Mind-Body Connection to Chronic Pain

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 parents 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.

A Resolution of Less Stress in 2019

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.

Kicking Restless Leg Syndrome

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.   

The Body Keeps the Score

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.

Energize Your Lymphatic System for Maximum Health

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.

The Side Effects of Worrying – What’s the Rx?

It is common knowledge that worry can lead to many negative consequences. Here are a few quick quotes about worry that helps to paint the picture.

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” ― Corrie ten Boom, Clippings from My Notebook“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” ― Dalai Lama XIV
“According to Vedanta, there are only two symptoms of enlightenment, just two indications that a transformation is taking place within you toward a higher consciousness. The first symptom is that you stop worrying. Things don’t bother you anymore. You become light-hearted and full of joy.” ― Deepak Chopra, Synchrodestiny: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence to Create Miracles
“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” ― Benjamin Franklin

Trying to Predict the Future
Few things are as unpleasant as worrying. It can leave you feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and even physically ill. Author Emily Holland describes how worrying about the future literally creates a physical and emotional reaction about something that has yet to occur. Is the following situation familiar? You are unsure how a particular situation will unfold, which is anxiety provoking in itself since your brain can crave the security that comes with certainty, so you desperately attempt to fill in the gap.

The Side Effects of Worrying
These patterns and habits are often so hard-wired within you (as a result of genetics, environment, or both) that you don’t even realize you’re doing it. Worrying about the future becomes habitual and brings all of its unpleasant side effects with it. These effects can become more pronounced over time until, eventually, they become too distressing to ignore.

Worrying too much can affect both mind and body in a variety of ways such as:
• Disrupted sleep
• Headaches
• Difficulty concentrating
• Nausea
• Muscle tension
• Exhaustion
• Irritability
• Elevated levels of the stress hormone, cortisol
• Difficulty making decisions

When worrying starts to feel like it’s harming you instead of helping, it may be time to take notice. Eliminating worry from your life altogether is nearly impossible, not to mention unnecessary since worry can be helpful in motivating you to prepare for a test or work project, for example. The key is to strike the proper balance between worry and ease. Excessive worrying may also signify an anxiety disorder that is characterized by significant worry about future events and fear. If your worry stays at high levels, consider a visit to a healthcare professional to discuss alternative approaches to coping with your worry.

Breaking the Pattern
While focusing on the problem can cause worry, you may fear that by not coming up with a solution, you’re laying the groundwork for anxiety. You might be thinking, “If only I could come up with a solution then I could finally relax. Much of anxiety stems from fear, occupying a great deal of Lower Mental Energy. While intended to warn you of possible trouble ahead, it instead becomes a breeding ground for fear, that can spiral and build upon itself. I believe that most worrying is simply an outcropping of fear. It can be hard to turn that off.

Network Care, along with other techniques, can greatly impact the release of stored energy, including fear patterns. By releasing stored stress energy, the Upper Mind can take back some of what is lost to the Lower Mind. Seek Network Care if you truly wish to shift your frequency and your mental patterns.

Be More Mindful
When you practice Mindfulness, you become increasingly better at recognizing thought patterns, including those that do you a disservice.
• Take a few moments each day to sit quietly and focus on your breath.
• Observe your thoughts without engaging them.
• If your mind begins to wander, bring your attention back to your breath.

Whatever your approach, you’re not alone—everybody worries to some extent—what’s important is that you don’t let your worries overtake you.

The Art of Breathing

Breath is the source of prana, or life force, and among the most basic of all human functions. Breathing consists of two phases: inhalation and exhalation. When you inhale, the diaphragm—a dome-shaped muscle separating the lungs from the abdominal cavity—contracts. This allows your lungs to expand and fill with air. On the exhale, the diaphragm returns to its normal position, air is expelled, and the lungs shrink back to their original shape.

The respiratory center of the brain stem involuntarily controls your breathing without your having to think about it. Although breathing is an automatic and often mindless process, its implications for your well-being are profound.

Breath and the Nervous System

When the body is relaxed, breathing is typically long, smooth, and slow. You may notice that your jaw loosens, shoulders relax, and stomach rises and falls with each breath. This state is governed by the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows your heart rate and stimulates digestion. The parasympathetic nervous system is associated with a rest-and-digest state of being. When your body is at rest, it directs energy toward necessary functions such as sleep and fat burning.

Inversely, rapid breathing is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system, which makes your heart beat faster and increases your blood pressure. This is the fight-or-flight center of the body. Think of a time when you have been afraid. You may have felt your chest tighten, and breath becoming shallow and rapid—centered in your chest. You may notice this type of shallow breathing with some conditions such as chronic stress or heart disease, pneumonia, emphysema, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Stress, and more specifically the storage of stress energy held in our bodies, produces a diminished breathing pattern.  Over time, this can be particularly problematic.  Network Care, and its partner work of Somato Respiratory Integration (SRI) are modern techniques that assist the body to release detrimental patterns.  We are now able to integrate the science of western medicine with the wisdom of the ancient eastern medicine. Speak with me to learn more about this.  You can breathe much easier with just a little practice.

Spring Cleansing

With warmer weather and longer days of sunlight, new energy is afoot. Cleaning the house or garage, shifting to more outdoor activities, and a change in diet are part of natural rhythms that we lean into.

According to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, spring is the cleansing season. The same way that you spring clean your home, this is a great time of year to cleanse the toxins from your body. While there are many cleanse programs available, there are more subtle and gentle techniques that you can use to support your body in getting rid of toxins.

Why Cleanse?
Why should you consider incorporating cleansing techniques in your life?
Your body is an incredible organism that has a natural built-in filtration system to help you get rid of toxins, the harmful substances that have a negative impact on your health. The primary organ that helps to process excess toxins is your liver. Your liver is a powerful built-in filter for toxins, but it’s worth noting that you are exposed to more toxins than any previous generation. This influx of toxins comes from pollution in the air and water, toxic ingredients in beauty care and household cleaning products, electric and magnetic fields from technology, and more.
Some common symptoms of an excess toxic load in your body include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, headaches, back pain, and even skin conditions.

Here are five gentle spring cleansing techniques that will help to take the burden off your liver so that your body will continue to get rid of toxins effectively and efficiently.
1. Dry Skin Brushing
Dry skin brushing specifically helps to activate the lymphatic system that resides directly underneath your skin. You can think of the lymphatic system as the stream that helps to get rid of toxins. When you activate your lymphatic system, it helps move toxins more efficiently through your body.
This cleansing practice is best done before you get into the shower. To get started, you’ll need to buy a dry skin brush or glove (look in your local health food store or online). Skin is the body’s largest organ. As you can release toxins through your skin, this exfoliation method also supports healthy detoxification through your skin.

2. Breath Work
There are many breath work techniques that can help to release toxins from your body. One breathing technique that I highly recommend is called SomatoRespiratoryIntegration (SRI). This activity will not only improve your mind-body connection, but it will help clear toxins from your lungs and respiratory system. I offer classes on this each month, so check it out.

3. More Greens
Increasing the amount of green vegetables in your diet is a great place to start. The concentrated vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients (such as polyphenols, terpenes, and organic acids) that are found in a complex greens powder are another helpful supplement for gently opening up detoxification pathways and supporting liver cleansing. Most greens powders contain sea algae such as chlorella and spirulina, which are phytoplankton from the ocean that have antioxidant effects in the body. Chlorella is rich in chlorophyll, which assists in heavy metal and pesticide detoxification. Add one scoop of greens powder to a cup of water or a smoothie. Drink your greens powder either in the morning or mid-afternoon as a gentle way to boost your energy levels.

4. Light & Salt
Get some sunlight. We need a minimum of 15 minutes of direct sunlight per day. Of course, don’t overexpose. Additionally, an infrared sauna helps to increase your blood circulation and stimulate your sweat glands to help get rid of toxins. They also heat the body from the inside out, raising your core temperature and driving toxins and heavy metals out of the largest organ in your body—your skin.
Salt has amazing properties to balance the ions in our bodies. Zagorska Oasis in Ashland offers locals (Jackson County) free salt cave sessions on Tuesdays, walk-in’s welcomed. They also offer 20% off services to locals on Tuesdays. People can call the spa at 541.810.8877 or book online at www.ZagorskaOasis.com
There are many different ways to support your body’s detoxification process. These gentle cleansing techniques help maintain your health and prevent disease. “Gently” press the reset button and start experiencing the many healing benefits of cleansing toxins from your body this spring!

5, Network Care

Network Spinal Care is renowned for its employment of light touches to assist the body with scanning and releasing stored stress.  There is no other technology like it on the planet.  Find out more how you can change your life!