The vagus nerve is the tenth cranial nerve and interfaces with parasympathetic control of the heart, lungs, and digestive tract. It is the longest nerve of the autonomic nervous system in the human body, comprising between 80% and 90% of afferent nerves, mostly conveying sensory information about the state of the body’s organs to the central nervous system. The vagus nerve affects all the organs, from the neck down to the colon. The right vagus branch innervates the sinoatrial node of the heart. In healthy people, parasympathetic tone from these sources are well-matched to sympathetic tone.

Why Is This Important?

Among other things, vagal nerves mediate the raising and lowering of the heart rate. Our heart rhythms can be affected by unhealthy stress. We can overload our nervous system with excessive screen time, making poor food choices, losing sleep, endlessly sitting, or accumulated trauma energy. When we lose balance in our nervous system, inflammation is engaged, our immune system is compromised, and elevated, prolonged levels of anxiety are produced. This can lead to excessive worry, feelings of impending doom, and a state of inner tension. Once balance in the nervous system is lost, it is difficult to regain.

What can be done?
I utilize a screening tool which allows me to scan a patient’s Heart Rate Variability, giving insight into the vagal tone. The results are then graphically displayed to show any imbalances in the nervous system. This tool also is utilized to objectively measure changes resulting from a treatment plan.

Network Spinal, or simply Network Care, is a highly researched chiropractic technique for restoring the nervous system to a more balanced state. Tension, anxiety, and blocks can be removed with the gentle touches made from Network Care. Call me today at 541-816-1911 to make an appointment.

Healing Myths

Inner Healing Power

Most people do not think about their health until something goes amiss.  Then, suddenly their body has gained full attention of their mind.  Then the person will take action, based upon the beliefs about disease and healing.  There is also a chance the person has been told one of the following healing myths: 1.  Disease is something separate from the body to be killed and expelled.  2.  We are victims of our condition, blaming “it” for our problems in life.  3. All illness can be traced to a physical cause.

Disease is not typically something foreign in the body.  Rather it is a manifestation of trauma, long-time poor eating habits, lack of exercise, or can even result from suppressed events.  What if we name our disease?  What if we tell our friends, “Oh, that is just my ___ giving me trouble”?  Then we may be actually inviting it to stick around.

We do not have to choose to be a victim of our ill-health.  Routinely patients are told that a certain event caused the issue.  What if our body’s reaction is a result of what we think about what has happened to us?  How would we begin to break up a faulty thought pattern?  Network Care uses gentle touches along the spine to open gateways and release tension from the nervous layer.  This allows for release of years and decades old stress traumas that we have been holding on tightly to.  Once these old traumas are released at the cellular level, the person feels relaxed, free, and more motivated and energized.

New studies have shown that our emotions play a significant role in our health.  The old saying, “It’s not what you eat, but what’s eating you,” may be affecting us down to the cellular level.  Diet and exercise are very important, but so are the thought patterns we believe about ourselves.   

So now what?  How do we un-invite our disease to stay? How do we let go of an event that has embedded itself deep in our unconscious thought patterns? How can we heal from an accident that happened years ago?  Most of all, how can we let go of “what is eating us?” 

Network Care can work gently on all these issues.  It works to aid healing from the inside out. “Healing is the outward manifestation of our inner journey of discovery…even when we may not understand the experience itself.”  – Donny Epstein.

Call for a $40.00 initial session today and see what it can do for you!

Feeling something in one’s bones is a common idiom. We use this phrase to speak of a truth that we know deep inside of ourselves. I really like this idea.

As I studied the human body in medical school, many of my preconceived notions were challenged. Regarding the bones, for example, I thought of them as being hard, dense, fixed, unchanging, and almost lifeless. I thought of bone deterioration or addition as irreversible. But the wisdom of the body is greater than my limited conceptions.

In a new study, researchers in Germany report finding a previously undetected network of fine blood vessels that act like a secret tunneling system inside bone, helping blood and immune cells spread efficiently and rapidly throughout the body. These tiny canals, called ‘trans-cortical vessels’ (TCVs), may be new to science, but they help explain how emergency drug infusions first pioneered on the battlefield were able to rapidly revive injured soldiers. According to the researchers, a mouse tibia can contain more than 1,000 of these small capillaries, and amazingly enough, the team says over 80 percent of arterial and 59 percent of venous blood passes through the channels. There is so much more going on within our bones than previously imagined. (The findings were reported in Nature Metabolism.)

I now think of the human body from a quantum perspective. Our bones, for example, while incredibly hard and rigid, are also very dynamic and constantly changing and adapting. Our bones are fundamental to the deepest parts of ourselves. In the work I do, I promote changes in the body systems, from the inside-out.  I know this to be true and “I feel it in my bones.”

I’m offering an introductory offer of a two-hour comprehensive examination and treatment session for only $40. Call today to make an appointment.2

There is nearly always a mind-body connection to illness and chronic pain. Our beliefs and temperament have a lot to do with how we experience illness and pain. Our paren ts modeled behaviors to us, and we participated in a family dynamic with them. Birth order is part of this equation, too.

The subconscious mind directs so many of our decisions. Often, if life is not going well, it’s not the universe that is holding us back, but rather the developmental programming that we continue to express. And lest we forget, our DNA is also encoded with information that affects our behavior patterns. The Bio/Psycho/Social dynamic of our life, and how we navigate the world, is the leading cause of our pain. Our frequency can be become locked into a defensive pattern that limits us from reaching our full potential.

We need to lift our vibration, which is our energy state. Close your eyes. Bring in the feeling of how amazing Life is. Breathe deeply. Can you feel the change? If not, why not? We are more amazing than we often realize. We can alter our energy state.

The work I do is based upon changing neurological patterns, releasing held trauma energy, and raising the frequency and vibration of the nervous system. Life changes dramatically once energy flows freely.

The smaller stresses in life can sneak up on you. Take the opportunity to review your life for these seven common stressors and take steps to help manage them. Your mind and body will appreciate the assist!

  1. Being late often. Instead of going faster, it can be good to build in buffer time. Rushing to catch up leads to tension and stress.
  2. Excessive Focus upon the To-to-List. Evaluate, prioritize, and be flexible. This beats fretting and driving yourself crazy.
  3. Binge watching TV. The news can be addictive, and too much of it creates anxiety. Watching TV shows or movies for hours on end can disrupt sleep and take time away from other activities that safeguard you from stress and promote health, such as exercise, meditation, and connecting with others.
  4. Running on Auto-pilot. While routine can be good, we may get lulled into missing what is around us. Slow down, be intentional, notice, and engage.
  5. Lack of Routine. This is the opposite of the previous point. Some dislike too much structure, but adding a little more routine can really reduce anxiety.
  6. Surrounding Yourself with the Right People. Some relationships give us enrichment; others are draining and taxing. Spend more time with the right people.
  7. Overstimulation. We can get out of balance with social media, technology, caffeine, sugar, and other substances. Less is more. Evaluate this.

The build-up of seemingly insignificant normal actions and behaviors may be contributing to everyday tension, fatigue, and rising levels of cortisol, a hormone released by the body when it’s under stress. Make intentional changes with small things to reduce your stress level in 2019.

To receive an assessment of the stress patterns in your body, contact me for an introductory session. P.S. I have great events happening each month, so check out my website for more details.

Approximately 7-10% of the population suffers from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), aka Willis-Ekbom Disease. RLS typically occurs while sitting or lying down. It generally worsens with age and can disrupt sleep. The main symptom is a nearly irresistible urge to move the legs. Getting up and moving around helps the unpleasant feeling temporarily go away. It is generally considered to be uncurable and chronic.

RLS is caused by a buildup of sympathetic tone in the nervous system. It is a side effect of drugs such as anti-nausea, anti-psychotic, anti-depressants, cold and allergy medications, and more. It may appear during pregnancy, and for those suffering from various forms of renal disease.

For nonpharmacologic treatment, I recommend the following:

  1. Liberate the sympathetic tone held in the nervous system by utilizing Network Care. Mindfulness activities and meditation are also great when paired with Network Care.
  2. Get moving. Moderate exercise has been shown to be beneficial. Massage and warm baths may help, too.
  3. Be sure to have a balance in the body with probiotics, iron levels, and vitamin D, to name a few. Even yellow mustard may help.
  4. Avoid triggers that aggravate. Common triggers include alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine.

Restless Leg Syndrome is a perplexing condition. However, a variety of treatment options can greatly reduce the unwanted effects and calm down the legs for more restful sleep. For more information about Network Care, give me a call.

restless legs
legs while resting

Ultradian Rhythms

As far as healthy living skills go, managing your ultradian rhythms effectively is an important piece to living a high-energy life. As mainstream health care begins to embrace health and wellness from an energetic perspective, the study and application of ultradian rhythms is beginning to garner more attention. The bulk of research in this area has been conducted by the DOD.

Ultradian rhythms are natural, undulating cycles of energy, with oscillating patterns of energy production and recovery, that rise and fall many times during the day. A typical burst of sustained, focused energy output will last between 90-120 minutes. This is followed by a period of low energy output, intended as a short resting period for recovery, repair, and re-balancing. Each person has an individualized pattern, but the overall principles are common to each of us.

We encounter problems if we plow through and ignore these natural cycles. Stress, fatigue, brain fog and inflammation increase when we push through the rest portion of the cycle. Productivity drops significantly. Conversely, we can maximize our productivity if we learn to smartly follow our personal ultradian rhythms and plan our work and breaks accordingly. We can get the best from our body and mind by adhering to our personal cycles.

To learn more about ultradian rhythms, and about energy efficiency on a personal level, contact me for a consultation. I’d love to assist you with gaining more energy for life.   

A popular book that many are talking about is The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van der Kolk. It is a very insightful study of the mechanisms of trauma and PTSD, and it gives practical descriptions of various treatments. I highly recommend this best-selling book.

The author notes that a new biological marker for measuring stress in the body is called Heart Rate Variability (HRV). It is a good measure of how well the autonomic nervous system is working and tracks the relative balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. When balance between these systems is lost, we lack coherence between breathing rate and heart rate, which makes us vulnerable to a variety of illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, mental problems, depression, PTSD, and a host of physical ailments.

Network Care is a highly effective modality to bring greater balance to the nervous system. I utilize tools to measure HRV, among other things, and employ its usage to monitor changes in the nervous system. Network Care aids in greater mind-body connection, enhancing self-regulation and healing. It works. While the body indeed keeps the score, patterns can shift towards wholeness.

hydrate your brain

The Lymphatic System: What It Does
What happens at home if your drain becomes clogged? What if no one removes the trash and garbage from the house in a timely manner? Things can get out of balance in a hurry.
The lymphatic system is made up of tissues that produce, store, and transport white blood cells and includes a complex network of vessels, ducts, lymph nodes, the spleen, the thymus, the adenoids, and the tonsils. The body is excellent at recycling most of its own components. The Lymphatic system is charged with removing waste from every cell, while helping to regulate the immune system.

Lymph must flow freely to ensure that waste products do not build up in the tissues. Breathing and other muscle movements help to propel lymph fluid and transport it through many filtration points known as lymph nodes. These lymph nodes contain collections of white blood cells (lymphocytes) that identify and help destroy harmful pathogens or toxins. As I am writing this article, the Rogue Valley is experiencing a prolonged spell of terrible air quality. Without a doubt, this condition is affecting all the citizens and certainly impacting our lymphatic systems.

Why It Matters
Just like the plumbing in your home, your lymphatic system needs to stay unclogged and flowing well for it to work properly. When the lymph flow becomes stagnant and congested, wastes and toxins begin to build up. This can lead to weak immunity and a wide variety of health issues. Congestion can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, water retention, morning stiffness, brain fog, bloating, dry skin, and cellulite. Additional problems can lead to chronic sinusitis, sore throats, earaches, swollen glands, breast swelling, and cold hands and feet.

Causes of Lymphatic Congestion
The biggest contributor is chronic stress. When the body is under stress, biochemical and hormonal changes occur. Over time, this stress chemistry contributes to inflammation that can injure cells and create waste. This clogs up the lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system is also directly controlled by the sympathetic nervous system, which is activated as part of the stress response. Studies in mice show that chronic stress can remodel the vasculature and lead to the spread of cancer.

Chronic stress is also tied to improper gut health. Gut associated lymphatic tissues (GALT) surround the gastrointestinal tract, which directly involved with the selectivity of nutrient absorption. It is very important.

How to Decongest Your Lymphatic System
There are many types of detoxification programs that can help. As with any cleansing or detoxification program, be sure to check with your physician before making changes that are appropriate for you. Additionally, try these six steps to rebalance your body.
1. Stay Hydrated
Since lymph is 95% water, adequate hydration is necessary to keep it flowing freely. Stay well-hydrated by following the Ayurvedic practice of sipping warm, purified water; sip it throughout the day to keep dehydration at bay.
Health expert Jennifer Weinberg suggests adding some freshly-squeezed lemon to your water first thing in the morning that can help to flush toxins out of your system that may have built up overnight. Avoid sugar-laden soft drinks, processed juices, sports drinks, and alcohol, which add an additional metabolic burden on the body. It is also wise to steer clear of too much caffeine, which dehydrates the body.
2. Heal Your Gut
Follow a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet that is individualized for your unique needs and sensitivities. Omega-3 fatty acids, leafy-green veggies, fat-soluble vitamins A and D, and balanced probiotics can often help heal the intestinal lining, reduce inflammation, and provide a diverse array of beneficial bacteria. This makes your digestive tract more resilient to the harmful impacts of stress and keeps the GALT healthy.
3. Eat Lymph-Cleansing Raw Red Foods
Red foods like pomegranates, cherries, cranberries, and beets help to keep the lymph moving freely. The naturally occurring enzymes, antioxidants, and bioflavonoids in these raw fruits and vegetables help to break down toxic buildup and combat free radicals, while the fiber in produce promotes regular elimination and cleansing of the intestinal villi to keep the intestinal lymphatic system healthy.
4. Dress Smart
Since the lymph does not have a mechanical pump to propel it through the body, it relies on unrestricted flow and natural muscle movement to keep flowing. One simple way to prevent restricting lymphatic flow is to avoid tight clothing.
5. Move Your Lymph Naturally
Try brushing or massaging your body gently for 10 minutes each morning, working toward the heart and paying special attention to the head, neck, feet, breasts, and abdomen where lymphatic vessels are concentrated.
6. Breathe deeply
Physical and emotional stress contribute to lymph congestion, so it is important to have an effective routine for coping with daily stress. Laughter is excellent. Meditation, yoga, tai chi, and spending time in nature can also aid greatly in this process. Additionally, Network chiropractic is a highly researched technique for reducing stress energy from the body.
Incorporate these daily habits into your routine to keep your lymph flowing well. This will support natural revitalization and cleansing of your body for vibrant skin, digestion, and health!

Natural Sweeteners

The intake of sugar is at an all-time high in the United States. Medical professionals and consumers are beginning to search out other sweetener alternatives. Artificial sweeteners are not a healthier alternative to processed sugar because they are made up of chemicals that have their own set of negative side effects. Unfortunately, the large amounts of sugar that we have been consuming are contributing to some major diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. So, where are we getting most of our sugar from, and what types of sugar should you be avoiding?

Common Sources of Sugar
The number one place that Americans are getting their sugar from is through sodas and sweetened beverages. You’ll also find added sugars in cereals, desserts, pastries, flavored syrups, coffee creamer, sauces, yogurts, fruit juices, protein bars, and salad dressings—just to name a few food sources.
There are many names for hidden sugars that you will want to look out for, including: Corn sweetener, Corn syrup, Cane juice, Dextrose, Fructose, Glucose, High-fructose corn syrup, Lactose, Malt syrup, Maltose, Molasses, Raw sugar, and Sucrose.

It’s safe to say that it’s time for us to start using healthier sugar alternatives. Here are six natural sweetener alternatives for you to explore:

Whole Leaf Stevia – This is extracted from the Stevia rebaudiana plant. Most stevia that you will find on the shelf at your grocery store is a highly refined version of stevia extract.

Coconut Palm Sugar – This natural sweetener is made from the sap of the coconut palm. It has half the amount of fructose contained in white sugar and is low on the glycemic index. This is a great sweetener to add to your coffee, oatmeal, or baked goods.

Raw Honey – Raw honey is known for its antimicrobial and immune-boosting properties. It is one of the few sweeteners that contains vitamins (e.g., thiamin and niacin), minerals (e.g., zinc and calcium), and enzymes (e.g., diastase [amylase] and invertase). Make sure to purchase honey that is labeled “raw” as most honey on the market is processed and therefore has fewer beneficial health benefits. Honey is not a safe sweetener for diabetics due to its high natural sugar content.

Monk Fruit – Monk fruit is traditionally grown in the Southern China region. It is named after Buddhist monks who were the first to use the fruit. Monk fruit sweetener is being used as a natural sugar replacement to sweeten foods and beverages. Even though it has a very sweet flavor, it does not raise blood sugar levels. This is a diabetic-friendly sweetener that has been used around the world for centuries.

Xylitol – While its name may not sound like a natural sweetener, xylitol comes directly from the birch tree. You’ll find it in products like gum, protein bars, and toothpaste. Since it is a sugar alcohol, if you are a diabetic, this is a sweetener to avoid, as it raises blood sugar.

Maple Syrup – Grade A and Grade B maple syrup are single-ingredient pure extracts from the maple tree. Similar to honey, maple syrup is not suitable for anyone who has diabetes due to the sugar content and high glycemic ranking.

When buying any of these products, make sure to look at the ingredient label, says nutritionist Amy Krasner. Very often companies will add processed sugars to their ingredients. While these natural sweeteners are healthy upgrades for processed and artificial sweeteners, it is still important to keep your added sugar intake to a minimum. Instead, focus on incorporating sweet vegetables into your diet (sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, butternut squash, acorn squash, etc.) and small amounts of fruit. Without a conscious effort to keep your sugar intake low, you’ll be surprised how quickly your total daily sugar intake can add up.