Fear/Anxiety is a reflex or response to an involuntary, spontaneous reaction to impending danger, imagined or real. When we don't feel safe.
Our neurological development depends on nutrition, movement and a nurturing safe environment. Our amazing neurological system communicates with the rest of the body to create a balanced state of being. Our Reflexes, as part of the neurological system develop for our pure protection and survival. All acts of conscious and unconscious life are reflexes.
As example of just one of the Primitive Reflexes is, FPR. The Fear Paralysis Reflex (FPR) is one of the first reflexes to emerge at around 5-7 weeks in utero, and closely connected to the Vagus Nerve. The Fear Paralysis is about attachment, security, and settling into new environment. Exactly, what we want to happen with the foetus after Conception. At about 12 weeks of attachment and embedding the Moro Reflex is activated.
The FPR is the first to appear, the first that needs integrating and should not remain active – although it does in many children and adults, and persist throughout a person’s lifetime. Fear paralysis as its name suggests, causes immobilization to fear, literally we FREEZE in the face of fearful situations, chemicals or psychological stimuli. Integration of the FPR is important to help support a child’s emotional and social maturity. A person with retained FPR may face lifelong anxiety, chronic fears and even panic disorders. The associated with the Vagus Nerve it can be entrapped in the neck or torso whenever FPR is retained. If FPR is the Freeze response, then the Moro takes over the Fight or Flight response to stress. We all react differently to fear or stress, we will either Freeze, Fight, Flight/Flee, Fright (startle), Faint, Fawn (co-dependency) or Fidget. We are neurologically wired to react, and this triggers the Primitive Reflexes.
Why do the Reflexes matter? There has been little written on the Primitive reflexes and the importance in Neurological development. When one or more of the reflexes do not integrate, when we are not moving well or overeact to stimulus, our bodies are then flooded with stress hormones, and we can go into the “Fight, Flight or Freeze” response(s), we are in survival mode. Under these conditions the brain has little energy to be able to organize, plan, comprehenend, participate, co-operate, scan, see, read, listen, speak, learn or focus, breath or move correctly instead everything becomes a primal reaction to stimuli. When children, or indeed adults have retained Primitive Reflexes or have not been able to fully integrate neurologically the primitive reflexes then this can impact behaviour, learning, development, ability to self sooth, be calm, relaxed, find balance or be content feeling safe.
This topic is probably one of the highest searches out there. Google search it in and see ….. 29,400,000 …. WOW! We can be overwhelmed with data and information on the topic.
Why? Because weight gain is a health issue and impacts us all, and weight lose can be so difficult to achieve and maintain. Moreso, we search out a solution in January as part of our New Year Resolution or an attempt to reclaim balance after over indulging during the Christmas festive season.
The 17 Hungers Workshop is not just for after Christmas, it is a program for Life – we look at this important issue from a completely different viewpoint – we ask “Which of the Hungers are holding you back from achieving your Weight Loss goal”. You may be surprised at the array of aspects that will arise from this unique investigation.
At this unique workshop, we discuss the 17 Hungers that impact our relationship with food, how we use food to change our mood, suppress past memories or feelings and impact our future behaviour. How the foods we crave are really just a way to trigger happy feelings. We hunger for something, and most of the time it’s not the food itself. Often we search in the dark for a solution. The Hungers turn on the light and help you play detective, delve deeper to uliminate, bring clarity, understanding and awareness to where the true issues are that surround weight, relationship to food and ultimately helping you achieve your goals.
= Psychological Hunger (Ego, Emotions, H/Self) Icecream debate
= Physiological Hunger (Cortisol, Insulin, Leptin, Ghrelin)
= Social Hunger (Buffets & BBQs)
= Eye Hunger (advertisement, priming)
= Nose Hunger (smell) = Ear Hunger (sound it makes)
= Mouth Hunger (texture)
= Stomach Hunger (rumble, serotonin, microbiome)
= Cellular Hunger (deficiency)
= Mind Hunger (beliefs, inner critic, inner rebel)
= Heart Hunger (self love, loss, bereavement)
= Relationship Hunger (separation, disconnection)
= Mother Hunger (nurture, inner child)
= Weather Hunger (winter, dark days)
= Air Hunger (Breath, Energy, Qi).
= Soul Hunger (spirit feeding the Soul)
= Past Hunger (famine, starvation)
Workshop : Saturday 20th January, 2018 : 12 till 4pm : £25
Contact Gill for further information
Metabolic Syndrome is when you health indicators are >greater or <lower than they should, sometime only just by a small degree can still create havoc. This is the body “alarm” or warning system - should the situation continue Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular poor health is likely.
Signs & Symptoms
- Hypertension > BP 130/85
- Pre-Diabetes > 5.8 Fasting Blood Glucose
- Low HDL (good cholesterol) < 50mg
- High Triglycerides >150mg
- Large Waist Circumference >35” women 40” men
- Overweight BMI > 25 - 29.9%
- BMI >30% = Obese
- Snoring, breathing difficulties, Sleep Apnea, hypoxia (known as Syndrome Z).
All this leads to inflammation, high total cholesterol, high blood pressure, tension in the body, insulin resistance, sleep issues like snoring, sleep apnea, hypoxia which can further increase cortisol stress levels, foot pain, nerve damage, tingling hands or feet, cold in the extremities, low body temperature, neck pain, headaches and penile dysfunction. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Metabolic Syndrome is much like fire-fighting, it can’t be put out with dieting alone. As there are many different sparks that ignite this metabolic disaster. It requires a multi-pronged approach to tackling and getting the fire under control, so that your metabolism works for you, instead of against you, by imbalancing your hormones.
Increasing good fats, omega 3 & 7, limiting Omega 6 and cutting out bad fats help reduce Leptin restistance and cholesterol levels. Exercise number one solution to improve HDL cholesterol levels as plant sterols reduce LDL. Vitamin D (sunlight) helps balance Thyroid and reduces inflammation. Inflammation is a result of excess insulin. Progesterone creams or natural herbs help reduce Estrogen dominance and balance estrogen and testosterone. Reduce stress levels will lower cortisol as will relaxing techniques like deep breathing, meditation, Tai-Chi Qigong or Yoga. Magnesium improves better sleep and supports the heart. Vitamin B’s especially B12 all help to support Serotonin which is produced in the gut. A healthy Microbiome (good bacteria v bad bacteria) helps gut stay healthy. Metabolic zone training will help keep your metabolic fire stable, improve temperature control, blood circulation and burn off excess glycogen stores in the body. Manage your insulin levels but cutting out refined sugars, reducing simple sugar in forms of carbohydrates and/or training at the right time in the right way so that we prime our body to burn insulin. In Kinesiology, TCM, acupuncture we support the organs connected to the endrocrine glands : liver, gallbladder, kidney, stomach, small intestines and spleen, lungs, heart.
In Kinesiology we have been talking extensively about the HUNGERS. These under the surface “Hungers” trigger cravings and increase appetite which lead to Leptin and Insulin resistance. There are 16 different hungers from psychological, physiological hunger, cellular hunger and stomach hunger just associated with metabolic syndrome and hormonal imbalancs. Two hormones are Leptin and ghrelin, they are big players in regulating appetite, which consequently influences body weight/fat. When we get hungrier, we tend to eat more. When we eat more, obviously, we maintain our body weight or gain that weight back.
Both leptin and ghrelin are peripheral signals with central effects. In other words, they’re secreted in other parts of the body (peripheral) but affect our brain (central). Leptin is secreted primarily in fat cells, as well as the stomach, heart, placenta, and skeletal muscle. Leptin decreases hunger. Ghrelin is secreted primarily in the lining of the stomach. Ghrelin increaseshunger. Both hormones respond to how well-fed you are; leptin usually also correlates to fat mass — the more fat you have, the more leptin you produce. Both hormones activate your hypothalamus.
Awareness is key. Don’t ignore the signs and symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome ? Are any of your 16 Hunger’s exasperating the situation? What can I do? Check out my facebook blogs over the coming weeks I will be adding articles tackling this multi-faceted condition. Attend my Health, Fitness & Kinesiology classes including Metabolic Workout, Fast Training or Yoga Nidra. Attend my next Hunger Workshop.
Let’s talk FASCIA. Chances are you may not have heard of it before. In that case, you may also not be aware of Gua-sha technique too.
Fascia is sometimes known as the “invisible second skin” or connective tissues. Fascia is the glue that keeps us together, without it we would not have a flexible structure. Fascia is a network defines as a sheet or band of fibrous connective tissue enveloping, separating, or binding us together under the surface of the skin that joins cartilage, ligaments, and soft tissue to bones in the body. It covers muscles and internal organs and allows our body to move. To get to a muscle, first you need to access the fascia layer. When fascia is functioning well it is supple, sponge-like but robust and helps us achieve full range of movement. When the fascia is constricted it acts more like rigid cement around an area in the body, often as a form of protection.
Fascia needs sufficient amounts of water to be hydrated, just like glue needs to be lubricated otherwise it drys rock hard. Fascia is a biological fabric within the body that needs to move, as we move the sponge like fascia absorbs water and is wrung out everytime via body movement such as exercise, yoga, foam rolling or Gua-Sha treatment.
Collagen is made up of amino acids or proteins needed by the body and especially essential for the fascia. All fascia is made up mostly of collagen, it is needed repair our connective tissue as well as create the connections and links from one part of the system to the other. Collagen can be obtain naturally through healthy diet including lean proteins in meats, cheese and diary. Many people are now turning vegetarian and vegan so may be lacking in essential collagen. We know that collagen prevents the fascial skin from having that wrinkled appearance. Collagen is needed at fascia level to, to prevent sub-wrinkling of the fibres. There are 25 amino acids, 20 of those are essential. Amino acids are the building blocks of life and we need them all equally balanced.
ROLE IT PLAYS
Fascia tears can be caused by sports injuries, repetitive trauma, car wrecks, postural distortions, falls, during childbirth, henever a muscle is impacted (contact sports, falls, abuse, etc) or overused / injured (lifting weights, running, over-training, heavy or repetitive jobs, etc), collagen microfibers form in between adjacent layers of fascia to bind them together so that the muscles can heal. These microfibers are sort of like nature’s internal cast. Typical fascia adhesion are frozen shoulders and plantar fasciitis. Any disruption or “micro-tearing” of individual collagen fibers caused by say, extreme head forward position due to repetitive weight on neck as we look down at our devices/iphones. This over time, may leads to fascial “scarring” and adhesion or restriction.
So just like if you broken a bone medically you would have a cast to protect the area whilst the bone heals, similarly as a form of protection the fascia can create these “casts” that do not automatically go away after the area has healed, and may even have a tendency to accumulate over time. This means that the elastic, collagen-based tissues get increasingly stiffer and less stretchy. More so as we age. Fascia is thought to be the most pain-sensitive tissue in the entire body.
MESSY HAIR METAPHOR
A good metaphor to best describe Fascial scarring and adhesion is in terms of hair. When our hair is well-manicured and manageable a comb or brush glides through the hair easily. Now think of the exact opposite. When the hair becomes tangled, it create “knotted hair balls” that are clumps or clustered hair strands instead of smooth long fibrous strands. Now try combing your hair when its messy, it pulls, tugs and hurts.
“Thixotropy” is a term used to describe the property of a fluid or gel to become less stiff and more fluid when under pressure or when warmed up. Stretching the body thru exercise or during massage when therapist applies pressure to manipulate fascia, it becomes more pliant and flexible, releasing adhesion and constriction. Injury, stress, and inactivity can affect the thixotropic nature of fascia, causing it to tighten. The Gua-Sha technique both strokes the fascia both untangling knots and warming and making the fascia more pliable.
Just like we can store knots, injuried muscles do not fully repair, over-protection the fascia can also lead to released stored emotions or trauma of the injury. Say you were in a car accident that created some tissue trauma, the fascia creates its own cast over that site as the body heals, but the mind also stores and remembers the incident (via smells, sounds, taste, sight, feelings), and can be trigger fears which can create repeated tension in the body. This information is stored and held in the fascia and can build up as tension over time. Ever skied down a mountain that is beyond your skill capability, and your quadriceps lock up in fear and go rigid in an attempt to keep you for falling down the mountain?
There are of course many ways to work with the fascia, from drinking plenty of water, eating a well balanced diet and increasing collagen levels, warming the body up before exercise or certain activity, stretching after, massage, Kinesiology to help release any stored trauma (myofascia release) and Gua-Sha, an ancient Traditonal Chinese Medicine method of self-massage.
Gua sha is known as skin scaping. Using a Gua-Sha smooth edged tool and apply massage oil, you scrape your skin with short or long strokes in a downward motion to stimulate microcirculation of the soft tissue, which increases blood flow, and untangles the fascia, and helps with circulation including Chi (Qi). Gua sha is one way to help restore circulation to the fascia and break up tension and tightness.
When there is stagnant energy or chi there is usually inflammation or pain, which can be a result of fascia adhesion. Inflammation is the underlying cause of several conditions associated with chronic pain. Rubbing the skin’s surface is thought to help break up this energy, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.
Gua sha may reduce inflammation, so it’s often used to treat ailments that cause chronic pain, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, as well as those that trigger muscle and joint pain. It has been used to release tension that create Migraine headaches, and prove effective for remedying chronic neck pain, or any stiffness or soreness after exercise. It has proven useful for breaking down scar tissue that prevents energy from flowing, as in C-section, and helps colds, flu and coughs.
Gua Sha is applied to skin that must be healthy and healed, so should be avoided over moles, pimples or open wounds or thinning skin or clients taking blood thinner medication.
Traditional in Chinese it scapes away pain, fever caused by cold winds. Traditional Chinese Medicine has long believed illnesses such as colds get trapped on the exterior of our bodies where they meet the “troops” of our immune system. Gua means to scrape or rub. Sha is a reddish skin rash with petechiae (looks like tiny blood spots) raised by the rubbing. This increase blood circulation to the area, and often disappears within a few minutes. However, the deeper the colour the more stagnation there is in the body, and so longer healing time. It can leave reddish blemishes on the skin which can last anything from 15 minutes to 72 hours, so bear in mind timing of a treatment on the neck/shoulders and wearing a low cut dress out for dinner. Drink plenty of water to help the process, and cover up the area to keep it warm.
No one really wants to think or talk about our private parts including the pelvic floor muscle. Why? Acknowledging wee leakage is not glamous, its embarrassing, implies an imperfection, or weakness and so it’s become a dirty, sensitive taboo topic, unless said in jest. “Don’t make me laugh or I’ll wee myself”…. Maybe this is the first sign you, your friend or client is having problems with their pelvic floor muscle.
Don’t ignore your Pelvic Floor because it’s not just about wee leakage (incontinence), feeling the need to go more frequently (Stress Urge), or painful unpleasurable sex (Vaginismus), Constipation or diarrhoea (IBS, IBD, Crohns, Diverticulitis), painful burning sensation when urinating (UTI’s), being super flexible (hypermobility), slow flow, difficult starting or dribble after urinating (enlarged Prostate) a constant bearing down feeling (types of Prolapse) its about health related quality of life, sexual and interpersonal relationships, psychological well being and social interactions.
Wee leakage is a ‘red flag’ a warning signal that all is not right. If you leak when you run, jump, skip or bounce, cough sneeze or laugh, when you play tennis, do boot camp type movements (plyometrics), bend and lift, push or pull something, when you dance or even just walking – this could be a sign that you should not ignore you pelvic floor.
Don’t be confused thinking its just a process of aging, or applies just to pregnancy and women, any-one can suffer with weak pelvic floor including body building men, fitness trainers or athletes and statistically appearing younger. In fact, statistics state that 1 in 3 people have some kind of pelvic/bladder issue and this number is probably higher as much goes unreported.
The pelvic floor is a complex but essential system of muscle, ligaments and nerves. The pelvic floor are like the “goddlocks effect” they should not be too tight or too saggy, but just neutral working properly to support the bladder, uterus and bowel. Too tight pelvic often seen in those that over train the Core may create pelvic pain and tension. The hammock is a great metaphor of this. Your pelvic floor is the foundation part of your core. So when you work your core really you should be incorporating into your training the pelvic too. Not just toning or contractions but stretching and relaxing too!
The pressure inside the abdomen and pelvis pushing down and causes pelvic floor weakness. It also pushing outwards contributing to diastasis recti and a weak core generally.
Diastasis recti is a natural part of pregnancy, but is also seen in obesity and over-drinking expansion of the belly.
TCM Acupuncture, Yoga and Tai-Chi Qigong all place much emphasis on being centered, awareness of our foundations of the Root Chakra, lower dantien and bladder/kidney energy Qi and diaphragmatic breathing techniques, engaging the Mulabandha, stretching, flexing and toning the fascia, tendors and ligaments. The ancient traditions seem to be more aware of the importance of the pelvic floor than modern man.
In Kinesiology, we focus on the digestive sphincter system of muscles, starting with the mouth (orbicularis oris), reflux, heart burn, indigestion symptoms of (the upper oesophageal sphincter), assimilation, mal-absorption, deficiency of vitamins and minerals, bacterial and microbial infection and microbiome health of (the ICV and Houston Valve), all the way down to the colon (the internal and external sphincters around the anal canal), and use muscle testing techniques to challenge the pelvic floor muscles.
There are many other sphincter type muscles within the body, including the eyes. A normal muscle, lets image the bicep or quadricep is a long muscle with fibres than run up/down length ways. Whereas, a Sphincter type muscle is a circular muscle that normally maintains constriction of a natural body passage or orifice and which relaxes as required by normal physiological function. We must not forget these muscles also react neurologically or psychologically --think Vagus Nerve that wanders all the way down to the perineum. Linked to the Stress Fight or Flight response and Rest/Digest response. We all have experienced nervous, anxiety or fearfulness that makes us go to the toilet.
Just a little bit of awareness, adding some simple exercises to your core routine or retraining your bladder may make all the difference to the Fitness of your Pelvic Floor. Don’t Ignore your Pelvic Floor. Over the coming weeks I will be adding a number of blogs on facebook highlighting the numerous different aspects, awareness and exercises to help improve the Fitness of your Pelvic Floor.
See : Women Wellness Workshop on Saturday 12th August.
Walking is something that we take for granted everyday. But do you realize that Walking is a complex movement especially if you break down all the joint positions and phases of Walking. It is complex, in so much as, if we don’t walk correctly -- much may go wrong.
Knee, hip and foot injury are definitely on the increase, could this be due to the fact that many of us are not walking correctly, effectively or efficiently?
I mean, who exactly taught you how to walk? Usually we begin crawling, progressing to navigating around furniture, until those first tentative steps into our parents waiting arms. Thereafter we are pretty much left to our own devices when it comes to developing the skill of walking.
Walking is a Core event. The core refers to four major muscle groups: The inner thighs, the pelvic floor, Psoas and the abdominals. The Psoas is the main engine of walking and when it is properly toned and aligned it allows the body to move with the most efficiency and ease. Without balance and tone in our Core, the Psoas won’t be free to function at its best. In previous classes and workshops we know that the Psoas has an associated with the Adrenals, to trauma and a place of stored tension.
The Pelvic Floor muscles are ignored during walking, but are under constant pressure of gravity and push down leading to prolapse. The pelvic floor acts like a hammock that supports your bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum. So when the pelvic floor is weak, all of these areas can't function as well as they should. The pelvic floor and walking are interlinked. The feet and the pelvic floor are related, and why you can’t really address one without the other. In Kinesiology, we call this The Kinetic Chain, a weakness in one link will have an effect on the whole chain.
The Psoas Major is one of the most important muscles of the body. It has a mechanical, physical, energetic and emotional connection. It helps keep the spine upright. It connects the upper and lower body, supports every step we take. More-so, on a pain level the Psoas is connected to pain, trauma and intimately connected to our fear response. Long-term fear can encourage over-use and tightness of the psoas muscle, leading to back pain.
The power of the psoas major is based on its placement. There are muscles that, when properly toned, allow the psoas to be perfectly positioned. When in this position the psoas provides powerful support for the spine all the way up to the head. In physics, pulleys are pretty simple systems designed to support movement and change of direction.
When the psoas major is in the proper position at the back of the inner thigh the bones of the lower back are pulled slightly forward. In response to this (reciprocal inhibition) the muscles of the spine, erector spinea lengthen up.
The other muscle that may create pain and disposition of walking muscles, is over tight, or over used gluteus Maximus – we are “tight arsed”. If we have a tight gluteus it pulls our hips into posterior tilt of the pelvis. However, if the gluteus maximus is too weak, we can have the opposite effect. Unstable pelvic bowl prevents the spine from being erect, if the spine is not erect it creates curvatures.
Lastly, the position of our feet is important for walking. If you turn out your feet as you walk, your ankles will collapse into an unstable position with every step. This is a mechanism for bunions and other foot and knee related problems. Working with open-foot torque to prevent arch collapse, duck or pigeon walking.
In this class & workshop we work with breaking down the phases of walking, and allow our bodies to align so we walk effectively without causing injury or misalignment. We assess and work with the Core, Psoas, Pelvic Floor and other muscles that are associated with allowing you body to work better so you move well.
Levels of Walking : Core Walking, Fitness Walking, Power Walking
and Chi Walking (relaxation).
Discover for yourself, what the Yoga community have already sourced and kept secret - The Peaceful and Gentle Practice of Yoga Nidra, otherwise known as Sleep Yoga.
Yoga nidra is becoming increasingly popular as both a form of meditation and a mind-body therapy. It is a systematic form of guided relaxation that typically is done for 35 to 40 minutes at a time, without any cultural dogma. Yoga Nidra can be found in non-traditional surroundings, introduced into different environments like helping soldiers recover PTSD, schools/students and University were exam pressure create stress, anxiety and tension in our young, Head Start/learning difficulty programs, hospitals, corporate companies, cardiac wards or hospices.
Yoga Nidra is normally conducted laying down position but can easily be modified to sit in a chair for those with mobility or disability issues, spinal or during stages of pregnancy. There is much research being done on the many benefits of Yoga Nidra and how it may improve various mental and physical health issues – it has a restorative and deeply relaxing effect on the body and mind. There is also research on how deep relaxation helps to balance chemistry and hormones – think physiological effects of menopause, adrenal stress, diabetes, high blood pressure, naturally improving mood neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and melatonin.
A usual session around 35-40 minutes however for those in a busy stressful corporate setting, it can be adapted to shorter 10 minute sessions.
The more relaxed we are, the better we perform, and the more productive we are. When we are stressed we trigger the fight/flight syndrome and stress is linked to many diseases and illness. When we are relaxed we are better able to rest, recover, release tension, digest and sleep. In addition, the immune system can be strengthened, a healing response boosted and chronic pain lessened. The delta sleep also releases anti-aging chemicals. During tests the measurements of the brain’s activity (EEG) indicated that the subjects were in a deeply relaxed state, similar to that of sleep, during the whole Yoga Nidra.
Neurologically, the study of meditation on the brain, and the neural pathways how mindfulness can improve cognitive awareness, our ability to learn, recall information, memory and maintaining attention and improve brain/body integration. We are after all, electrical beings, much of the nervous system communication signals is via electric impulse to the brain, spine, nervous system and peripheral organs. As we learn to withdraw external stimuli we reduce and calm internal stimuli. Yoga Nidra targets our frontal cortex, hippocampus, and moderates the amygdala, an area of the brain that determines if we feel safe, it perceives information and experiences that triggers our fear’s and anxieties.
Yoga Nidra is a deeply restorative guided meditation with four stages of sleep. The sleep stages start with the waking stage (beta), moving to the dreaming experience (alpha), through the deeper meditation stage (theta), and finally attaining the complete disconnection from personality and fears where there is a conscious awareness of nothing (delta). Slowly stepping down through the different brainwave states to delta or even Theta. This is somewhat similar to sleep, but you are conscious as you drop into these states. By engaging in different body, and breath awareness techniques, this practice allows the body to deeply relax, releasing tension and tightness physically, emotionally and energetically. Just 45 min of yoga nidra = 3 hours of deep sleep.
No experience is necessary
You can’t do this wrong!
Simply, easy, gentle but effective
This all results in being better able to control our emotions. In the fast pace lifestyle we all lead, its important to take time out to quieten the mind, reduce stress levels, release tension and make us less reactive and more mindful about our choices. You will definitely find Yoga Nidra in the Yoga and Fitness studios but who knows may be we’ll be seeing Yoga Nidra appearing in schools, hospitals and in the workplace soon.
Did you know that there is a direct link between cholesterol and menopause?
Cholesterol levels increase as we age, in both men and women. For women, however, the change is striking at the time of menopause making the link between cholesterol and menopause an important factor. It is most important that you keep your eye on your cholesterol levels both during the perimenopausal, the phase leading up to menopause (actual menopause taking place when you have not had a period for 12 months) and even more so after menopause. Once your estrogen levels start to decrease your HDL (good) cholesterol lowers at this time, it is this alteration in the quality of HDL that increases the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
When you are in the transitional phase of perimenopause you may gain weight. Before your estrogen levels started to decrease, any weight gain would have been around your hips and thighs (pear shape). When your estrogen levels start to decrease leading up to and following menopause, you will tend to gain weight around your middle, abdomen area (apple shape). It is this shift of weight (body fat) distribution that activates increases in both your LDL (bad) and HDL (good) cholesterol – leaving you with an elevated risk of developing heart problems. This is why it is so important that we understand the relationship between cholesterol and menopause.
The good, the bad and the ugly aspest of Cholesterol ;
HDL, the good : extracts cholesterol from artery walls and bloodstrem, returns it back to the Liver. HDL helps reduce LDL levels by reducing, reusing and recycling LDL. Which is then used by the Liver to produce Bile that helps to breakdown fats and lipids.
LDL, the bad : the higher the level of LDL comprised of a waxy sticky substances that glues itself to artery walls lead to agreater chance of developing heart disease such as stroke and heart attack.
Triglycerides, the ugly : Triglyceride is a fat in your blood that is stored in your body. These fats come from foods that we eat. Our body can also make these fats from starchy or sugary foods. When food is eaten and not used for energy then it is changed to triglyceride and stored in fat cells. So if our body only needs 1,500 calories to maintain daily functionality, any extra intake of calories are then stored as fat. The best way to reduce Triglycerides is to burn the excess fat as energy, exercise, or manage your calories intake based on your body’s daily requirement.
Lysine is essential for improving serotonin levels, reducing anxiety in times of stress, the prevention and treatment of herpes infection/virus known as cold sores (can trigger a migraine headache attack and/or a Shingle outbreak) which are often a sign of high stress levels. Increases intestinal absorption of calcium and eliminates its excretion via the kidneys so may be helpful in Osteoporosis. Helps improve muscle mass, lowering glucose and we need amino acids including Lysine to help produce collagen for skin, hair and connective tissues. Very low Lysine levels may impact our ability to become pregnant. Very high Lysine levels may lead to person developing gallbladder stones, nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea and digestion issues.
Chances are if you frequently experience cold sores around the mouth, shingles, migraines, high stress levels or anxiety you may have low levels of Lysine.
Herpes Virus is a common affliction 1 in 3 people will have it in some form and its easily transmittable. Transference if you share or drink from same cup or dirty glass used by an infected person, kissing or via sexual intercourse. Epstein Barr Virus is known as the kissing disease. Avoid drinking out of plastic cups, use a straw especially prevalent in large hotel complexes, bars or clubs. Herpes is not curable but it can be managed. The herpes family consists of different types of Herpes infections and they seem to have a direct impact on the nervous system, the virus enters peripheral sensory nerves and migrates along axons to sensory nerve ganglia in the CNS - hence managing to escape the host's immune response. There are over 100 strains and variants of the herpes virus, here are the more common ones.
Herpes Simplex Virus 1 – Cold sores on lips or inside gums, eye infections.
Herpes Simplex Virus 2 - Genital herpes
VZV Herpes Varicella-zoster – Chicken Pox (Varicella) Shingles (Zoster)
EBV Epstein Barr Virus – Glandular fever, linked to hepatitis C, Lupus and Thyroiditis issues
HPV Human Papillomavirus – linked with Cervical smears and cancer
CMV Cytomegalovirus -- linked to retinitis, hepatitis, gastrointestinal colitis and inflammation bowel, pneumonia, or encephalitis
L-Lysine is an amino acid that may help reduce or prevent the effects of some of these herpes virus infections. Amino acids are the protein building blocks for life, some amino acids are essential, Lysine being one of them. Unfortunately, the body does not manufacture Lysine so we need to consume it via our daily food intakes. Lysine can be obtained naturally via beans, peas, lentils, avocado, cheese, yogurt, fish, milk, brewer's yeast, wheat germ, and other animal proteins. The bioavailability of lysine is reduced with food preparation methods, such as heating foods in the presence of a sugar, and Lysine is counteracted by eating an excess of Arginine foods. Ideally we require a ratio of high lysine and low arginine foods, a handful of peanuts maybe enough to put the lysine arginine ratio out of balance.
Example ; Marmite on toast (high lysine) v Peanut butter on toast (high arginine) foods.
To combat the impact of herpes virus, Lysine should be taken in higher doses to help prevent severity of symptoms and then reduced, watch what foods you eat that may be triggering a herpes episode and manage stress levels. When we feed the herpes virus with their favoured foods they excrete neurotoxins, which disrupt nerve function and confuse a persons immune system. So Lupus for example is the body having an allergic reaction to EBV’s neurotoxins. To remove neurotoxins a full body detox may be required.
During a herpes virus outbreak eat more apples, pears, fish, lamb which are high in lysine, keep system alkaline with lots of fruit and vegetables. Wild blueberries, celery, spinach, parsley, coconut oil, garlic, ginger, raspberries, pomegranates, kale and fennel. Zinc, Vit B12, C, Selenium, Magnesium and MSM. Herbs : Licorice root, Lemon Balm (Melissa essential oil), Nettle Leaf, Spirulina, Curcumin, Lobelia.
Avoid caffeine or acidic foods, peanuts, orange juice, watermelon, chocolate, junk food, sweetners that are high in arginine.
The qualities of an enlightened person is happy joyful, peaceful and serene because they lack fear, and are free of worry as they understand that freedom from suffering comes from within, loving, kind and compassionate, yet remain spiritually open to everyone, emotionally stable as the ego no longer needs validation for its existence, is patient and understanding as realizes how ignorance creates our own suffering and doesn’t condemn others for their missteps or mistakes, humble as has nothing to prove and their nature allows them to be kind, gentle and open, sees the world with great clarity, without attachment to people, places or things, leads by example rather than by control, takes good care of the health of their own body, mind and soul and constantly walks the path on their own spiritual journey, is willing to let go of old views, beliefs, patterns and practices peacefulness with commitment and dedication.
These are fundamental philosophy’s that determine our psychological relationship balance to others and to ourself. Interestingly, we can be in all three states at any given time.
Detachment Pulling away, withdrawal, isolating oneself from family or communities, or from the truth, denial, being secretive. We all know someone either a friend or family member that has withdrawn, doesn’t join in, isn’t part of the group or the dynamics of the family, the loner. Detaching is often associated with depression, PTSD, dementia and strongly with addiction, or if in any sort of pain that leaves that person feeling detached emotional, physically, mentally and spiritually from others – they have lost connection, become separated from source. It is a clear sign to be aware that something may not be quite alright with that person, in as much they may be depressed.
Attachment Clinging to things or others, cords, overly connected to the point of dependency, strong bonds to another whether physically (like a baby to a mother), emotionally, spiritually or financially, and energetically. We know when we have an energetic attachment, because we feel drained of our life force. Dysfunctional relationships are a form of attachment, when one partner becomes completely co-dependent on the other, this is not Love. Attachment is linked to desire, must have power or money, when we desire materialism to bring us happiness, contentment or fulfillment, this is not real in so much as external items do not bring happiness, and may lead to detachment. Attachment is having an expectation of some result. Attachment is the root of all suffering.
Non-attachment Freedom, compassion, holding space for others, being your best without worrying about the results. We are able to let go of things without having to replace them with something else. When we are able to practice non-attachment we are then able to conquer the mind. Until then, the mind is in full control to feel fear, resentment and anger. Non-attachment is when we are able to let go, and just be. Non-attachment is a skill an art form that leads to enlightenment.
How do we move from detachment/attachment to non-attachment? Its not easy, attachment is so ingrained in our culture that we take it as a normal way to relate, it begins at childbirth. How? One realization at a time….. Many Buddhist meditation seek the neutral state of being, sometimes known as point zero, or empty state. Empty does not mean devoid, uncaring or selfish, but instead there is no polarity. We are not happy or unhappy, not mad or glad, hot or cold, hungry or full, not losing or gaining, just being neutral. Often we can find this state naturally when we do something we enjoy like painting, dancing, walking in nature, the very simple things in life. Paradoxically, energetically we are all inter-connected anyway, so there is no need for us to be attached!
Water is an absolutely amazing substance and can give us a really amazing metaphor for life. Considering it covers over 75% of the earth, makes up 70-80% of your body and used by every cell, vital for survival and growth, it may very well be the root of life experience and the qualities of water transcend beyond our physical experience.
The Water Element relates to the season of Winter, Kidney/Bladder Meridians. You may notice this website design is heavily influenced by water and its meaning, and is even incorporated into the name Tranquil-waves-of-motion. In the Tao Te Ching, it refers to Change your Thoughts Change Your Mind, energy and emotions as waves as a reference to the qualities of water. For more information see The Five Elements : Water.
Be Still: In a world of digital/information overload, quieting the mind, and doing absolutely nothing is challenging these days. Yet, the health and mental benefits of being still and quieting the mind have been written about and explored endlessly. Being still and calm is essential for calming the nervous system. Often we resist this stillness as it brings up feelings, senses and emotions we wish to avoid. Meditation helps us learn to be still and calm.
Be flexible: water has unparalleled ability of flexibility. It can form the shape of any container. Will freeze into ice-cubes, heat into steam, and evaporate back up to the clouds and return in the form of rain droplets. Water has the ability to take multiple forms. If mother nature decides that it’s time for wind, water has an amazing ability to embrace the winds of change. When we are not flexible we do not embrace change instead it provokes fear, rigidness and stubbornness to move forward.
Be Patient: over time water has the ability to break down massive rock formations, seep into places thought not possible, and dissolve things over millions of years. Talk about patience (the grand canyon was formed over 5-6 million years). When we have patience we have the ability to wait for things to happen instead of demanding instant gratification. “with Infinite patience brings immediate results.”
Be Melting: Ice can be destructive, unmoveable, unstoppable and hard. Just as an iceberg represents the conscious/unconscious mind, much is held below the surface, it also can create frozen shoulders deep tension within the body that feels as hard as ice, that requires the melting of emotions to help de-thaw and melt away worries of deeply held fears.
Be Intelligent: Water molecules have an intelligence to form crystalline structures, formed into perfect snowflake patterns. Water has the ability to hold information, “water stamped with positive words is far more symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing than that stamped with dark, negative phrases”. Just like sound vibration can create patterns with sand, so can water be influenced by words.
Be Mindful : Water can be dynamic creating huge waves. We often let our emotions guide our daily lives and/or impact our entire lives, if we’re not mindful. Emotions are often described as waves, and when we are mindful we are able to ride and surf the waves with ease. However, if we become overwhelmed it can feel like the churning and then dumped effect of a breaking wave, creating confusion and not being able to catch our breathe. Mindfulness helps us achieve an emotional state much like a still reflective lake.
Be in the Flow : Ice melts from the snowcaps, turns into waterfalls and streams that flow into rivers back to the Oceans. This is a metaphor for how the acupuncture meridian system works. Energy free flowing back to Source. Often we have blockages within the body/mind that prevent this flow, when we do this we hold onto the riverbank and resist the flow, holding on creates fears and uses excess energy leaving us drained. If we release, let go of the bank, we move with ease into the flow of life.
Many of us
suffer the disease
of “Being Busy”.
“how’s it going”?
we reply “I'm so
We all live in a fast paced digital world, many are working
parents, with our 9-5 jobs and then we start our 5-9 home
jobs. Everyone seems to have something to do, a place to
be, a person to see. Even the kids nowadays have to schedule
play dates or fill their evenings with hobbies, sports and
homework or study for exams.
From the moment we wake up to the moment we lay down, the mind is occupied with plans, deadlines, study references and so forth. Even when we try to wind down, the mind is never still; We are planning for the next day or rewinding the day to make sure there’s nothing left to do. Many of us feel we have no choice, we struggle to keep on top of things, for some boredom is a more stressful option, we don’t like our own company, we have forgotten there is an off-button, or keeping busy becomes a coping mechanism to avoid feeling and experiencing life, by keeping ourselves too busy to think.
The busy scale can range from frazzled to busy, running around like headless chicken, to insanely busy to completely overwhelmed, to in bed with a migraine or flu. Although not officially named there are thought to be two types of busy disease :
Busyness without control : ecomonic in nature.
Busyness with control : “self-created stress”, creating worrying where none exists.
Under these circumstances it’s no wonder many struggle to sleep, have headaches, feel tired, run down, immune issues, fatigued or exhausted not just of mind - but of the heart too. The disease of being busy, may lead to disease of body and mind, symptoms may include fatigue, irritability, insomnia, anxiety, headaches, heartburn, bowel disturbances, back pain, and weight gain.
When we are too busy we leave no space for mindfulness, being present in the moment. When we are being busy we are “humans doing” instead of “human being”. I love that phrase! Often we define ourselves by how busy we are, how many facebook friends we have, our schedule, rather than defined by just by being.
What is being? Being Present is what you experience when you are completely at peace with this very moment. It is a journey where you take intense personal responsibility for every choice you make in life.
So how can we cure Being Busy Disease?
So the next time someone asks, “how’s it going”? instead you can say, “I’m well thank you”.
I love my planet but moreso I have an affinity with the Ocean as you will notice from my website design and metaphors.
Like you, I can not express how happy and relaxed, and recall all my most wonderful experiences of being near or under the ocean. Did you know that our beautiful oceans are being damaged by plastic microbeads contained in everyday beauty products?
That 90% of ocean surface water samples, study which collected for ASC’s Microplastics project, were contaminated by these tiny plastics that float on the ocean surface and are being mistakenly consumed by ocean wildlife as food sources, which has led to increased public resistance to their use.
Also there is a possibility that we are consuming these fish and sealife that are consuming these plastics and therefore indirectly ingesting the plastics our self. They contain a whole host of carcinogenic, neurotoxic, and hormone-disruptive chemicals which have been linked to health conditions like cancer, endometriosis, neurological damage, endocrine disruption, birth defects and child developmental disorders, reproductive damage, immune damage, asthma, and multiple organ damage. The waste products of plastic production inevitably find their way into our ecology through rivers, oceans, land and air pollution.
Most of these beauty products are advertised with the words “scrub” or “exfoliating” or state on the ingredients list “polyethylene” and “polypropylene”. Both are just types of plastic.
If you want to help the planet and stay more healthy, instead choose products that are biodegradable and filterable products like jojoba beads, vitamin C paste and volcanic minerals. There are many eco-friendly, organic companies that are producing safe and effective beauty care products, why not try as an alternative SKN-RG Super Rich Micro Exfoliant treatment Crème which only contains natural and organic products and uses joboba beads that help exfoliant but degrade into natural oils absorbed by the skin, or check out the SKN-RG Advanced range now contains Ultra Fine Pumice.
Here in the UK we struggle throughout the winter months to obtain sufficient natural sources of Vitamin D, and sometimes we may need to supplement or consume Vitamin D rich foods like salmon, tuna, eggs and mushrooms.
Therefore in the summer we should make the most of high sun and levels of Vitamin D high above us. On average we safely need 15 minutes per day.
Low levels of vitamin D have been shown through research to enable “disease progression”. The “paradox” is too high dosages of sun may cause cancer but Vitamin D is also being used in more natural cancer treatment plans, and part of prevention measures, by addressing deficiency.
Vitamin D is vital for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorus. Symptoms of deficiency of Vitamin D levels may include : pain in bones, overall weak, immune support, mood, calcium metabolism and maintenance of the circadian rhythms linked to poor sleep, maintaining calcium levels to prevent mental confusion, heart rhythm problems and kidney stones.
Most people who have a neurologic problem such as headache, tremour, balance difficulties, vertigo, burning in the feet, depression, body pain, stroke, or memory loss also have abnormal sleep patterns. Surprisingly, fixing the sleep can often fix the neurologic problem it was concluded that those with abnormal sleep had vitamin deficiency, a combination of both vitamin D and B vitamin deficiencies.
Our immune cells contain receptors for vitamin D. Vitamin D seems to prevents prolonged or excessive inflammatory response which is linked to many autoimmune disorders: multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel disorders, hypertension and psoriasis.
Research have found that the vitamin D receptor is a key player amid the gut bacteria. It looks at how bad bacteria might play a role in the development of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulceractive colitis. The work complements studies suggesting that Salmonella infection can increase the risk of inflammatory bowel disease. Vitamin D deficiency is a known factor in the pathology of inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer. These vitamin D receptor plays a key role in defending the body from assault by Salmonella and squelching inflammation – Microbiome workshop!
Sunlight is also known as God’s natural vitamin and is known as yang energy. Vitamin D is only one of the many gifts that are supplied to humanity via the rays from your sun that feeds and nourishes the chakra system.
The human microbiome of the gut is very much like the eco-system of a beautiful coral reef. Full of diversity of flora and species all living together in harmony in one happy, symbiotic, thriving relationship with each other and the environment. When our internal eco-systems are out of balance, that is reflected in our health, mental and psychological well being.
How long do you spend daily looking at your mobile phone texting, on facebook, twitter or searching the internet?
For most of us it’s too long. You may be interested to discover this is placing a huge pressure on your neck/spine as a result you may be creating many of the following health conditions :
If you suffer from any of these, you may not realize the root problem is this extreme Forward Head Posture. Forward Head Posture or FHP affects nearly everybody, yet hardly anyone understands the serious long-term physical and mental damage it can cause. From the diagram you will notice that each position in degrees we place our head in, equal to the lbs of weight of pressure on the spine.
The sternocleidomastoid is the most important muscle in your neck that dictates just how strong and healthy our posture and well-being is. When the sternocleidomastoid muscle is strong and supple, the head sits perfectly situated upon your neck. The body follows the head. When your head is properly aligned as it should be the rest of the spine falls into place.
Unfortunately to my own detriment, fallen victim of FHP due to a prolonged period of studying, 5 years with my head in books, research on my laptop/computer and of course texting created pressure on my cervical discs that has left me with a right pain in the neck, trapped nerve, deferred pain down the arm, dizziness, snoring and sinus issues caused by degenerative disc damage. As a Fitness Instructor and Kinesiologist I was completely unaware of how FHP may be causing long term health implications of doing what most of us now take for granted as a normal position to place ourselves in.
By ignoring FHP you may be damaging your posture beyond repair. But now that you know this, you have the choice to be able to do something about it……
Recovery from FHP requires a combination of corrective exercises and other kinesiology techniques to open up and release the neck while activating other muscles so you can return to a balanced state with proper movement in the neck. Literally you may have to “unwind” the right muscles one-by-one in the right order to really target them, reprogram your posture and add some nutritional suggestions that help structurally support and prevent discs from degenerating further.
The Number One thing you can do right now to prevent or adjust FHP is to be 100% aware of how you hold your technical devices in relation to the position of the head. Aim to keep your head positioned stacked up in a NEUTRAL position see above, ears remain aligned to shoulders, shoulders to hips in one straight line.
Or look out for my workshop specifically targeting this condition and offering effective exercise techniques and program to address FHP!
Preventative health is when we are actively doing something positive to prevent something from taking place.
On the Nhs website and highlighted in the news recently it states that diabetes is quickly becoming an epidemic of our times.
“The number of adults with diabetes is expected to rise, with 1 in 3 adults in England 'on cusp' of diabetes," and studies estimated that 35.3% of adults in the UK now have prediabetes (also known as borderline diabetes), possible without them evening knowing it” and that these rates have increased over the years from 11.6% in 2003 to
Prediabetes is where blood sugar levels are abnormally high, but lower than the threshold for diagnosing diabetes. So maintaining our blood sugar levels is vital to preventing the prediabetes status or from it developing into type II diabetes. Maybe the reason why prediabetes in on the rise, obviously we are consuming more sugary foods, and more unhealthy fats, doing less exercise, stress increases adrenal stress but also maybe because prediabetes has “silent” symptoms.
The body is not sending out the normal alert signals that something is not right, or if there are signs they are very subtle like a little fatigue, 5lb that just won’t shift, a bruise that is taking longer to heal, blurry vision, thirst, recurring infections like UTI’s urinary tract or bladder infections or urinating more frequently, immune compromised spleen over or under energy, darken areas or patches of skin, neuropathy nerve pain anywhere but mainly neck, shoulders, elbow and hands, or likewise sciatic pain, numbness down the leg or foot, can also be linked to high blood sugar levels.
By making some simply lifestyle changes we may be able to prevent pre-diabetes levels turning into Type II Diabetes.
Normal 4.0 to 5.9mmol/L Type I diabetes 4 to 7 mmol/L Type II 4 to 7 mmol/L
Over the coming month or so I will be introducing recommended nutrition that may help stabilize blood sugar levels, and exercises that support the Adrenals and pancreas and helps us become more tolerant of insulin
I have been monitoring my own levels daily, testing different foods that spike the early morning blood glucose tests results, a blood test known as A1c and address the topic of Insulin Resistance, and Metabolic syndromes that affect our health, nerves and may lead to neuropathy (nerve damage), inflammation diseases, cholesterol and blood pressure.
What is insulin resistance?
Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body produces insulin but does not use it effectively. When people have insulin resistance, glucose builds up in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells, leading to type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.
The main cause of insulin resistance is physical inactivity and stress. Other causes of insulin resistance may include ethnicity; certain diseases; hormones; steroid use; some medications; older age; sleep problems, especially sleep apnea; and cigarette smoking.
Standing in wuji is the ideal posture to help you sense the flow of qi. Use your breathing as a point of mental focus. Use this time as a short meditation to calm your mind, relax and prepare the body for Tai Chi movement. As you stand, let your mind follow your breathing. When your mind wanders, bring it back to your breathing. From a place of emptiness, calm mind we are better able to sense the flow of qi.
Begin with your feet apart about the width of your hips or shoulders. Gently rock back and forth and side to side to feel the weight shift. Be aware of the balance points between your heel, big toe and ball of foot known as bubbling springs or KD1, that allows us to be grounded connected to the earth, and to stand tall like a tree.
Relax your entire body and loosen all your joints, known as the “gates” or Qi Men. Be sure that your knees are not locked, they are slightly bent, open and soft. Adjust your posture so that your weight is supported equally on both feet, and your skeleton sits in alignment. Look forward and relax your eyes with a soft gaze without focusing on anything. Relax your jaw, neck, and decompress the shoulders, and all the other places where you build up tension during the day. Relax your arms and hands, allowing them to hang loosely at your sides. Creating soft spaces between or under the armpits, groin and throat. Gradually allow your breath to deepen, expand your diaphragm and open the lungs.
To stand in wuji for a few moments every day - seems very simple, but it can be very difficult the first few times you try this. This is the foundation to many forms of Tai-Chi and helps to balance the yin and yang as you become more aware of the connection between your body, mind and improves the flow of Qi.
We think of the Gut, or digestive system as being in the abdomen. And it’s sole role is one of digestion; absorption of nutrients from food and expulsion of waste.
The Gut is so more complex than that and we wonder why we all experience issues with the health of the Gut. Anything from allergies, intolerances, sensitivity, digestive disease, inflammation, pH imbalances, food craving, poor flora balance, immune responses, GI tract issues such as IBS, Crohn’s disease or Reflux.
A properly functioning digestive system (gut) is critical to good health. In fact, 60-80% of our immune system is located in our gut, and 90% of our neurotransmitters (chemicals responsible for regulating mood) such as serotonin are made in our gut. Problems in our gastrointestinal (GI) tract can cause more than just stomach pain, gas, bloating or diarrhoea; they can be the root cause of many chronic health problems. Gut imbalances have been linked to hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and hashimotos thyroiditis, diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, eczema and rosacea…………. just to name a few.
The Gut – The Second Brain
Your body contains a separate nervous system that is so complex it has been dubbed the second brain. It comprises an estimated 500 million neurons and is around 9 metres long, stretching from your oesophagus to your anus. It is this brain that could be responsible for food craving when we are under stress for crisps, chocolate or other sugary foods.
Embedded in the wall of the gut, the enteric nervous system (ENS) has long been known to control digestion. Now it seems it also plays an important role in our physical and mental well-being. It can work both independently of and in conjunction with the brain in your head and, although you may not be conscious of your gut “thinking”, the ENS helps you sense environmental threats, and then influences your response. “A lot of the information that the gut sends to the brain affects well-being, and doesn’t even come to consciousness,” says Michael Gershon at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Centre, New York.
Bio-chemistry and hormones of the gut
What are these neurotransmitters doing in the gut? In the brain, dopamine is a signalling molecule associated with pleasure and the reward system. It acts as a signalling molecule in the gut too, transmitting messages between neurons that coordinate the contraction of muscles in the colon, for example. Also transmitting signals in the ENS is serotonin - best known as the “feel-good” molecule involved in preventing depression and regulating sleep, appetite and body temperature. But its influence stretches far beyond that. Serotonin produced in the gut gets into the blood, where it is involved in repairing damaged cells in the liver and lungs.
Such gut to brain signals may also explain why fatty foods make us feel good. When ingested, fatty acids are detected by cell receptors in the lining of the gut, which send nerve signals to the brain.
Sympathetic Nervous system v Parasympathetic Nervous System
Evidence of links between the two brains in our response to stress. The feeling of “butterflies” in your stomach is the result of blood being diverted away from it to your muscles as part of the fight or flight response instigated by the brain. However, stress also leads the gut to increase its production of ghrelin a hormone that, as well as making you feel more hungry, reduces anxiety and depression.
Many of the functions of the digestive system are governed by the parasympathetic arm of the autonomic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system governs renewal, rest and digestion. The parasympathetic input to the second brain is via the the longest and biggest nerve in the body: the vagus nerve.
The Gut’s own Ecosystem
Bacteria play an important role in the ecology of our body. In health the balance will be maintained between our bacterial populations and our own cells, but stress, toxins and diet can all alter the ecology rapidly as bacteria multiply every 20 minutes or so.
There are 100,000 billion of these bacteria in our guts, where they play a crucial role in our health by helping to break down food and convert it into energy, and by excluding bacteria that are harmful to us. We think of our bodies as our own, but actually only a tenth of our cells are human. The rest are all hitch-hikers, mainly harmless bacteria that have evolved with us. Bacteria that we call "good" helps us digest our food and protects us from bad bacteria that can make us sick or even kill us.
Bacteria also act as “tuning forks” for our body’s immune system, making sure it’s pitched just right. The immune system shouldn’t be too sensitive or too sluggish: it needs to respond quickly to an infection but it shouldn’t over-react. If it does over-react and attacks the body itself, the result is an autoimmune disease. Each person has a personalized collection of bacteria, called the microbiome.
We acquire our first bacteria while being born, and every day our environment exposes us to more. Some of these bacteria will take up residence inside the body and help develop a robust immune system. Good Bacteria help protect the cells in your intestines from invading pathogens and also promote repair of damaged tissue. Most importantly, by having good bacteria in your body, bad bacteria don’t get a chance to grow and cause disease.
List of bad bacteria that can hide for years in the gut environment include : Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Listeria, Bacilli, Legionella, E.Coli. Also well as bacteria the gut has to fight other invaders like fungus overgrowth like Candida and viruses like the norovirus. Infections like Helicobacter pylori (commonly just called H. pylori) is a germ (bacterium). It can infect the lining of the stomach and duodenum (the first part of the intestine). Over half the world's population has it. The exact way H. pylori causes ulcers in some infected people is not totally clear. Your stomach normally produces acid to help with the digestion of food and to kill bacteria. This acid is corrosive.
Anti-biotics and the Gut
Low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria) has been well investigated, includes its connection to those with suspected gluten sensitivity. Hydrochloric acid is necessary to breakdown proteins together with the enzyme pepsin. Hydrochloric acid levels decrease with age, leading to low or no acid secretion. Low acid is an unstable environment for B12 and intrinsic factor, healthy bacteria that adds natural digestion. Low stomach acid symptoms : Feeling uncomfortable with bloating or feeling sick after eating, Belching, burping and gassiness in the upper abdomen after meals, Full too long after meals, Food backs up/indigestion, Constipation, Diarrhoea with undigested food in stools, Nausea after taking supplements, Bad breath, Food allergies, Itching around the rectum, Dilated blood vessels in the cheeks and nose, Iron deficiency, Mineral deficiencies, Folic acid and vitamin C deficiency, Abnormal gut flora (microbe population), Chronic intestinal parasites, Chronic candida (yeast) infections.
When the pH imbalance scale is tipped too much to pH balance of say 3.0 – 6.5 this is known as Acidicity. A gut that is too Acidic is known as Acidosis, Acid Reflex or GERD. Symptoms may include but are not limited to heart burn, acid reflux, indigestion, regurgitation of sour bitter taste in mouth, weight gain, difficulty losing weight, poor metabolism, mineral deficiencies, constipation, fatigue, brain fog, frequent urination, hypogycemia, hormonal imbalances, sore muscles and the list goes on…
Some of the contributory factors that increase our acidic-ness includes Stress, Environmental pollution, not enough to too much exercise (without oxygen) and the most important factor, diet. The more acid forming foods we eat like drinking alcohol, eating rich spicy foods, and also smoking and being overwhelmed by toxic emotions the more acidic we become. Over-acidification (Acidosis) of the body cells, which will interrupt cellular activities and functions. It is a major root of sickness and disease. Having our cells constantly exposed to an acidic environment leads to chronic acidosis and finally various forms of disease such as cancer.
Solar Plexus – Seat of Emotions
Just like the brain in the skull, the brain in your intestines is able to learn, remember, and produce emotion-based feelings. So the expression 'gut-feelings' actually has basis in this fact. The ancient traditions all speak of the seat of the being as rooted in the solar plexus chakra or Dan Tian in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and we know that our gut feelings rarely serve us badly. Whilst your solar plexus governs the processes of digestion, it also reacts to and digests your inward and outward 'realities'. Many of us feel from the gut for example - If you ever had a gut-wrenching experience? Do certain situations like exams, interviews, presenting, fear of water or heights make you “feel nauseous”? Have you ever felt “butterflies” in your stomach with anticipation or excitement? We use these expressions for a reason. The gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotion. Anger, anxiety, sadness, elation — all of these feelings (and others) can trigger symptoms in the gut.
Is there really such a thing? Most in the medical profession disagree with the term leaky gut syndrome although they
do agree that damage may occur to the permeability of the gut lining (the barrier between the gut and the rest of the body). The role of the Villi : Digested food molecules are absorbed in the small
intestine. This means that they pass through the wall of the small intestine and into our bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, the digested food molecules are carried around the body to where they are needed. Only small, soluble substances can pass across the wall
of the small intestine – lack of permeability means more and large molecules get through. The inside wall of the small intestine is thin, with a large
surface area. This allows absorption to happen quickly and efficiently. To get a big surface area, the inside wall of the small intestine is lined
with tiny villi. These microscopic structures that are supposed to look something like the thousands of waving tentacles on a sea anemone, and instead of
seeing individual little fingerlike projections, they will look at though they have become flattened or ‘atrophied’. Atrophed or flattened villi can lead to lack of absorption, deficiencies,
weight loss as those seen in Celiac disease.
The Gut when overproduction of candida can break down the wall of the intestine and penetrate the bloodstream — releasing toxic by-products into your body and causing leaky gut. This can lead to many different health problems, from digestive issues to depression.
In Kinesiology, we use muscle testing techniques to ascertain if there is a stress pattern associated to the health of the gut, some of these areas are known as ICV, parasites, candida, leaky gut, allergy, intolerances, ph balance, alkalinity, HCL, Stress or emotional aspects, solar plexus chakra and for any nutritional deficiencies.
Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Ataxia, hypoxia, clumsy, disorganized uncoordinated, lack of balance, brain hemisphere dominance, visual, hearing and language is stressful.
Ever walked into a room, completely forgetting what you came in for?
Go to place a cup on a table and misjudge the surface and spill your drink?
Write down a telephone number only to ask the person to repeat it again. Difficulty spelling the most simplest of words, who how are our. Have tripped over or repeatedly turn your ankle. Go into a shop for 4 items, and come out without the item you most needed. Catch yourself on corners of tables or walk into edges of doors.
Sometimes I am unable to remember a clients name but can remember every injury or body misalignment the client has.
Switching (Neurological Disorganization) can be compared to an electrical problem in the nervous system. The signalling
within the nervous system has gotten reversed in one or more of the three dimensions. The most common type of switching is right-left switching. If we compare this to a direct current electrical
system (like in a car), right-left switching is like a reversal of electrical polarity. Where you should find a positive polarity, you find negative instead.
Everyone with learning difficulties or coordination difficulties has (at least most of the time) right-left switching.
This is called dyslexia. Mainly dyslexics are right-left switched. Right-left switching is characterized by mental confusion
and/or physical disco-ordination. When you hear yourself say "26" when you meant "62", or when you point to the right and say, "turn left here", you can be sure that you have become "switched".
Switching otherwise known as neurological disorganisation, can have many different causes (physical-structural, emotional-mental, chemical-nutritional). A typical cause is a prior injury such as a sprained ankle that caused excess or sudden stretching of various proprioceptors in the involved ligaments, tendons and/or muscles. Although the physical damage may be long healed, the damaged proprioceptor may still be signalling that there has been a recent injury. As a result, the central nervous system responds correctly to this now incorrect signal and, as a result, causes inappropriate facilitation and inhibition of various muscles. As a result, the posture and balance of the body is incorrect, causing more compensatory reactions. This is one reason that people may still limp, even years after a leg or hip injury has healed.
Nutritional deficits, exposure to allergens or other toxic chemicals can produce switching – and of course any Emotional and Mental stress or shock can send anyone into Switching.
A conflict between what you should do and what you want to do often causes switching. When switched, you can do what you want to do and it seems or feels to you to be the right thing to do (even when it isn't). A typical example is the overweight person who knows that they shouldn't eat ice cream... and then enjoys eating a half-gallon find they can't stop.
Under enough stress, everyone will go into a state of right-left switching. When you start bumping into tables and door
jams, you have probably become switched.
People who are typically or always switched have real problems that inhibit their optimal functioning. Finding and correcting the underlying causes of switching can be a very important step toward health, optimal functioning, and a happy, well-adjusted life.
One of the things that makes a mind highly intuitive is dyslexia. As dyslexia people tend to be right brain hemisphere dominant. The right brain allows the people to see the bigger picture, but is unable to communicate this in language due to switching and not fully accessing the left side brain. Clearly we have access to both side of the brain. But there is a pre-dominance.
“Non-dyslexic brains often excel at applying rules and procedures in an expert and efficient manner. Dyslexic brains often excel at finding “best fits” or at ad hoc problem solving.
Non-dyslexic brains often excel at finding primary meanings and correct answers. Dyslexic brains often excel at spotting interesting associations and relationships.
Non-dyslexic brains often excel at spotting the differences and distinctions between things. Dyslexic brains often excel at recognizing the similarities.
Non-dyslexic brains display the order, stability, and efficiency of train tracks, well-organised filing cabinets, sequential narratives, or logical chains or reasoning. Dyslexic brains store information like murals or stained glass, connect ideas like spider’s webs or hyperlinks, and move from one thought to another like ripples spreading over a pond.”
Dyslexics have right hemisphere skills in the brain, yet lack skills in the left. The right hemisphere of the brain controls the aesthetic, feeling and creative. The left hemisphere takes care of logic, analysis and language.
Whereas Dyslexic are able to see the whole picture of your life, can see where blocks and ideas originated intuitively.
The plus side is dyslexic are Multi-dimensional Free Thinkers'.
We are proud to think and learn differently.
We all learn in different ways visually, auditory, or tactile (kinesthetic). As you can imagine I mainly learn kinesthetically, and probably why I am a Kinesiologist. And sometimes either visual or auditory may be stressful and lead anyone to switching. In Kinesiology we often work we clients that need to visualise something and then feel/touch it to understand a concept or skill. Most sportspeople and dancers are kinesthetic learners.
We only remember something when we understand it. Many people remember what they have been taught from visually reading something, but to fully understand a Dyslexic Kinestic need to feel it too.
If you have read any of my blogs occasionally you will notice errors, especially in grammer , I will switch from past to present tense. On reading back what has been written to me anyway, it is clear as a bell. Dyslexia is not linked to low IQ, in fact I am in an elite group of Dyslexics such as Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Michael Faraday, Henry Ford, Sir Issac Newton. 35% of Entrepreneurs are dyslexic.
Dyslexia is just one of the many neurological conditions and of switching or disorganisation that can take place in the brain. Switching can however happen to anyone whether they are dyslexic or not. Neuro science do not yet understand all the workings of the mind/brain. But what we do know is that dementia and disease of the brain/body like Parkinsons is on the raise. The Nutrition that is recommended for Mental Mind health is B12, it is the same thing recommended for Dyslexia.
If Dyslexics have problems communicating on paper, then Dyspraxic people have problems communicating with their body. They have a lack of co-ordination, balance, spatial awareness and with Movement.
Look out for my Kinesiology Workshop whereby we incorporate techniques that help exercise the Brain, simple ways to untangle the nervous system prevent switching, so that communication can flow freely from brain to body, and body to brain, and essential nutrition that helps keep our brain cells active, vibrant and alive.
Invasive organisms are basically germs or pathogens. Pathogens are micro-organisms that cause disease. The body has several defense mechanisms to prevent pathogens from entering the body and reproducing there. The immune system role is to destroy pathogens that manage to enter the body.
Entry point is the nose, mouth, skin and via the hands. The immune responses are fever, aches, headaches, diarrhea, mucous, vomiting, sweating, sneezing, coughing, rashes, lumps, itchy skin, stomach acid, burning, urine and stool change.
Do you keep picking up the same virus like cold sores, sore throat,
have repeated bacterial infections like cystitis
or tummy upsets every time you go abroad, react badly to mosquito or bites, suffer persistent fungal problems like athletes foot, candida that return quicker than you can treat them. Have various allergies.
Had one or more courses of anti-biotics in the past year?
There are four types of invasive organism : viral, bacterial, fungal and protozoa (parasites). We can’t avoid them……… but we can help remove them.
In Kinesiology, we work with identifying any energetic signal or message these invasive organisms leave in the body that may make us susceptible to reoccurrences. Every organism generates energy, especially aerobic ones. We also work with strengthening the immune system and focus on stress levels which often are a trigger. Stress seems to rupture hiding bacteria which disperse into the blood system, creating a “flare-up”.
As we know, the medical solution is the use of anti-biotics. As a society, there is much in the news about over prescription and the over-use of antibiotics and how this may affect our long-term strategy of combating pathogens in the future treatment of super-bugs. Gram-negative bacteria being the most difficult to treat. However, there is much research on how plants/herbs like thyme and oregano oils have had positive broad-spectrum antibacterial effects, an alternative to anti-biotics, the active ingredient being carvacrol. And of course there are good-bacteria’s!! Anti-biotics have a way of killings these off in the process.
In order for these invasive organisms to avoid our immune system response they have evolved over centuries with clever mimicking, hide and subverting techniques to avoid detection and then flare up when the immune system is low, or under-par.
Science have shown how extremely robust and resourceful pathogens especially bacterial can be in learning to adapt in many hostile environments like vacuums, high or extreme low pressure, temperatures and all types of pH environments from acid to freezing, and possibly even in space.
In simple terms - Kinesiology, we look for the energetic signature to find them, and help the immune system recognize them, so it can eradicate them in the most natural way.
Are you having difficulty in going to sleep, maintaining sleep, or both? It becomes habitual sleeplessness leading to Insomnia. Most people experience at one time or another temporary short term sleep problems which can be triggered by sudden changes in circumstance, stressful situations or temporary illness. When we sleep our body repairs and carries out essential functions. Lack of sleep leads contributes towards many health and well being problems.
The Causes :
Chronic insomnia can lasts for years at a time. Most insomnia cases can be attributed to depression and psychological or emotional issues, like anxiety, stress or grief. Other causes may be physical conditions such as pain, breathing problems, snoring, sleep apnea, muscle and tension, aches, heartburn, GERD, indigestion and digestive problems, overweight, diabetes, stimulating substances, restless leg syndrome, overwork, extreme physical exercise regimes, mineral deficiency, cramp, hormonal changes like night sweats, most premenstrual women suffer restless sleep just before a period, and for most men getting up to use the toilet. During sleep our heart rates drop, our body temperature falls and we experience complex changes in brain activity.
Environmental Factors :
Generally tend to be environmental factors, like room too hot, too cold, boiler noise, snoring, waking babies, pets, shift workers, noisy neighbour’s, electrical devices, room too light, uncomfortable mattress, the cycle of the moon can contribute to sleeplessness, as can solar activity, body time zones (holiday) and circadian rhymns Sleep difficulties is also linked to winter, kidney meridian, the emotion of fear, and having a lack of control or over-controlling nature. And to some extent, the resistance to listen and access the subconscious mind.
The mystery of sleep. What happens when we sleep? The Sleep Cycle
It’s where our brains travel to every night, it’s out of our voluntary control, and we often complain that we don’t get enough of it. Sleep is the mysterious shift in consciousness that our bodies require every day. It’s vital for our health and wellbeing but its importance goes far beyond that, sleep is something that we can’t live without. Not only do we function worse when we don’t get enough quality sleep, but it can lead to long-term health problems. That’s why if we’re having sleep problems it’s important we do all that we can to rectify these difficulties and restore quality sleep into our lifestyles.
How to improve your quality of sleep, what practical changes can we make?
First try eliminating any of the known causes especially any environmental factors; for example using blackout blinds, moderating the room temperature, cut down on alcohol, coffee and other stimulates before bedtime and not eating too late. Using electrical devices at night like laptops and iphones produce a white/blue light which over-stimulates the brain.
The Medical Approach and Treatment
The medical approach for Insomnia is sleeping pills, over the counter or prescription medications. Sleeping pills however do not cure insomnia, and they can interfere with REM sleep. The continued use of pharmacological sleeping aids can eventually lead to disruption of all the deeper stages of sleep, and addiction and dependency. The positive about antidepressants is that they are less addictive than sedatives and tranquilizers. GP’s are all to quick to prescribe.
Nutrition Approach and Treatment
Avoid eating too, although people with insomnia will often find relief by eating in the middle of the night, so blood is moved to the digestion system. Eliminate caffeine. Eat tryptophan sleep promoting foods like
bananas, dates, figs, milk, nut butter, tuna, turkey, and whole grain crackers or yogurt. Avoid bacon, cheese, chocolate, eggplant, ham, potatoes, sauerkraut, sugar, sausage, spinach, tomatoes and wine close to bedtime. These foods contains tyramine, which releases a hormone norepinephrine that stimulates the brain. Avoid taking nasal decongestants and other cold medications late in the day. Ingredients in these preparations are known to cause drowsiness, but can have the opposite effect on some people and act as a stimulant. Increase your Magnesium and calcium levels or test for deficiency. Calcium is calming and magnesium helps release muscles and release tension. Zinc aids muscle repair during sleep and for male hormones. Often clients deficient in B Vitamin, especial B12 may be prone to sleep problems. Any herbal remedies that are calming/soothing.
Don’t exercise too late. However during the day to exhaust the bed ready for a good night sleep and helps balance mood and chemistry. Make lifestyle changes that allow you time to relax before bed. No over-stimulating horror movies, or preparing presentations for next mornings meeting, or reading steamy novels. However, sex is a great relaxant, as it releases oxytocin. Reduce or eliminate any reasons for stress.
Try to establish a set of habits and follow them consistently to establish a healthy sleep cycle. Make your room dark to stimulate the release of melatonin, peaks around 9pm. Keep regular sleep-wake cycles. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Take a hot bath an hour or two before bedtime. Use some Lavender oil and flower essence such as Olive for relaxation. Learn to put worries out of your mind. Learn relaxation techniques, or guided imagery is helpful in getting sleep patterns back to normal.
Insomnia can be a learnt negative pattern of behaviour, we do anything more than 3 times in a row, it become a habit. Learning to change this behaviour and re-establish positive belief’s about sleep can help enormously. When there is an important meeting or plane to catch early, guarantee most will not sleep the night before! The Belief we may not hear the alarm and miss meeting/flight. Beliefs can easily be changed!
Kinesiology Approach and Treatments
In Chinese Traditional Medicine, Kinesiology and Acupuncture insomnia is caused by disturbed Shen, balancing the kidney and heart can restore that Shen. Metaphorically the birds leave the nest due to discomfort (physical or emotional). Often insomnia can lead to anxiety, heart palpitations (heart flutters) and this can lead to panic attacks. This is the Shen/heart being over active. Heart/Kidney axis balance can also be useful. In Kinesiology the Liver is linked to insomnia too, so we balance the Liver and work with any emotions due to suppressed angry, and physically due to imbalance in chi and blood.
Clients with insomnia become very uncentred, and ungrounded and become out of sync with the body clock and circadian rhythm, we help reset these. If the body thinks it 9am instead of 9pm, then it will not produce melatonin to induce sleep. Over-active, ruminating or racing mind is Shen/heart. Inactive mind, depression is Kidney. Anger at something that may have happen during the day is Liver. Tai-Chi is good for eliminating hypertension, stagnation, or over-arousal and use muscle testing to identify the underlying causes. Certain body chemicals have an effect on our sleep patterns, including: growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH), growth hormone, prolactin, and adenosine, reproductive hormones and the most important brain chemical that is associated with sleep is melatonin – a hormone which is produced by the pineal gland.
Ear Auricular and using “seeds” on specific acupressure points on the ear are helpful to balancing the nervous system and improving sleep, and a good supportive for sleeping tablets. Auricular works with the pineal gland, thalamus point, master cerebral, heart, kidney, Occiput, shen and Point zero for whole body homeostatic balance.
Kinesiology we work with many alternative health products like supplements, herbal remedies, essential oils, homeopathic and flower remedies to support and help return the balance. Staphysagria is good for suppressed angry, which can cause imbalance to the Liver. Phosphorus can be used for insomnia as suffers are usually quite ungrounded and anxious. Lavender calms the spirit, and the helps the Shen return.
Ear acupuncture is a fabulous holistic healing technique, also known as auricular therapy, which is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Auricular therapy is widely used in leading medical schools and used in many Nhs care trusts for conditions including the NADA protocol used for addiction treatment, and may be helpful to reduce cravings of smoking, alcohol and other stimulants by helping to detox the system, elleviates mood disorders, obesity and aid weight loss, pain, headaches and many other conditions. This medical system emphasizes a holistic approach to medicine, an approach that treats the whole person. It is simple and easy to apply, at the same time relaxing for client.
Historically, Auricular therapy has been used in China. It was mentioned in the most famous of ancient Chinese medical textbooks, “The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine.” In modern times, auricular therapy has been shown to stimulate the release of endorphins, the body's own feel-good chemicals, and there have been much research into it’s holistic benefits.
In Tai-Chi Qigong and the Five Elements, the ears are closely connected with the Kidneys and jing vital energy, jing is known as our Essence relating to our constitution. Loss of hearing or hearing problems may be linked to jing depletion. Adrenal fatigue is one of the main reasons we become depleted in jing energy. There are many Tai-Chi Qigong Ear Exercises to help promote jing and we will incorporate these into the Tai-Chi Kidney Meridian classes.
Our ears act like an antenna just as a radio needs one to detect radio waves, our ears act much like a radio it takes waves, using the electronics and turns the energy to sound energy. Nerves carry them to our brain, and our brain changes them to our perception of sound. Our ears/antenna capture energy and our brains turn that into our perception of reality. In addition, the ears help maintain our balance and equilibrium.
If you are a fan of Reflexology, which works with massaging the reflex’s on the feet, Auricular therapy works in a similar way with the Ear, but has additional modalities. The ear has many nerve endings and over 200 acupuncture points which represents a micro-system of the whole body. Our ears represent the whole anatomical body, but in an upside down orientation. The ear is compared to an inverted fetus, with the head on the lower ear lobe, the feet at the top of the ear, and the rest of the body in-between.
Auricular treatment may include 4 major applications of acupuncture or acupressure :
1. Preventative medicine
2. Therapy – specific protocols
3. Diagnostic aid
4. Surgical Analgesia (used mainly in China)
Combining various modalities :
Auricular therapy is the bioenergetic and biomechanical approach to holistic health care and pain management. It is a form of needle-less acupuncture.
So far, results with clients have been instant, and very favourable for conditions such as indigestion, tension headaches and hypertension caused by stress and related blood pressure, joint pain, tennis elbow, appetite control, constipation, alcohol over indulgence (hangover), allergy related inflammation of joints, anxiety, insomnia caused by depression or over-worrying and lung/chest/mucus congestion and nervous system issues.
Here is a list of some of the protocols :
ADD/ADHA, Acid Reflux, Acne, Addictions (drug, alcohol, smoking, food), allergy, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back pain, bedwetting, bladder control, chicken pox, chronic fatigue, cold sores, common cold, constipation, cough, depression, diabetes, dizziness, eczema, elbow pain, fibromyalgia, flatulence, foot pain, gallbladder, glaucoma, headaches, heart palpitation, herpes zoster, hiccups, hip pain, hyperglycemia, hypertension, impotence, infertility, inflammation, insomnia, irritable bowel, itching, jaw pain (TMJ), jetlag, knee pain, laryngitis, liver, mania, memory, myopia, NADA, nausea, neck pain, nightmares, nosebleed, OCD, poor circulation, PMS, psychosomatic disorders, rhinitis, sciatica, shingles, shock, shoulder pain, sinusitis, smoking withdrawal, sneezing, sore throat, spasms, tinnitus, toothache, urinary disorders, vertigo, vision problems, weight control and appetite, wrist pain.
In order for the body to function optimally for health and well being, it requires adequate levels of vitamins, mineral and amino acids. Most of the time we are able to obtain these naturally from the foods we eat or from our environment, but only if our lifestyle and diet is healthy and well balanced. Unfortunately, most of us do not have a 100% perfect lifestyle or diet. So the chances are we may be deficient in many of these essential nutrients.
Vitamins, minerals and amino acids are absolutely essential for the proper function of cells, nerves, tissue, blood, muscles, joints, teeth & bones, the skin and our organs – also important for brain function, chemical messengers, and for neurotransmitters to communicate for mood and cognitive awareness.
Many of us consume in our diets what is commonly known as empty calories and therefore become devoid of these essential vitamins/minerals/amino acids. There are also contributing factors that create vitamin robbers or additional deficiencies, like stress, pollution and immune challenges. This may mean you are not giving your body the fuel it needs to perform mentally or physically. Our bodies are robust, but also it can be sensitive and imbalanced at a micronutrient level - at relatively small quantities of deficiency.
The best solution would be to improve our diet and eat well, rest, and make positive consistent changes to our lifestyle. But when this is not possible, then taking additional supplements are the next best option, and may help with short term support or help boost your health at specific times or when extra demands are being placed on us. For example, when you are heavily training, or going through a stressful period in your life, or dealing with transition changes, like the menopause, coping with bereavement, divorce or major upheavals or just coping with life's curveballs.
There are at least 13 essential vitamins, and 26 minerals (trace and major minerals), 8-10 essential amino acids, but these building blocks number 20-22 in the body. Many of these are for bodily functions and many are used for cognitive function. Vitamins can be either fat and/or water soluble, which means they are not stored in the body, for later use, which means we need to consume them on a daily basis.
Micronutrients are directly or indirectly involved in a number of cognitive processes that are dependent on energy metabolism in brain cells, blood supply to the brain, synthesis of neurotransmitters (chemicals that are released from a nerve cell and result in the transmission of an impulse to other cells), neurotransmitter binding to its receptors, nerve impulse propagation, and homocysteine metabolism.
It can begin to sound very very confusing!!!
In an attempt to keep things very simple, using Kinesiology we are able to use muscle testing techniques to highlight deficiencies, and which foods strengthen us and which weaken us. Everyone is different, one substance may be supportive to one person, but depleting in another.
Using Kinesiology techniques we are able to test the body for nutritional requirements whether they are due to insufficiencies or excess and what nutrients are required to support recovery, which benefit or cancels another one out, and what supports vibrant health. It is a simply way to identify your requirements.
Below is just a few of the important functions they help maintain.
A Vitamin = Healthy eyes, general growth and development, including healthy teeth and skin. Night and colour vision.
B Vitamins = Energy production, immune function and iron absorption. The family of Vitamin B’s namely B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid) and B12 (cobalamin) have many functions : nerve-cell membranes quickly send and receive neurotransmitters. help convert food into the unique molecule (adenosine triphosphate or ATP) that all cells use for energy, especially fuel-hungry brain cells.reduced homocysteine, a sign of inflammation that is a risk factor for blood vessel disease.
C vitamin = Strengthening blood vessels and giving skin its elasticity, anti-oxidant. Synthesis of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, the reduction of metal. deficiency causes oxidative damage to lipids and proteins in the brain. required for the conversion of dietary lysine to carnitine, a compound essential for energy production in the cells' mitochondria.
Calcium = Teeth, bones. muscle contraction, nerve transmission. regulate a number of physiological processes, including neuronal gene expression and neuronal secretion of neurotransmitters. Plays a role in cellular metabolism.
Choline = needed for myelination of nerves, synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and synthesis of various structural and cell-signaling molecules, including phospholipids (phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin) that are important components of cell membranes.
Chromium = Energy production and Glucose function – making sure every cell in your body gets energy as and when needed, help raise HDL ("good") cholesterol levels, and may play a role in preventing heart disease. Deficiency may impact blood sugar metabolism, and contribute to other symptoms such as anxiety or fatigue.
D vitamin = Strong healthy bones. Normal brain development and function, and vitamin D deficiency may impair cognitive abilities.
E vitamin = Blood circulation, and protection from free radicals. Deficiency results mainly in neurological symptoms, including impaired balance and coordination (ataxia), injury to the sensory nerves (peripheral neuropathy), muscle weakness (myopathy), and damage to the retina of the eye.
Folic Acid = Cell renewal and preventing birth defects in pregnancy. Synthesis of several neurotransmitters, including norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin, and along with vitamin B12, folate is required in the breakdown of norepinephrine and dopamine.
Iron = Transports oxygen, building muscles naturally and maintaining healthy blood, is needed for proper development of oligodendrocytes (the brain cells that produce myelin) and for several enzymes that synthesize neurotransmitters. Deficiency leads to a reduction in red blood cells, fatigue and anaemia.
Iodine = Iodine is a component of the thyroid hormones, which regulate metabolic rate and body temperature.
K vitamin = Blood coagulation, aids bone formation.
Magnesium = assists enzymes in more than 300 chemical reactions in the body, sleep, muscle contraction. Tension and muscle ache, cramps, spasms, twitches, irritability, constipation. Deficiency has been induced experimentally and results in neurologic and muscular symptoms that include tremor, muscle spasms, and tetany (involuntary muscle contractions).
L-tryptophan = is an amino acid, critical in a number of metabolic functions, role in synthesis of brain serotonin involved in mood, behavior, and cognition.
Manganese: Manganese is important in many enzyme-mediated chemical reactions including enzymes involved in the synthesis of cartilage in skin and bone.
Niacin = Assists in carbohydrate and fat metabolism, helps with cell differentiation, Participates in DNA replication and repair. Protects your heart by lowering blood levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and preventing the accumulation of arterial plaque. Your digestive system, nervous system and brain need niacin to function. Niacin also helps your body make new DNA, and it helps your body use insulin efficiently to control blood sugar levels.
Potassium = Fluid balance, muscle growth and neuromuscular activity.
Phosphorus = growth and repair of body cells and tissues. For a variety of biochemical processes, protein synthesis, including energy production and pH regulation.
Selenium: Selenium is required for immune function and for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Additionally, this mineral assists enzymes in protecting cell membranes from damage. Hair, Skin and fights viral infections.
Sulfur = Helps maintain acid-base balance. protein synthesis, enzyme reactions production of collagen, a substance that forms connective tissues, cell structure and artery walls. is a part of keratin, giving strength to hair, skin and nails. Assists in some of the liver’s drug-detoxifying pathways.
Water = hydration, cell nourishment, lubrication. Conductivity.
Zinc = Immunity, growth and fertility. function support of at least 70 enzymes including one that helps protect cells from damage.
Breathing is something that we often take for granted. We do it on a subconscious level 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year. By paying attention to the breath, consciously slowing it down, and deepening it, we can slow the mind down and enter into a state of healing rest and meditation. Uniting breath to the mind and the body so that everything else fades away except the present moment, thereby releasing tensions and reconnecting with the spirit that resides within each and every one of us. Breath is one of the most powerful gifts given to all life. Without breath there is no life and this is why our life is Sacred. This state is sometimes known as calm abide. Breathing helps us to find this calm place, but abiding helps us to accept and dwell within that space.
What happens to the body, mind when it does not receive sufficient breath?
Poor or shortness of breath generally occurs due to infections, allergies, asthma or other nervous and respiratory disorders, and smoking. In Medical terms, shortness of breath is also called dyspnea (short or difficulty), and levels of hypoxia occurs when low oxygen levels in blood create deprivation which may have severe adverse effects on various body cells that need to perform important biological processes.
Psychological Conditions Emotional conditions like grief, over anxiety, phobia, intense anger, over excitement cause temporary or prolonged shortness of breath. These emotions may result in experiencing hyperventilation in affected people, otherwise known as panic attacks as well as anxiety, tension, chronic fatigue, sleep disorders, high blood pressure, headaches, irritability, poor concentration, lack of clarity, dizziness, immune and digestions disorders, constipation, weight gain, and psychosomatic disorders.
There is a chemical reaction when we breath. Breathing is a mechanical process of exchanging gases between an organism and its surroundings. In humans, we use our lungs, which absorb gases. When you breathe in air, you take in a mixture of gases : Oxygen: about 21%, Carbon dioxide: about 0.03%, Nitrogen: about 78%. Respiration is a chemical reaction that happens in all living cells. It is the way that energy is released from glucose, for our cells to use to keep us functioning. The glucose and oxygen react together in the cells to produce carbon dioxide and water. The reaction is called aerobic respiration because oxygen from the air is needed for it to work. When we breathe in oxygen enters the small air sacs, called alveoli, in the lungs. Oxygen diffuses from there into the bloodstream. Red blood cells carry oxygen around the body.
Breath acts as the bridge that connects our energy body to the infinite universal body of energy. Breath is also the bridge between the body and the mind; and the body and the soul. Life begins with the first breath in and ends with the last breath out. In between, what we call life is sustained by a series of uninterrupted breaths. Sometimes in life, there are amazing experiences that simple “take your breath away”. Magnificent scenery, overwhelmed by beauty, concentrating on something intricate, shock, surprise or admiration. Hard aerobic exercise, sex, and crying. At these times we may sense the soul.
In Sanskrit, pran means life and ayama means way. Pranayama can help you regulate your system, alter your mood and ensure longevity. Pranayama is one of the 8 limbs journey of discovering yoga (unity), and is a breath control technique that focuses on the inhalations and exhalations. This strengthens the lungs and balances the nervous system, preparing the body to hold the breath. Practicing pranayama on a regular basis regulates energy flow to the 72 thousand nadis and channels (meridians and acupuncture points) through which consciousness flows, in our body, helping us improve our wellbeing. The inhalation and exhalation are known as prana and apana. This creates a tug of war on a macrocosmic scale, one reflecting the connecting to spirit/soul and on the other, microcosmic scale to man’s body. These two currents in the body flow in different directions. The Prana known as Life Force or Qi/Chi. The prana controls inhaling; it is felt as an upward floating, spreading, branching, and flowering pattern. Its home is the core of the heart. The apana controls exhaling. It is the downward rooting flow, which contracts, or tones, into a seed point at the center of the pelvic floor. Prana has a warming effect and apana a cooling effect experienced through the nostrils. In Tai-Chi Qigong the qualities of Prana is when breath entering the body (Yang) and apana is breath leaving the body (Yin).
Different Breathing Techniques :
The Breath of Joy
The Breath of Joy awakens your whole system. It increases oxygen levels in the bloodstream, temporarily stimulating the sympathetic nervous system, circulating more prana, and gently stoking agni (internal fire). Through strong inhalations and synchronized arm movements, the practice awakens your whole system—increasing oxygen levels in the bloodstream, temporarily stimulating the sympathetic nervous system, circulating more prana. A forceful exhalation lightly detoxifies the body and helps release pent-up tension. After completing several rounds, the parasympathetic system (which sustains the body at rest) kicks in, leaving the mind calm and focused. The result is a state of homeostatic balance that the yogis call sattva. These qualities make Breath of Joy especially effective in managing mood. Like a strong bright wind, it also sweeps away the sluggishness of depression and infuses the mind with a serene sense of clarity.
Repeat up to nine times. Don’t force or strain the body or breath; simply be absorbed by the peacefully stimulating rhythm. Return to standing. Close your eyes and experience the effects. Notice how quickly your heart beats; feel the sensations in your face and arms, and the tingling in the palms of your hands.
Taoist Longevity Breathing
Breathe from Your Belly. Belly breathing is the first step in learning Taoist Longevity Breathing practices and ideally should be incorporated into all Taoist qigong or tai chi practices. Belly breathing drops and lifts the big muscle of the diaphragm, the natural body mechanism that pushes air in and out of your lungs. Belly breathing helps center your awareness in your body, rather than in your head, so that you feel more physically and energetically grounded. It helps you to relax your neck, shoulders and arms. It improves the circulation of blood and the flow of chi in your internal organs. Belly breathing metaphorically can be thought as filling up a glass of milk, from the base of the glass upwards.
Moon and Sun Breath
CHANDRABHEDAN. Chandra means 'moon' and bhedan means 'to pierce or to pass through'.
This completes one round of Chandrabhedan pranayama. You can gradually do up to 20 rounds. Benefit : Chandrabhedan cools the body and cures heartburn. Contradictions: Avoid this pranayama if you suffer from low blood pressure. Note: This pranayama is to be done only during summer.
SURYABHEDAN or Solar Breath
This completes one round of Suryabhedan pranayama. You can gradually do up to 20 rounds. Benefits of Suryabhedan : Increases body heat and energy levels, improves digestion, purifies blood, delays ageing.
Contraindications: Avoid doing this pranayama if you suffer from acidity, hypertension or heart problems. It is to be done mostly during winter.
Alternative Nostril Breathing
ANULOM-VILOM or (Alternative nostril breathing)
This is one round of anulom-vilom pranayama. Benefits of Anulom-Vilom aids in: Balancing body temperature, relieving stress cleansing the nadis in your body, improving blood circulation. Remember while practising this pranayama, you must breathe into your lungs and not into your stomach. It can be done the year round and by every one.
UJJAYI or Ocean Breath
This is a single round of ujjayi pranayama. You can start by doing 2 – 3 rounds. Benefits Ujjayi pranayama: Strengthens the vocal cord. Stimulates the thyroid gland Improves blood circulation. Eases diseases of the lungs, chest and throat. Contradictions: Avoid doing this pranayama if you suffer from cardiac problems.
Cool Peaceful Breath
SHEETALI or The cooling breath is usually performed after doing physical asanas to cool the body down. Yoga’s answer to heat, fever, stress and hot emotions like anger and irritation. Sheetali means calmness and peacefulness.
This is one round of sheetali pranayama. You can start by doing 2 – 3 rounds, and gradually go up to 15 rounds. Contradictions : People suffering from a heavy cold must avoid sheetali pranayama. Since it’s a cooling breath it will increase Kapha (mucus) so don’t practice it if you have cold and respiratory related issues.
The theory of Arousal is based on the ideas that different individuals perform better at different levels of arousal and that every individual seeks to find its optimum level.
Some people enjoy a quite evening to relax while others might prefer a loud concert to end a tough week, or something thrill seeking. Their optimum arousal level is high, so to feel comfortable they get involved in sensational acts.
The Yerkes-Dodson law states that simple tasks require a high level of arousal to get the motivation to do them, while difficult tasks require low arousal to get the proper motivation. And perhaps why it is difficult to get some kids to do boring homework that requires a lot of effort for some. Whilst exams or doing a difficult brain teaser is fun and is easy to concentrate on. Motivating staff to perform better at work requires different ways to appeal to different peoples arousal levels. Suggesting sky diving will provoke different arousal from excitment to fear and dread to avoidance. Go sick on that day.
Arousal affects us all on every level. Arousal is defined as a state of heightened activity. Arousal is stimulating. We are aroused by the emotions we feel, either in a positive or negative way. Arousal is on a spectrum from low to high, we can be a little bit aroused or a lot. Arousal is a fundamental need. We can be aroused emotional, mental, physical physiological and chemically. When we are aroused the brain releases chemicals, which can trigger a wakeful state of alertness and attention. If aroused due to a threat then the sympathetic nervous system and fight/fright/flight stress response is activated, endocrine system produces adrenaline, increased heart rate, breathing rate for more oxygen and blood flow, and body release glucose for action. At times of stress based arousal then the primal brain is active, reducing cortical activity so that we have less conscious control – we ceased to be in the present moment.
Arousal is often triggered through the senses.
Normal sexual arousal triggers the bodies readiness for sexual intercourse and our brains go into overdrive in a state of intense desire for completion of the most basic of acts. The senses can be more alert and some report a feeling of “being more alive”.
Negative triggers that arouse or stimulate :
Horror movies, drugs, sex and pornographic images, high adrenaline sports and activities, drama and emotional conflicts, food. New relationships. Anger so that you loose control, fear or hate. Extreme or competitive sports. Risk taking, betting and gambling. Some of these stimulations can become addictive.
It would seem that perhaps arousal is not good for us, but in reality arousal is also essential.
When there is no arousal, we lack libido or sexual interest. Depression is the opposite of arousal when we are unable to feel any sense of arousal, interest or engagement with the world. Being joyful arouses us to sing, talk and communicate more. Without the arousal of curiosity we would still think the world is flat.
Just like there are degrees of intensity of arousal, there are 3 types :
Cognitive arousal – cognitive or intellectual arousal is about thinking and mental stimulation. This is a state when we learn, explore and discover interesting things into being cognitively aroused. Thinking, learning, cognitive awareness and consciousness is mainly in the Cortex brain. Mental stimulation may be felt in the limbic as emotions, and physically in the brainstem
Affective arousal – is when we are emotional charged up and feel passionately about something. We may feel anger, fear, excited, scared, love or joyful. These emotions are hot or create heat. People with more volatile personalities tend to experience affective arousal. Emotions are driven by the limbic system.
Physical arousal – occurs where the body is in heighted state of arousal causing flood of adrenaline. Heat and friction occurs with any physical exertion, increasing blood flow, oxygen and heart rate and BP and digestive activity (acidicity), and may lead to inflammation and pain. Psoriasis is an arousal of the dermis/skin. Physical arousal is sensed in the primal brainstem, the oldest and primal reptilian brain, which deals with basic bodily functions.
One type may lead to another, or impact them. For example, Cognitive arousal may lead to affective arousal – excited about learning or discovering something new. Affective (emotions) can lead to physical arousal as in stress related symptoms, discourse or disease. Affective arousal may prevent or stifle cognitive arousal – so emotional we can’t think straight.
There are four Arousal Personality Types :
1. Hedonist. Are pleasure seeking who put enjoyment above most other things. They require high levels of arousal. Mid arousal hedonist may enjoy a nice meal, some alcohol and friendly engaging conversation. Low level hedonist may be underachievers that are bumble along, doing little towards a career and go where life takes them.
2. Riskers. Are similar to the high arousal hedonist – there is a desire for pleasure through arousal. Risker have a high boredom threshold, which means they need to gather greater stimulation for arousal. This may mean taking more risks and these may lead to addictions. Mid arousal may be enjoying active holidays annually like skiing or diving. Low level riskers who may be difficult to become aroused may be “stimulus hungry”, like drama, crave attention and/or may be anti-social, and ADHD.
3. Avoiders. Are easily aroused. But don’t like the way being aroused makes them feel. These people as a child may have been told not to display emotions, afraid of their own reactions to arousal and may have anger management issues. Avoiders have a low threshold to arousal and may become agoraphobic. The world is too much for them to handle. Prefer comfort of home and may not be risk takers and are very fearful. High avoiders may be energetic creative, or over thinkers.
4. Calms. Have little desire for arousal and are not aroused easily. Low level calms may not seek challenging careers, or may be critisized for lack of drive. High calms may have challenging roles but are better able to not allow emotions affect their performance. Handle stressful situations better. Face life with placidity, which is the envy of Avoiders, and to the irritation of Riskers who find them boring.
Knowing what personality type, different states of arousal there are, and the areas of that our brain stimulated may help us avoid the pitfalls which seems to be a society lead epidemic of over-arousal and under-arousal states. Over-arousal may lead to risks, poor decision making, anxiety, conflicts and addictions. Under-arousal may lead to depression, lack of any passion, interest or determination, avoidance of life, and withdrawal from society.
Arousal v Relaxation – Meditation is one of the best ways to achieve relaxation and downgrade any forms of arousal whether it be mental, physical, emotional, chemical to activate the parasympathetic nervous system – our natural relaxed state of being. Ashtanga, Hatha, Yoga Nidra, Pranayama and breath work lead to Vispassana Meditation which means “seeing things as they really are” . However, there are forms of Meditation like Vajrayana (the spiritual philosophies of life - path for wisdom and pure perception) that may create arousal either cognitively, affective or physical like tantric, kundalini, death yoga (living and dying with consciousness).
Taking the time to read our own faces could be telling us a lot of information. There are specific areas on the face that relate to specific meridians, acupuncture points, reflex zones and muscles that respond or react to different facial expressions. If our eyes are the window to the Soul, then the face is a reflection of your lifestyle, health and well-being. The different parts reveal your state of health, just like your facial expressions readily discloses your emotional state. We frown when sad or depressed, smile when happy. So rogue hairs on chin, or acne in same location may be subtly telling us something too about our physical state.
We all have our facial routine in the morning and last thing at night, like cleaning your teeth as part of the process. Some spend more time in front of a mirror than others. Some of us love to relax with a facial, or waxing treatment. Many of the points are stimulated by us or others touching our face and used by therapists around the world every time we have a facial, therapy or acupuncture.
Without being even more obsessive than we may be about our faces, by understanding or reading our facial codes, we have the opportunity to be able to use this information to improve our health.
Forehead - Horizontal lines on the forehead is a sign of frequently frowning. Frowning is associated with stress or intense focus, study and levels of mental concentration, driving or reading a computer screen. Botox is used to reduce these lines in the process it was discovered to benefit those suffering with tension headaches, migraines. The forehead is also associated with digestion. By holding the ESR frontal eminence points we achieve a sense of calmness, often the belly rumbles as a sign that the body is de-stressing.
Eyebrows – a thinning or missing last third of an eyebrow, if combined with other symptoms like dry skin, fatigue, brittle nails, weight gain may relate to underactive Thyroid issues. Those that then take any necessary medication like Thyroxin often notice the eyebrows grow back. Iodine, Kelp are supplements that may be beneficial and help those that are borderline and not in need of Thyroxin. Yoga exercises that stimulate the throat and neck often help keep reduce the need for medication. The top part of the eyebrow may relate to kidney, and mid-section liver, hormone imbalances.
Eyes – dark circles around the eyes may be linked to insomnia or depression and/or too many melanin-producing cells in the skin around the eyes or an allergic response to something often produces inflammation (swelling), itching and irritation, possible anemia (iron deficiency), liver problems and dehydration, poor diet and nutrition deficiency all relating to kidney, stomach and liver functions.
Cheeks – broken tiny blood capillaries may be linked to pH imbalances, a lack of HCI or deficient in enzymes or intrinsic factor, liver toxicity and major hormonal shifts (pregnancy). May also be associated with increased blood pressure levels, possibly due to excessive or heat provoking exercise.
Mouth - Lines around the mouth may be caused by smoking, as the area reflects the lungs, liver and colon (large intestines). In Kinesiology and acupuncture the Metal Elements is associated with the Lungs, sinus’s and large intestines, colon. Many people smoke to promote defecation. Nicotine works on neurons in the brain that have nicotine receptors. The nervous system of your gut also has these receptors. Nicotine in the brain helps you to relax a little, and nicotine in the gut stimulates the gut to relax and move the poop along.
Lips – cold sores are related to the herpes simplex virus. Often these virus’s stay in the body and flare up in times of emotional or bio-chemical stress or when the immune system is underpar . This area is linked to the stomach, spleen, intestines and colon.
Itchy ears – is often a sign of an allergy or low tolerance levels to a substance that you may be consuming on a regular basis. Psoriasis or eczema of the ears may indicate person is depleted in Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. Loss of hearing linked to the Kidney which represents this area.
Jaw and Chin – acne around the jaw-line linked to hormone imbalances or fluctuating hormone levels due to puberty, pregnancy and menopause, particularly around the chin area. Stress can stimulate production of the hormone androgen, which leads to increased acne. This same increase may produce rogue hairs under the chin or on the top lip, due to higher levels of testosterone or reduction in estrogen. Excessive facial hair is a symptom of polycystic ovary disease or adrenal hyperplasia. The Jaw is linked to Stomach and Chin to kidney/bladder and colon.
The jaw is linked to stomach, emotions and to tension like TMJ pain.
Skin - is your largest organ. It covers your entire body. Cells on the surface of your skin rub and flake off steadily and are continuously replaced with new ones. About every 30 days, your body produces a totally new epidermis. The role of the skin is to act like a barrier, protection, regulation of temperature and sensation. The skin sweats to remove toxins and absorbs vitamin D via sunlight. It also absorbs pollutants from the environment, chemicals and products we use on our faces. Acne is called “the highest point”, and often it points us to a concern. Angry spots on the nose relates to heart and blood pressure and vitamin B deficiency. Acne on the cheek bone linked to respiratory, sinus’s and allergy. Itchy skin linked to Vitamin B12 deficiency. Tired, dry and saggy skin is caused by smoking and also by dehydration. Water being the most beneficial nutrient either drunk or bathed in.
Facial muscles and tone - As we age or if we loose too much weight to quick from being unwell, we also loose muscle and tone, which can often make us look older. Therefore it is important to obtain all the necessary proteins, for collagen, and cellular repair, as well as strengthening the facial muscles for full and expressive emotions like expressions of happiness, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, surprise to wink, chew, frown or smile. By smiling we stimulate and strengthen 12 out of the 43 facial muscles. Facial toning exercises like Face Yoga are useful for strengthening these many different facial muscles. By toning the underlining muscles we can dispense with the Botox and expressionless, lackluster and deadpan faces.
In Kinesiology, Chinese traditional medicine and acupuncture we use many facial points linked with these facial signs combined with meridian balancing techniques draw our attention to the clients imbalances and needs.
There are many definitions of the word “congestion” too overfilled, overcrowded, excessive accumulation of fluid, overloaded, dam effect or clogged up, bottle neck of traffic, no free flowing movement, over-burdened, a build up of…. When there is congestion, what is left behind becomes stagnant, it is unable to move. And vice versa when there is stagnation, congestion occurs. Stagnation is standing still, not moving, stationery wave.
An extreme example would be in nature after a hurricane (wind) or tsunami (water) there is debris build up from these natural weather phenomena which leaves behind devastation in the form of congestion and then stagnation leads to infection or disease. This is the effect of a stagnated wave of energy.
We have all experienced being congested or stagnated in one form or another. For instance, recently whilst waiting to enter a roundabout, the car next to me had the window open and clearly could be heard the lady in the vehicle ranting “come on, come on” at her displeasure to have to wait briefly, her vehicle was congested in a very small traffic jam. But also expressed perhaps, this lady was in a state of emotional congestion? This scene troubled me. Where was the fire? She may have been in a genuine rush to get somewhere, for a very good reason, although the route this lady took was one that is frequently used to get to the local shopping centre/mall.
Still using traffic as a metaphor, we may also experience this shock-wave traffic effect of congestion and stagnation when we are on the motorway, we suddenly apply our breaks in response to the traffic jam up a head, we slow down with other drivers there is bottle neck effect of cars. The car may get overheated, we run of gas/petrol, emotions become frayed, fraught or feisty. We get stressed. We use up a lot of energy just standing still. There is no way around it, we have to endure it. Then we crawl along, stop starting for hours, for miles, then eventually everyone speeds up and we are on our way again, wondering what caused the delay, the congestion? It is often due to a ripple effect from a car far ahead in the distance and the reaction of those behind it. This impacts us externally. However, what happens externally is often mirrored internally.
Kinesiology Practitioners are often asked – What exactly is Kinesiology? One way of explaining it would be, we help clients address any “congestion” and “stagnation” issues. Just like water may get congested in a blocked plug and becomes stagnated, or congested traffic jam may create overheated emotions like irritability, anger and annoyance – these are often displays of Stress. During a virus the nose/sinus’s get congested with mucous, our head feels blocked up and we may get a headache, fever or temporarily loose the sense of taste/smell. Where there is any congestion there is also stagnation, when there is stagnation sometimes there is infection. When there is a build up of acidic-ness, indigestion and heart burn and heat may occur. When there is stagnation in the Lymphatic system so the lymph may become congested, resulting in edema or fluid build up. So just like water, cars, emotions, mucous or blood can become congested, and stagnation occurs. Chi or energy may also become congested and stagnated. Congestion may be described as yang quality, and stagnation as a yin quality. Where there is excess Yang, there is often pain, heat, inflammation discourse, discord or discomfort like anxiety, mania and insomnia. Congestion occurs when we say NO to a teenager a drama ensues or when we pick up young children from primary school they are tired, grumpy and irritable from being bombarded with external stimuli. They have run out of steam - there is a deficiency of some sort. See blood sugar levels from previous blog. Where there is excess yin there is often deficiency, lack of action or movement, toxicity, fatigue, depression and even cell death.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine stagnation of Chi relates to the natural flow of energy, an unseen life force known as chi or prana which moves freely around the Five Elements. Energy should flow in one continuous cycle in and out of each of the Five Elements, if for any reason there is congestion or stagnation, then there may be a traffic jam and energy is blocked, or diverted. Often when there is an illness, pain or poor health there is a blockage, congestion or stagnation that is either externally related but internally reflected.
Our emotions are a prime reason for blockage, congestion or stagnation – anger is congestive and fear is stagnation. When we experience all forms of anger from slightly irritable to full blown rage we sense heat and friction, blood boils, pressure increases, heart races, limbs need to move. When we experience all forms of fear from being indecisive, to obsession and phobias our knees go weak, eyes go wide, we shiver and shake, immobilized in fright or frozen to take action. Often congestion may be caused by emotions from the past still creating this stagnated energy wave effect, just like in the motorway traffic jam metaphor – something may have taken place in the distance (past) that is still impacting us today, we may not be able to see what caused the jam (lack of awareness or repressed) and we are unable to move forward with ease, pace or poise. Many of us are currently in this state without us knowing it. We just experience random aches and pains. We are stressed.
In Kinesiology, we use our Balancing Techniques to either help move blocked chi and get the traffic moving again, or we prevent congestion from occurring by keeping the pathways clear. Or we help client to deal with any emotional or past issues. There are of course many other ways to keep our Energy, Chi flowing and in a state of non-congestion : Exercise, Movement, Breathing, drinking Water, Emotional Intelligence and ability to experience Joy.
Interesting facts about B12 Vitamin
B12 is just one of the B Vitamins. Discovered in the 19th Century for a cure for pernicious anemia, this deadly disease is essentially wiped out among the elderly population now, thanks to this discovery. B12 is unique because it is the only vitamin known to be produced by bacteria. Dr Newcastle discovered that he could regurgitate his own gastric juices and then feed it to this patients which caused disease improvement, based on this bacteria. Clearly thankfully not a sustainable practice carried out today. Perhaps he got the idea from watching mother birds feed their young? In 1948, Nobel Prize winner Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin was able to produce large quantities from bacteria cultures leading to the modern form of treatment for the disease.
You may get anaemia when you don't have enough red blood cells. This makes it difficult for your blood to carry oxygen, causing unusual tiredness and other symptoms. The number of red blood cells can drop if there is: a reduction in the number of red blood cells produced an increase in the loss of red blood cells. Red blood cells are made in the bone marrow and circulate in the blood. They only have a life expectancy of about four months. The body needs iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid (one of the B group of vitamins) to produce more red blood cells. If there is a lack of one or more of these nutrients, anaemia will develop. Anaemia due to a lack of vitamin B12 is also called pernicious anaemia. Vitamin B12 is essential for the nervous system, which is why a deficiency can also cause inflammation of the nerves (neuritis) and dementia (mental deterioration).
What is Intrinsic Factor? Inability of the small intestine to absorb vitamin B12. The stomach produces a substance called intrinsic factor to absorb vitamin B12 from food. In the UK, the most common cause of B12 deficiency is a lack of intrinsic factor. A substance that is secreted by the gastric mucous membrane and is essential for the absorption of vitamin B12 in the intestines.
What is the function of B12? The vitamin B12is involved in vital body functions, its deficiency could cause irreversible and severe damage. The brain and nervous system are very vulnerable to even deficiency of small amounts, with symptoms like fatigue, depression and poor memory. It also aids in the production of DNA and RNA, and the production of neurotransmitters. Deficiency can cause pernicious anemia, an autoimmune disease which destroys the parietal cells in the stomach that release the intrinsic factor. So for absorption of B12 the body needs hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
What are the symptoms of B12 deficiency?
Natural sources of B12? Clams, Liver, Cavier, Octopus, Crab, Lobster, Ostrich, Venison, Emu, Scallops, Clam Chowder, Pastrami, Salami, Luncheon meat, Liver Sausage, Tuna and Beef, which are the best sources of vitamin B12. Fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and other dairy products, which also contain vitamin B12. Some breakfast cereals, nutritional yeasts and other food products that are fortified with vitamin B12. Marmite. Rice Milk and Whey Products. Marmite or yeast extract should be avoided if you have gout or arthritis. Note some of these foods are high in cholesterol, hence why we may not include them.
Can’t say I remember the last time I had cavier, octopus and lobster for tea!! However I do get the odd craving for scallops, and luncheon meat and marmite were stable childhood lunchbox sandwiches. My body’s way of telling me what I need.
Who might be vulnerable to B12deficiency? Poor diet or vegetarians, as found mainly in animal products. The over use of antibiotics, medication for acid reflux or peptic ulcer disease. Histamine and medication to treat diabetes. Digestive problems like Celiac and Crohns disease. Low Hydrochloric acid (too alkaline). Our B12 levels decline with age. Chemotherapy medication may reduce levels of B12in the body. HIV patients. Those suffering with depression, mood swings or mental health or taking medication may wish to include B12 into their diet. People who consume alcohol on a regular basis.
A comprehensive and empowering approach of uniting the whole self - Physical Body, physiological, Neurological psychological, Emotional & Mental Mind, Biochemical, Nutritional factors, Bioenergetics, Spiritual awakening and discovery, Soul connection and reconnection.