Have you ever noticed that when you are under a lot of stress, you are more susceptible to illness? I remember when I was going through school that after an intense period of exams were over, I would often get sick with a cold.
Now, it shouldn’t be a surprise to you that stress negatively affects your health. That is why people are often told to decrease the stress in their lives. But what is the mechanism of how this works?
It turns out that stress negatively influences the body’s immune system response. This then leads to a decreased ability for your body to modulate inflammation and illness occurs.
A research team led by Carnegie Mellon University's Sheldon Cohen has found that chronic psychological stress is associated with the body losing its ability to regulate the inflammatory response.
Cohen argued that prolonged stress alters the effectiveness of cortisol to regulate the inflammatory response because it decreases tissue sensitivity to the hormone. Specifically, immune cells become insensitive to cortisol's regulatory effect. In turn, runaway inflammation is thought to promote the development and progression of many diseases.
Our body’s are for the most part self-regulating. This means that when we cut ourselves, we heal. Our heart, lungs, organs keep working without us having to think about them. Inflammation is also part of our body’s healing response. However, when our body receives distorted signals, it can no longer respond in an appropriate manner.
In order for our bodies to regain the proper signals, we need to resolve the abnormal signals. Tune in next week to find out what causes these abnormal signals in our body.
Need help getting your body back on track? 613-446-6060
Last week I was watching my son play with his toy cars on a coffee table. He dropped one of his cars and it fell under the table and out of his reach. He tried to get it but his arms were not long enough and he started to cry. I then told him to “go around” and then you can get your car as the toy was easier to reach from the other side of the table.
I went back to cooking and looked up again when I heard more crying. He was crouched down in the same place he was before and still trying to reach his toy. I then said, I thought I told you to go around to get your toy...so he walks around the entire table right back to the exact same spot where he started! He had just gone around in a circle...poor kid.
I smiled and took his hand and we walked to the other side of the table and got his toy.
This was a reminder of how easy it is to be misunderstood.
We experience events in our lives from our point of view. Even if someone says the same thing to 2 people, they can take it to mean very different things. Before you get in an argument with someone over something that was said, remember to clarify what you meant.
Need some help? 613-446-6060
I’ve heard the saying often and even experienced it myself on several occasions: you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone. Because I know this to be true, I want to make sure that I’m enjoying life’s daily moments. Sometimes, when you find yourself in the middle of a project or a journey, it's hard to stop and appreciate where you are now when you feel you have so much more to go.
So, how do you make sure you are enjoying life’s moments?
For me, when I’m writing in my journal, I make sure to note 3 specials moments in my day. They could be moments about my family, friends, nature, work, someone I helped, etc. Anything that I take note of on a day.
For today, my focus was on my family. My special moment with my daughter was when she had her little fingers wrapped around one of my hands while I was nursing her. My son’s moment was when we were walking home from the park and he was holding hands with my husband and I. For my hubby, our special moment was meditating together.
We often live our life thinking that things will be better when….when the kids are older, when I’m married, when I retire, when I get a raise, when I have more money, when I have more time, etc etc. Appreciate life’s perfect moments in the day and you won’t be living for a future life.
Find out what’s important to you: your family, friends, making a difference, your purpose...and find ways to appreciate them before they are gone. One day, we will all be gone.
Need help appreciating the moment? 613-446-6060
When someone is stressed out, what do they often hear from others? You need to take better care of yourself. You need to eat better, exercise, meditate, have some alone time, etc.
However…..being by yourself is not always what you need. Feeling isolated and alone is probably the cause of some of your stresses and problems in the first place. The solution isn’t always to be alone ...we need to know that we are not alone. So, what do we need instead?
We need a place where we know that we belong and are supported.
Community care is having the help and support from a group of people and in turn supporting them when they need it. Our community helps us out, whether that be physically, i.e. looking after your kids so you can have a night out, emotionally, mentally or spiritually.
Your community is there to tell you that it’s ok and to let you know that you are doing a good job and that you are not alone. We need to know that we are not alone and that help is only a phone call away.
Your community is also there when things go wrong.
Who is your community made of up? Friends? Family? Support groups? Neighbours? Make a list of those that you can call on. Don’t have anyone? Come to one of our advanced workshops and meet like minded individuals.
When faced with doing something that scares you, whether that be public speaking, running a marathon, starting a new venture, etc, you need to summon courage.
One way to help motivate you, is to make a list of your “why” or your reason for doing what you want to do.
What is your why? Your “why” is/are the reasons that you get up each morning and live your life. They are your children, your partner, your goals, your hopes and your dreams. When there is something that you don’t want to do out of fear or procrastination, you can remember what is important for you in your life.
This week, there were some phone calls that I was putting off making. What helped me to make them was to remember my children. One of my whys is to be a role model for them. If I did not lead by example and make those calls, how could I ask them to do something they didn’t want to do.
After reading my why’s and comparing what I had to do, I was able to easily finish my work.
When creating your ‘why’, remember to dream big. Maybe you are trying to quit smoking. Your why could be to live long enough to see your kids graduate. If you need to make a presentation at work, remember that your work pays you which allows you to go on vacations. Know why you are doing what you are doing.
Need help? Give us a call 613-446-6060
Last night, my newborn baby was having an unusually hard time falling asleep. After trying every trick I knew and then some, I was at my wit’s end with the crying. I found myself frustrated, tired and wanting to run away. Just when I had reached my breaking point, the little angel fell asleep.
What lessons did I learn?
When was the last time you were tested? How did you respond? Write your experience below.
Our families can be our teachers. Sometimes, we like what we see and we try to repeat what we were taught. What we see and don’t like, we can change in ourselves and the next generation after us. Other times, we pick things up unconsciously and don’t become aware that it becomes a part of us until later on.
Growing up, finances were always tight. My immigrant mother was a single mom, worked all day, went to school during the evenings and raised 2 kids without help as her family was on the other side of the world.
I learned so much from my mom and continue to do so today. What I wasn’t aware of was a pattern that I had learned through her.
A few nights ago, my partner and I were discussing finances. He was able to have a rational and calm discussion while I found myself getting irritated when he asked more in deapth questions or gave me suggestions on how to handle a situation. I had my way of handling a situation and wasn’t open to listening to his way, even though I could see the holes in my way. He noticed I was getting flustered and raising my voice and asked why.
I stepped away to get a drink of water and then became aware that I was having a stress, fight or flight response. I felt under attack in some way...even though the conversation was completely calm. I came back and apologised and listened to the other side.
It wasn’t until the next day while I was doing the dishes that it hit me. I was reacting to this situation like I had watched my mom do before! Groan...I was perpetuating the family pattern! I laughed once I realized this. It also allowed me to take a more balanced approach to things.
Next time you react to something, ask yourself. Where did I get this pattern from? Why am I reacting this way when there is no actual threat.
Need help observing your patterns? Give us a call. 613-446-6060
We’ve talked before on how doing new things creates more energy. When this energy is present, you can take advantage of it to supercharge your life.
Have you ever stayed up late or woken up really early because you were excited about something? When I was preparing for the big move to my new office, Bioheal Ottawa, I was so excited that I had the extra energy to stay up late and wake up earlier to do work. Also, the work did not seem like work. I was fueled by a different energy source.
How well do you sleep the night before going on an exciting vacation? How about the night before starting a new job? Before your wedding? If you’re like me, I don’t sleep well at all. I get so excited, I can’t sleep.
How can you recognized when this fuel of newness is present in your body? Some people describe it as excitement. Others can feel a buzzing, or tingling sensation running throughout their body. Some are aware of the plethora of thoughts running in their mind or ideas that come out of nowhere. It may even seem like you don’t feel the need to sleep.
Whatever the case, the energy of newness can be channeled to turbocharge your life. Use it wisely! And when you notice that it’s worked it’s way through you, remember to get some rest.
Need help turbocharging your life? Give us a call 613-761-1600
As many of your know, I recently gave birth. This was my second labour and after a long first labour, I was not looking forward to doing it again.
When I first started to feel the pain and discomfort of the contractions, I tensed my muscles and shortened my breath in anticipation of the pain. I even started to wish the contractions away (not conducive to giving birth). Deep, down, I knew that this was not the answer because, birth is not usually a quick process and the pain was going to get worse before it got better.
I knew I needed to change my current state so I called a friend of mine who is a doula. Her advice was to invite the pain. I was to picture each contraction as my body giving a hug to the baby. I was to use all the focus and attention that I could muster to fight the urge to tense and instead relax every muscle and allow my body to do what it naturally knew how to do. I was to stop fighting my body….easier said than done.
So, for each coming contraction, I focused on my breath. I focused on expelling out all the air that I could. I told my body to relax. I started with my toes and worked my way up to my face. To my surprise, the pain became more tolerable! It still hurt like crazy but I could do it.
I also noticed that when I was not prepared for a contraction, my instinct was to tense, fight my body and have my mind panic. This brought on more pain which then caused more tension in my body.
As the day continued and the pain got worse, I had to focus more and go internally. I talked to my baby during the birth, saying that we were going to do this together. I told her how excited everyone was to meet her. I surrendered to the pain and trusted that my body knew what to do and how to do it. My body contains all the DNA of my ancestors who’ve birthed children before me and so I can also do it.
It was one of the hardest things I had to do..but it was worth it. Birth was a lesson in persistence, surrender, trust, support...and I never want to go through it again.
Each birth is different and a learning experience and opportunity. What did you learn form your births? Leave a message below.
Do you have fears surrounding giving birth? Give us a call 613-446-6060
Did you know that your body loves you? Some of you may not believe this because you’re sick, in pain or you don’t feel you’re healing from something fast enough. Some of you may have had so many health challenges that you think your body is working against you. But it’s not.
Your body loves you and here is why:
Your body loves you so much, maybe it’s time you loved it back. Need help loving your body? 613-761-1600
Dr. Amanda is a non-traditional chiropractor who focuses on Neuro-Optimization in Ottawa, Canada.