Dr. Mara Karpel: What inspired you to write your book?
Stacey Chillemi: The reason I wrote this book was to help others realize that many conditions can be healed through herbal treatments, the nutrients and vitamins we obtain through the food we consume and alternative medicine (meditation, yoga, chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy etc…)
StaceyChillemi: There are two important aspects to the title. “The Complete Guide to Natural Healing: A Natural Approach to Healing the Body and Maintaining Optimal Health Using Herbal Supplements, Vitamins, Minerals, Fruits, Vegetables and Alternative Medicine” reflects our goal to encourage individuals to take a proactive approach to dealing with the health issues they encounter in their lives. The Complete Guide to Natural Healing: A Natural Approach to Healing the Body and Maintaining Optimal Health Using Herbal Supplements, Vitamins, Minerals, Fruits, Vegetables and Alternative Medicine provides the tools that empower people to address and resolve their health issues in a natural and healthier way rather than running to the doctor or store for prescription or over-the-counter drugs. Secondly, the book encourages readers to consider “A Drug-Free Approach to Living a Happy, Healthy Life”; the second purpose of this book is to remind the reader that medication is never a primary intervention. The research consistently reveals the importance of developing healthier, more natural options, coping skills, adapting this lifestyle into their life and applying it to different situations in their own life.
Dr. Mara Karpel: Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
Stacey Chillemi: There are several messages we hope our readers acquire from reading the book. First, everyone has health issues both mental and physical that they must endure at some point in their life. This book teaches the reader how they can improve their health by simply using the natural products from the earth. Second, health conditions can be treated but you have to take an active role in resolving your condition.
Dr. Mara Karpel: Do you have any advice for people suffering from anxiety?
Stacey Chillemi: Snap out of it! Using mediation and message therapy is an excellent way to improve anxiety. Avoid trying to avoid worrying about the future. Don’t worry about events that you have not yet encountered. The past is over, focus on the present (take one day at a time) set long term and short term goals but realize that life constantly changes and so will your goals, but giving yourself expectations will help you focus on productive accomplishments that will boost your self-esteem and this mentality will help reduce your anxiety. Rome wasn’t built in a day so don’t get anxious if you’re unable to achieve everything you have your heart set on.
Dr. Mara Karpel: What are the benefits of meditation?
Stacey Chillemi: Meditation is recognized as providing broad-based benefit for numerous health conditions; from stress and anxiety to depression, addictions, immune system function, blood pressure, hormonal balance - and there’s much more. In the work force, meditation is has been used to help people develop or improve efficiency, intuition, creativity, social skills, plus decreased stress-related conditions. Meditation helps one become deeply in tune with their inner life and spiritual nature. They awaken to the reality of their soul. This helps bring peace, calm, joy, love, wisdom, power into your life.
Dr. Mara Karpel: Do you feel medical marijuana can benefit many medical conditions better than the drugs they are currently offering? Why?
Stacey Chillemi: There are many cases throughout the medical field where marijuana proves to be a helpful addition to healthcare plans that people already have in place. Marijuana is not a cure-all to replace all other medicines, but for many people with cancer and other life threatening illnesses, THC and other cannabinoids have helped with their reliance on narcotics and chemotherapy drugs. This greatly improves their quality of life.
Dr. Mara Karpel: Medical marijuana has been helping thousands of people with cancer and epilepsy. Have you heard some similar statements that you would like to expand on to educate the public about on this topic?
Stacey Chillemi: Some of the possible negative side effects of chemotherapy are great discomfort, nausea, and the inability to eat. Marijuana has been proven to help with these patients’ appetite and has been used to replace chemotherapy drugs. THC also has been proven to shrink tumors in brain cancer patients. Marijuana also has anticonvulsant effects, which have been used to treat epilepsy dating back to ancient Africa, Greece, and Rome. Strains high in CBD are used to treat epilepsy and many of these strains have now been bred specifically for high CBD characteristics.
Dr. Mara Karpel: What is one way you can improve your health naturally
Stacey Chillemi: For optimum health, aim for at least two servings of fruits and three servings of veggies per day. Fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals with a low caloric content. They also contain notable amounts of dietary fiber. Fiber prolongs the feeling of fullness after meals and helps you eat less. Men need between 28 and 34 grams of dietary fiber daily and women between 22 and 28 grams. If buying fresh fruits and vegetables is too expensive, opt for frozen varieties. Frozen fruits and vegetables last longer and are typically less expensive.
Dr. Mara Karpel: How important is it to incorporate protein into your diet?
Stacey Chillemi: Protein is a crucial part of any healthful diet; it facilitates proper muscle development and growth. Lean protein is low in fats and cholesterol, helping you to stay within your daily limits. Skinless poultry and fish or lean cuts of pork and red meat are ideal. Tenderloin is a tasty, lean cut of pork and top round is a healthful choice for lean red meat. MayoClinic.com does not recommend exceeding 3-ounce helpings of meat. Dairy products, soy products, legumes, nuts and seeds provide sources of protein if you do not eat meat. Whole grains are another necessary element for improving your health. They are high in dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. When eaten regularly, whole grains lower your blood cholesterol levels and might reduce your chance of cardiovascular disease. Brown rice, oatmeal, whole-wheat flour, bulgur and whole cornmeal are examples of whole grains to add to your healthful diet.
Dr. Mara Karpel: What’s can a person do if they have trouble sleeping at night?
Valerian root has a long history of use as a mild sedative. Taken as supplement, valerian reduces the amount of time to slip into deep sleep. Valerian with hops also has some clinically proven results for sleeplessness, according to a 2005 study reported in the journal Sleep.
Several clinical studies suggest that valerian alone is not effective in the long-term for insomnia. I would say that, in general, any difficulty sleeping that lasts over two weeks may require more medical assistance than any herb can provide.
Lemon balm, or Melissa officinalis, has been used as a relaxant since the Middle Ages in European folk medicine. It has a clean, refreshing citrus smell so you can take it in a tea or as a supplement. Add it to your dream pillow, while you’re at it.
The effects of lemon balm are more than wishful thinking/placebo. A 2003 study in the journal Neuropsychopharmolocology found that lemon balm indirectly encourages sleep by improving mood and inducing mental calmness. Lemon balm can be called a nootropic, or a brain-enhancing supplement, as it can improve cognitive performance too.
Passionflower Most European herbal sleep remedies contain passion flower, or Passiflora incarnata, even though the plant comes from the tropical regions of the Americas, where it was widely used by the Aztecs, according to journals from 16th century conquistadors.
The leaves and flowers have a mild flavor, and has a reputation for reducing anxiety and sleeplessness caused by anxiety.
While few peer-reviewed studies have been funded for passion flower, it is actually listed as an herbal tranquilizer in Germany. According to the Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, the active ingredients may be harmaline and harmine, so does not use passion flower if you take MAOI antidepressants, as sedative effects may be amplified.
Chamomile may be the most recognized sleep aid, but actually many clinical studies have shown no effects of the herb for those suffering with chronic insomnia. Is chamomile a placebo due to its yummy scent? I don’t think so. Chamomile may indirectly promote sleep by increasing mental calmness.
A recent study by University of Pennsylvania researchers found that chamomile significantly reduces the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. This double blind study even pitted the active ingredient against a placebo pill that smelled like chamomile.
Melatonin is a natural hormone made by your body's pineal gland. This is a pea-sized gland located just above the middle of the brain. During the day the pineal is inactive. When the sun goes down and darkness occurs, the pineal is "turned on" by the SCN and begins to actively produce melatonin, which is released into the blood. Usually, this occurs around 9 pm. As a result, melatonin levels in the blood rise sharply and you begin to feel less alert. Sleep becomes more inviting. Melatonin levels in the blood stay elevated for about 12 hours - all through the night - before the light of a new day when they fall back to low daytime levels by about 9 am. Daytime levels of melatonin are barely detectable.
Melatonin is an excellent herbal to use. Our body produces melatonin and this is what helps us to fall asleep at night. However as we age the production of melatonin decreases in our body and this is why many individuals suffer from insomnia. You can buy melatonin in stores.
Dr. Mara Karpel: What are your current projects?
Stacey Chillemi: I just published my new edition The Complete Guide to Natural Healing: A Natural Approach to Healing the Body and Maintaining Optimal Health Using Herbal Supplements, Vitamins, Minerals, Fruits, Vegetables and Alternative Medicine and I also published a book for adults and children to read together called Learning to Be Kind: Over 300 Ways to Be Kind & Show Appreciation. Kindness is a good habit that has a lasting effect that supports and reinforces the quest for the good life. Helping others bestows a sense of satisfaction that has two beneficiaries—the beneficiary, the receiver of the help, and the one who provides the help. Over time, people who do good deeds develop a friendly and joyful personality that attracts and magnetizes those they associate with and brings kindness their way.
In this book are lists of ways you, your children, loved-ones, friends and family can demonstrate an act of kindness. If you can take time, each day to demonstrate an act of kindness listed in this book and everyone did the same, just think how much better the world we live in could become.
Dr. Mara Karpel: Do you have a website people can visit?
Stacey Chillemi: Where can people find your book?
About Dr. Karpel
Dr. Mara Karpel is a licensed psychologist with over 25 years of experience working with adults of all ages who desire to reach their full potential, no matter their age or health condition. In addition, Dr. Karpel has a specialty of working with older adults and with caregivers.
- Received doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Syracuse University - 1992.
- Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Texas and New York.
- Co-authored publication based on original research study: Karpel, M. E., Hoyer, W. J., & Toglia, M. P. (2001). "Accuracy and Qualities of Real and Suggested Memories: Nonspecific Age Differences," The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences.
- Since January 2014, host of the radio show, Dr. Mara Karpel & Your Golden Years, on BlogTalkRadio.com, Sunday's at 5pm CT/6pm ET.
- Previously, hosted a similar weekly radio show on Austin’s Talk Radio 1370 for two years.
- Previously, wrote a weekly column that appeared in a Texas newspaper for over 2 years, as well as in Vallarta Today, a weekly newspaper for the expatriate retirement community in Puerto Vallarta, MX.
- Has given lectures around Texas, in Florida, and in Puerto Vallarta, MX.