Some say "no pain, no gain."
I say: if it hurts, you're probably not doing it right.
If you're exercising and it hurts, that can mean serious trouble.
If you're experiencing emotional pain in you're life, that can also mean serious trouble.
You may know some of these common effects of stress building up in your body and in your life:
These are good to know. They are some of the more apparent results of a stressed out life.
But here are some you may not associate with stress:
Now, am I saying that just about everything is caused by stress? Nope.
But living a high stress life with little outlet and ability to positively deal with stressful situations sets us up for failure.
Our health is compromised, our relationships are strained and our general outlook on life is worse.
Many of the above symptoms can be caused by a variety of factors, whether or not stress is present, so be sure to get a full check up and discuss any lab work that would be helpful for you and your doctor to best understand your health issues.
A lot can be learned from simple blood tests and saliva tests (yep, pretty much just spitting in a test tube)- it's important to not overlook any potentially serious medical condition when working on balancing your physical and emotional health.
I am here to answer any questions you have about this topic- you can comment on this article or email me directly.
To your good health,
Recently I've been passing some good info and resources from the Institute of HeartMath.
For new-to-me readers, this is a wonderful resource for all things anti-stress.
Using tools from them has literally pulled me from a stressaholic to a balanced, positive person ready to take on the world. Here's a gem to try out.
The Stress and Well-Being Survey, it's free and takes just a few minutes.
Like filling out online quizzes? I do. Plus, this one actually gives you much more important information than "What character would you be in Harry Potter?" ( I don't know, I confess I never really got into the series, so I'll just go with Hermione)
The results give you estimates on how well you're doing in some pretty important areas of your life: Physical Vitality, Emotional Vitality, Social Connectedness, Spiritual Connectedness and Overall Well-being.
I found my results interesting and revealing and I think you will, too.
So what are you supposed to do with these results?
Well, you could put it on your fridge, have a Spiritual Connectedness competition with your friends (joking, that's a terrible idea) or maybe this is yet another confirmation that there's something troubling you and you've just never wanted to seek help for it.
Well, this is the sign you were looking for.
Maybe you're feeling run down and exhausted all the time, even when you wake up (which is an awful way to start the day).
Maybe the slightest things provoke you and send you into a major freak out state.
Maybe the sight of a particular person's name in your inbox or on your phone shoots your heart rate sky high.
This is no way to live. Find someone who will listen and help. I would love to help you out or find someone near you who can.
Take care out there. It can be a stressful place, but that doesn't mean we have to be stress-cases in response.
To your good health.
Know what I love about HeartMath?
Ok, so that's not very helpful.
Let me explain.
HeartMath really addresses the root of my patients' stress-related issues.
I feel that this particular type of biofeedback, which uses guided intervention in heart rate variability patterning, gets to the bottom of issues which are so prevalent in our society (feeling stressed out, exhausted, nervous wrecks, overwhelmed, constant fatigue, the list goes on and on).
So here's the whirl-wind intro, though you're always welcome to call for a complimentary 15 minute introductory consult... you can meet me and talk further about how I can help you achieve a better state of health.
First, why would someone use HeartMath? Well, one of the most common reasons is a stress-related condition, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, hypertension, attention disorders and chronic pain.
Take a look at the many ways stress ruins your body and mind
If the image above is a little blurry, here's the original
Yes, in general, stress is bad. A little is ok, but most of us have waaaay more than a little stress in our lives.
So how does HeartMath work? What is it doing?
It's harnessing your innate heart-brain connection, and using that internal power for good (relaxation and restoration) instead of evil (panic attacks and out of control emotions).
It is optimizing the communication between your nervous, cognitive hormone and immune systems to balance out any mis-signaling.
Through this process you will learn to identify and remove all internal signals that, perhaps subconsciously, are working against you instead of for you.
The end result?
Common effects are increased happiness, more positive outlook on life, little or no stress reaction from what was before stress-inducing issues (work, relationships, finances), a full release from prior feelings of overwhelm and burnout and the ability to finally overcome a physical or hormonal issue (like those listed in the graphic above) just to name a few.
This technique is simple, powerful, and transformative. Everyone should give it a try.
How does this whole process work?
You can learn from the decades of research and look up conditions and information important to you on the HeartMath website. They offer biofeedback devices to anyone, though working with a healthcare professional such as myself ensures proper monitoring, assistance and its optimal placement within a comprehensive wellness approach.
I use HeartMath biofeedback during office visits and program check-ins for those who could benefit from its use as well as offer shorter stand-alone sessions.
To best learn and implement the biofeedback techniques in your everyday life above and beyond the few times I guide you through the process.
Most patients benefit from an initial round of 4-6 sessions which will be part of an all-inclusive integrative plan where all your healthcare issues are addressed and attended to.
My current weight loss and stress reduction program, 'slim down & happy up,' includes HeartMath sessions during as many of the bi-monthly check-ins as you'd like.
That means up to 6 HeartMath sessions are automatically included in the program, no extra cost at all!
The next 'slim down & happy up' program will run 3 months, starting September 9th.
Registration begins on our next session Monday, August 19th, check out the full details here.
To your good health,
Do you deal with stress, anxiety and tension in your body day in and day out? Many do. Some are able to not let stressful events, people and situation get to them, but most of us end up feeling emotionally drained at the end of a work day.
Several years ago I was introduced to HeartMath, a type of biofeedback which teaches users to reconnect with their body and emotions through use of heart rate patterns. The effects are usually immediate and profound. Simple techniques are learned and practiced for as little as a minute or two a day. Doing this allows for reintegration of the underlying physiology of the cardiovascular, endocrine and nervous system. It balances you from the ground up. And living from a place of balance is what we could all use a little more of.
Some of the many health and emotional issues which can be addressed at their foundation by HeartMath: hypertension, stress/anxiety, depression, pain management, anger and emotional volatility, fatigue or feeling burned out, assistance in optimal weight management, better immune system response, and moving beyond a sense of overwhelm and inability to time manage.
Look for our announcements later the month as we will soon begin offering HeartMath training sessions, either as part of an office visit with Dr. Angela, or as a stand alone appointment. A short series of training is recommended, with daily practice done between weekly appointments. We are excited to be offering this simple, easy tool which addresses some of the most hidden and hard to treat illnesses.
After seeing the profound effects using HeartMath on patients and myself, I can't wait to being HeartMath sessions here at Rose City Health Clinic.
To your good health,
In a recent review of 75 scientific research articles, vitamin D is showing itself to be associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure, heart attacks and atherosclerosis) as well as better insulin control (essential for prevention of Type 2 Diabetes).
What this shows is a static picture comparing vitamin D levels and the above disease states. What this doesn't show is whether taking vitamin D will prevent these epidemic-level diseases in our communities.
So does taking vitamin D supplements help prevent these chronic disease? This particular research cannot answer this question.
The next step towards answering this, however, is already under way. These researchers started a research project last year comparing development of cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance (seen in diabetes and pre-diabetes) in groups taking either vitamin D, fish oil (high in omega-3 fatty acids) or placebo.
This study will continue for another five years, but these research findings could shed some light on dosage of these supplements and what disease risk factors doctors will confidently be affecting. I look forward to to resulte they may find, and will pass this information along when it becomes available.