Jill's List Blog
It might not mean what you think it means!
What is the “core” anyway?
The core consists of the deepest layers of muscles in the body. When visualizing the core of a human body, think about an apple core – it’s the deepest part and runs along the axis. Core muscles include: the deep muscles of the spine, the deep layers of abdominal muscles (psoas and transverse abdominus), the muscles of the pelvic floor, the diaphragm, and the inner muscles of the ribcage (inner intercostals).
Myths About Core
Myth #1: Core strength is about getting a “6-pack” and/or a “flat tummy”
The muscle that creates the 6-pack appearance is the rectus abdominus muscle, the most superficial abdominal muscle (which makes it inherently not a core muscle). More often than not, the main role that an overly worked-out rectus abdominus plays in core strengthening is that it interferes; in the case of someone with a “cut” stomach, often the rectus needs to relax and soften in order to access the real core body.
Myth #2: I should do “sit-ups” to strengthen my core.
It’s possible to do something that resembles a sit-up or a crunch that might fire up the core muscles, but more often than not, “traditional-fitness-sit-ups” tend to activate muscles (like the rectus abdominus) that are not part of the core. Many people who do a lot of sit-ups have to go through a process of un-doing all the unbalanced strength they accumulated which interferes with true core awakening.
Myth #3: If I go to pilates classes, it means I am definitely working my core.
It is possible, and common, to participate in exercises that are considered core-targeted in essence, but end up using muscles other than the core. REALLY using the core in core-targeted exercises requires skill and nuanced understanding of how to engage internally.
What do you mean by an “integrated” core?
In this context, integrated means that we aren’t talking about a randomly strong core that is discreet and isolated. The core should be strong in the sense of being healthy, alive, and powerful in a way that is appropriate relative to the rest of the body. If someone has a very strong, contracted core and very weak limbs and outer-layer muscles, then in order for that person to cultivate an integrated core and an integrated body, he/she would need to focus on releasing and lengthening the core and strengthening the weaker non-core muscles.
Why work on the core body?
Protect your back!
An appropriately strong and healthy core will ensure that your back doesn’t have to work overtime. As the core muscles get stronger, they also also lengthen, providing a sturdy structural support for the spinal column, preventing spinal compression and related ailments.
Diminish chronic tightness and muscular compensation patterns.
If some muscles are under-working, others will be over-working. This manifests differently in every person.
Changes in other layers of your being.
As you create a stable core, examine changes that might occur in your mental and emotional body and in other parts of your life. The state of the core is the physiological expression of something deep inside of you.
Ruthie Streiter is a Structural Integration Practitioner and a yoga teacher in Brooklyn NY, specializing in therapeutics and creating structural and functional harmony in the body. She is the founder and director of both Decompression Project, which offers programs to improve body structure and promote awakened embodiment, and End of Knowing Yoga School, a unique learning sanctuary that fuses the ancient wisdom of yoga with the cultivation of structural balance. Through Decompression Project, Ruthie created an extensive Yoga Video Library, a collection of streamed therapeutic yoga sequences design to help people “practice right for their body types” at home. Ruthie writes regularly on her 2 blogs, The Primary Structure and the End of Knowing Blog, as well as for many online wellness publications.
Appetizer: Avocado Lime Hummus (to munch on while you’re making the rest of the meal)
Ingredients; 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans, 1 avocado (peeled and pitted), ¼ cup water, ¼ cup sesame seeds, 1 lime (zested and juiced), 2 tbsp. olive oil, and 2 tbsp. cilantro. Enjoy with cut vegetables, pita, or your favorite chip to dip.
Directions; pulse all ingredients together in a food processor until smooth.
Soup: Avocado Gazpacho
Ingredients; 2.5 cups tomato-vegetable juice cocktail, 2.5 cups vegetable broth, 3 large tomatoes (diced), 2 large avocados (peeled, pitted, diced), 1 cup cucumber (diced), 1/2 cup green bell pepper (diced), 1/2 cup red bell pepper (diced), 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 3 green onions (thinly sliced), 1 lemon (juiced), 2 tbsp. cilantro (minced), 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar, salt and pepper for taste.
Directions; Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Cover and chill for 3 hours before serving.
Main Course: Chipotle Shrimp Taco with Avocado Salsa Verde
Ingredients for Salsa; 1 small onion (quartered), 1 jalapeno (quartered-seeds optional), 1 garlic clove (smashed), 4 medium tomatillos (about 8 ounces-husked, rinsed, and coarsely chopped), 1 Hass avocado (peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks), 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (coarsely chopped)
Ingredients for Shrimp Taco; 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon chipotle or blended chili powder,
1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 pound medium shrimp (about 20-peeled and deveined), 8 corn tortillas
8 sprigs cilantro for garnish, 2 limes (cut into wedges)
Directions; Put the onion, jalapeno, and garlic in a food processor and finely chop. Add the tomatillos, avocado, and salt and pulse until chopped but still chunky. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cilantro.
Heat a stovetop or outdoor grill to medium-high. Mix the olive oil, chipotle or chili powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Grill the shrimp until translucent, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side.
Grill tortillas, until slightly charred and pliable, about 20 seconds per side. Spoon salsa on the tortilla and top with about 2 or 3 shrimp and a sprig of cilantro. Serve with wedge of lime on the side.
Ingredients; 4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, 2 ripe avocados, ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 3 tbsp. agave nectar, pinch of salt. Optional add-ins; peanut or nut butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, or chili powder. Optional toppings; sliced fruits, mint leaves, or granola.
Directions; in a large bowl over simmering water melt the 4 ounces of chocolate. In a food processor combine avocados, cocoa powder, agave nectar, salt, and any additional ingredients you choose. Stir in the melted chocolate. Blend for several minutes until smooth. Transfer into individual sized ramekins. Refrigerate for at least four hours. Add toppings before serving!
Prior to the middle of the 20th century the word “stress” barely registered in the national vocabulary. Now, 50 years later, there’s a conversation you hear so often, it’s almost a chorus: You ask a friend, “How are you?” and she replies, “I’m OK, but I’m feeling a little stressed.”
According to the American Psychological Association’s 2011 Stress in America survey, “year after year Americans report extreme stress (22 percent in 2011) – on an 8, 9 or 10 point scale where 1 is little or no stress and 10 is a great deal of stress. And more than half of Americans reported personal health problems (53%) as a source of stress.”
It was not until the middle of the 20th century that physiologist Hans Selye labeled our reaction to life’s challenges with a simple word: stress. Stress is associated with over activation of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), the part of the autonomic nervous system that responds to fight, flight, freeze reactions when the organism encounters a threat to its survival. So for example, when someone cuts us off on the highway or our boss yells at us or we receive an unfriendly letter from the IRS, the sympathetic nervous system is activated – our heart races, digestion stops, mouth gets dry, our breathing increases and blood sugar rises. Moreover, we live in a culture that prizes the excitement, aggressiveness, high stress work life, pace and general intensity that is fueled by the SNS.
The SNS has a very useful evolutionary function as it ensured our survival over generations. Wooly mammoths and other strange beasts would have eaten us all had we not biologically evolved the sophisticated machinery central to our nervous systems that enabled us to fight, flee or freeze in unfriendly situations. The problem is that chronic SNS activation associated with our fast paced lifestyles wears and tears at our bodies, increasing the risk of gastrointestinal ailments such as ulcers, colitis and constipation, weakening the bodies immune defenses, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular ailments such as heart attacks.
According to neuropsychologist Dr. Rick Hanson, “the parasympathetic (PNS) and sympathetic nervous systems work in balance with each other much like the brakes and the gas pedal of a car.” The PNS handles disengagement from the external environment, recovery from stressful experiences, and returning the body back to balance. If the SNS is for “fight and flight,” the parasympathetic nervous system helps one “rest and digest.” Conscious attention to the parasympathetic system brings the body back to center.
Enter Restorative Yoga
The importance of relaxation and self-regulation practice is growing exponentially as times where stress, and the effects of stress, has reached heightened states. Restorative yoga is a powerful healing practice that deepens our relationship to stillness and silence, a necessary counterpoint to our busy, active lives.
Using props (blocks, blankets, cushions, bolsters) to support the body in positions of ease, postures are held for five to ten minutes without effort or force. Consciously resting offers the body an opportunity to renew and heal by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, the body’s natural relaxation response.
Yoga teacher Judith Hanson Lasater concludes, “during deep relaxation, all the organ systems of the body are benefited, and a few of the measurable results of deep relaxation are the reduction of blood pressure, serum triglycerides and blood sugar levels in the blood, the increase of the “good cholesterol” levels, as well as improvement in digestion, fertility, elimination, the reduction of muscle tension, insomnia and generalized fatigue. When you stop agitating it, the body starts to repair itself.”
Born in Montreal, Canada, David Schouela worked for a family banking and real estate enterprise for 20 years before retiring to pursue his life-long interest in yoga and meditation.
He holds a 200-hour yoga certification and is currently pursuing his 500-hour yoga certification at the Kripalu Institute of Yoga and Health in Lenox, Massachusetts. David is also certified to teach trauma-sensitive yoga & restorative yoga. He is a co-founder and board member of True North Insight Meditation Center in Quebec, Canada. He teaches mindful hatha yoga in the Greater Boston area and Ontario, Canada. David is a staff yoga teacher at the Trauma Center in Brookline, MA.
1. Organic food has more nutrients! Studies have shown that organic food has higher levels of nutrients than conventionally grown produce such as vitamin C, and many minerals including calcium, magnesium, iron and chromium.
2. Organic food protects your brain, body and nervous system! Organic food is either free from or has a much lower level of pesticides, which are neurotoxins. Neurotoxins are toxins that can damage your brain and nerve cells. Many pesticides currently being used are still considered neurotoxins.
3. Eating Organic is safe and healthy for your children’s brain, nervous system and bodies. Children are very susceptible to toxins, much more than adults. Avoid worrying about your kids having the danger of increased exposure to pesticides and genetically-modified organisms from conventionally sprayed and grown produce!
Harvard researchers found that low-level exposure to common pesticides actually doubles the childs risk of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
4. Protect your Gut! Research has shown that at least 18% percent of all genetically-modified (GMO) seeds are engineered to produce their own pesticides. When you eat the food grown from GMO seeds, they may continue producing pesticides inside your own body (such as in your intestines). This has the potential of causing inflammation in your gut!
5. Organic food has been tried and tested for generations. It has been estimated that genetically-modified food makes up 80% of the average person’s food consumption. Remember, genetic modification of food is still experimental.
6. Buying Organic will help reduce the toxins and pollution in our drinking water. Pesticides pollute our water! The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that pesticides pollute the main source of water for half the American population.
7. Organic food supports our planet. Organic food production is sustainable for our future and has been around for thousands of years. In the U.S. and many parts of the world, the environment has been damaged because of modern agricultural practices with the widespread use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers.
8. Support your local farmers by buying Organic food: By choosing to buy and eat organic food, you will help to support farmers with smaller scale organic farms. This will help our family farmers who dedicate their lives for our behalf.
9. Organic farms are safer for farmers & workers. Among people exposed to pesticides, research shows an increase in Parkinson’s disease. Kids whose parents work with pesticides are more likely to get leukemia and brain cancer. Studies reveal that childhood leukemia is directly related to increased pesticide use around the home. Nine different studies that were reviewed by the National Cancer Institute also showed a correlation between pesticide exposure and brain cancer.
10. Eating organic may reduce your risk of getting cancer. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that 90% of fungicides, 60% of herbicides and 30 percent of insecticides can potentially can cancer.
Eating organic produce benefits the health of you and your loved ones, our dedicated farmers and the planet!
Dr. Roopa Chari successfully combines her unique training and experience in alternative medicine along with her traditional medical background to provide the best quality healthcare possible for her patients. Dr. Chari serves as the Medical Director of The Chari Center of Health, Inc. She was inspired by her mother, Mrs. Mani Chari and guided by her brother, Deepak to learn more about Natural Healing. She then became certified in Hypnosis, Thought-Field-Therapy™, Neuro-Linguistic Programming™, and Interactive Guided ImagerySM. Dr. Chari’s vision has always been to help people to heal themselves by treating the underlying cause of medical and psychological conditions including nutritional deficiencies, stress and suppressed emotions. Visit the Chari Center website HERE.
Ingredients; 1/2 cup (packed) flat-leaf parsley (leaves and stems), 4 kale leaves (center ribs removed), 1 cup frozen organic berries, 1 banana, 1 teaspoon ground flax-seed
Directions; Purée ingredients with 1 cup water or almond milk in a blender until smooth
A Juice Cleanse is your ticket to health! Or is it?
Over the last couple of years juicing has become very popular. Everywhere you look someone is talking about the life-changing effects of juicing. Recently, I even received a two day juice cleanse deal from Living Social! I won’t name names but the company offering the deal advertises “lose 12 pounds in 2 days!” Now, come on. Does anyone still believe that? While juicing has many benefits, it is not a cure-all as many people seem to believe. So, assuming you are not looking to lose weight so much as feeling more energetic and clear-minded, would a juice cleanse be beneficial for you? Maybe. Maybe not!
Ayurveda’s Take On Juicing
Ayurveda is clear on one thing: nothing is all good or all bad for anybody all of the time. And so it is with juicing. Juices by their very nature are cold, light and dry (no fat). Depending on whether you have more air (vata), fire (pitta), or earth (kapha) in you, those qualities may or may not agree with you.
In terms of energetic effects, juicing is:
- Energizing (at least initially)
But are those the qualities you are in need of? If you are feeling congested, mucous-y, foggy and uninspired, then most likely yes. But if you are like me and need more grounding, warming, nourishing foods to feel good, proceed with caution. Done for too long, juicing can easily be depleting because of the absence of protein and fats in juices.
In my late twenties I experimented with juicing. I started to feel SO energized, SO light and SO clear that I only needed 5 hours of sleep and didn’t know how to occupy all my waking hours! I also lost a lot of weight (which I didn’t need to lose) and I still remember vividly this feeling in my body that I could almost levitate, so light and buoyant I felt! I also started to feel spacey, chilly and unable to concentrate for long. Those attempts at juicing were inevitably followed by me binging on all the dense, starchy, fatty foods I could get my hands on, to compensate for the depletion that had occurred. These days I know better. I won’t have a juice (I don’t even feel like it) unless it’s 85 F or above. And if it’s humid all the better. The heat and moisture in the atmosphere is what my (mostly vata) constitution needs in order to benefit from the lightening and clearing qualities of juices.
Juicing and YOU
If you don’t already know your mind/body type, take this quiz to find out. If your constitution is Vata or you are experiencing several of the following symptoms: restlessness, fatigue, anxiety, dry skin/nails/hair, constipation, difficulty falling asleep at night…. Then juicing is not for you right now. Wait until the weather really warms up. And even then, I suggest no more than one juice a day with two solid food meals.
If your constitution is Pitta or you are experiencing several of the following symptoms: heartburn, any type of inflammatory condition (skin, gut, eyes, joints), anger, profuse sweating, bad breath, loose stool…You’ll benefit from juicing in moderation. Your constitution will likely welcome the cooling effect of juices but you still have to be moderate. Pitta types tend to have excellent digestion and a fast metabolism. Going on a “liquids only” diet can leave this type feeling ravenous and extremely irritable! Two juices a day with one large solid food meal should keep you satiated and pleasant to be around!
If your constitution is Kapha or you are experiencing several of the following symptoms: recurring colds and sinus congestion, fluid retention, feeling foggy and uninspired, excessively oily hair and skin, difficulty waking up in the morning even after a full night sleep… Bingo! You are the best candidate for a juice cleanse. A 2 to 5 day juice-only diet should perk you up nicely.
Those are general guidelines. Try juicing if you are so inclined and pay close attention to how your body and mind respond. Trust what you feel and become the expert of yourself. Don’t just follow the trend! Only by investigating honestly with an open mind can you figure out how much juice (if any) you can enjoy without upsetting your internal balance.
Sylvie Barthelemy draws upon her 16 years of experience in the field of holistic health to help people achieve optimum health, naturally. She is a Certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Practitioner and Coach, with extensive experience as an Ayurvedic massage therapist and as a Yoga and Meditation Teacher. Sylvie particularly loves to help women who feel stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted to generate calm, clear and confident energy, using yogic and ayurvedic methods of healing. Check out her website HERE.
Ask someone from a western culture to show you the location of their mind and the finger goes right to the head. Ask someone from China or Tibet and the hand goes to the center of the chest: the heart.
From the western medical perspective, we are all familiar with the circulatory functions of the heart. The heart pumps oxygen-rich blood to the organs and the tissues of the body.
You may have heard your acupuncturist talking about “heat in the Heart” or “Heart Blood deficiency,” two common Chinese diagnoses that can cause insomnia as well as anxiety. These imbalances can be corrected using Chinese medicine, but what do they mean and how do they manifest?
Suffering from insomnia or anxiety can mean different things. Some people have trouble falling asleep, but once they do, they sleep the rest of the night. Others may fall asleep right away, but wake up multiple times throughout the night. In worst cases, they can’t fall asleep or stay asleep. What causes this?
From the Chinese medical perspective, the Heart is the residence of the mind or the shen. In Chinese, the word shen can be translated as mind, spirit, soul, etc.
Here is a metaphor to help explain this concept of the Heart’s shen and how it affects our sleep. Imagine that our shen, or spirit, needs a place to reside at night just as our bodies need a bed in a quiet dark room. The Heart is that bed in a quiet dark room for the shen to sleep in. But our Heart needs to be in balance before it can be a place of refuge for our spirit.
Imagine the Heart as a warm moist box with a lid on it. During the day, the lid is open and our spirit is out of that box expending energy and interacting with the outside world. But come nighttime, the spirit needs to rest just as our bodies do. Our body goes to bed in a quiet dark room and our shen goes to the warm moist box of the Heart and the lid closes. In the morning when it is time to interact with the world again, the lid opens and the shen emerges.
If you can’t fall asleep and your mind is racing, it is likely that your shen is not coming back to reside in the Heart, but is staying on the exterior surface of the body as it does during the day thereby allowing the mind to race. If there is heat in the Heart, that agitates the shen, just as our emotions get agitated on those hot sweaty days of a summer heat wave. The heart’s function of housing the mind depends on enough nourishment from the blood. If the Heart is blood deficient, it can’t keep that box moist enough for the shen to want to stay, resulting in dream-disturbed sleep. It’s like trying to fall asleep with bright lights on, no covers, and your front door wide open.
Regardless of your imbalance, here are five ways to improve your sleep:
1. Engage in anxiety and stress-relief activities. Try meditation, deep breathing, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, restorative yoga, talk therapy or anything else that relieves your anxiety.
2. Eat blood nourishing foods: small frequent portions of red meat (the size of a deck of cards two to three times a week), bone marrow broths, black beans, red grapes, leafy greens,
3. Avoid bright lights and technology for an hour before bed. This includes computer, radio, television, music (unless it is relaxing) and telephone. Do not use these technologies in bed.
4. Avoid caffeine and alcohol for 4 to 6 hours before bed. Exercise daily in the morning or mid-day.
5. Get regular acupuncture treatments & Chinese herbal therapy from a qualified practitioner.
The Heart is not the only organ that affects sleep or anxiety, according to Chinese Medicine. Sleep patterns can also be affected by imbalances in the Spleen, Liver, and Kidneys.
Elie Cole is a San Diego native, but having lived and studied in Central America, South Asia, and West Africa, she has many homes and families. Elie graduated from a traveling university called Global College, a part of Long Island University. Never having stepped foot on the New York campus, she earned her Bachelor degree in Social Change while traveling around the world.
Inspired by Mama Marta, Elie began her studies in massage therapy in 1999 at the International Professional School of Bodywork in San Diego. She owned Heal Thyself Massage Therapy, a successful massage practice, while studying Chinese medicine at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego before transferring to Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in Portland, Oregon. Elie earned a Masters of Science of Traditional Oriental Medicine from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in 2007 and is now the owner of Nourishing Medicine, Inc. Since January 2011, she is the co-owner of Cypress Beauty & Wellness with Nancy Lisac.
What doesn’t taste fantastic when paired with peaches?! Try this delicious ginger salmon with peaces recipe for a yummy dinner that will surely become a favorite go-to recipe.
Ingredients: 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil,salt and pepper, 2 medium red onions and 3 peaches (both cut into wedges), and 4 6-ounce salmon steaks
Directions: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, ginger, thyme, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon of both salt and pepper to make a vinaigrette. In a large bowl, toss the onions, peaches, remaining olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and begin grilling, along with onions. After about 5 to 6 minutes on each side, add the peaches to the grill and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes per side. Drizzle vinaigrette over salmon and enjoy!
Borrowed from www.realsimple.com
The First Three Steps of a Good Pre-Conception Program
Once deciding to start a family, many women believe that once they stop using the birth control pill that they will fall pregnant. However, with infertility rates increasing and couples starting a family later in life, it is crucial that women follow these three steps when embarking on the fertility path. Don’t make the mistake of just “trying” for a year and then decide to see assistance. Finding out if there is a functional problem with either the male or female reproductive system is a prudent first step.
The Three Crucial Functional Tests
Testing the function of the reproductive system just makes sense. If you haven’t driven a car for 20 to 30 years, you want to make sure that all of the parts are working. Also, when women put off starting a family until their 30′s and 40′s and they have been on hormone altering medications for a long period of time, the body’s hormones can take a while to balance out again. I recommend that men get a semen analysis from the get go. It’s a non-invasive test and it’s smart to know in advance that the sperm count is sufficient and the swimmers are strong.
For women, I recommend getting an HSG (hysto-salpingogram) to make sure that your fallopian tubes are free from obstruction. This is a critical first test to get, because if there is something blocking the tubes, the sperm and egg can not meet. Secondly, I recommend a sono-hystogram, which is a saline vaginal ultrasound. This checks the uterus for abnormal structures, fibroids or polyps. Any of these issues can prevent a successful implantation and may even cause a miscarriage, so it’s prudent to make sure the uterus is in good shape to support a pregnancy.
A Smart Fertility Diet
A smart fertility diet doesn’t need to be complicated or difficult. You basically want to be smart in your food and drink choices. Avoiding toxins and consuming only nourishing foods is the most expedient path to preparing your body for pregnancy. Be smart! Don’t drink coffee, alcohol or sugar laden drinks. All that you really need is water. Really!
Smart women realize that preparing their bodies with a nourishing diet before conceiving gives both them and their babies a strong start. Women who eat well for a year before conceiving have better pregnancies with less complications. Also, we see less gestational diabetes, better birth weights and healthier babies overall.
Eat real foods that nourish your tissues and your hard working endocrine glands. Real Foods consist of organic, pasture raised animal protein, plenty of organic vegetables, full fat, organic dairy and healthy fats. Minimizing or eliminating grains and being mindful of stable blood sugar will reduce inflammation, keep moods stable and reduce cravings for sweets and junk food.
If you can imagine harvesting, slaughtering or catching your food in the wild, it’s Real. If your food comes in any sort of packaging with a long ingredient list, it’s not Real. Eating smart fertility diet isn’t difficult. Just trust your instincts.
Take Advantage of the Benefits of Acupuncture
Getting regular acupuncture is one of the most effective ways of preparing your body for pregnancy. Acupuncture has been found to help with fertility issues because it calms the mind, increases blood circulation to the reproductive organs and helps improve the function of the endocrine system.
Acupuncturists today enjoy a plethora of conferences, seminars and high level research focusing on fertility acupuncture. This makes choosing a fertility acupuncturist a wise decision when preparing your body for pregnancy. Finding an acupuncturist that specializes in fertility issues is easier now, than it was 10 years ago.
If you live in a metropolitan city, you will probably have the leisure of choosing between a number of well qualified acupuncturists. Ideally, you’ll find someone that is not only knowledgeable, but has a warm and supportive bedside manner. Finding an acupuncturist that you trust and are comfortable with will remove a lot of stress from the process and that can only be beneficial in helping you get pregnant.
Be Smart from the Start
Many of the women that I see in the clinic have been trying to conceive for over three years. Many of them have already done multiple rounds of Clomid, injectable drugs and IVF cycles. Unfortunately, very few of them have a diagnosis or a reason given for their infertility. If I could turn back the clock, I would encourage each of these women to be smart from the start and follow these three steps when first trying to conceive. Just moving forward without knowledge or information is a very disempowering pathway that often leads to more stress, confusion and frustration.
I don’t want to meet you after three years of trying in this fashion. Take my advice and seek your answers early and start preparing your body from the get go. Your baby will thank you someday for your wisdom in preparing your body for conception.
Amelia Hirota is a doctor of acupuncture and has been specializing in fertility since 2001. Dr. Hirota is passionate about educating and empowering her patients to make informed decisions about their health. In 2012 she produced a series of webinars, which have been called a mini PhD in Fertility. She owns and manages Phoenix Fertility Center in East Greenwich, RI.
Modern science is coming to the same conclusion as our wise ancestors: our hearts hold the key to our happiness, health and harmonious relationships.
Bodies under Stress:
A definition of stress could be “emotional unease.” It is not a particular event which causes stress, it is our reactions to or feelings about the event. In a stress response, we have over 1,400 biochemical reactions in the body. Cortisol levels (stress hormones) increase and DHEA levels (vitality, anti-aging hormone) decrease. High cortisol levels increase our blood pressure and sugar levels, they age us, diminish our memories and accumulate fat around our midsections and thighs. Think of the times during that day that your buttons get pushed! This is the stress response (survival physiology), which drains our energy! What if you could transform this stress response in the moment? You would think better, feel better and perform optimally.
We are taught the brain is our power center, and in many ways it is. Research at the Institute of HeartMath has proven that there are more neural pathways from the heart up to the brain than from the brain to the heart. The heart can perceive things (intuition) before the head can think them. Ever walk into a room and feel a vibe of tension? That perception is from your heart! When your heart is in a smooth rhythm pattern, the higher centers of the brain function optimally, coming out of our survival brains and creating new neural pathways!
Heart Rate Variability:
Heart rate variability is the beat-to-beat change in our hearts. Doctors look at this to see the health of our nervous system and the heart-brain interaction. Emotions influence this pattern! When we feel anger, worry, frustration, anxiety, disappointment, etc, a pattern is sent to the brain to minimize our higher brain centers (creativity, planning, impulse control). However, when we feel love, care, compassion and gratitude the heart sends a different pattern, and these centers function well. Have you ever been angry and said something you wished you had not? Yes, anger makes us stupid!
The heart has the ability to train our brain, respiration, digestion, immune, hormone and most other systems to work harmoniously. The heart is 5,000 times more powerful than the brain magnetically.This magnetic field around the heart radiates out 5 feet, and influences others. We can influence the energy around us and inside of us by feeling “heart” emotions. Feeling these emotions stops the stress response and the damage it inflicts!
Making the Shift:
Next time you feel stressed try this: focus on the area around your heart, breathe deeply into your heart and shift to feelings of love and appreciation. Doing this consistently in life changes your health, performance and relationships! Every time we do this we are influencing the energy within and around us! We co-create with spirit from the authentic self….our Hearts.
Debra Sheehan owns BodyMatters, Inc. along with her husband Tim. She has worked in the healthcare industry for 25 years. Debra coaches you in reducing the energetic of stress to bring more balance, clarity and resiliency into your life. She is trained and certified in massage therapy, orthobionomy, craniosacral and mind/body awareness. Check out her website HERE.