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Healing in the Holidays Series

Happy Monday Warriors!

It is the holiday season!!! This month we will going over various ways to help increase your body’s armor to keep the stress down.  We know the holidays are a happy time where families and loved ones come together, but it can also be a time of increased stress, trying to get things done, finances, family drama, traveling, ect.

I’m hoping that by posting these tips earlier, you all will be more prepared to handle and fight it off like a superhero! We are always striving to make the body more resilient right? We will be starting off talking about stress in the nervous system, and then following up in a couple weeks with tips for nutrition, traveling and exercise to keep you on track. So stay tuned!

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For a start, it has been shown in research that chiropractic adjustments boost the immune system. 

What happens with increased stress?  Your immune system goes down.  That’s why college students always experience getting sick after finals or on their breaks.  Once the adrenaline wears off, the effects kick in.

January is also the month of resolutions and goals (hopefully you have goals all year:)), but regardless, maybe a certain goal is saying: you’d like to workout more or eat better, you have to make sure your body can handle it. 

Just like how you would prep your notes for a presentation, or making a meal plan.  You need some sort of preparation for the body.

The prep phase so to speak.  In order to prep, you need to make sure your pain levels are down, and your brain and nervous system are communicating with one another.  When you do this, it makes less stress on the body, so that when those periods of increased stress come, your body can handle it and not go completely off course.

Cranial work in general is an amazing tool we have to help with the stress response. 

In research done specifically using cranial work for anxiety, depression and sleep, a study in 2011 testing over 100 patients,  found that using cranial based osteopathy (which i do) showed improvements in anxiety, increase in physical function, significant improvement in sleep function.  This is great!  A main reason in this study was improving sleep, and overall physical function.

When you are able to move pain free, and sleep (deep and rested), your body can heal and isn’t burdened by the littlest of things that come its way.

Which brings me to this point.  If you are in chronic pain, or aren’t sleeping, or you are already stressed, it is literally like typing into the computer all the keys at the same time.  Your brain can’t handle it.  Any little disruption, even a little stress can throw you off at that point.

So, our goal with the cranial care is to create that optimal environment for the brain, to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, and make sure the network of nerves are effectively communicating. 

It’s also important to note that stress isn’t always in your HEAD, but in your NERVOUS system. 

Have you ever been told when you’re stressed to stop and just relax? That it’s all in your head? It would be nice if it were that simple. But it’s not.
“Physiology research shows that the stress response memory lives in your nervous system. Take for example exposure to a stressful event. One in which you felt helpless, hopeless, and lacked control. In this case your autonomic nervous system (ANS) is engaged. This is the part of the nervous system responsible for controlling unconscious bodily actions like breathing. To be more specific, it was the sympathetic branch (fight or flight) of the ANS that kicked in while you were strained. In addition, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis of the midbrain began firing. In which a signal from your hypothalamus sends a hormonal message to your pituitary gland that stimulates to your adrenal glands.To activate this fight or flight response, stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are released from your adrenal glands. They help our body suddenly mobilize to flee danger. According to Peter A. Levine, trauma expert in the field of psychotherapy, trauma occurs when this biological process is overwhelmed and a person is unable to release and process the stressful event. It is possible to avoid a traumatic response by discharging the energy generated. For example, shaking, crying, and screaming can allow the individual to physically process the stress.However, if the stress response is not processed, it remains in the tissues of the body. When a subsequent stressful event that does not pose a serious threat occurs, the traumatic memory is recalled. A large amount of stress hormones are released. Blood rushes to extremities, pupils dilate, muscle tone increases presenting as tension, breathing rate increases, the heartbeats faster, and sweating occurs. Hence, the nervous system responds as if this small incident is life threatening.

This biological response is clearly beyond the ability to rationally control. You can’t think your way out of it. 

Chronic stress leads to dissociation or immobility, a state of sympathetic charge and hormonal release, which is health damaging. The brainstem (the primitive part of the brain) governs emotional experience and biological response. When the brainstem is activated by fight or flight, it trumps the more developed front of the brain, the prefrontal cortex. It is therefore not possible to be in the primitive state of fight or flight and also to think rationally and critically (as the prefrontal cortex would have us do).

The work is then to re-train the body. These are tools to deactivate the sympathetic response and activate the opposing parasympathetic response, called the rest and digest mechanism. The goal is to feel safe. To regulate breathing, slow the heartbeat, and circulate blood back to the vital organs.

The next time someone suggests it’s all in your head, you will have a different response. ”
-Melody Walford.

Re-training the body through calming certain nerves down or reflexes or while stimulating others like the parasympathetic nerves in the brain is key here.  You need the nervous system to RECOGNIZE the problems and course correct.

We need to clear the stress out of the nervous system first!! This will prep the body to be able to handle things that come up!

A lot of people don’t think much about the nervous system.  But, the  nervous system controls EVERYTHING!  It is isn’t working or mis-firing, it will cause problems in your entire body.
Nerves have memory.  Sometimes just breathing, using products, meditating, exercise isn’t enough to de-stress your body.  The reason lies within your nervous system.

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BONUS TIPS:

Here are some tips to help you get out of a specific mindset:

1. Be Realistic.  The holidays don’t have to be perfect . As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can’t come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos.

2. Set aside differences that may be in the family. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all of your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they’re feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression too.

3. Stick to a budget!  Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don’t try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts.

Try these alternatives:

  • Donate to a charity in someone’s name.
  • Give homemade gifts.
  • Start a family gift exchange.

4. Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. That’ll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. And make sure to line up help for party prep and cleanup.  Goal setting is HUGE!!

Don’t try to make HUGE yearly goals or set new goals to try to get done in December.  Set your goals for earlier in the year to celebrate during the holidays!

5. Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. If it’s not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.

6. Take A Breather.. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.

  1. Some options may include:
    • Taking a walk at night and stargazing.
    • Listening to soothing music.
    • Getting a massage or CHIRO!
    • Reading a book.

7.  Neuro Emotional Technique.  Come in and get some NET if you know things are going to be stressful and you already are feeling it!  Let’s change that mindset so you can go into your holiday with ease! This Technique is extremely successful for stress reduction.

8.  Essential Oils.  Essential Oils by DoTerra are amazing to diffuse in your home to help with emotional overwhelm, to carry with you or to take as a daily supplement to help calm the system.  Frankincense is a great oil for emotional stability as well as others.  Come learn more in my FREE essential oils class this wednesday. SEE BELOW

We will talk about nutritional help next time!

 

 

 

That’s all for this week.

 

Wishing you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

 

 

How clenching, brain and nervous system stress deplete your adrenals

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Happy Monday Everyone!  I how you are surviving the heat!  We continue on this week on the topic of the Adrenal Glands.  Last week we went over a little anatomy of the glands which set the stage for how they function.  We will continue on the rest of this month about what actually stresses them out in the first place that makes them go haywire.  Today we will talk about more mechanical problems from the brain and nervous system, next week will be nutrition/genetics/infections/heavy metals and lastly will be emotional stress and exercise.

Last week we talked about how hormones are cyclic, meaning they are regulated and released through cycles.  We always want to stay in balance, and releasing hormones when needed is a way be stay in balance through feedback loops.


(Not my image)

The brain sends a signal, then down the line the adrenal glands secrete the hormones.  But what if the signal from the brain is improper?

Meaning, the brain isn’t working at it’s best and so the adrenal glands aren’t working the best.

What causes the brain to stop working it’s best?

Well, if we look at where the brain is actually located, we see many layers of protection.  There’s a few layers surrounding the brain, a sac like membrane that covers it, then we have the skull bones.  That membrane doesn’t stop at the head though, it continues down the spinal cord into the tailbone where it ends.

(not my image)

The Arrow that says “Sella Turcica” is basically a little saddle that your pituitary gland sits in that attaches to the hypothalamus.

Any torsion in this saddle causes pressure on the glands.  What can cause torsion?  Well for little ones this is birth trauma.  Whether a normal birth or through interventions..
What does adrenal stress look like in a little one?

They are constantly in fight or flight mode.  Aren’t happy eating or after eating.  Don’t like to be put down, colicy, maybe have improper digestion and are constipated or not sleeping more than a few hours. They look tense all the time and are easily woken.  Also might react to foods. These are basic survival responses, but they aren’t normal to be on 100% of the time.

Simply alleviating the pressure from the brain through craniopathy work (taking pressure off the brain by moving the bones into their proper place)  can calm the baby down, normalize the signal and stop them from continually thinking they are in danger.

What else causes torsion?
Well, once we are grown, we grow into those torsion patterns unless they are addressed.  Our teeth then grow into torsion patterns, and the rest of the body follows.
An increase of torsion can either begin from the top down or the bottom up or both. 

Since everything is connected, the twisting nature from either end when not addressed, causes an increase of stress to the body.  It’s not in the environment to really do its best work.  This is especially true when not only is there head trauma from birth, but actual trauma to the head itself.  This is a lot of inflammation to the head and those glands, and they won’t function normally.

Individuals who have head injuries (whiplash, concussion, fell on head, ect.) will usually say they are tired more often, don’t sleep as well, or there digestion and hormones are irregular.  These are warning signs!  Hello, brain here, not working great, help me out!

But you don’t have to had direct head trauma either.
You can really just have a lot of torsion in the head just from birth, that causes your teeth to grow in such a way that causes even more stress to the head.

You see your bite matters too.  We aren’t born with teeth, so the way that they grow in and make contact with each other, affects everything down the line.

Clenching is a really common sign that there is head tension.  We definitely clench more under more emotional stress, but just straight clenching alone is a sign of head inflammation.  The more you clench the more inflammation it inflicts and the more your adrenal glands will feel the wrath, so to speak.

So head trauma, improper bite and clenching can all cause adrenal stress.

But nervous system stress can really come from ANY stress on the nervous system.  Because after all it is all connected.  The nervous system is not superman.  It can’t do everything all the time when stress is still put on its system.

So really check out the whole spine and HEAD will ensure proper nervous system health, making sure the mechanics of the joints are working well.
Happy nervous system = happy brain and glands = happy adrenal glands:)

Remember it’s a feedback loop as well, so the more chronic stress to this gland the more the cycle continues until the adrenals then become fully depleted.  Or on the opposite end they just aren’t being stimulated as well. Side not, Glucocorticosteroid drugs deplete the hypothalamus pituitary signal and over time can cause more damage than help.

Taking brain inflammation off is HUGE for any condition.  You’d be surprised how much the body can heal on its own when the brain is working at it’s best.  This is why I always talking about healing the nervous system as #1 to any protocol!