When I turned 12, all of a sudden all of my friends were getting their periods, and I just couldn’t wait to get mine! I was so ready to join the ranks of glamorous women who had the privilege of being initiated into the menstruating club. I wanted to belong with them - everything about periods was synonymous with femininity for me at the time. I had to endure witnessing so many of my classmates…


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Here in the Pacific Northwest we love talking about the sun! We grumble about it being hidden away behind heavy rain clouds for months at a time in the winter; we delight in the first breakthrough rays in the spring, realizing our pagan longing for it, watching, as if for the first time, as everything around us wakes up from a deep slumber; we marvel at its delightful, almost intoxicating warmth…


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A symbol of femininity for so many women, our hair demands attention. Both deeply personal and superficially public, changes in the looks of our hair can inspire a range of emotions, driving us to willingly partake in its cutting, straightening, curling, bleaching, darkening, or other aggressive chemical treatments. Hair is part of who we are and how we present ourselves to the world. This is why…


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I was so tired. I needed a new word for tired. I felt exhausted and incapacitated, utterly drained and hollowed out. It was like my brain and body were fading. And yet, these words are still not descriptive enough to relate how I felt. Getting out of bed felt grueling, punishing. I was 24 at the time, in my 4th year of my PhD program at Purdue University. I was newly engaged and so in love with my…


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Glycine has a calming effect on the brain – it helps you wind down and prepare for sleep. Its role as an inhibitory neurotransmitter has been unfolding over many years of ongoing research efforts. Easily one of the most versatile amino acids, glycine serves as a building block to proteins (collagen, the most abundant protein in our body, is one-third glycine), and is heavily utilized for the…


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Testosterone, so meaningful to a man’s behavior, is the evolutionary force behind everything intrinsically “male.” Historical stereotypes peg testosterone as the macho elixir of legendary magnitude – the “chest-thumping hormone of aggression.” New research, however, is beginning to tease out previously unknown subtleties of testosterone’s effects on behavior. Testosterone is non-trivial for…


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Influenced by our environment, we are constantly being exposed to elements, whether nutritional or toxic. They are a big contribution to the yin yang dualism of health and disease. With heavy metals, contamination is so extensive nowadays that it is no longer a question of whether exposure took place, but rather what the level of exposure was or continues to be. Toxicity from low levels of exposure…


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I remember my great-grandmother’s hands. So capable, big and warm, covered in freckles, ready to comfort, unbending the clawed rigidity to softly wipe my tears. I remember her powerful, beautiful mind, endless with patience, tirelessly reading my favorite story over and over from a tattered book. I remember her, trapped in a creaky body, moving slowly around the kitchen in a sort of graceful dance…


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Urine is rapidly becoming the preferred medium for neurotransmitter testing to ensure objective neurobiological assessment. This is because a) urine is the primary route of peripherally-produced neurotransmitter elimination, and b) it is non-invasive and cost-effective. This blog takes a look at how dried urine testing provides a superior advantage over standard liquid urine collection methods.Is…


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Serotonin, or rather its deficiency, frequently steals the spotlight in conversations regarding depression. Initially discovered as a component of serum in 1948 to regulate vasoconstriction (serotonin = serum + tone), the role of serotonin in depressive disorders wasn't implied until a few years later. Since then, much effort has been dedicated by scientists and clinicians alike to understand the…


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