Hidden deep inside each of us, we all have what is called ikigai. This mysterious Japanese word translates to a sense of purpose in life or what a French philosopher might call a “raison d’être”. While many may have found their ikigai, others continue their ongoing search for it although it resides within them.
Authors Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles wrote the international bestseller book Ikigaiwhile researching the concepts of longevity and meaning or purpose in life. The book was born through the discovery of this Japanese philosophy on longevity and happiness, in particular while studying why the inhabitants of the island Okinawa in the south of Japan live longer than people anywhere else in the world. For every 100,000 inhabitants in Okinawa, 24.55 people are over the age of 100 which is far more than the global average.
Known as the Village of Longevity, Okinawa holds first place among the world’s Blue Zones which include 5 regions in the world where people live the longest. The other blue zones include Sardinia (Italy), Loma Linda (California), The Nicoya Peninsula (Costa Rica), and Ikaria (Greece). Members of these communities consume little meat or processed foods, walk rather than drive, and enjoy gardening and growing their own vegetables. A common saying in Japan known as “hara hachi bu” refers to the ancient wisdom advising them to “fill the belly to 80 percent” and avoid overeating and burdening the body with long digestive processes which accelerate ageing. Okinawans have a body mass index between 18 and 22 compared to 26 or 27 in the United States.
It appears that nurturing friendships, keeping busy and active, eating light, getting enough rest and fostering yuimaaruor strong social ties and a sense of community are all essential elements for good health. However at the heart of the joie de vivre that inspires these centenarians to joyfully cherish each day is their ikigai. The book goes on to describe the experiences of many centenarians who may have had difficulties in their lives, but are equipped with a positive attitude and a high degree of emotional awareness and resilience – another key element for longevity. The concept of Ikigai offers readers insights into time-tested approaches that inspire purpose and passion in a way that moves us from material possessions towards a life where living with less creates happiness, vitality and longevity.
The concept of Ikigai offers readers insights into time-tested approaches that inspire purpose and passion in a way that moves us from material possessions towards a life where living with less creates happiness, vitality and longevity.
A complete lifestyle destination in Dubai, The Hundred offers all of the elements of wellness under one roof including Pilates, Yoga, Physiotherapy, holistic treatments, a cafe and so much more. There are many things that make The Hundred Wellness Centre unique, please give us a call on +9714 344 7333 to learn more!
The festive season can serve up a bellyful of digestive distress for those who suffer from IBS. Indulging in tasty treats and delicious beverages during the joyous season can leave many sufferers with unpleasant symptoms such as cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, constipation and diarrhea. Flare-ups are common from triggers such as sugar-laden rich foods, wheat, and of course holiday stress.
Social gatherings may bring a sense of dread especially if symptoms are unpredictable. However, following these tips can keep your IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) in check so that you can enjoy the merriment of the season and tackle the digestive issues gracefully!
Tips for Digestive Comfort:
Our digestive systems are closely linked to our sense of wellness and happiness. Paying closer attention and taking steps to address the disturbances enhances vitality and minimizes stress.
Efficient movement of food through the digestive tract is vital to good health and comfort. The Hundred Wellness Centre offers a detailed Food Intolerance Test in Dubai to detect tolerance levels and identify troubles in digesting certain foods, thus encouraging a healthy diet as a part of first hand IBS treatment. You may think it’s impossible to travel if you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), but have no fear, just follow the above tips for an enjoyable holiday in Dubai or give us a call on +9714 344 7333 to learn more!
We’ve all heard of miraculous stories of human beings who have been able to recover completely after a traumatic injury or experience. Many of these people have gone further than just survival and have thrived and flourished remarkably. One explanation behind these magical outcomes is something known as Neuroplasticity.
Our brains are truly extraordinary and neural pathways can be created or discarded, according to our experiences. The term Neuroplasticity was first used by Polish scientist Jerzy Konorski in 1948 where changes in neuronal structure could be observed, in response to interactions in the environment. Unlike what was previously believed about the brain, it has now been discovered that the brain is dynamic and its architecture can change. It is actually possible to stimulate new circuits within the brain’s neuronal machinery. This “malleability” is the brain’s ability to literally change shape over time, for the better or worse.
People who continuously experience chronic or traumatic stress, or who hold a negative state of mind with feelings such as anger and resentment, shine a “spotlight”, so to speak, on the neuronal pathways, that strengthen these states of consciousness. With training however, scientists are showing that neural pathways in the brain can literally be rewired. By focusing attention or awareness on positive moments and experiences, the neuronal pathways build upon and strengthen positive states of mind. Pathways that regulate emotions, thoughts and reactions can be reprogrammed and recreated to move us away from feelings of fear and anxiety and towards feelings of joy and happiness!
Rick Hanson, bestselling author and psychologist, points out that it is possible to stimulate our neuronal pathways to cultivate positive states of mind, and therefore enhance our wellbeing. People, who consciously practice gratitude, benefit from higher flows of reward-related neurotransmitters like dopamine. Synapses or gaps between neurons become stronger and new synapses form. This is also the case with those who practice mindfulness techniques such as meditation and deep breathing.
In a world where we are experiencing higher levels of stress and chronic diseases from environmental triggers, it is encouraging to know it is possible to preserve and even enhance brain health. We can skillfully stimulate positive mind states and therefore strengthen the pathways for a long-lasting effect like many people regained their happiness through Neuroplasticity. As the famous saying by the Canadian scientist Donald Hebb goes, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.”
Here are 5 ways to rewire your brain towards happiness:
Based in Dubai, the Hundred practices a holistic approach to wellness, which means they focus on how the three main areas of your life – body, mind and soul – are connected and how they can be optimized to improve your overall sense of well-being and happiness, as we experience the magic through Neuroplasticity. The team has been painstakingly curated to truly help our clients feel at home – and at peace. Each and every piece of art at The Hundred Wellness Centre has a purpose and a story behind and it’s a journey to finally finding its home here, and you can read more on the tales of some of the pieces that are dotted around the space by visiting our website, or the next time you visit just ask one of our team based in Dubai! We can help you navigate holistically through all things health, wellness, and movement. Give us a call on +9714 344 7333 today to learn more.
As reported frequently by children’s wellness advocates, the last two decades have seen a shift where “childhood” has moved indoors. The average child spends much less time in structured outdoor play, and many more hours in front of an electronic screen. This shift inside has had a tremendous impact on children’s health as we see an almost doubling of childhood obesity rates in western nations. ADHD and pediatric prescriptions for antidepressants are also on the rise. All of this begs the question – What do children need to enhance wellness and be happy?
The National Wildlife Federation takes an in-depth look at how to balance screen time with green time in the report, Friending Fresh Air: Connecting Kids to Nature in the Digital Age. The report speaks to the benefits of technology as a valuable tool for learning and playing, but also offers insight into balancing screen and green experiences to rear happy and healthy kids. Connecting to nature is beneficial on so many levels and acts as a buffer against stress. It allows kids and parents to recharge their own batteries which not only boosts immunity and cognition, but also contributes to healthy social development. It is important for parents to include time to unplug completely and enjoy some disconnected time to connect with nature.
In today’s world, there may be an emphasis on “being too clean”; meaning it’s possible that we are obsessed with super-surfaces and super-clean bodies. Getting “dirty” outdoors actually offers many benefits for children in terms of happiness and good health. Research shows that kids who live in an “ultra-clean” environment suffer increased risks towards allergies, asthma and other auto-immune diseases. Contact with dirt allows children to explore the wonders around them through a sensory experience of various textures in nature, and also exposes them to a diverse population of healthy bacteria, parasites and viruses – all necessary for a robust and healthy immune system. Furthermore, studies are showing that children who enjoy gardening, digging holes, or making mud-pies also enjoy better mood and a reduction in anxiety and stress.
Speaking of healthy bacteria, our bodies are designed to host friendly bacteria in our digestive tracts and on our skin to protect from unhealthy invaders which may cause infection or illness. The overuse of antibiotics which is becoming a well-recognized epidemic in our society, kills the beneficial bacteria rendering children defense-less and prone to frequent illness. It turns out that the brain and the gut interact and communicate directly via the vagus nerve which points to the influence of nutrition on the digestive system and the brain. The feeling of “butterflies in the stomach” or “upset stomach” when anxious or excited speaks to this gut-brain connection. As such, it comes as no surprise that a healthy mind starts with a healthy gut. Incorporating more healthy fats from raw nuts and seeds and oily fish, to whole organic fruits and vegetables is a great way to enhance gut health and therefore, mental health.
Healthy eating not only influences health and happiness in childhood, but goes a long way to maintaining great health into adulthood and decreasing the risk of many diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and autoimmune diseases. Involving children with grocery shopping and learning to read ingredient labels is a great way to encourage healthy eating, which benefits children by stabilizing energy levels, improving mental abilities and mood, maintaining a healthy weight, and even preventing the onset of depression or anxiety.
Sleep is an essential aspect of good health which can be affected by busy schedules, addiction to television and electronic games, and a lack of physical activity. Good quality sleep for children may require anywhere from 8-10 hours and is vital for healing and repair for growing bodies. Regular doses of bright natural light improve the circadian rhythm of children making it easier to sleep at night, not to mention the added benefits of natural Vitamin D from sensible exposure to sunlight. Exercise, especially outdoors, releases soothing endorphins into the bloodstream which stimulates melatonin production, a hormone necessary for good quality sleep. Sleep is also an essential element for mental health and positive mood.
In summary, allowing children more outdoor play time, unplugging periodically from electronics, regular exercise, balanced wholesome nutrition, and healthy sleep habits all contribute to healthy, happier children. Setting aside time daily to connect with kids as parents also fosters stronger connections and enjoyable social relationships which are an important part of emotional wellbeing.
Homeopathy has been gaining more and more attention as its popularity spreads. And with good reason – it is convenient, safe, effective, and affordable. So… what is homeopathy?
Founded back in the 18th century by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, this system of medicine is based on the premise of “like-cures-like,” otherwise known as the law of similars.
This law of similars was already known and utilized in several traditional cultures and was used this principle in healing practices, but it was Dr. Hahnemann who developed it into the system of medicine we know today as homeopathy.
Homeopathy utilizes remedies formulated from various substances found in the plant, animal, and mineral worlds which are then diluted to make them more potent.
The more diluted a remedy is, the stronger its effect on the body. The idea is that as the physical aspect of the remedy is weakened (through dilution), the energetic properties are heightened.
Working by matching a remedy to the symptoms a person is experiencing (whether physical or emotional) clinical homeopathy looks at the whole picture of the person including all the tiny details that one may not think are relevant can make the difference between the correct match or not.
Not just anyone can match and treat with homeopathy successfully. Clinical Homeopaths undergo extensive education and training to practice. They are skilled professionals that are trained and experienced in taking a complete case of a person seeking treatment and will know best what to look for when matching a remedy. And while homeopathy is safe, and an incorrect match of remedy to symptoms will not cause any harm.. It also will not help relieve and cure.
More and more as of late many people find themselves turning to homeopathy as an alternative gentle healing modality when seeking to treat an acute or chronic condition.
In conclusion, for those seeking to expand their healing journey, homeopathy definitely warrants some exploration. It is safe, convenient, easy to use, does not interfere with other conventional treatments or medications, and can be very effective when used in conjunction with other diet and lifestyle adjustments to promote health and wellbeing. As with any new therapy, it is best to consult with a trained professional. In our team at the Hundred we have a clinical homeopath and would love to support you on this journey. To learn more or to book your consultation email or call us on +9714 3447333
What foods we put into our bodies impacts our energy, moods as well as the obvious– our physical health. By becoming more mindful and intentional about what, when and why we eat, we can create balance and harmony both physically and emotionally.
One of the best ways to do this is to imagine and understand that the nutrients in our foods act as information to our cells. When we give our bodies the right information, they will function at their highest levels —we will have more energy, our minds will be clearer, and we can live life to our best and highest ability.
And the truth is that the quality of what you eat is FAR more important than how much you eat. The body is dynamic system and it’s responsive to the quality of the calories you’re eating and the type of information that you’re fuelling your body with. Eating poor quality food is like talking to your body over Skype with a bad WIFI signal, it simply can’t understand how to use that information.
The anatomy of your food matters; white bread and broccoli are not the same kinds of carbs, and on the same token, soybean oil and coconut oil are totally different kinds of fats. And all calories are NOT created equal. The sources and nutrient-density of your food play a much larger role in your health than the amount of calories a food contains.
Your body is smart, it knows the difference, and it knows which of these are supplying quality information and which are toxic.
How can you feed your body with the right information? Here are a few guidelines:
1. Eat a diet low in sugar, flour, and refined carbohydrates of all kinds.
2. Eat dark leafy greens, lots of vegetables and some fruit (low sugar options are best). The deeper the colors, the more variety, the better.
3. Avoid any and all foods with pesticides, antibiotics, preservatives, additives, hormones and GMO’s.
4. Eat high quality fats rich in omega-3. So, plenty of virgin cold-pressed organic olive oil, raw nuts, seeds and avocados.
5. When possible opt for foods that are organic, local, and fresh. Grass-fed/ grass-finished meats are also the best option if you consume animal protein.
At the Hundred we take this all very seriously, and if you follow our social media you will see some of the wholesome, nutrient packed foods and drinks that we offer in our café. So, if a healthier lifestyle is what you are looking for, The Hundred is here to help. With our vast resources, we can help you navigate holistically through all things health, wellness, and movement. Give us a call on +9714 344 7333 today to learn more– or email us here!
‘If you would seek health, look first to the spine.’ – Socrates
One of the most critical parts of our body is possibly one of the most overlooked, and that is the spine. Looking like the letter S from the side (even though it is actually straight), the spine is a vital component of the entire central nervous system. However, in some children, the spine can look curved when seen from the front or the back, like the letter C or even S, and this spinal curve is known as Scoliosis.
Children with slight side-to-side curves in their spines (this is not uncommon) usually do not need treatment or intervention. But in children with scoliosis, the spine has a greater than 10 degrees tilt and that curvature needs some sort of treatment to correct. And gender seems to play a role in scoliosis, as girls are 7 times as likely as boys to have the larger curves in their backbones.
Developed in the 1920s in Germany by physiotherapist Katharina Schroth, the technique has become a standard treatment for scoliosis in children and adults in multiple European countries with extreme success. In the Hundred Wellness Centre, Nora our Schroth trained and experienced physiotherapist almost always chooses this method as the go-to option for scoliosis therapy and rehabilitation.
The Schroth method is a non-invasive and holistic method of treating scoliosis that uses exercises consisting of breathing techniques, and pelvic corrections. The scoliosis-specific exercises are always customized and based on the individual’s unique curve pattern. This therapy, which is tailored to each patient’s curves, focuses on stopping the progression of the existing curve, reducing pain, and improving posture, strength and lung function. Schroth Method scoliosis exercises when performed consistently, have been found to dramatically improve the posture, mobility and balance, in patients.
Only a physical therapist trained on the Schroth method can provide this specific type of care during any of the phases of scoliosis treatment, which also includes through the bracing or post-surgery phases. A Schroth therapist is able to evaluate the individuals posture and movement pattern, taking note of any and all limitations caused by changes in the spine, and then addressing any pain or imbalances in the muscles (as many times the muscles will overcompensate or become lazy, depending on the curve)
The evidence has clearly shown that in working with a Schroth Method trained physical therapist, this therapy can most definitely change and sometimes even stop curve progression in scoliosis. So, if you are looking for a non-invasive treatment option for yourself or your child, Schroth Method Therapy might be just what you are looking for and we are ready to help! Call us on +9714 344 7333 or email to book your consultation today.
Sometimes you just feel ‘off’. You’re slightly off-balance and can’t explain it. It may be a feeling of fatigue that just won’t go away, even after a full night’s sleep. Or maybe you’re feeling depressed or anxious without a rational cause. And even though you’ve been consistent with your diet and exercise, the pounds have somehow piled on pounds that just won’t budge. All of these symptoms can possibly point to a thyroid disorder.
To learn more about this delicate gland and its functions we share with you an excerpt from an in-depth article that Dr Faryal our in-house Naturopthic Doctor put together:
Countless individuals suffer from symptoms of low or dysfunctional thyroid and countless more are misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. Doctors either interpret lab values incorrectly or determine that these patients are “fine” because they do not fit into the conventional reference ranges on standard panels. Thyroid problems in women occur up to 7 times more often than in men, and globally, a staggering 200 million people are living with related disorders.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland which sits just below the voice-box in the neck and is responsible for producing hormones which regulate growth and energy production in the body, making it the master gland of metabolism. But that’s not all; the thyroid influences and interacts with other hormones in the body and is essential for proper functioning of all organs including the heart, musculoskeletal system, and brain.
High or Low?
Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism are at opposite ends of the spectrum of thyroid disease. A healthy thyroid gland is initially governed by the pituitary gland in the brain, which senses low thyroid hormone in the blood and sends a messenger to instruct the thyroid to make more hormone. This messenger is TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone. An underproduction of these hormones will slow down metabolism resulting in Hypothyroidism which creates symptoms such as weight gain, feeling cold, fatigue, irregular menstruation, brain fog, depression, increased blood pressure and cholesterol, dry skin, hair loss and constipation. On the other hand, overproduction leads to Hyperthyroidism which speeds up the body’s metabolism. Classic features include weight loss, nervousness, anxiety, intolerance to heat, excessive sweating, palpitations and insomnia.
Get the correct Tests
Most physicians believe that the patient is fine if TSH values are within the “normal” range, however the TSH value is grossly unreliable at determining low thyroid function. Often patients are given prescription medication for low thyroid or dismissed entirely because their TSH and T4 levels are “normal” according to the conventional understanding.
The upper limit for TSH accepted conventionally is between 4 and 5 mU/L. However, from a naturopathic perspective, the acceptable upper limit is 2.5 mU/L, with most patients feeling best at 1.5-2 mU/L. This discrepancy of opinion is one of the main factors resulting in underdiagnoses which affects health and quality of life.
Measuring free T3 and free T4 levels is essential. Fluctuating levels along with TSH measurements can distinguish between cellular resistance to active T3 or conversion problems from T4 to T3.
Thyroid antibodies must also be tested to ascertain any autoimmune issues and is the best way to diagnose Hashimoto’s. The common antibodies tested are Anti-TPO (thyroid peroxidase) and Anti-TGA (thyroglobulin).
Finally, reverse T3 testing is crucial as it is the third most abundant form of thyroid hormone. Active T3 can sometimes be diverted back into an inactive “reserve” form which happens during times of illness or stress. This is worth checking when fT3 is low but fT4 and TSH are normal.
Treat the Cause
The physiology of this gland is complex and is interconnected with other endocrine glands, immune system, the gut, and various cellular signals A multitude of factors influence thyroid function, which if overlooked, may worsen the condition. Some of these factors are:
Stress– an inescapable part of modern day life and a major contributor toward thyroid issues. Chronic or high stress elevates cortisol which when prolonged, fatigues the pituitary and adrenal glands and interferes with TSH. Many overweight individuals attribute weight gain to low thyroid function, not realizing the connection to high stress and cortisol levels which further inhibit weight loss.
Conversion of T4 into T3– Most thyroid patients receive a medication called Thyroxin which is mostly T4; this is not effective if conversion into T3 is problematic. T4 comprises 90% of thyroid hormone, however up to 60% of conversion into the active T3 form takes place in the liver. A sluggish liver despite normal liver enzymes on lab tests, will impede conversion. Toxins from the environment and food need to be detoxified effectively by the liver, so naturopathic support for the liver may be needed. Another twenty percent of the conversion into T3 takes place in the gut so healthy digestive function is vital as well.
Mineral and vitamin deficiencies– these are common since iodine (present in T3 and T4), selenium, iron and even Vitamin D are all necessary for proper thyroid function and are involved in converting T4 into T3. Tyrosine, zinc and methylfolate are also major players, which if deficient, can lower T3.
Hormonal imbalances– in particular excess estrogens from birth control pills, xenoestrogens from plastics and toxins in the environment, hormone-injected meats – all lower thyroid hormone. Hormones interact with each other and excess estrogens interfere by increasing the protein that binds to thyroid hormone (TBG) making it inactive.
Naturopathic management always aims to treat the root cause. Diet is the foundation, and specific nutrients and natural medicines are used to regulate and restore thyroid function as well as to clear dysbiosis and improve gut function.
To learn more and explore possible imbalances call today on +9714 3447333 or email us to book a consultation with Dr Faryal
Rooted in passion the Hundred Wellness Centre offers a wide range of classes, treatment options and lifestyle consultancy services, that are unique to the UAE and are designed to help you better understand your body, mind and spirit. One of the things that we pride ourselves on is that we also offer a cutting edge range of highly specialized, non-invasive diagnostic tools, state-of-the-art screening programs and therapies that complement our day- to-day health and fitness services. One of these technologies is the AlfaSight 9000 that when used in combination, as part of a bespoke program, can help our in-house experts by providing a 360-degree view of your body’s overall condition, and provide extra information that enhances your diet and fitness efforts and can even anticipate problems before they arise.
The AlfaSight 9000, non-invasively conducts a whole-body scan of the autonomic nervous system allows for the early detection of potential dysfunctions of the body.
This non-invasive thermography test can identify possible problems a person may encounter down the line with glands and tissues, vascular problems and musculoskeletal disorders and various inflammatory conditions, allowing you, with our assistance to take preventative action with your diet and lifestyle. To do this the AlfaSight 9000 uses a temperature sensor to take temperature measurements at over 100 points on the body; gathering information about the functioning health of the nervous system and blood flow of your major organs, glands, lymph, sinuses and teeth.
This unique diagnostic tool is not new and is actually supported by 30 years of research and over 7,000 published medical studies. The AlfaSight 9000 measures the amount of heat being emitted from the body due to the inflammatory process in the area being studied. Surface temperature of the human body is symmetrical (virtually the same on both sides). Inflammation at any tissue depth will be recorded by the sympathetic fibers in the nerve supply to that area. This information will be processed through the Central Nervous System which will cause a sympathetic response in the area of skin corresponding to the affected site, and the AlfaSight 9000 will detect this change. Thermography screening is 100% safe, radiation free, and will take approximately 30-60 minutes depending on the number of regions of the body to be studied.
So, if you are interested in knowing more about your body, the AlfaSight 9000 can be a great option as it can literally evaluate the physiology of your whole body in a matter of minutes. Call us on +9714 344 7333 or email us to book your session and consultation.
Beauty comes from within… in more ways than one! The texture, tone and overall complexion of your skin tells others a lot about your general state of health. Did you know that only 20- 30% of the skin aging process is actually determined by genetics? The rest is in your control!
It is commonly said amongst Naturopathic Doctors that the state of one’s skin reflects the health of the gastrointestinal tract or gut, as the building blocks to create and regenerate healthy cells actually start in the gut! So, what we put into our bodies, ultimately determines how well we age, and how inflamed our cells are – many skin complaints can be treated by eliminating irritating and chemically-laden foods and by incorporating a good skin-diet and powerful antioxidants into our diets.
Join us at The Hundred Wellness Centre on Saturday June 23rd at 3pm sharp for a two-hour information packed talk in which you will learn more about:
Leading this talk is Dr Faryal Luhar our in-house Naturopathic Doctor. Dr. Faryal has successfully worked with many individuals suffering from various skin concerns such as acne, dark circles, puffiness, fine lines/wrinkles, cold sores, eczema and psoriasis.
We truly believe that the products that you put on your skin, what you’re eating, and your personal nutrition and lifestyle choices are really integral to your health and your overall wellness. So we want to be able to offer support to anyone that feels that they need some more encouragement, and more guidance in adopting a healthier lifestyle. This talk is a fantastic opportunity and starting point for anyone who wants to take control of their skin naturally from a diet and overall wellness perspective. Sign up today as spots are limited!
When: June 23rd at 3pm-5pm sharp
Where: The Hundred Wellness Centre Café
Fees: AED79 per person
Facilitator: Dr Faryal Luhar
Bonus: You’ll even leave with a delicious all-natural skin-care recipe to enjoy whenever your skin needs a little pampering.
Space is limited so please contact us on +9714 344 7333 or via email us to book your spot