How Do You Know When You Are Ready For More?

How Do You Know When You Are Ready For More?

If you are a high performance athlete there is a delicate balance between highly trained and overtrained, which leads to being ill.  One tool athletes have used for 30 years is Heart Rate Variability.

High Heart Rate Variability is a measure of Nervous System flexibility and adaptability. When it’s high you can train harder, run longer or faster and because your body is in a healthier state it will respond to the stress of training positively.

When your Heart Rate Variability is low, light training or even taking a day off is recommended as your body is struggling with the demands placed upon it, and it is having difficulty getting to the state of Rest, Repair and Rejuvenate.

This recent study looks at the benefits gained by those who trained less, but listened to their body, and had greater gains than those who followed a pre-outlined training plan.

http://www.220triathlon.com/training/injuries/using-heart-rate-variability-to-optimise-triathlon-training/11673.html

Can Everyone Benefit from This Tool?
You don’t need to be an athlete to learn to listen to your body. Heart Rate Variability is something you can check on your own, with your smartphone and a $40-$60 Heart Rate Monitor.  In addition to exercise, life stresses can lower your ability to Rest and Rejuvenate.  If you know where you are, in relation to your Normal, you can take proactive steps to keep yourself healthy, or know you can take on an extra project, or walk an extra mile with a friend.

Dr. Brian

PS – I will be on Spring Break next week (March 27-31), my office will reopen Apr. 3rd.

The Healing Effects of Your Tribe

The Healing Effects of Your Tribe

This week I listened to an amazing book by Sebastian Junger called “Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging“.  (TED talk.)

Although not mentioned in the book, it reminded me of the story of the Pennsylvania town of Roseto. Although the members of the community had similar demographics to neighboring towns, they demonstrated lower disease rates.  The researchers noted a stark difference in the structure of the community.

“‘The community,’ Wolf says, ‘was very cohesive. There was no keeping up with the Joneses. Houses were very close together, and everyone lived more or less alike.'” Elders were revered and incorporated into community life,”

I mentioned some other interesting and useful items I learned from the book in this Facebook Live Video – https://youtu.be/KPC8JkqiIVY

Most of us have moved away from our birth families, which gives us the opportunity to choose our Tribe. Finding people who have had similar life experiences offers health benefits on many levels, seek your Tribe and enjoy the benefits.

Dr. Brian

Get Back to Normal or Get Better Than You Ever Were?

The Illness-Wellness Continuum

This image comes from Dr. Jack Travis: http://www.wellpeople.com/What_Is_Wellness.aspx

Getting back to neutral, or where you were before is exactly where you want to go when you have pain or discomfort. Once you are back to normal, are there steps you can take to optimize? This is the question that comes from seeking high-level wellness.

I recorded a video about it:

Dr. Brian

Do You Want Abundant Health? Copy Nature

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Taken Feb 18, 2017

It’s the middle of February in central Virginia.  Our winter has been unusually warm, spring bulbs are blooming, cherry trees are blooming and as I was walking home for lunch today I noticed a Maple Tree dripping sap on the sidewalk.  Compared to an “Average” winter, these signs of spring are 4-6 weeks early.  Can Nature Be Confused?

Are the plants wrong in flowering now?

We understand plants, trees and flowers respond to their environment, they sense temperature, amount of daylight, mineral content, moisture levels, and more.  When the conditions are favorable for growth, they grow, when the conditions favor dormancy, they go dormant. As far as we know, they cannot read a calendar. Plants, flowers and trees cannot delay a natural impulse when all the conditions are met.

How does this relate to your body? We have inborn drives to grow, heal, think, create, digest, breathe, and more. Every action, thought, behavior can be supported to the point where it bursts through and cannot be stopped.

Nature isn’t confused at all, it is currently being supported to grow and bloom. What are the actions, thoughts and behaviors that support your health to bloom? If you supply your body and your environment with everything that supports health and wellness, your body will respond in the only way it can…it will be unstoppable.

What Does It Need?

  • Clean Air and Water
  • A Healthy Spine and Nervous System
  • Nutrient Rich Foods
  • Movement to Stimulate Body & Mind
  • Connection to Others
  • Intellectual Challenges

Dr. Brian

Dr. Brian’s Favorite BodyMind Podcasts

Dr. Brian’s Favorite BodyMind Podcasts

Do you listen to podcasts?

I enjoy listening to podcasts on a variety of subjects. My current favorite is Finding Mastery with Michael Gervais. I enjoy the depth of his questions, and the variety of the guests. I also enjoy podcasts on Running, Business, Psychology, Mystery, Physiology, Movement & The Human Body, and more.

Recently I started listening to David Chang’s podcast, https://www.theringer.com/the-dave-chang-show. I really enjoyed his perspectives on the PBS show – Mind of A Chef, and it inspired me to make different types of broths, and add more pork in my diet. For that I am forever grateful. I don’t consider myself a “foodie”, nor am I in the restaurant business, but what I find enjoyable about Dave Chang is his openness to his personal struggles. I feel in our culture we too easily think successful people don’t really struggle with anxiety, depression, or even have a bad day. I hope you also find his openness refreshing.

You can listen through your computer, or on your phone/tablet.  There are various apps for your phone that allow you to make a listening list or download episodes in advance. Some examples are Stitcher, PlayerFM, or Soundcloud.  Many podcasts are also available on iTunes.

My Current Favorite BodyMind Podcasts

Other Favorite Podcasts

I hope you enjoy some of my Favorite BodyMind Podcasts
Dr. Brian

Resolve on New Year’s, Take Action Today

res·o·lu·tion
ˌrezəˈlo͞oSH(ə)n/

noun

  1. a firm decision to do or not to do something.
    “she kept her resolution not to see Anne any more”

When you make a resolution, you decide. You draw a line in the sand, setting a boundary for what is possible and what you expect. Without action steps, it stays in the realm of your mind.

We often decide to change the things that are big, and really need to change, but are those the types of changes that last?

For instance, committing to 30 days without Sugar is a great goal, but how will that affect your daily sugar intake next October?  What if you allowed yourself 2 days a week where you ate desserts?  This smaller goal is more reachable and more likely to change your long term habits.

I recently read an interview with Cheade-Meng Tan, who started the mindfulness based stress reduction program at Google. When it comes to adding mindfulness to your life, he recommends starting with one mindful breath – not 10 or 20 minutes.  Can you commit, right now, in your next breath, to pay attention to your inhalation and exhalation?  That’s a start, and getting started is the next step after the resolution.

Celebrate the small changes, for these bring you closer to your goals. The small changes give you momentum, and that momentum can be used to keep making incremental changes, and less likely to fall back into old patterns.

Dr. Brian

P.S. – This is just one of the concepts I will be discussing during my free class, January 3rd from 6-7PM at Integrated Life, titled “2017 – Your Best Year Ever”.  All are welcome – RSVP by Texting 434-227-7149

5 Things I Learned From My First 3 Day Fast

Last weekend, from Thursday Night until Sunday Night, I did not eat any solid food, on purpose. I first learned of the benefits Intermittent Fasting in 2012 from the blog of Mark Sisson. The short list is anti-aging, slowing or preventing cancer, athletic improvements, cognitive improvement, hormone balancing, and more.

Since 2012, I have completed 2 dozen or more 24 hour fasts, usually following the format of having breakfast and not eating until breakfast the next day. The goal of the fast is to keep your body in a state of ketosis, where your body is running on the energy of ketone bodies or fatty acids, this happens when your body taps into stored fat to use as fuel. Even the fittest person, with 10% bodyfat, has enough energy stores to last for 2+ weeks without food.

There are many types of fasts, these were the parameters I chose:  I drank water & tea only. I added coconut oil to my tea. Each day I had some Amino Acid supplements (BCAA’s) in capsule form, and at 48 hours I had some bone broth.

What Did I Learn?
1. 3 days wasn’t 3x more difficult than a 1 day fast – I was pleasantly surprised by this, I think the first 24 are most difficult because of habits.
2. Drinking Plenty of Water is a Great Idea – Shifting your physiology causes you to eliminate byproducts of sugar burning, increased water helps you flush these byproducts.  You may feel some “activity” in your kidneys from the extra work they are doing.
3. The Mental Clarity was Amazing – I felt mentally and physically energized throughout the entire process.
4. Walking is a Good Thing – Going back to #3, your body will be shedding a bit of stuff (technical term), keeping your body in motion keeps things moving through the system.
5. An Appreciation of Food – My experience of going back to solid food has been one of greater appreciation and mindfulness of what I’m eating and how much. When you feel amazing without food, you make sure you stay that way by only putting into your body what will continue to make you feel good.

I first heard of Intermittent Fasting 20+ years ago, and I didn’t fully understand the benefits or I would have tried it sooner.  There are plenty of resources on the how or why in addition to the link above.  I hope that in sharing my experiences it will give you the curiosity to look into adding this to your overall wellness repertoire.

Dr. Brian

P.S. – I will be hosting a free class, January 3rd from 6-7PM at Integrated Life, titled “2017 – Your Best Year Ever”.  All are welcome – RSVP by Texting 434-227-7149

Treating Muscles Via Your Mouth?

It’s the middle of the night, as you roll over in bed you stretch out your feet a little bit and, your calf is in spasm, a muscle cramp as taken over and you just want it to stop.

It can be very painful, and it’s not a normal function of the body for muscle groups to be in spasm, so what is going on? Often a spasm will occur when the muscle is overworked, but not all overworked muscles go into spasm. Pressing, rubbing or massaging the muscle doesn’t seem to affect the spasm while it’s occurring. There is another process occurring. This process begins in the spinal cord. Motor neurons control muscle activity. In order for the muscle to continuously fire, the signal has to come from the spine, muscles do not work on their own.

Knowing this information, the question of “What if there is a way to break the pattern by stimulating the brain?” came to a researcher after a long distance kayaking trip where he and his fellow traveller were both struggling from spasms. His specific niche of research was imaging ion channels in the tongue, esophagus and stomach. He theorized that a stimulus to the brain via these channels could shut down the pattern of firing in the muscle group.

His solution; A liquid tonic with spices like ginger and capsaicin, which in his research had a positive effect on muscle cramping, both in preventing them and helping alleviate them once they had begun.

After hearing about this for the first time this week, it reminded me of the Russian researcher A.D. Speransky, who was a student of Pavlov. In the 1920’s Speransky was also able to demonstrate that pathological states could be interrupted and health returned not fighting the irritant but by changing the state.

Not fighting the irritant, and stimulating the nervous system to return to a healthy state is a core concept of how I analyze the spine and nervous system. Instead of forcing an area that is tight, stuck or not flexible, the system can be coaxed to self-asses it’s own patterns and develop strategies to release the tension and return to a more sustainable pattern.

“’Don’t curse the darkness – light a candle.” – Chinese Proverb

Dr. Brian

How do you know when you are “in tune”?

Three years ago, I bought a guitar. I had never played an instrument, and didn’t consider my self musically inclined.

In order to tune my instrument I needed a tuner, something to tell me if my guitar was in tune. The other day, after 3 years of playing, I could hear something was off, and without the tuner I was able to get the tuning very close.

My goal as a health practitioner is to help everyone have the tools to asses and tune your physical, mental and emotional well being. We all can benefit from the skill of reading our physiology, mental and emotional state and determine if we are on the right path, or if we need a reboot.

The 3 Levels of Self-Tuning
Step One – Heading for a disaster
Often, our physiology can be way “off”, and for many reasons we are completely unaware we are headed for disaster. Years of poor diet, poor body mechanics, or strained relationships have led to a state where we are numbed to our body sensations and we are just “getting by”. Often a health crisis leads us to seek care, it is then we realize we have been disconnected for months or years. Diseases do not occur overnight.

Step Two – I Like Being In Tune
When we begin to take better care of ourselves we develop or re-learn the skill of knowing what it feels like when things are working better. We sleep better, we have more energy, we feel stronger physically and mentally. We also become keenly aware of when we feel drained or out of tune. We may not have the skills to get things flowing on our own, but at least we are able to notice the difference and ask for help.

Step Three – You become your own mechanic
With the wisdom gained from paying attention and participating in your healing process, not only do you know when you are out of tune, you also have learned the self healing and self regulating tools to build your energy from within. This is a skill that can be cultivated. Just like learning to tune an instrument by ear, even if you have no prior experience, it just takes time, and someone to first show you the way, and what physical and emotional signs are important in which to pay attention.

Even if you have had considerable health challenges, you also can learn to pay attention to your physiology and become more self-healing and self-regulating.

Come to Rebecca’s Natural Food for a Free Demonstration

Stop by Rebecca’s on Tuesday, March 22nd from Noon – 3PM for a Free demonstration

Dr. Brian will be at Rebecca’s to demonstrate how a light touch can dissipate tension and stress and begin to reorganize your spine and nerve system to higher levels of function.

Spinal-Screening-Special-Offer

  • A Reorganized Spine is More Flexible
  • A Reorganized Spine is Less Reactive
  • A Reorganized Spine leads to a more resourceful, adaptable body

What are Mirror Neurons and How to Benefit from Using Them

How to benefit from one of the most important discoveries in neuroscience in the last decade
How to benefit from utilizing Mirror Neurons.

The discovery that watching the actions of others activates similar neural circuitry, as if we were doing the action, has been called one of the greatest discoveries in neuroscience in the last decade.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3510904/

How can you use this knowledge to upgrade your nervous system with new behaviors and perceptions? Surround yourself with people who are better than you in what you are trying to accomplish. Play with better guitarists, run with better runners, be around better investors, be in the company of serial entrepreneurs, hang out with philanthropists.

Is there someone who embodies multiple aspects of their professional and personal lives that you admire? Ask them to be your mentor.

We all have the basic hardware, and we build our own software by what we habitually do until it becomes effortless. If there is something you are struggling with doing on your own, or you have reached a plateau, being around someone who is better or more efficient will prime the circuitry in your system, putting you “in entrainment” for those behaviors and perceptions, thus making it easier for you to get there on your own, with practice.

Dying for more Energy?

A recent article in the New York Times raises awareness of the harmful effects of “Energy” beverages.  I can understand the need to feel energized to do a presentation, or get through a workout, or to just fight traffic in the morning.

Another question you may ask yourself is:  Is there another way?  I had plenty of energy as a kid without artificial stimulants, what is different now?

The first suggestion I would make to someone who feels the need for stimulants is to replace the simple carbs (white flour, white rice, white potatoes) and sugars in their diet with quality vegetables and healthy fats.  What is missing in the former is nutrients, the latter contains vitamins, minerals and fatty acids which fuel your nervous system and brain.

Next, get moving!  Movement is the key to energizing your body, and the benefits are long lasting and wide ranging.

Lastly, take care of your spine and nerve system.  Stress is pervasive, when stressed we don’t always make the best decisions – especially with food.  People under regular Network Spinal Analysis care report and improved ability to think and concentrate (without stimulants).

We all want to be present, alert and full of energy.  You can have this, and be healthy too by taking care of your body and giving it what it needs.

For a free consultation to find out how you can breakthrough to a new level of health and well being call:

Brian Dickert, D.C. 434-227-7149

What is Reorganizational Healing about? It is about your Life

What if your life changed from having a healthy, flexible spine and nerve system?

This video is from Dawn Sea Kahrs in Wheeler, Oregon.   You can find her story here: http://www.gracefulwaveschiropractic.blogspot.com/2012/09/last-posture-screening-of-summer-this.html

Call today to schedule an appointment – 434-882-0095

You also, can have more joy in your life!

Eat Good Fats, Be Healthy!

Eat Good Fats, Be Healthy!

By Dr. Brian

     I recently read Eat Fat, Look Thin, by Bruce Fife, N.D., and Tim Ferriss’s book, The 4 Hour Body and with the help of those books I’ve made changes in my diet that had been relatively the same for over 20 years.

Before I talk about what I changed, I should begin with what I was eating and why I ate it.  In 1989 I started cycling for recreation and racing.  The conventional wisdom at the time was for distance athletes to consume large portions of carbohydrates to fuel sustained efforts from long training rides.  I didn’t eat processed foods, but over the years my consumption of healthy oils and fats like butter and olive oil became fairly low.  I ate a vegetarian diet that consisted of around 65% carbohydrates, 20% protein and 15% fat, a diet that would fit in with the recommendations of Dr. Dean Ornish or the American Heart Association.

The AHA recommendations are based on the theory, introduced in the late 1950’s by Ancel Keyes, that a diet low in fat, specifically saturated fats will reduce the risk of artery disease, heart attack and stroke. Following their recommendations, if you remove dietary fat, you should lower your risk from heart attack and stroke.

As many people changed their diets, vegetable oils became popular.  In the 1980’s manufactured “low-fat” foods and “no-fat” foods became available.  In Eat Fat, Look Thin, Fife states, “from 1910 to 1970 butter consumption fell from 17 pounds per person each year, to 4 pounds.   During the same period, consumption of “healthy” vegetable oils (margarine and shortening) increased 400%.”

Ancel Keyes’  “lipid hypothesis” of disease has some good points, but it is not a complete picture.  It doesn’t account for cultures that eat high amounts of saturated fats but have little incidence of heart disease, and it doesn’t explain the high incidence rates of heart disease and stroke even though dietary consumption of fat has decreased over the last 40 years from 40% to 32% of total calories.

What the lipid hypothesis didn’t take into account was a sharp rise in mechanically processed foods starting in with the industrial revolution.  Sugar, white flour, and pre-prepared foods were now more readily available.  Also, the consumption of rancid, heated or processed oils, now known as “trans fats” increases systemic inflammation which increases heart disease and stroke (even if the oil starts out as a “healthy oil”.  Meanwhile other cultures that didn’t have the advancements of the industrial revolution just kept eating the same diet they had been for thousands of years, and their rates of disease stayed the same.

About the time Keys was promoting his lipid hypothesis, others were promoting different ideas.  Researchers Alan Kekwick and Gaston Pawan found that when overweight participants of a study were given calorically similar diets that differed in protein, fat or carbohydrates the ones on the high carbohydrate diets gained weight, but those on high protein or high fat diets lost weight.

A more recent study at Harvard Medical School used two groups of people on calorically similar diets, but one had 35% of the total calories from fat, the other 20%.  What do you think the results were?  The ones who ate more fat lost an average of 9 lbs., and the other group, they gained an average of 6.3 pounds, which is a difference of 15 pounds!

Fats Are Important

Fats make up the membrane of the cell – the outer shell that holds it together.  Your brain is composed of 60% fat and cholesterol.  Dietary fats are used to make hormones that control body functions. Vitamin D, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA are made from cholesterol.  Hormones are the main regulators of metabolism, development, reproduction and many other processes.  In addition, a diet lacking in fat can reduce the efficiency of your immune system and make your more susceptible to disease.

Starting in the 1960’s, saturated fats got a bad reputation and the market for vegetable oils skyrocketed.  Did your parents have a large vat of Crisco too?  Vegetable oils are high in poly-unsaturated fats, and they are made mostly from seeds like sunflower, safflower, canola and vegetables like soybeans and corn.  Extracting oils from seeds and vegetables was almost impossible without the utilization of the hydraulic press.  Vegetable oils have only been a part of the human diet for less than 150 years.

Conversely, coconut, palm, butter, tallow, olive oil and lard are high in saturated fats.  They have been a staple in the diet of civilizations for thousands of years.  To this day if you go to rural Pakistan you will find people using butter and goat fat, in rural China: lard, India: ghee, and in Italy and Greece: olive oil.

On the islands of Pukapuka and Tokelau in the South Pacific you will find people who, for the most part, are isolated from Western culture and influence. Their native diet remains what it has been for centuries. The standard diets on both islands are high in saturated fat derived from coconuts.  Every meal contains coconut in some form, from green coconuts for drinking, the meat of the coconut, and coconut oil for cooking.  In the 1960’s a long term health study was completed on the islanders, and despite a diet high in saturated fats the population of 2,500 was found to be healthy.  Some of the findings of the study were:

  1. No signs of kidney disease.
  2. No signs of hypothyroidism.
  3. No high blood cholesterol.
  4. Ideal height to weight ratios.
  5. Digestive problems were rare.
  6. Heart disease, colitis, colon cancer, hemorrhoids, ulcers, diverticulitis, and appendicitis were all unfamiliar conditions on the islands.

They weren’t following the American Heart Association guidelines of 30% of calories from fat, and no more than 10% should be saturated.  The islanders obtained close to 60% of their calories from fat, most of it in the form of saturated fats from coconuts.  Ian Prior, M.D., one of the researchers stated, “Vascular disease is uncommon in both populations and there is no evidence of the high saturated fat intake having a harmful effect in these populations.” Other islanders who left for New Zealand were also tracked and Dr. Prior commented, “The more an islander takes on the ways of the West, the more prone he is to succumb to our degenerative diseases…gout, diabetes, atherosclerosis, obesity, and hypertension.”

A saturated fat is one that has no double bonds between the individual carbon atoms.  This makes it less prone to going rancid and forming trans-fats. Oils higher in poly-unsaturated fats go rancid easier, in the presence of air, heat or light.  This is why it is important to keep oils, especially olive oil in your refrigerator.

High fat diets – are they good or bad?  What do you do when faced with opposing health information?  Use your body as a guide.  How do you feel?  Do you have energy in the morning?  If you wanted to sprint 100 yards to beat an impending downpour, could you?  Have you had your blood values tested lately?  Take your body measurements: weight, body fat percentage.  These will all tell you if you are on the right track.

What do I eat now?  Since reading The 4 Hour Body, I have significantly lowered the amount of carbohydrates I consume in a day.  To make up for the loss of calories I am eating more eggs, and more fat in the form of butter and coconut oil.  I’ve lost 5 pounds and have stayed there for 5 months, and I’ve lost an inch from my waist.

The change in my body I’m most impressed with is one I didn’t realize was a problem.  In 2006 when we moved to our new house I over-worked my body and it took its toll on my hands; you could say I was having “arthritis” symptoms: painful, swollen hand joints.  I didn’t think it was serious, and after the initial “flare-up” in 2006 it improved, but another episode would occur if I used my hands a lot when engaging in an activity like gardening or waxing the car.  For the most part I became used to my hands being a little bit sore and stiff all the time.  About two months into the diet change I noticed my hands were moving more freely, and the joints didn’t look as swollen and enlarged.

How will you know your diet is working for you?  Within a couple months of adding healthy oils to your diet and removing vegetable oils, you should notice a difference in energy, weight, body dimensions, body fat, and joint mobility. I’ve combined healthy oil intake with an increase in protein and I haven’t felt this great in years.

Keys to Good Health with Healthy Fats:

  • Use the wisdom of cultures who have used whole foods for thousands of years, and be skeptical of manufactured foods offering “low fat” goodness.
  • Healthy fats are essential for cellular, hormonal and nerve system health.
  • Coconut oil for sautéing and extra virgin olive oil for topping salad and other dishes are essentially the only two oils you need.
  • Use healthy oils, and you won’t have to worry about the harmful effects of industrially produced and chemically altered oils.

12/23/2011 Update:

For a more scientific article from Dr. Ron Rosedale on the importance of eating good fats, read this article: http://training.tonyrobbins.com/1513/the-truth-about-weight-loss-hormones-prescription-drugs-and-your-health/

What does a chiropractor do when they injure their spine?

When you combine stubbornness with improper form it can lead to an injury. Ten days ago I was moving an area rug to a different room. This required removing all the furniture since the rug left only a foot of floor around all edges. I was getting impatient when I got to the filing cabinets and tried to lift them (while still full) and slide the rug underneath. In order to slide the rug while lifting I had to stand far away from the cabinet thus putting way too much strain on my back. Needless to say this wasn’t a good idea.

I did get smarter with the second filing cabinet and asked my son to slide the carpet while I lifted, but the damage had been done. Although, I didn’t know this right away. I still felt fine for the next few hours and continued my weekend chores. I cut the grass, worked in the garden, then I started moving some stones from the stream bed to the stream bank. Within minutes I was getting nauseated and felt pain in my mid back, I had done way too much.
At this point what would a chiropractor do to “fix” their injured spine?

  • Did I take an anti-inflammatory?
  • Did I ice the area?
  • Did I put heat on the area?
  • Did I use Arnica?
  • Did I have the area of pain adjusted?

Before I answer those questions, it should be known that this wasn’t the first time I’ve injured this area of my spine, although it had been many years since it had bothered me.

This area of my spine was painful a couple times of year in my mid twenties, then about 10 years ago after being in practice for a few years I noticed my spine was sore after a full day of work.  I  realized I had poor mechanics when working with people, and my body had become weak from a lack of exercise. I had no interest in a temporary fix from a pain reliever just so I could re-injure myself again from using the same poor mechanics with a weak core.
As I was writing this I saw this post from Donald Epstein, which explains what I was thinking ten years ago, and what I was also thinking this past week.

Each moment the question is the same..Do I wish to go BACK to my familiar life and be restored, or do I choose to go beyond anything before?

I noticed a pattern in my life and took steps to make my body stronger than it ever was. I started doing Pilates exercises and increased the frequency of my workouts. About this time I started attending J’s Gym, the first time in my life I consistently went to any gym, previously choosing to workout on my bike.

After a few months my back wasn’t an issue anymore and I was fit for the first time in my life. I didn’t have to protect my spine by limiting anything I did for fear of being in pain.  I felt powerful in knowing I had changed my body and changed a harmful pattern of movement.

Now back to the present. Today I did my first full workout at the gym, everything feels great even after having a relapse over the weekend, here is what I did to “fix” myself:

I lived my life as normal as possible, I went to work, I tried to keep mobile, which included some indoor cycling and walking. My spinal care consisted of one Network Spinal Analysis entrainment more than usual (my usual is once a week). I wasn’t comfortable enough to do my twice a week yoga routine so I skipped this until yesterday. I also added this Egoscue Exercise to my normal routine, which I did for 10 minutes a day. (The Egoscue Exercises I have been doing for over 10 years, but had been skipping it lately).

A couple of days of the last week it was difficult to do anything because of the discomfort,  so I rested much more than usual and did some reading, but I know with the way I train my body I would be able to recover quickly. I also knew I wouldn’t need any extra help, this included pain relievers, ice/heat, gels, or manipulation of the “stuck” area. I had full confidence in my bodies’ ability to self regulate it’s own tension, and I also knew the pain was protection, the pain prevented me from doing too much. I didn’t want to artificially “feel better” until the tissues, muscles, tendons and ligaments actually were better.

I know this isn’t the path most people take, even most chiropractors, but it is the one that works for me.  I know I am listening to my bodies’ cues. I am not ingesting anything that is harmful to my body or dulling my senses.  Ultimately I come out of the process more inspired with how my body heals.

You’re Getting on my Nerves!

You’re getting on my nerves!
By Dr. Suzanne
Everyone knows what it means when someone says “you’re getting on my nerves,” but I find it an interestingly and curiously anatomically accurate phrase.  Consider this:
We perceive our world through our nerves, or nervous system.  We not only coordinate the function of every cell, tissue and organ in the body, but also express every emotion through our nervous systems.  It’s the part of us we use to reason, to adapt to stress, and it’s the vehicle we use to create our conscious reality.  The nervous system is also designed to keep us safe from perceived danger.
When our nervous systems are not flexible enough to integrate an event, or adapt to a stressor, the event or stressor is perceived as overwhelming, and we move into a natural protective response – stress physiology.  The energy and information of that overwhelming event or trauma is translated into vibration and tension, which is then stored in our bodies to be digested or integrated later when it is safe, resulting in defense posture.
In defense posture, we tighten; we hunker down in a hostile world.  Our blood pressure tends to rise, we feel less emotion and we live in reaction to every moment.  Over time, defensive posture distorts the spinal system.  Muscular tightness and spasm, and reduced breath into the effected areas occur, and reduced motion and movement results.  Spinal bones lose their normal alignment as the muscles and ligaments strain and pull.  Nerves can become compressed or stretched and irritated which results in abnormal function.
This is the time when we find things get on our nerves.  Before we know it, everything – even little stuff – seems overwhelming.  When we’re already stressed, we tense more easily, and until we move out of defense posture, the brain continues to perceive life defensively, and produces stress chemicals that inhibit not only  our restorative functions, but also the ability to pay attention to the incomplete energy or  “unfinished business” stored in the body.  We’re “stuck” in defense.
Stuck in defense, we react to environmental challenges as threats.  Novel or new ideas are stressful; we have difficulty making changes and we fear things that are different.  We are in survival mode in many areas of our lives.  This pattern of defense posture is held until the brain perceives it is safe to experience that original overwhelming energy again and digest or integrate the information from the trauma – to finish that unfinished business.  That’s where Network Spinal Analysis care comes in!
Network care helps people move from the stress physiology that fixed them into defensive posture, into something new and better.  Most of us remain in defense posture our whole lives.  There are many people whose vertebrae, ligaments and tissues are so locked into stress patterns, creating so much tension, that their focus is on “just getting through another day,” instead of enjoying life.
Network care allows the brain to move from stress physiology into safety and growth.  By using gentle and specific touches in a consistent sequence called the Network Entrainment, a person’s own body learns to release those complex patterns of stress, tension and defense.    You cannot be in defense and growth at the same time.  A brain in defense cannot develop new strategies for experiencing and responding to life.  A brain in growth can.
In growth, we are more attentive to our inner cues, energy, and respiration and we are no longer focused on the outer circumstance of the moment to dictate our health and well-being.  When we’re “entrained” to our internal rhythms, outside stressors affect us less, because we no longer entrain to the stress around us.  Spinal tension patterns, alignment and postural changes all reflect our movement from defense to growth.  We experience a greater sense of grace, gratitude, connection, inner power and love, all previously inaccessible to a brain that was functioning in defense.
Network Entrainments are designed and applied in such a way as to engage the higher part of the brain, through which we observe ourselves and make choices regarding our behavior.  Instead of “fixing” you, Entrainments help your body find that old unfinished business, fully integrate it, and move forward from there utilizing that held tension as fuel for growth and healing.
Network care is about helping your body and nervous system reorganize, become more flexible and able to adapt, and to develop new strategies for not only releasing tension, but also experiencing life in a way that wasn’t available to you before.  In time, this higher energetic, physical, and emotional state becomes more familiar and sustainable and people radiate authenticity, love and hope.  And each time you are more fully “you,” not only is the world is a better place, but also it’s less likely to get on your nerves!

This article is from our April 2011 Newsletter, sign up to receive this newsletter when it is published by visiting www.eylc.com