovering what toxins were allowed to be formulated in our personal care products.  As a disclaimer – I am in no way a scientist or expert in the field of chemicals or cosmetics.  I am a consumer and a health advocate for myself.  I am a researcher.  I am a woman who once did not know that these harmful chemicals could have been the reason why my body was not allowing me to become pregnant.  And this is where my journey began.


The first I learned about were parabens. These are commonly known as methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben (yes, grab your lotion next to you and check the ingredients).  They are used as a preservative in cosmetic products.  They are also linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity and skin irritation.  According to the Safe Cosmetics Organization, there was a UKstudy in 2004 that detected traces of five parabens in breast cancer tumors of 10 out of 20 women studied.  Although this small study didn’t prove a causal relationship between parabens and breast cancer, it’s important to know of their presence – unaltered by the body’s metabolism – which indicated the chemical’s ability to penetrate the skin and remain in the breast tissue.  Parabens are also known to disrupt hormone function.  This effect is linked to increase risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity.


Another toxic chemical that is of great concern is phthalates.  These toxins are used in a variety of consumer products.  They soften vinyl plastics commonly found in toys, air fresheners, detergents, cleaning products and are responsible for the new smell of new vinyl shower curtains.  They are also in our cosmetics to hold color and scents.  Phthalates disrupt hormonal systems, which can cause harm during critical periods of development.  Baby boys exposed to these toxins through breast milk have shown alterations in their hormonal levels.  They also are linked to permanent birth defects in the male reproductive system. 

The one toxin that I recently became aware of, and will probably take you by surprise, is mineral oil.  And I ask all of you – what is the most commonly used mineral oil? Baby oil! This product is used on our babies! And do you know what this is? Mineral oil is a by-product of the distillation of gasoline! (ok – check your products again!).  This is banned from the NYC marathon.  You cannot use any product before you run this race – and it is because it basically acts as saran wrap.  It does not let toxins out when you sweat – nor is anything allowed in Your skin cannot breathe; therefore, you can overheat and pass out. Quoting Dr. Oz,What could be more harmless than a little shine on your rosy lips? Well, as it turns out, lots of things, because the shine in lip gloss comes from petroleum jelly. Petroleum jelly is a byproduct of oil drilling, and when you spread it on your lips, you end up eating it, which is essentially the same as drinking gasoline. Add up the amount of lip gloss the average woman uses (and consumes) over a decade, and it equals 7 pounds. The European Union has banned many petroleum jelly products, and experts are concerned they could be linked to cancer. Women with breast cancer have twice the levels of hydrocarbons (substances found in petroleum jelly) in their breasts than women who haven’t had breast cancer.” By the way, petroleum jelly and mineral oil, same by product, different names. There are over 200 names for this byproduct.

There are many other toxins that are in our products need to be banned.  More examples are formaldehyde-donating preservatives, benzene, petrolatum, toluene (check your nail polish), and PABA.

My journey from the beginning to now has allowed me to become more and more aware of what is actually in the products on the market today.  I have been able to rid my body and my life of these and I am constantly learning more about what products contain them and which ones do not.  Once I rid my life of these toxins I became pregnant.  Coincidence? Some might say, but I do not think so.  This journey has also led me to become an Independent Consultant with a company that is pure, safe, and beneficial with products that do not contain any of the above mentioned toxins.  A cause that I am truly passionate to share with all that are interested!  


Ellen Scavuzzo

Arbonne Independent Consultant

District Manager




Holistic Health Studies graduate student

Acupressure Points for Everyone to Try!

Potent Point Exercises


You do not have to use all of these points. Using just one or two of them whenever you have a free hand can be effective.


Lie down on your back or sit comfortably.


Step 1


Press into B 2: Use your thumbs on the upper ridge of your eye socket to press into the slight hollow near the bridge of your nose for one minute. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, letting the weight of your head relax forward onto your thumbs.




Step 2

Press St 3 and LI 20: Place both of your middle fingers beside your nostrils and your index fingers next to them; gradually press up and underneath the cheekbones for one minute. You can easily teach this step to your child to help relieve nasal congestion.




Step 3

Press both LI 11: Bend your arm and place your thumb at the- end of the elbow crease on the outside of your forearm. Curve your fingers to press firmly into the elbow joint for one minute. Repeat on your opposite arm.



Step 4

Press LI 4 firmly: Spread your left thumb and index finger apart. Place your right thumb in the webbing on the back of your left hand and your fingertips on the palm directly behind your thumb. Firmly squeeze your thumb and index finger of your right hand together to press into the webbing. Angle the pressure toward the bone that connects with your left index finger, and hold for one minute. Then switch hands.



Step 5

Firmly press GB 20: Now close your eyes and place your thumbs underneath the base of your skull, two to three inches apart. Slowly tilt your head back and apply pressure gradually, holding the position for one minute to fully release these important cold-relief points.



Step 6

Firmly press GV 16: Place the tips of your middle fingers into the hollow in the center of the base of your skull. Keeping your fingers on the point, inhale as you tilt your head back and exhale as you relax your head forward. Continue to slowly rock your head back and forward, and breathe deeply while you hold this important point for relieving head congestion.



Step 7

Touch the GV 24.5: Bring your palms together and use your middle and index fingers to lightly touch the Third Eye Point located between your eyebrows. Breathe deeply as you hold this point for balancing your endocrine system.




Step 8

Firmly press K 27: Place your fingertips on the protrusions of your collarbone, then slide your fingers down and outward into the first indentation in between the bones. Press into this hollow as you breathe deeply and visualize the congestion clearing.






During the event, I chose acupressure points that were best for the cold/flu season. The one that I had used before even getting into this program was the pressure point in the web of your hands between your thumb and pointer finger. I explained to the students that I used this for headaches and soon discovered I was doing acupressure without knowing it! Many of the points on your face are really great for sinus pressure. Some students said they could feel relief as they applied pressure there. I pointed out to all students that they may feel tenderness on some of the pressure points without ever knowing they had soreness or pain there. The one pressure point that everyone enjoyed was at the back of the neck at the base of the skull. I allowed all the student groups to breathe through this move a bit longer since I started to notice this provided the most relief.

The Stress Management event was the second time I was able to connect with the GCU undergraduates through the HH program and both have been truly amazing experiences. Connecting with the GCU community has been priceless and I’m so proud of the GCU women have been so open in receiving information about how they can take control of their overall well-being. Acupressure is a very simple and safe therapy that students can use on themselves, especially during finals and the harsh winter months! I was so happy to be a part of this event and thank you to all of the students who shared their stories with me.
I encouraged the students at the event to use these during finals as well as throughout the winter season. But this is all about prevention so if you make it a regular part of your routine that is best!

– Christine Rochelle



Thank you so much Christine for taking the time to share this information on the blog, as well as at the stress management workshop!


Acupressure by Christine Rochelle

Hello Everyone!

The end of the semester is officially upon on and for those who were not at the stress management workshop, they may find this helpful. Acupuncture is the more popular term people know about when it comes to Traditional Chinese Medicine. The same system of points on the body is also used without needles and i know as Acupressure.

Christine Rochelle did a wonderful job at the workshop talking about acupressure. Here is some of the info she shared along with points to try acupressure out on your own!

Good Luck with Finals!



The very basics of acupressure include using one’s fingers to apply pressure to key healing points that are known mostly through acupuncture but instead of needles the therapist will use their fingers. Through this therapy, the goal is to stimulate the body’s key healing points while releasing tension and increasing circulation. Acupressure is used for stress-related ailments, preventive healthcare and to boost one’s immune system.


Discovered over 5,00 years ago by the Chinese, acupressure has an interesting background since the key healing points on the body were revealed to the Chinese in battle. The Chinese soldiers were fighting wit stones and arrows and discovered that when certain parts of the body were hit suddenly they had cures for lifelong illnesses. Soon enough, Chinese doctors were able to map out all of these key points after having no explanation for the soldiers and their miraculous recoveries.

A team of researchers from the Department of Anesthesiology and General Intensive Care unit from the University Hospital of Vienna (2003) studied the affects of using acupressure on patients being transported to the hospital in an ambulance. In Europe, many of the countries do not allow the paramedics to give transport patients any medications or perform any surgeries, even acupuncture. To help increase the level of anxiety that the patients feel during the transport, the team conducted research on the affects of auricular acupressure. Subject groups received acupressure at the N-17 point with a small plastic ball that remained on the point during the transport. The anxiety level of the patients who received the correct acupressure point decreased significantly. The team discussed that, “auricular acupressure is an effective treatment for anxiety and improves the patient’s overall perception toward medical care. This technique is not only easy to learn, but it also has great potential to improve the quality of care for patients who are being transported to the hospital”.

Acupressure has proven results for nausea, anxiety, and other stress-induced disorders. The advantages of acupressure include minimal training for the therapist, nearly no equipment costs, and it is often a resource for those who want to experience the benefits of acupuncture without using needles.   


Belluomini, J., Litt, R., Lee, K., Katz, M. (August 1994). Acupressure for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy: A randomized, blinded study. Obstetrics & Gynecology,    84(2), 245-248.

Gach, M. R. (2011). Acupressure & acupuncture – a brief history. Retrieved from

Kober, A., Scheck, T., Schubert, B., Strasser, H., Gustorff, B., Bertalanffy, P., Wang, S.,   Kain, Z. N., Hoerauf, K. (2003). Auricular acupressure as a treatment for anxiety in prehospital transport settings. Anesthesiology, 98, 1328-32.

Raw foods increase mental performance

“Food is like a pharmaceutical compound that affects the brain,” says UCLA professor of neurosurgery and physiological science, Fernando Gomez-Pinilla. In the competitive world of today, strengthening our natural talents is vital if we are to be successful both in our line of work and in our personal pursuits, and it often seems like our very existence is littered with various tests and challenges that ask us to push our limits. Fortunately, scientific evidence now shows that an assortment of raw foods can greatly enhance our mental performance, by providing us with pure, natural mental boosters.

Interestingly enough, while only weighing about 1.5 kilograms, the brain alone accounts for approximately 20% of the daily energy expenditure of the human body. While intense mental workout burns more calories than a state of mental relaxation, a study published by the Wisconsin University in the prestigious Cell magazine reveals that the brain tends to treat excess carbohydrates as if they were an invading pathogen.

For this reason, finding the right calorie balance is essential, and lighter and more frequent meals are usually recommended instead of highly energy-dense meals. Leigh Gibson of Roehampton University in England explains that the human brain functions best with approximately 25 grams of glucose circulating in the blood stream, which is only about the amount of carbohydrates found in an average banana.

Omega 3-fatty acids were found to be essential for the normal development of the brain in fetuses and young children, and evidence now suggests that omega-3 fatty acids can further enhance membranes in brain cells, and even repair cell damage by promoting neural growth.

Furthermore, Dr. Fernando Gomez-Pinilla revealed that a “dietary deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids in humans has been associated with an increased risk of several mental disorders, including attention-deficit disorder, dyslexia, dementia, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.”

Chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, purslane, black raspberries, pecans, and hazelnuts are wonderful plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Purslane in particular, while usually considered nothing but a weed in the United States, carries the highest content of alpha-linoleic acid among all green leafy plants, and can be added to salads and green smoothies for a slightly saltier flavor.

Proteins not only are useful for muscle growth, but are largely responsible for our intelligence and mental abilities as well (in that they provide us with crucial amino-acids that regulate brain activity and development). Judith Wurtman, PhD, director of a women’s health program at the MIT Clinical Research Center in Boston, explained that the two neurotransmitters dopamine and epinephrine (or adrenaline) are mainly responsible for our mental alertness, and that they are produced from tyrosine. Peanuts, almonds, avocados, lima beans, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds are great natural sources of this important amino-acid.

Inositol is a special type of carbohydrate that does not render energy like a classic sugar, but instead has a wide range of beneficial effects on the human nervous system. It can improve mental endurance, modulate serotonin activity, support brain and bone marrow cell membranes, and combat a number of psychiatric conditions and disorders, including bulimia, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, agoraphobia, and clinical depression. According to research data published in The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, inositol is found in fruits (bananas, raisins and citrus fruits), beans, yeasts, grains and most nuts.