Fish Oil Supplementation: The Top 5 Benefits

fish oil

Here are the top five reasons why you should consider fish oil supplementation.

  1. Supports Heart Health

    Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA, which have been shown to support heart health.  Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce triglyceride levels, decrease blood pressure, and improve overall cardiovascular function. Regular consumption can lower the risk of heart disease and promote a healthy heart.

  2. Promotes Brain Function

    The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil play a crucial role in brain development and function.
    DHA, in particular, is a major structural component of the brain and supports cognitive function.
    Taking a daily supplement can improve memory, focus, and overall brain health, benefiting individuals of all ages.

  3. Reduces Inflammation

    Fish oil has potent anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to its omega-3 fatty acid content.
    Omega-3s help suppress the production of inflammatory substances in the body, alleviating symptoms of chronic inflammation. Regular intake can help manage conditions like arthritis, asthma, and other inflammatory disorders.

  4. Supports Joint Health

    Fish oil’s anti-inflammatory properties extend to joint health as well. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation associated with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Regular supplementation can improve joint mobility and overall joint health, promoting an active lifestyle.

  5. Enhances Skin and Eye Health

    The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil play a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin and eyes.
    DHA, in particular, is a structural component of the retina and supports optimal vision.
    Supplementation can help reduce dryness, redness, and inflammation of the skin, as well as support overall skin health and a youthful appearance.

Omega Sufficiency Fish Oil

Incorporating fish oil into your daily routine can provide numerous health benefits, ranging from supporting heart health and brain function to reducing inflammation and promoting joint, skin, and eye health.  Lifestyle Integration stocks and sells perhaps the world’s best fish oil Innate Choice Omega Sufficiency.

Yours in Health,

Dr Todd Lizon B.P.H.E., D.C. (Chiropractor)

We care deeply about your metabolic health here at Lifestyle Integration.

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Your Sleep Routine Is Stealing Your Energy

sleep routine


sleeping man

Getting a good night’s sleep is critical to having good energy throughout the day. Good sleep starts long before you lay your head on the pillow though. What you do and don’t do during the hour or two before bed can significantly impact the quality of your sleep. Let’s have a look at some science-backed strategies to create a calming sleep routine that actually promotes optimal sleep and, in turn, good energy.

The Science of Sleep

It’s beyond the scope of this article to do a deep dive but it’s important to know that you have an internal clock that controls our sleep-wake cycle. It’s known as the circadian rhythm and it uses the hormone melatonin to help regulate sleep. Melatonin is influenced by external cues such as light exposure. Research studies are clearly showing that exposure to blue light from electronic devices suppresses melatonin production, making it harder to fall and stay asleep [1]. If we understand this we can then make changes in our homes to optimise our sleep routine and increase our energy.

Creating a Calming Environment


A. Minimising Electronic Device Usage

Electronic devices disrupt our sleep. Part of this is just the stimulation they provide but a larger part is the exposure to unnatural levels of blue light. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that screen time in the evening is associated with delayed sleep onset and shorter sleep duration [2]. Blue light decimates our melatonin levels. To promote better sleep, it’s essential to avoid screens at least an hour before bedtime. Consider putting your devices away or use filters to reduce the amount of blue light you are being exposed to. Most phones have settings you can change or you can get blue light blocking glasses which are a wonderful solution [1]. While this requires a bit of work it’s perhaps the most effective sleep routine to implement.

If you want to learn more about melatonin here are some really cool tips on how to increase its production and preservation

B. Dimming the Lights

Bright lights in the evening can also interfere with melatonin production. Research suggests that exposure to bright light in the evening suppresses melatonin levels, and negatively affects our sleep [3]. Try dimming the lights in your home in the hours before bed. You can also opt for candles. Another great option is to use things like full spectrum or red bulbs.

If you are interested in light here’s a blog on how certain wavelengths of light can increase your energy levels.

C. Establishing a Relaxing Bedtime Ritual

Consistency in life is critical. It turns out it’s also very important with sleep. A consistent, relaxing sleep routine tells your body and mind it’s time to wind things down. It helps prepare your body for sleep. Reading some mindless fiction, taking a warm bath preferably with Epsom salts, or practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing have been shown to promote better sleep quality [4]. Pick your “things” and then build a bedtime routine that you stick with.

Promoting Physical Comfort


A. Creating a Restful Sleep Environment

Your bedroom and what you have in it matter. A study published in the journal Sleep Science found that a comfortable mattress and pillows contribute to better sleep quality and reduced pain perception [5]. It’s also important to have a dark, quiet, and cool room. A mattress these days doesn’t have to break the bank. The relatively new “bed in a box” mattresses have been shown to be as good as traditional mattresses at a fraction of the cost. Consider purchasing a supportive mattress, good pillows, a sleep mask, or earplugs to get that good night’s sleep.

B. Engaging in Light Physical Activity

Light physical activity before bed can help release tension and promote relaxation. A study conducted at Northwestern University demonstrated that incorporating regular physical activity, such as walking or light stretching, into your daily routine can improve sleep quality [6]. While light exercise may help be careful to avoid intense exercise as they can make it harder to fall asleep.

Managing Mental Stimulation


A. Journaling

Did you know that REM sleep is essential for memory consolidation and emotional regulation? It also processes and integrates the information from our day, helping to solidify memories and enhance cognitive functions. That sounds an awful lot like what journalling is supposed to do, doesn’t it? A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that journaling about one’s thoughts and emotions before bedtime led to faster sleep onset [7]. There are many types of journals these days so have a look for a type that suits you. Personally, I feel a gratitude journal is a great way to go and a good addition to a quality bedtime routine.

B. Practicing Mindfulness or Meditation

No surprise here. Mindfulness and meditation techniques are effective in promoting relaxation and reducing stress. Many studies have shown that mindfulness practices can improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia symptoms [8]. If you haven’t tried it give it a go and see what you think. There are some high quality apps these days that walk you through the process.

Avoiding Stimulating Substances

Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol have been shown to interfere with sleep quality and the ability to fall asleep [9]. Caffeine can be sneaky as well as it’s in some soft drinks, chocolate, energy drinks, and some pain and weight loss medications. Alcohol will perhaps allow you to fall asleep quickly, but the quality of the sleep is poor. Without a doubt your sleep, and overall energy, will improve when you create a bedtime routine that avoids these substances.


Your sleep routine an hour or two before bed matters. It’s worth the effort to implement and stick consistently with as many of these suggestions as possible. Have a play, experiment a bit with them, and see what works best for you. A good bedtime routine and prioritizing quality sleep are key to having great energy and reducing fatigue.


We care deeply about your metabolic health here at Lifestyle Integration.

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The SPEED Trap: How To Reverse Metabolic Dysfunction


Boosting Circulation and Cardiovascular Health with a Near Infrared Sauna

Near infrared saunas have gained popularity in recent years as a wellness practice that offers multiple benefits for the mind and body. These saunas use near infrared wavelengths, a specific range of light that penetrates the skin more deeply compared to traditional saunas. Unfortunately, too many people don’t realise that heat therapy, via things like near infrared saunas, is very beneficial for metabolic syndrome, blood pressure, boosting circulation and cardiovascular health. If you have cardiovascular issues, or can’t exercise for various reasons, a sauna may be very helpful.

Poor circulation and cardiovascular issues can lead to various negative health complications. Most people are aware that it can contribute to conditions like hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and strokes. It’s no secret that we need to address poor circulation and cardiovascular issues with diet, exercise and stress management. There is another way though that science is showing to be very promising, and that is through heat therapy.


Heat therapy is the application of repeated passive heat exposure, which includes the use of warm water immersion, Waon therapy (a dry, infrared sauna treatment) and all forms of saunas.

In 2021 a study titled “The effect of heat therapy on blood pressure and peripheral vascular function: A systematic review and meta-analysis”(1) was conducted. The authors note in their introduction that “despite the rapid increase in studies aiming to characterize the efficacy of heat therapy for indices of vascular function, to date no consensus exists on the ability of heat therapy to improve blood pressure and vascular function. Indeed, no systematic reviews and meta-analyses have been undertaken to examine the effect of heat therapy compared with control conditions on indices of vascular health.”(1)

So they reviewed the literature and what they found is what those of us in the field have known for some time “Heat therapy appears to be an effective intervention to improve blood pressure and vascular function in adults with and without existing CVD. Early evidence shows that heat therapy might also reduce arterial stiffness and enhance cutaneous microvascular function.”(1) There are some limitations to the study of course, but it’s still very promising and the details of how it works will continue to be determined over the coming years.

So, what does this mean for you if you have cardiovascular or metabolic issues such as hypertension?

Using tools such as a near infrared sauna may be very helpful for your long-term health and well-being.

portable near infrared sauna being used

Saunas, in general, have been found to

• Improve blood circulation
Lower blood pressure
• Enhance heart function
Stress reduction and relaxation
• Improve endothelial function
• Anti-inflammatory effects

Here are some practical tips for incorporating near infrared sauna sessions into a home based wellness routine:


  1. Frequency and duration. PICK A TIME. Start with shorter sessions, typically around 10-15 minutes, and gradually increase the duration as your body adjusts. Aim for 2-3 sauna sessions per week to maintain a regular practice. However, the research is clear that to maximise the cardiovascular benefits 4-6 times per week is best. It is critical to listen to your body though and not overdo things.
  2. Home Use. Like many things if it’s not easy to use you won’t use it. Having to travel 15 minutes to a sauna, and 15 back will eventually become a hassle and you will likely start to skip sessions. If you have one in your home you are much more likely to use it. Fortunately, there are inexpensive home saunas such as sauna blankets and near infrared saunas that can be used for heat therapy.
  3. Precautions and safety. Heat can be dangerous. If you have existing cardiovascular conditions or other health concerns, consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating near infrared sauna therapy into your routine. The research literature suggests the following as contraindications. Severe aortic stenosis, unstable pectoral angina, recent myocardial infarction, decompensated heart failure, and cardiac arrythmia. Notice high blood pressure is not a contraindication! Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during, and after your session. If you experience any discomfort or lightheadedness, it’s best to exit the sauna and cool down.
  4. Stacking habits like exercise, sleep and diet. If you exercise in the morning and want to sauna in the morning then plan it right after your exercise session. The research suggests it helps with recovery. Evening sauna use pairs well with diet and sleep. A sauna an hour or so after dinner and before bed can help shift your body to a more parasympathetic relaxed state helping your digestion, recovery and sleep. It’s important to view the sauna as part of a holistic wellness routine that encompasses multiple healthy habits if you can.
  5. Consistency is key. When it comes to healthy habits we seem to lose motivation all too easily! The reality is that motivation is fleeting. Success comes from discipline. The key to discipline is to do what you told yourself you were going to do. If you told yourself you were going to sauna 4 times per week just do it. Otherwise, you are slowly corroding your self-esteem and belief in yourself. Do what you said you were going to do.


If you have metabolic dysfunction, high blood pressure, cardiovascular issues, or are limited physically by arthritis, the use of heat therapy can be a very important addition to your health routine. Research suggests that sources of heat, such as a near infrared sauna, offer a range of benefits for cardiovascular health. This includes improved blood circulation, lowered blood pressure, enhanced heart function, stress reduction, improved endothelial function, and potential anti-inflammatory effects.

Consulting with a healthcare professional is vital before starting any heat or sauna therapy, as they can provide personalized guidance based on individual health needs and ensure its compatibility with existing cardiovascular conditions.

We care deeply about your metabolic health here at Lifestyle Integration.

Subscribe to our newsletter to get our free eBook on how to manage metabolic dysfunction
The SPEED Trap: How To Reverse Metabolic Dysfunction


  1. Pizzey FK, Smith EC, Ruediger SL, Keating SE, Askew CD, Coombes JS, Bailey TG. The effect of heat therapy on blood pressure and peripheral vascular function: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Exp Physiol. 2021 Jun;106(6):1317-1334. doi: 10.1113/EP089424. Epub 2021 May 10. PMID: 33866630.

Hair Analysis: Top 5 Reasons Over 50’s Should

hair analysis secrets

With ageing our health becomes more important. I’m not telling you anything profound or new there. What a lot of people don’t know is that valuable insights into your bodies nutritional status can be determined with a simple inexpensive test called a hair analysis. We’ve written a lot about this before and you can check it out here but in this article we are exploring the top five reasons why over 50’s should consider doing a hair mineral analysis.

hair analysis sample


This is so simple and important; yet commonly overlooked. Here is the rule that you must always remember: all cells require nutrients to function. If the nutrient is not present, the cell will not function at its best. A simple example is oxygen. Without it, we have no life. Without our minerals and vitamins, we would face similar fates. With today’s lifestyles and diets, it is not surprising that deficiencies are commonplace. Magnesium, zinc and iron are common deficiencies but all minerals need to be in the correct range.


In our consumer-driven society, we are often led to believe that more is better. We buy into this in many subtle ways. One way is by using multivitamins indiscriminately. We tend to buy them as insurance policies and think that if we just keep putting more in, it will be good for us. This logic couldn’t be further from the truth! Let’s take Vitamin C as an example because, as it turns out, Linus Pauling had it wrong. He thought there was no way to have too much vitamin C, but the reality is that just as deficiency is an issue, excess is as well. If you have too little vitamin C, you will be immuno-depressed; if you have too much, you will become immunosuppressed. Either way, you experience a similar outcome. Copper, sodium and manganese are examples of minerals that are often found in excess.


Simply put, this is about getting the balance of your chemistry correct. The minerals in your body, for example, are in relationship with each other in a similar way that you are in relationships with your family and friends. Whatever you do, you need to take into account the effect it may have on your body. When you raise the level of a single nutrient, such as magnesium, you will affect the levels of other minerals. A very important example is the relationship between copper and zinc as well as Vitamin D and calcium.

Toxic Metals

Toxins have a far greater influence on your body than most people think—and everyone must deal with this growing problem. Toxins have the adverse effect of substituting or replacing the preferred nutrients in the body and they have the devastating effect of blocking the ability of the body to use nutrients, EVEN IF the nutrient is already present. Common toxic metals that are detected in excess are mercury, lead, aluminum amongst others.


Valuable information about your body’s oxidation/metabolism rate can be detected with hair analysis. As we age we become more fatigued and it becomes vital to ensure our mitochondria and metabolism are functioning as well as possible. While not an exact science we can gain insight into our metabolism and specifically if it’s running fast or slow. Fast is usually the result of stress and we tend to see high sodium and potassium. Slow is far too common and we tend to see high levels of calcium and magnesium in the hair analysis. Slow oxidation has the added detrimental effect of reducing our ability to eliminate toxic metals.

Hair Analysis

I would acknowledge that a hair analysis test is not that well known and has limitations. I would also point out though, that all tests have limitations and you wouldn’t get a blood test if you suspected a broken bone. If you are having health issues and suspect that there may be some deficiencies, excesses, imbalances, or toxins it would be a good idea to investigate getting a hair mineral analysis done. In the hands of a practitioner who can properly interpret it based on the actual science that exists you can get insights you can act upon.

Personalised health care is the result.

To learn more you can visit our website blog HERE

To order a test you can do so at Lifestyle Integration

Here is a condensed video version to watch or share with those interested.


We care deeply about your metabolic health here at Lifestyle Integration.

Subscribe to our newsletter to get our free eBook on how to manage metabolic dysfunction
The SPEED Trap: How To Reverse Metabolic Dysfunction

Blood Pressure, Water Hardness and Hair Mineral Analysis

water hardness and bloodpressure

The levels of essential minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium play a crucial role in blood pressure regulation. This article explores the connection between hard and soft water, their influence on blood pressure, and the potential benefits of hair mineral analysis in detecting mineral imbalances so proper decisions can be made with diet and supplementation.

Understanding Hard and Soft Water

Hard water contains higher concentrations of minerals, including calcium and magnesium, while soft water has fewer minerals due to its natural state or treatment processes that remove them. The hardness or softness of water depends on the geological characteristics of the region and the water source.

Surprisingly water can be classified as being stimulatory or sedative and can therefore have a positive or negative effect on our total health.

Hard water, for example, is classified as being sedative, as it has a high amount of calcium and magnesium relative to sodium and potassium.  Think about the old wives’ tale where you drink a glass of warm milk to fall asleep.  It’s the sedative characteristic of calcium primarily that does this.

Low blood pressure hard water mineral profile

(from Trace Elements and Other Essential Nutrients by David Watts)

Soft water, on the other hand, is stimulatory.  In soft water, the mineral pattern is opposite to the mineral pattern of hard water. Calcium and magnesium levels are very low relative to sodium and potassium. Several studies have confirmed that death rates from cardiovascular disease are higher in areas with soft water.

High Blood Pressure soft water mineral profile

Sodium and Blood Pressure Regulation

Sodium is an essential electrolyte that is involved in maintaining fluid balance and regulating blood pressure. Excessive sodium intake is known to lead to water retention, causing increased blood volume and elevated blood pressure.  It is a stimulatory mineral and high levels are associated with stress and fast metabolism. Monitoring sodium levels is therefore important for individuals with hypertension or those at risk of developing high blood pressure.

Calcium and Magnesium in Blood Pressure Regulation

Adequate calcium intake supports the dilation and constriction of blood vessels, contributing to optimal blood flow and maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Magnesium is a vital mineral that helps relax blood vessels, promoting vasodilation and improving blood flow. It also plays a role in regulating the balance of other minerals, such as calcium and potassium, which impact blood pressure regulation. Magnesium deficiency has been associated with increased blood pressure and hypertension.

So, we need to get the BALANCE of these minerals correct.  Too much can be an issue, and too little can be an issue.  With respect to blood pressure, it’s generally accepted that high sodium is a problem as well as low magnesium, so it makes sense to know two things.

What type of water are we drinking?
What are our individual levels of minerals?

When we know this, we can make decisions such as do we add or remove salt from our diet.  Should we be supplementing with magnesium?

Hair Mineral Analysis

Hair mineral analysis is a non-invasive method that can provide insights into mineral imbalances within the body.

First, we need to address the elephant in the room.  The inevitable question that always comes up is why not run blood tests to assess minerals?  The short answer is that blood is held in a very tight homeostatic range and won’t fluctuate much.  It’s maintained at the expense of the tissues.  It’s a classic case of a good test but the wrong test.  For example, if you broke your leg, you wouldn’t want a blood test, you would want an x-ray.

Here’s how it works

A small sample of hair is collected, typically from the back of the head, and sent to a laboratory for analysis. The hair sample reflects the mineral content accumulated over time, offering information about long-term nutrient status.

Hair mineral analysis can help detect calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium imbalances by measuring their relative concentrations in the hair sample. Deviations from optimal ranges may indicate potential issues with blood pressure regulation.

When you have this information you can then make decisions on the consumption of salt, magnesium supplementation, or other diet and supplement aspects.  In general, the hair mineral analysis pattern you need to look out for is what’s called fast oxidation where sodium and potassium are elevated. This usually occurs in very stressed individuals, and they are best advised to limit sodium consumption and to increase magnesium amongst other suggestions.

To learn more details about hair mineral analysis here is our in depth blog. Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Explained 

To learn more about hair mineral analysis and how it can help with metabolic disease you can download our free eBook. The SPEED Trap: How To Reverse Metabolic Dysfunction


Water hardness, as well as the levels of essential minerals like sodium and potassium, can influence blood pressure regulation. More research needs to be done on the accurate connection between water hardness and blood pressure but monitoring sodium and potassium levels would most likely be helpful for maintaining healthy blood pressure.

Hair mineral analysis serves as a valuable tool in detecting imbalances. By providing insights into long-term mineral status, this non-invasive test can assist in early detection and personalized recommendations to restore balance and support healthy blood pressure levels.

Yours in Health,
Dr Todd Lizon B.P.H.E., D.C.

We care deeply about your metabolic health here at Lifestyle Integration.

Subscribe to our newsletter to get our free eBook on how to manage metabolic dysfunction
The SPEED Trap: How To Reverse Metabolic Dysfunction

10 Ways To Reduce Blood Pressure Naturally

reduce blood pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is one of the 5 symptoms that contribute to metabolic syndrome. If left untreated, it can increase the risk of serious health complications such as heart disease and stroke. While medications are often used to treat it, several lifestyle changes can help reduce blood pressure naturally. Here are ten ways to lower it naturally. (and one really cool bonus tip)

  1. Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help to lower blood pressure by improving blood vessel function and reducing inflammation. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.  If you can’t exercise due to injury or other factors there are exercise mimics  that can help you to jump-start the process.
  2. Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of hypertension. Losing even a small amount of weight can help to lower it.  A simple scale will suffice but a smart scale will really help to motivate you and track the finer details such as body fat percentage
  3. Eat a healthy diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats (LI fish oil) can help to lower blood pressure. Avoid processed and high-sodium foods, which can contribute to hypertension.
  4. Limit alcohol intake: Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can increase blood pressure. Limit your alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
  5. Reduce sodium intake: Consuming too much sodium can increase blood pressure. Limit your sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day, or less than 1,500 mg per day if you have hypertension or are at high risk.
  6. Quit smoking: Smoking can increase blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. Quitting smoking can help to lower blood pressure and improve overall cardiovascular health.
  7. Manage stress: Chronic stress can contribute to hypertension. Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or use a sauna to help manage stress.
  8. Get enough sleep: Chronic sleep deprivation can increase the risk of hypertension. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep per night.  With this suggestion it is highly suggested that you TRACK your sleep so you know if you are making progress.  Use a smart watch or wearable device such as a WHOOP band or FitBit. Here is how to get a free month of WHOOP.
  9. Monitor regularly: Regular monitoring of blood pressure can help to identify hypertension early and allow for prompt intervention.  A home device is best for this as “whitecoat syndrome” is quite prevalent and results in high readings due to stress when you are at your doctors office.  You can purchase arm or wrist blood pressure devices that will help you to get a better picture of what your blood pressure is doing during the day.
  10. Consider supplements: Some supplements, such as fish oil, magnesium, and potassium, may have blood pressure-lowering effects. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.


It has been found that resistance-breathing training can lower blood pressure as much as some medicines and/or exercises.  Here is some more to learn about this new and upcoming therapy.

In conclusion, there are several ways to lower hypertension naturally, including exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol intake, reducing sodium intake, quitting smoking, managing stress, getting enough sleep, monitoring blood pressure regularly, and considering supplements. By making these lifestyle changes, you can help to reduce your risk of hypertension and improve your overall health.

We care deeply about your metabolic health here at Lifestyle Integration.

Subscribe to our newsletter to get our free eBook on how to manage metabolic dysfunction
The SPEED Trap: How To Reverse Metabolic Dysfunction


How Did I End Up Like This?

If you have had your chronic stress around long enough you have asked this question
in one form or another.  At this point you have a pretty good idea of how stress works but it’s worthwhile to illustrate this in an even clearer and general way.

At some point in our lives we were at our best when it came to our health and our symptoms.  Perhaps this was in very early childhood, perhaps not that long ago.  The point is we had a time where things were normal and that is our starting point.  In figure one you will see that represented by the highest point on the dotted line.

Then “life” happens and the stress comes.  At first slow and intermittent but gradually it builds until it starts to affect your health.  At first though you don’t feel it.  You might know it’s there but you don’t feel a symptom in the body with perhaps the exception of a few sleepless nights etc.

It’s also important to point out again that your deconstructive stresses represented by the orange arrow can be emotional, physical or chemical.  Your body doesn’t care what type of stress it is, all it cares about is trying to deal with it and the stress response as explained previously is the same regardless of whether your stress is physical, emotional or chemical.


If the stress is short or not too intense our healing and innate constructive forces will deal with it and this is represented by the green arrow.  No user manual is required and the body knows exactly what to do.  These healing forces are always present in the body even when our stress is particularly overwhelming.  In fact this overwhelming stress is the key.  Our bodies only have a certain amount or threshold of healing they can do.  This is always fluctuating and in a delicate balance with the deconstructive stresses.  When your deconstructive stresses overwhelm your constructive forces for some time is when we have trouble and eventually you drop below the orange symptom line and for the very first time you have a symptom.

Let’s assume its high blood pressure.  If you are like most people you will do one of two things. 

If you have had your chronic stress around long enough you have asked this question in one form or another.  At this point you have a pretty good idea of how stress works but it’s worthwhile to illustrate this in an even clearer and general way.

The first thing most people would do is look at their life, acknowledge they have been recently stressed, and then vow to reduce the stress and in turn the blood pressure.  In theory this is great.  In practice it’s just a Band-Aid as the person is not looking at permanent lifestyle changes, they are just wanting the blood pressure to go away.  In no time the stress will build back up again, and in turn the blood pressure as well.

The second option is to go on blood pressure medications.  In this option the blood pressure will come down.  But it will do so at a cost.  The problem is that the blood pressure was high as it was an intelligent response of the body to help you contain your stress.  Remember how when the crocodile jumps out at you one of the very first responses we have is to raise the blood pressure?   We need this increased blood pressure to help us survive the attack.

When you take blood pressure medications you will lower your blood pressure and in turn decrease your ability to deal with stress.  This is not intelligent nor helpful in the long term.

Now there can be exceptions.  If someone’s blood pressure is 220/120 they are at risk of things like a stroke and they should take the medication.  However they should only take it with the understanding that they need to work on the cause of the problem, which is the stress, so that they can come OFF the medication at some future point. Far too many people buy into the idea that once you are on a medication you are on it for life.  Not true the majority of the time IF you fix the underlying root causes.

With both options you will notice you will come up above the symptom line if you look at figure one.  Of course the person will be happy but this will be short lived. 

Because the stresses have never been dealt with, eventually the blood pressure will come back and they will drop below the symptom line again.  

At this point the person evaluates their options again and they may increase their blood pressure medication or they may go on a 3 week holiday.  Again notice most people don’t make the permanent lifestyle changes that are required to truly deal with this problem.  Unfortunately the person will now start going round and round with blood pressure problems never being able to truly fix the issue.

The only true solution to these self-induced stress based problems it to recognize that our bodies are doing the best they can with the constructive green arrow.  We are not broken internally and our body knows exactly what to do and is doing its absolute best. 

Remember the problem is not so much that our body has pathology in it, it’s that our pathological lifestyles are causing our problems.

At Lifestyle Integration we provide natural solutions for stress and lifestyle-based health issues for over 50’s.

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Explained

A hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) is a screening test that measures the levels of twenty-one minerals and toxic metals present in a sample of hair.

When it comes to stress assessment and then guiding the process to recovery this test is crucial.  To really understand why this test is so critical to the process we need to go a little deeper into understanding how stress affects us.

Our starting point again is the question how did I end up like this? 

Intuitively, we know we didn’t get sick in just one day, but most of us don’t understand how we got sick.  Here are the facts that will allow you to answer this most important question. 

FACT #1: Physical, emotional, and chemical stresses are the negative driving factors of chronic degenerative disease.

FACT #2: If you can measure or see a change in your body, then your chemistry has changed from normal to abnormal. 

The next critical question to ask, if you are to reclaim your health is: How did these stresses change my body chemistry from normal to abnormal?

There are five factors that drive this process:  genetics, deficiencies, excesses, imbalances, and toxins.  If you wish to regain your health and reverse the stress and dis-ease process, these factors must be dealt with in addition to the emotional, chemical, and physical stresses.

Let’s briefly explore these driving forces because when you truly understand them, you will know more than many health professionals.

  1. Genetics

In his book The Biology of Belief, Bruce Lipton sums it up beautifully.  He writes that unless you are unfortunate enough to have a genetic disease expressed at birth, such as cystic fibrosis, then genetics is not what is causing you to be unwell.  Genes need to be “turned on” or expressed if they are going to have an effect on the body.

The relatively recent discovery of epi-genetics has shown that it is our environment that turns on genes.  By environment we mean the physical, emotional, and chemical stresses we experience.  If you have a gene for a particular condition, unless you trigger it with environmental factors, it will never express itself and the dis-ease will not develop. 

The conclusion is that if you live a good, healthy, and clean lifestyle, your negative genes should never turn on and be expressed.  Genes are not a significant factor in chronic degenerative disease and probably only apply to about 5% of the population.  This is great news as it means the problem is lifestyle-based and can be addressed and corrected.

  1. Deficiency

This is so simple and important; yet commonly overlooked.  Here is the rule that you must always remember: all cells require nutrients to function.  If the nutrient is not present, the cell will not function at its best.  A simple example is oxygen.  Without it, we have no life.  Without our minerals and vitamins, we would face similar fates.  With today’s lifestyles and diets, it is not surprising that deficiencies are commonplace.

  1. Excess

In our consumer-driven society, we are often led to believe that more is better.   We buy into this in many subtle ways.  One way is by using multivitamins indiscriminately.  We tend to buy them as insurance policies and think that if we just keep putting more in, it will be good for us.  This logic couldn’t be further from the truth!  Let’s take Vitamin C as an example because, as it turns out, Linus Pauling had it wrong.  He thought there was no way to have too much vitamin C, but the reality is that just as deficiency is an issue, excess is as well.  If you have too little vitamin C, you will be immuno-depressed; if you have too much, you will become immunosuppressed.  Either way, you experience a similar outcome.  Supplements should be a critical part of your overall health plan, but you need to ensure that you are taking the right ones, in the right amounts, and on an individual basis.

  1. Imbalance

Simply put, this is about getting the balance of your chemistry correct.  The minerals in your body, for example, are in relationship with each other in a similar way that you are in relationships with your family and friends.  Whatever you do, you need to take into account the effect it may have on your body.  When you raise the level of a single nutrient, such as magnesium, you will affect the levels of at least two other minerals.  (I’ll explore this in more detail shortly.)

  1. Toxins

Toxins have a far greater influence on your body than most people think—and everyone must deal with this growing problem.  Toxins have the adverse effect of substituting or replacing the preferred nutrients in the body and they have the devastating effect of blocking the ability of the body to use nutrients, EVEN IF the nutrient is already present.

These five factors explain what the stressors are doing to you and are the missing link to being able to reverse the stress and disease process.  They are absolutely critical when we are looking to balance the body and slowly but surely restore a person’s health. And all must be addressed when we are dealing with serious health challenges.  Our program is designed to do this.

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis – The Starting Point

Now that we have established that deficiencies, excesses, imbalances, and toxins are what drives our body chemistry from normal to abnormal, we need to focus on how to reverse the process.  In order to do so, we need to assess and measure what is happening in the body.  An individual’s adaptation to stress will be unique; and so, we need to know where they are in order to start peeling back these “layers of adaptation.”

The use of the right test is imperative.  You would never use a blood test to assess a broken leg; the same logic applies to mineral, stress, and toxic-metal status.  Chronic degenerative diseases occur in tissues, not blood; as a result, we need to assess what is happening in the tissues not only the blood.  

A hair mineral analysis is one of the best ways to do this. As explained by Dr. Lawrence Wilson in his book Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis, the following are some of the reasons why hair is so valuable and informative.

1. The hair is a cellular biopsy. This means it provides information from the deepest level of metabolism, where most problems begin. For this reason, it often reveals imbalances long before symptoms or signs arise in the blood or elsewhere.

2. The body deposits toxic metals in tissues such as the hair to get rid of them. This can go on for years, until the body can no longer keep up this adaptive behaviour. Only then does the problem cause symptoms or imbalances that are revealed on a blood test, for example.

3. The blood is generally maintained at the expense of tissues such as hair. For example, this means that a zinc deficiency will show up far sooner in the hair because the body will literally reroute zinc from the less important tissues to maintain the level in the blood and other vital organs.

A good way to think of a hair mineral analysis is as a screening test that measures the levels of minerals and toxic metals present in a sample of hair. Providing a “window into the cells,” hair makes an excellent biopsy material and reveals a clear record of mineral metabolism and stress.

Another significant benefit to Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis is that it reflects long-term metabolic activity as it measures an average of mineral accumulation over a three-month period. This is often an advantage, as the test results are not influenced by day-to-day variations in body chemistry due to stress, diet, or other factors.

Hair tissue is like a blueprint of one’s individual biochemistry, and it can assist in identifying mineral patterns which may be associated with stress, blood sugar, and carbohydrate imbalances; metabolic rate; biochemical energy production; glandular imbalances; and more. It is also well established worldwide as a means to measure environmental contamination with toxic metals in the soil, plants, and human and animal populations.

Here is a hair mineral analysis chart to help you better understand why this is such an important tool in guiding the process of health restoration.

At the top of the graph is a section titled NUTRIENT MINERALS. Much like a blood test, there are established levels and these are visualised as the shaded area. Anything above or below the norm needs to be assessed and interpreted.
Below this is a section assessing TOXIC METALS. Of course, you don’t want to see any toxicity in your hair analysis.
At the bottom of the page is a section called SIGNIFICANT MINERAL RATIOS which looks at some of the more important mineral relationships in the body.
It is important with a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis to ensure that you understand what it is saying and what it is not. The basic rule to remember is that this test shows what is coming into the body, or what is leaving the body, during the three-month period that the hair was growing; nothing more and nothing less. Proper interpretation, much like an MRI or ultrasound, is critical.

What Is This Hair Analysis Telling Us?

1. Deficiency. There are low levels of minerals such as iron, zinc, and selenium.
2. Excess. There are very high levels of calcium, copper, and manganese.
3. Imbalance. There are significant imbalances with Calcium to Magnesium (Ca/Mg ratio) and Sodium to Potassium (Na/K ratio)
4. Toxins. Mercury and aluminium are present.

Interpretation is critical.

When looking at the level of mercury in the example, you will see it is at 0.056 mg%. This tells us mercury is present, but it doesn’t clarify if it was ingested or if the body was eliminating it. This is where the detective work (interpretation) comes into play. In our example, the person is young, has no mercury amalgams in her teeth, and eats a lot of tuna. When you consider her history, you can surmise that her high level would likely be from the mercury present in the tuna, which is not unusual.
Let’s assume she cuts out all seafood from her diet and six months later retests. If the mercury shows up at the same level, then it can’t be from the tuna. At this point, the conclusion would be she either has another source of ongoing exposure, or it is her body slowly and steadily eliminating it through her hair.
When we look at the results, we must always be aware that they are not showing total body load, only what is present in the hair during the period of time it was growing. Many people who use these tests would look at these results and say something along the lines of “her zinc is very low at 11 mg%; let’s give her zinc.” This is potentially dangerous and reckless; and is reductionist not holistic.
We need to stop and ask why the zinc is low in this person. In addition to a pure zinc deficiency, there are two main reasons zinc could be low on a hair analysis and they are critical to understand. Conceptually the reasons can be grouped into the categories of the “mineral wheel” and “toxic metals.”

The Mineral Wheel

The law of cause and effect is one that most people are familiar with and it has massive implications for your health. One application of this law for optimal health is that of the mineral wheel.


It turns out that each mineral in our body affects the levels of all the other minerals in extremely specific and sometimes surprising ways. They are in a relationship, as are vitamins. Let’s look at the following illustration.

When a single mineral in the body is affected, with either too much or too little, it can have an effect upon at least two other minerals, which will then have an effect on at least two others. It turns out that the field of nutrition can be complex and confusing, and the key to understanding the effects of nutrients is to understand their interrelationships.

In the hair mineral analysis example, we can see the person is low in iron (0.9 mg%) and zinc (11 mg%), and high in copper (4.7 mg%). The mineral wheel can help explain this.


Let’s look at copper (Cu), located in the 6 o’clock position on the wheel, to show how complicated treating a zinc or iron deficiency can be. Notice they are connected by a line. It turns out that copper excess negatively affects the zinc (Zn at 9 o’clock) and iron (Fe at 2 o’clock) level by lowering it. Logically, if we are looking at things holistically, if copper is affecting your ability to use zinc and iron, we would want to get rid of the excess copper. Just trying to raise zinc and iron through supplementation wouldn’t be the right decision. This is one reason why measuring and not guessing is so important when it comes to your supplement needs.


The next question to ask is what is causing the copper excess? It could be any of the minerals that are in relationship to copper, such as zinc, sulphur, or manganese. If these are low, then copper will be high proportionately. The fix for the iron problem would then be raising these minerals to lower copper, which in turn will raise the iron. Complicated yet fascinating when you know what you are doing. (Farmers have been doing this for generations with their soils.)


There is yet another reason for copper excess, and that is the presence of chemicals and substances that mimic estrogen. This includes things like plastics, pesticides, soy, certain toxic metals, petroleum products, birth control pills, and of course hormones in the food chain. In this example, these estrogens and estrogen mimickers would need to be assessed and dealt with if they were the ultimate reason the person is low in zinc and iron.


What does this mean for you? It means that to flourish physically and mentally you need to get the balance of nutrients and minerals correct. It also means that guessing what to take can be problematic and damaging. The correct balance of nutrients must be maintained and this must be done in a way that measures levels and takes into account the complex interrelationships that exist.

What I find very concerning is that while the vast majority of us recognize the need for supplementation, virtually none of us take the time to figure out what we really need, and as a result play Russian roulette with our health.

Remember that too much or too little of a mineral or vitamin, and the resultant imbalances, are damaging to your health and are what drives the change from normal to abnormal.



A hair analysis is critical to assessing and managing stress. It will do the following

1. Assess what stress has done with respect to deficiency, excess, imbalances, toxins
2. Assess long (3 month) averages of what stress is doing. HRV assesses in real time while hair analysis looks at averages over time.
3. Indicates the stage of stress you are in according to Selyes general adaptation syndrome (alarm, resistance or exhaustion stage of stress)
4. Assess your oxidation rate (fast or slow)
5. Assess other indicators of stress such as Na/K ratio, sympathetic dominance and other burnout patterns


With this information you have the tools to measure and reverse the stress response, and in turn get your health back on track.

The best summary is a quote from Lord Kelvin “To measure is to know. If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.”

At Lifestyle Integration we provide natural solutions for stress and lifestyle-based health issues for over 50’s.

Lower Cholesterol: The Mitochondria and Photobiomodulation Connection

light energy

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is present in every cell of the body, and is important to maintain in a healthy balance.  Mitochondria are organelles in our cells that are responsible for producing energy in the form of ATP. They are often referred to as the “powerhouses” of the cell. It’s not often talked about but, while the cholesterol content in mitochondria is low compared to other cell membranes, it is still important and it is the precursor for the production of steroid hormones, neurosteroids, and bile acids.


The key concept to understand is that the accumulation of cholesterol in mitochondria has a negative impact on mitochondrial function. It does this by limiting crucial antioxidant defenses, and increasing the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS)

Understanding the terms is not important. What is important is understanding that the consequence of increased cholesterol in the mitochondria is increased oxidative stress and cell death.  It is a contributor that ultimately leads to the development of diverse diseases, including metabolic liver diseases, as well as lysosomal disorders and neurodegenerative diseases (i.e. Alzheimer’s disease).

Any therapy that can boost mitochondrial antioxidants is very promising for the treatment of diseases that share mitochondrial cholesterol imbalance as a common hallmark.

It would appear that Photobiomodulation can do this.


Photobiomodulation (PBM) is a non-invasive therapy that uses light in the form of low-level lasers or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to stimulate cellular functions. PBM has been shown to improve mitochondrial health in a number of ways.

photobiomodulation to lower cholesterol

Specifically, when it comes to cholesterol and mitochondria, PBM has been shown to reduce oxidative stress in the mitochondria. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the body’s ability to neutralize them.  PBM has been shown to reduce ROS levels, protecting the mitochondria from oxidative stress.

To further show how PBM can help, a randomized, controlled study looked directly at the influence PBM had to lower cholesterol and triglyceride serum levels in intensive care unit patients.

The sessions were done for 55 minutes, twice weekly for two successive weeks with 3 days between sessions.  A standard lipid panel was studied before the procedure to establish a baseline and at the end of the second week.  The results showed a statistically significant change in total cholesterol and serum triglycerides.

Here is what we know

  1. High cholesterol in your mitochondria predisposes you to disease by limiting anti-oxidant defences.
  2. Anti-oxidant therapies are proving to be promising when combating this issue.
  3. Photobiomodulation works by reducing anti-oxidant stress in the mitochondria and by lowering cholesterol.

This all suggests that if you undergo PBM it will lower cholesterol and increase your anti-oxidant protection.  In turn, this should allow for healthy mitochondria and a robust energy producing system where you feel healthy and energetic.


There are several ways to apply PBM and with a little research, you will determine what is best for you.  Here are some suggestions.


Proper mitochondrial function is critical when it comes to metabolic health and lower cholesterol.  We need our “energy factories” to be functioning as close to 100% as possible and it is clear that cholesterol impedes this.  The novel and simple treatment called photobiomodulation can help in multiple ways with our metabolic health and is something that needs to continue to be explored in the future.


We care deeply about your metabolic health here at Lifestyle Integration.

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The SPEED Trap: How To Reverse Metabolic Dysfunction



Goicoechea L, Conde de la Rosa L, Torres S, García-Ruiz C, Fernández-Checa JC. Mitochondrial cholesterol: Metabolism and impact on redox biology and disease. Redox Biol. 2023 May;61:102643. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2023.102643. Epub 2023 Feb 24. PMID: 36857930; PMCID: PMC9989693.

Chung H, et al. The nuts and bolts of low-level laser (light) therapy. Ann Biomed Eng. 2012;40(2):516-33.

Keszler A, et al. Photobiomodulation-induced changes in mitochondrial dynamics and cell metabolism. Biomed Eng Online. 2020;19(1):15.

Paolillo FR, Campos TYTB, Alvarez C, Sene-Fiorese M, Bagnato VS, de Oliveira Duarte ACG, Parizotto NA. Synergic effects of ultrasound and laser therapies on mesentery for management of obesity and diabetes in rats. J Biophotonics. 2021 Nov;14(11):e202100109. doi: 10.1002/jbio.202100109. Epub 2021 Aug 13. PMID: 34363327.

Rushdi, Tarek. (2010). Effect of low-level laser therapy on cholesterol and triglyceride serum levels in ICU patients: A controlled, randomized study. EJCTA. 4.

Melatonin Tips For Production and Preservation

Melatonin is a hormone that is well established as a significant antioxidant, as well as an important hormone for healthy and restorative sleep.  It has also been increasingly implicated to have anti-aging and obesity benefits as well as mitochondrial function.  Suffice to say that healthy melatonin function is important to our health at any age, but particularly as we pass 50.  But where does it come from and how can we maximise it?


To produce melatonin you need the raw building blocks.  This is the amino acid tryptophan.  It’s found in things like turkey, milk, nuts, and tuna.  Just eating the food with the tryptophan is not enough necessarily.  The following chart will help to explain.

melatonin production chart
From The Visual Textbook Of Nutritional Medicine by Dr. Igor Tabrizian

You can see down the left side of the chart that you have a list of nutrients.  Things like magnesium, zinc and iron.  You need these nutrients to convert the tryptophan into melatonin.  If they are deficient in your diet, you will have issues in converting the tryptophan to melatonin.

As a result, you will therefore not have enough melatonin for optimal function.  When you look at the literature it’s clear there are a lot of people with magnesium, zinc and iron deficiencies.

Toxic Metals

The next aspect to consider is across the top of the chart.  The toxic metals like mercury, aluminium and, in excess, copper.  What the toxic metals do is “block” the good nutrient from working.  This means that you could have the zinc present in the body in adequate amounts but if you have mercury present it will stop the zinc from functioning.

It gets worse.

Toxic metals have differing strengths of antagonism.  For example one mercury will block up to 1000 zinc.  That’s pretty strong antagonism.  Copper can block up to 6 zinc.  If you have high copper, mercury and aluminium, which is somewhat common, you will not be able to use your zinc.  As a result you will not be able to convert your tryptophan into melatonin and you will then have melatonin deficiency.

The pineal gland gets most of the recognition for producing melatonin.  This is not really accurate.

Red Light Therapy

A lessor known source of melatonin production is from exposure to red light and near infrared light which is known as photobiomodulation.  The paper titled Aging of lymphoid organs: Can photobiomodulation reverse age-associated thymic involution via stimulation of extrapineal melatonin synthesis and bone marrow stem cells? states that “a review of the literature suggests that not only retinal, but also whole body and intranasal irradiation with red light leads to a notable increase in serum melatonin levels in humans.”

Red light and near infrared light increases melatoinin production independent of the pineal gland.

This is important.

Traditionally, before electricity, we  only had candle light and fire after sunset.  We also witnessed every sunset.  The point being we were exposed to much higher levels of red light and this in turn would help to raise or maintain our melatonin level.  Think back to how well you slept on your last camping trip and you will know what I mean.

If you are wondering how to do this at home you can either use red LED lamps to light up your home or you can mimic sunset and fire at the same time with a near infrared sauna which is our personal favourite.

So far, we’ve looked at production.

  • You need to get tryptophan.
  • We need to have the right nutrients to convert it.
  • There can’t be toxic metals blocking the conversion.
  • You need to have adequate red light exposure.


Now you need to keep your levels naturally high and not accidentally deplete them.

The main thing to be aware of here is blue light exposure.  This is the sort of light you get from overhead lights, TV’s, laptops, computers, tablets and mobile phones.  The light decimates our melatonin.  This is quite well documented and yet it amazes me that more people don’t pay attention.   Here is one quick example in the literature.  “Melatonin suppressions after 1-h and 2-h exposures to tablets viewed with the blue light were significantly greater than zero.”  Have a google search to confirm for yourself how important this is.

One solution is to turn you devices off.

A bit harsh…..yes, but very successful.

If this isn’t possible then consider using a pair of blue-light blocking glasses.  These filter out the blue light and only allow in the red which then does not interfere with your natural melatonin production.

Another home based thing you can do to help maximise your melatonin levels is to get a hair mineral analysis.  This test will assess your levels of nutrients and toxic metals in the tissues.  If you identify issues then you can address them.  It’s always best to work on root causes of problems and not go chasing our tails around.

Finally you can monitor your sleep.  You can use watch based apps or for best results consider a OURA ring.  If you can assess your deep and REM sleep you can then look for patterns that have interrupted your sleep and look to correct them.  For example, if I don’t wear my red light blocking glasses I notice a decrease in my deep sleep.  Another example is if I eat a meal too late I don’t sleep well.

Melatonin production and preservation is a critical piece to our overall health management.  Even more so as we pass 50.  Hopefully these tips and pointers will help you get a deeper and more refreshing sleep and help you to restore your energy.

Yours in Health,
Dr. Todd Lizon, (Chiropractor)
B.P.H.E., D.C.

We care deeply about your metabolic health here at Lifestyle Integration.

Subscribe to our newsletter to get our free eBook on how to manage metabolic dysfunction
The SPEED Trap: How To Reverse Metabolic Dysfunction