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 .

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

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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Strategies to help with handwriting

Strategies to help with handwriting in children

 

Many children have difficulty with handwriting skills and brain integration. Primitive and postural reflexes have always been of interest to me especially supporting my children through school.  My knowledge is much better now than when they were smaller but everyone learns somewhere.

Starting at the beginning with the Palmer reflex. This is a primate reflex which emerges at about 11 weeks in utero and usually and lasts until about 4-6 months as a baby starts to focus and use hand eye coordination to reach for objects and begin exploring their world. This movement starts as a reflex and is most notable when a baby’s hand will grip whatever he touches and you need to pry their hands open. As they start reaching for items and developing their hand eye coordination the reflex is no longer needed.

The development of the pincer grip for picking up smaller items which often go straight to the mouth.  Using the thumb and forefinger is the forerunner for holding a pencil as well as being able to track and write from the board at school.  As a baby the hand will often then go straight to the mouth developing the fine motor skill incorporating hand and mouth movements. The Babkin Response (movement of the hand which will in turn purse the lips and open the baby mouth) is also key in developing handwriting but also because the mouth is also involved so smooth speech being able to coordinate hand and mouth movements together.

Task initiation can also be problem with children with hand writing problem. Problems in knowing where to begin planning tasks, starting projects independently, keeping track of possessions, keeping bedrooms and school bags tidy all seem to come up for children with poor hand writing skills

The early development of fine motor skills is crucial to handwriting skills , being able to shift focus from board to paper and spacial awareness and development of smooth speech.

These skills can be improved with exercise and coordination skills and developing core strength as the body core does not engage fully if a child has struggled with hand eye coordination problems.

Crossing the midline is great exercise for developmental skill. Helpful for visual tracking and reading and writing left to right, as well as throwing and catching a ball.

Kinesiology and fine motor exercise can build strength in the intrinsic muscles of the hand to help a child to improve their fine motor skills and develop  greater confidence in their handwriting ability, task inhiation and coordination.

Mind Body Integration 33 Fourth Street Lithgow 0448513171

This artwork pictured is a small peak at a scribble drawing by my daughter Beth Flynn and will be on display in Mosman Youth Prize from the 16th March 2018.

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Happy New Year

2016 has been a year of completion for many, being the end of a 9 year Numerology cycle.

2017 is in many ways is a new beginning. Year 1 in the next 9 year cycle.

May 2017 be the beginning of a wonderful new cycle and lay the foundations for some awesome life experiences .

Wishing you all, all the health, wealth and happiness possible for 2017 and into the future .

Amanda Spargo  Mind Body Integration Therapies 0448513171

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