Personal Healing Space: Getting Your Environment to Work for You

Have you ever walked into a room and instantly felt better?  Have you ever asked yourself why?  Surprisingly, medical science has asked these questions too.

Most of us understand stress and the stress response.  When we perceive stress from any direction, at home, at work, on the road, or in a negative interaction with another person, our bodies pump our nerve chemical and hormones such as cortisol.  Most of us probably don't realize that just place and location can trigger either this stress response or even better place can trigger the opposite, a more calming response.

Ester Sternberg (Sternberg, 2014) has shown that design can greatly influence what response get produced this not only includes structure, but sights, sounds, smalls and layout of the environment.  Why not surround yourself with a healing space?  Here is the top scientifically accepted components of creating a healing space in your home or office.

  1. Access to Nature - While a window overlooking nature is best. Just pictures or a TV moving through nature pictures will enhance the environment
  2. Light - Our bodies area very cued into light and times of day. Having pleasant lighting as close to the natural light spectrum as possible will be calming the enviornemnt.
  3. Good Air Quality - Looking at eliminating anything that would create poor air quality. Our senses are cued into what may be harmful to us, an air purifier can be helpful.
  4. Privacy - Excess noise can be distracting, so
  5. Places for Social Support - While times for privacy are important, we thrive on social connection. Providing a corner for warm social interaction will strengthen the healing feel of the space.
  6. Positive or pleasant distractions - Allowing a place for the mind to be busy in a pleasant pursuit of mindfulness will keep a calm association with the space. Having puzzles,  coloring mandalas,  Zen Sandboxes or a labyrinth to follow are all possibilities to let the mind know it can rest in a pleasant place away from emotional

Looking for simple ways to lift the healing in your life can be powerful in reducing anxiety and stress. If you are interested in learning more about the science behind these recommendations I highly recommend Ester Sternberg's book, Healing Spaces.  Look at creating your own healing space today!

Optimize Your Health, Simplify Your Life,

Dr Sharyl Truty MD


Dr. Sharyl Truty



Dr. Sharyl has been engaged in family medicine, sports medicine and orthopedics for over fifteen years in many different capacities. She is owner of Balanced Physician Care, a holistic, direct primary care medical practice in Ponte Vedra Beach.  Her practice provides a unique solution for individuals and small business owners who are seeking answers to better healthcare.  She is Board Certified in Family Practice and has a Certificate of Added Qualification in Sports Medicine.  She was team physician for the Chicago Red Stars women’s professional soccer team, completed a fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona and received her acupuncture at the UCLA physician certification. She currently lives in Jacksonville Beach with her husband, Myke and 4-year-old son, Lukas.

Know your Fats.  Know your Numbers

Fat gets a bad rap even though it is a nutrient that we need in our diet, just not too much. Know your Fats. Know your Numbers. Eat Optimally.

The American Heart Association advisory committee released a statement about coconut oil in June that seems to have added to the confusion about diet in particular the role of fats in a healthy anti-inflammatory diet.  Unfortunately, most of the press was focused around the aspect of the statement that commented on coconut oil and the message was lost about how to understand the fats that you eat and what fats are best used in your diet.

Know your Fats.  Know your Numbers.

Fats are a very important to the body.  They are very important for neurological health.  Just like everything else.  They are best taken in balance with the other macronutrients: carbohydrates and protein.

Ideally fats should compose 30% of the calories in your diet. 

  •  20% of those calories should be from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats
  •  10% from saturated fat.

For women, this means 15 grams a day of saturated fat.

For men, this means 20-25 grams a day of saturated fat.

Fats often are not found in isolation.  It is difficulty to find fats that contain only saturated fat and one that contain only polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat.  However, there are fats that that contain a higher percentage of saturated fat that others.  Coconut oil and avocado oil are one of those fats that are mostly saturated in nature.  In fact 1 tablespoon of Coconut oil contains, 13 grams of saturated fat. 

The healthiest diets that reduce inflammation in the body and reduce heart disease contain this small 10% amount of saturated fat, but contain a higher amount of polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat.  Olive oil and canola oil contain the highest amounts of monounsaturated fat which seems to be the best.  Below is a great resource for knowing your fats and what to use in your diet.









Coconut oil is a great saturated fat and defiantly a great choice when cooking at high heat.  It may healthier as it is derived from plant sources, but best used in moderation along with other oils as a part of your "Balanced" diet.

Optimize Your Health, Simplify Your Life,

Dr Sharyl Truty MD

Dr. Sharyl Truty

If you feel like you need more information on diet or how an Integrative Medicine Consultation can be beneficial to your mind, body, & soul, then you owe it to yourself to contact us at Balanced Physician Care today (904 930-4774). Dr Sharyl Truty has the time to truly analysis your symptoms, find the root cause of your issues, and get you back on the path wellness.




* Chart reprinted from: Common Oils and Fats.  VA Nutrition August 2017

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