its all connected

Chances are if you are experiencing a racing heart, restlessness, irritability , nervousness, insomnia, mood swings, feeling overwhelmed you may also be experiencing gas, nausea, bloating, brain fog, diarrhea , sugar cravings , headaches, muscle pain , leaky gut, autoimmune disfunction or IBS.

When it comes down to the basics, stress is bad for you. You’re body regulates stress in the Autonomic Nervous system which regulates heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and digestion. The Autonomic Nervous system has 2 parts the Sympathetic Nervous system, where the fight or flight stress response tells the brain that you do not feel safe, and the Parasympathetic Nervous system, the come back down response of rest, relax and restore. With constant and repeated stress in our lives the body has trouble regulating the Autonomic Nervous system.

The physical aspects of worry and stress develops as a habit of contraction of the body. So adrenalin and cortisol levels increase, the muscles of the neck, shoulders, arms and hands tense often we pull the legs up unconsciously to protect the abdomen as in the foetal position. As tension increases smooth muscles get tense and heart rate increases. repeated stress takes a toll and can lead to burn out and changes in posture from repeated episodes and the body trying to defend and protect itself from stress.

So Super charging the Parasympathetic Nervous System is key to unloading stress. So to do this involves calming the Vagus Nerve. The Vagus Nerve is essentially responsible for the mind body connection. It is the longest Nerve in the body and has branches to all the major organs from the brain to the colon. It works as the connection part of us between the thinking brain and feeling emotions.

So the Vagus Nerve listens to the way we breathe and adapts the heart rate in response. When we breath slowly the heart rate also slows. Exercises which slow the mind body connection and bring us back into the present moment are useful in regulating the Parasympathetic nervous system.

A simple exercise of orientation can help calm your Vagus nerve. By simply noticing where abouts in a room you are sitting and noting what is immediately around you? What colours you can see? Can you can send your gaze beyond where you are and into a distance?

Anything closed in like screens and small rooms tend to make you feel closed in as well. Moving your gaze beyond your immediate area to a window or out to the horizon can calm breathing and heart rate. Also slowing eye movement helps with calming and rapid eye movements can be an indicator for stress.

We are always looking for instant and fast paced changes to health and lifestyle. The quick fix. This is not the pace that the Parasympathetic Nervous system or the Vagus Nerve work. Any changes need to slow relaxed and manageable to be effective. With this in mind here are some Kinesiology goals which may help improve you’re health and stress levels.

  • I am calm and relaxed as I make good choices in my own best interests.
  • I am safe, supported and loved.
  • I calm my nervous system and allow healing.
  • I continue to improve the way I manage stress and develop effective long term health .

Calm Little Birdy

The Vagus Nerve plays a major role in the Autonomic Nervous System. The Autonomic Nervous System has 2 parts: The Sympathetic Nervous System and the Parasympathetic Nervous System .

The Autonomic Nervous System regulates bodily functions such as heartrate , blood pressure, pupil dilation , heat, sweating and digestion. In quick response the body is flooded with a rush of hormones, sending extra blood to the muscles and the heart rate quickens, you become more alert and extra oxygen flows to the brain so your are hype- alert and infusion of glucose pours into the bloodstream for extra energy boost. All to keep you safe from clear and present danger.

The Sympathetic Nervous System is where the fight-or-flight response happens. In extreme danger the body reacts and readies itself to either fight-or-flee to keep us safe from danger. This proved useful when our ancient ancestors needed protection from real dangers, however now in our fast paced modern world the Sympathetic Nervous System functions in hyper-drive and constant stimulation and high stressed living leaves us in constant state of high alert and anxiety.

This is an involuntary process without conscious direction.

However, as useful as the Sympathetic Nervous System is in responding quickly to danger it is completely useless when the danger has passed. It is the Parasympathetic Nervous System which works to counter the stress response and calm the body down. The Parasympathetic Nervous System gives the opportunity for the body to rest-and-digest. It brings the heart rate down and returns the body to normal functioning or homeostasis.

The Vagus Nerve has a special role in the Parasympathetic Nervous System. It senses our breathing rate and adjusts the heart rate in response. So when we breath slowly the heart rate adjusts and we feel relaxed . Conversely we breath quickly a stress response is initiated.

So when considering anxiety and the bodies reactions to repeated stress, we can begin to consciously practise Vagal Breathing where we use deliberate slow diaphragmatic breathing and exhaling slowly to stimulate the Vagus Nerve and activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System.

This is why meditation, is is often suggested to reduce stress in our busy lives today.

Working with goal balance in Kinesiology here are a list of common goals I would use to help people relax and find you’re calm centred self.

  • I release anxiety and self doubt and embrace peace.
  • I release the feeling of being overwhelmed and make decisions that help me to feel calm and secure.
  • I release the feeling of being overwhelmed and make decisions that help me to feel calm and secure.
  • Every cell in my body is relaxed and I am able to feel deeply secure and worthy.
  • I am calm and focused.
©B Flynn

‘All disease begins in the gut”

‘All disease begins in the gut” is a quote from Ancient Greek Physician Hippocrates more than 2500 years ago. As time passes modern studies have shown much of this statement to be correct at least for many chronic diseases.

We are learning a great deal of how gut bacteria can affect your health and how increasing the good bacteria in your gut can offer health benefits.

The mouth is the beginning of the digestive system and has the second largest microbiome community in the body.

Most people know poor diet choices like simple carbs and sugar, white flour and processed food are bad for your teeth but these foods are actually damaging or reducing the good microbiome which in turn can damage the teeth and cause tooth decay. Poor oral Microbiome can go beyond the mouth and leak into the digestive system causing a host of more serious heath problems.

A balanced diet with diverse, healthy vegetables can improve health. Vegies like chicory, dandelion greens, onions, garlic and banana’s are good prebiotic sources. Probiotics like fermented foods are all good choices to build gut flora. So the healthier your mouth the healthier your gut.

As a kinesiologist I can see the benefit of improving the alignment of the muscles of the throat, jaw, tongue, for more efficient chewing and producing saliva for oral health and digestion.

Taking the time to chew and swallow the food and making the effort to eat healthy foods as well as taking the time eat slowly and not eating on the run can all make a difference to how well your body is able to digest food.

Several studies suggest that ancient Ayurveda technique called oil pulling can be beneficial to oral health. Although sesame oil is traditional. The most common oil used for oil pulling is coconut oil as it has a good vitamin E content.

Oil pulling is when 1 tablespoon of coconut oil is swished around the mouth first thing on a morning on an empty stomach for a period of around 10 minutes before being washed down the sink. and washing your mouth out with water. The process acts a a natural mouth wash and helps to neutralise bad bacteria.

The other important thing to note is swishing muscles around and mouth are useful exercise for the masticating or chewing muscles of the face and jaw and gargling is good for the throat and digestion.

Here are some kinesiology goals that may help to balance the digestive system

  • My inner health is a reflection of my overall heathy lifestyle.
  • I nourish my body with a healthy balanced diet.
  • I safely release bad bacteria and increase good bacteria in my mouth and digestive system.
  • My teeth are healthy and strong.

©C Flynn

Mental Health is not all in our head

Science at this point in time is evolving and the evidence is pointing to Mental and Emotional health is coming from our gut.

So the digestive system breaks down food, absorbs nutrients, processes chemicals and elimates waste. But what else does it do?

The ‘Second Brain’ can control the gut independent of the brain.

The neurotransmitter serotonin ‘the happy chemical’ is responsible for mood and feelings of wellbeing.

Serotonin is primarily found in the stomach and intestines as well as the brain. Serotonin helps to control bowel movements and digestive function as well as many other psychological and bodily functions.

Serotonin is a natural mood stabilizer and impacts your emotional health. its a chemical with helps with , sleep , eating and digesting food. Healthy serotonin levels helps to reduce depression, anxiety heal wound and maintain bone health.

Serotonin is made from the essential fatty acid Tryptophan. This must enter your system through a protein rich diet such as eggs, nuts , cheese and red meat, salmon and tofu to support healthy serotonin levels.

It is as yet unknown if a drop in serotonin causes depression or depression causes serotonin. However eating a healthy diet , exercise sunlight. And making an effort to positively change your mindset with activities such as kinesiology and meditation may offer natural solution.

The psychological and mindset approach to reduce stress and improve diet may help to improve outcomes for people suffering depression.

Here are a list of goals that may be useful for people dealing with depression.

  • My body utilises nutrients from the food I eat.
  • I give myself permission to be happy.
  • I look forward to every new day.
  • I have a passion and enthusiasm for life.
  • I let go of pain from the past and freely move forward with my life.
©Beth Flynn

I trust my gut

The link between emotion and the digestive system is much closer than previously thought. Have you heard of the brain in your gut, in which people refer to as the “Second Brain”. It makes sense if have you ever had butterflies in your stomach, or gone with your gut feeling?

The link between digestion, emotions , mood and health is really significant when you think of the fast paced, high stress world we live in and the diet choices available to us.

The Enteric Nervous System(ENS) has around 100 million nerve cells lining your gastrointestinal tract from the Esophagus to Rectum. so physiological stress response may be coming directly from the second brain to the first brain not vice versa. So that loss of appetite , tummy ache when upset, wind, bloating, indigestion, and IBS are thought to be linked with a greater selection of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

So it appears its the gut not the brain responsible for these increasingly common ailments and mental health problems we are seeing today.

So this is very interesting to me in my work as a Kinesiologist. I work with goals and incorporate body work to increase overall wellness.

Here are a few common goals I may use in order to improve the digestive system.

  • My digestive system functions at optimal levels.
  • I am able to digest and process stress in my life step by step.
  • I trust my gut.
  • I allow my digestive system to unwind, relax and let go.

©Beth Flynn

Real Food

Eating real food and making good food choices can have a profound effect on the muscular system.  Certain muscles are strengthened by specific foods. Choosing to eat certain foods is a cost-effective way to help to increase nutrients rather than taking supplements.

The gluteus maximus is one of the largest and strongest muscles of the body which helps to give support to our lower back as well as lends support to the reproductive area. Foods which support the Gluteus maximus are green peas, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts , green leafy vegies and cold water fish. So for lower back and reproductive health a diet rich in these foods can help nourish the body and reproductive system.

Here is my salad suggestion for reproduction health

Broccoli and Kale Salad

Kale cut finely

Broccoli diced

Green peas

Cucumber

Nectarine

Pomegranate

Sunflower seeds pumpkin seeds cranberries

1 avocado

 

Dressing

Lemon or lime juice

Mint leaves or any herb blended

Olive oil.

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Breathing for Relaxation

Breathing is fundamental to living and its our most natural instinct. But to breath deeply, slowly and smoothly is almost and art that brings enormous benefits to our mental state and wellbeing.

So if we cannot breath properly it can be difficult to release stress and fully relax. To breath deeply oxygenates the blood and allows a full range of expression and a clearer head.

So when we are not calm we tend to hyperventilate causing too much carbon dioxide to leave the blood stream and this can cause all sorts of physical and psychological symptoms such as dizziness and panic attacks. In a panicked state we breath more quickly.

It may really be stating the obvious, but air is such an essential element to being human and to make the most of breathing by breathing deeply and evenly can be essential to bring a sense of calm and being able to relax the mind.

There are 2 types of breathing. Shallow, or costal, breathing where the air enters the upper chest and upper lungs and abdominal, or diaphragmatic, breathing where the diaphragm contracts and air enter the lower lungs.

Costal breathing can be a natural response to stress. When we learn to manage our breathing and make sure we are abdominal breathing we can bring calm and clarity to mind and body.

We can use visualisations such as this one to learn to breath fully and deeply.

Breathing slowly and deliberately imagine every deep breath inwards that your entire body is calm centred and beginning to unwind. By closing your eyelids and resting your eyes deep relaxation flows over your entire body. Each breath is  releasing and letting go of tension through out your body. Where there is tensions direct your breath and feel release and lightness and pleasure. As cool clean air reaches your diaphragm your body begins to open up to the feeling of relation.

As you breath deeply imagine a cool green colour deeply penetrating your throat entering your lungs and soothing your heart. As your continue to breath slowly and deliberately this beautiful green energy is wrapping around and soothing each vertebra of your spine and opening your pelvis. The  connection of your throat and pelvis allows freedom of breath and relaxation.

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Learning to Relax

Learning to relax in our modern world can be challenging.

Our body and state of mind are often telling us to make a change and take some time out.

But taking the time to listen to the body and making the commitment is often difficult.

Triggers for stress often happen over a period of time, we work long hours, we have pressure from home and work as well as the stress of living in our busy world such as road rage and cyber bullying  which can be totally unique to the present time.. So we feel we need to think quicker, work harder and excel in all areas.

So stress causes our bodies to react increasing hormone and adrenaline levels which is the fight or flight mechanism which diverts blood from the brain so the body is ready to deal with the perceived danger.

We often believe to some extent that we work better under pressure and this may be true for short term gains but consistently relying on this pressure to preform is ultimately very taxing for the body and can push us to breaking point.

So eventually hopefully we decide to revaluate our priorities and take the time out to learn to relax.

As a Remedial massage therapist and Kinesiologist I use both these modalities to bring back peace and calm but these are just the beginning of what people can do to learn how to help themselves. By taking the responsibility back and plan and prioritise your own needs you can not only reduce the impact stress has on your life but be of benefit and more available to those around you.

I will be adding from time to time more information on creating calm and stillness  to our mind and body along with different art pieces that either myself or my daughter has created .

Please feel free to leave positive comments as the content is all my own and it takes time and effort. But use it to help yourself and clear your head and improve your wellbeing.

For more information or to book an appointment or to purchase artwork ph 0448513171 Mind Body Integration 33 Fourth St South Littleton.

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Case Study – Frozen Shoulder

Case Study – Frozen Shoulder

 

I have a client aged 53 who presented approximately 8 weeks ago diagnosed with Frozen Shoulder left side. At the time he had roughly 15% range of movement in his left shoulder going straight up from his hip and both forwards and backwards. His pain levels were high relying on endone from 4pm to sleep.

He has previously broken his right hip, and calcaneus as well as 3 broken ribs in a fall from a ladder approximately 3 years ago. He has disc problems in his lower back and a tear to his right subscapularis both long standing injuries.

Visually comparing his shoulders his right was sitting as normal while his left was lower and wider and his muscles were no longer hugging the glenohumeral joint but loose and weak.

He is an ideal client in many ways, happy to come weekly and determined to increase his range of movement (ROM) and reduce pain. We used Kinesiology and these are the goal statements we used for each of the first 6 weeks.

Week 1 – My muscular system and shoulders function free of dysfunction.

Week 2 – I have freedom of movement in my left rotator cuff.

Week3 – My shoulder muscles work in harmony. I am able to extend my arm over my head.

Week 4 – I increase my range of movement(ROM) and my body functions free of pain.

Week5 – I build strength and ROM in my left arm.

Week 6 –  I am easily able to do tasks that require exterior rotation of my shoulder without pain.

Kinesiology is a form of biofeedback muscle testing where you follow a succession of protocols, for example frozen shoulder massage, gaits, diet recommendations, essential oils or many other options depending on the skills and knowledge of the therapist, to gain health benefits. Kinesiology is aimed at strengthening the body’s ability to heal. So, I’m aiming at achieving congruency with the goal statement to align emotional and physical wellbeing.

In the six weeks since we started his ROM is sitting around 80 % and both his shoulder are sitting symmetrical.  He is more than impressed to be able to wash is hair with both hands and is able to place both hands behind his back. He has been endone free since week 4 and making steady progress towards having full ROM and freedom in his shoulder region.

Published with permission of client.

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Rotator Cuff

Rotator Cuff

When we talk about the Rotator Cuff in relation to shoulder function we are basically describing four muscles which stabilise the shoulder joint (Glenohumeral Joint) or in other words the 4 muscles which hold the arm into the shoulder joint.

In Kinesiology certain muscles fall into different meridians groups as in Chinese Medicine.  The Rotator Cuff muscles are Supraspinatus (Central Meridian), Infraspinatus (Triple Warmer) Teres Minor (Triple Warmer) and Subscapularis (Heart Meridian).

So looking at the Supraspinatus and the Central Meridian. The Central Meridian is linked to clear energy flow upwards towards the brain. So when the Supraspinatus Muscle is working effectively you have clear thinking and able to make good decisions. Emotional upsets and stress can interrupt the flow restrict clear thinking and eventually damage the Supraspinatus.

Infraspinatus and Teres minor are muscles which both relate to the Triple Warmer Meridian so any dysfunction can be an indicator for Thymus and Thyroid function. These 2 Meridians are often associated with hyperactivity , fight and flight as well as weight gain. Infraspinatus can be further stressed by heavy metal poisoning. Weakness can show up also in the elbows and wrists. Both muscles respond well to iodine rich foods such as fish and seaweed.

The Subscapularis is under the shoulder blade (almost hidden) and associated with the Heart Meridian. If you look metaphorically at the Subscapularis muscle it about what is being hidden. The emotions of love, hate and compassion all fall under the heart meridian. Do your head and heart always communicate?

So these 4 small muscles and tendons basically provide support to the joint itself. So injury or overuse can cause pain reduced range of movement and a variety of painful conditions including frozen shoulder, bursae, and shoulder impingement.

So if you look at the shoulder more generally some larger muscles such as Deltoids , Traps and Pecs, Rhomboids  can all effect should movement but the Rotator Cuff allows the movement to be smooth, stable and supported.

For Kinesiology or Remedial Massage.

Mind Body Integration  33 Fourth St , South Littleton 0448513171

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