Today a lot of you will stop and give thanks for what you have. You will spend time with loved ones and relish the time you have together. You may come together over a meal, a football game, a fun run, or just around a table. However you spend Thanksgiving, it's awesome that we are able to truly focus on our blessings.
Gratitude is extremely important for us. It is part of what makes us a healthy human. It can help attract what we want in our lives to us. And it allows us to stop and be present to all that is going well in our life, even if we are in the middle of a shit storm. But, the world we live currently doesn't always allow us to practice gratitude as much as we should. Even during the holidays it can be left at home as we rush from place to place, gathering to gathering, and stressor to stressor. Our bodies take a beating and we can no longer keep up, leaving us stressed out, sick, tired and drained. Taking the time, even just 5 minutes, to stop, breathe and name 3 things that bring you gratitude help to change your harried state to one that is more peaceful.
So as you count your blessings today, I challenge you to take this same gratitude and practice strengthening it on a daily basis. Use a journal and write down things each day that you're thankful for. Spend time with your significant other expressing gratitude for something. From having the dishes emptied from the dishwasher to a smile you received from a driver who let you into traffic to a note given to you by someone you love. Everything is on the table for gratitude and the more you are looking for it, the more you'll find things to be grateful for.
What are your top 3 today?
Happy Thanksgiving! I'm grateful for you who is reading this, for the snow that has been coming down all day and bringing the quiet that only snow can, and for the note that my husband gave to me out of the blue yesterday.
Peace, Love and Wellness
There are a ton of misconceptions about Chiropractic. Everyday I'm in my office I get to witness powerful stories from clients on what they are experiencing through their care. Some are just what you might think - resolution from low back and neck pain and then there are days that surprise me! Even though I intellectually know what's possible, sometimes seeing really is believing. That's why I've decided that once a month I'm going to dedicate this blog to telling stories about what has happened in my office. One of the biggest reasons for doing this is that our current health status is dismal. We are told that we are victims of our circumstances and genes and unless we get on said medication there is no hope for us. I call bullshit. This next story is about pain resolution, but the way it happened was still a surprise!
Some of you may know that my husband Ian owns a gym. One of his coaches, John, had been dealing with wrist pain for quite some time. He had hurt it while doing a heavy barbell movement called the 'clean'. Basically, you take the bar from the ground to your shoulders in an explosive movement, catching the weight with you hands in an extended position. Anytime you ask your body to do things that are hard, there is an element of risk to it. John caught the barbell in a way that 'tweaked' his wrist. Except that it wasn't just a tweak because months later he still couldn't do certain movements in the gym without pain, including pushups.
After months of checking in with him to see how he was doing, and constantly hearing about no change, I finally told him to sit so I could check out his arm and wrist. What I found were articulations within the elbow and wrist that had been jammed into a less that optimal spot. When joints don't work as they should, they send a pain message back to the brain. A lot of the time, the body can create the change needed without any help from an outside source. But, sometimes the body needs more help. I was able to adjust the joints that needed more help, and voila! With normal functioning joints, the pain message was no longer needed and John now has full motion and function in his wrist. One adjustment. Chiropractic care can be that powerful.
When you have your spine adjusted, you are improving the flow of information to the brain allowing the nervous system to send messages to your body that will ultimately improve function. Any joints that aren't working as they should, are sending messages that will cause aberrant outcomes. Over time this will eventually lead to pain, discomfort, dis-ease and dysfunction within the body, because we can only compensate for so long. This is why myself, my family, and my staff get checked at least once per week. An optimal spine leads to greater health outcomes.
Peace, Love and Wellness,
Full disclaimer: Normally, I don't only adjust an extremity that is painful. I am doing you a disservice to only look at the spot with pain because your body is connected from top to bottom so a pain in your wrist may be originating from somewhere else.
We know that the Earth has four seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall. During the cold, barren winter, nature lies in wait. In the spring, the early rays of the sun and warmer temperatures are an invitation for growth. Buds appear on branches and tiny green shoots appear on the ground. Summer is a time of flourishing, as those fledgling plants and buds becomes fully grown plants, flowers, fruit, etc. Fall is a time of harvest. What was sown in the spring is reaped during this time, in preparation of the winter ahead.
Have you ever considered how the seasons are reflected in you? During the winter we often talk about hibernating. We eat warm, nourishing meals. We spend time indoors with loved ones. Energy levels may be lower. During the spring, we eagerly look for signs of warmer weather. We begin to plant. We spend more time outdoors. During the summer, we thrive outside. The days are long. There is an abundance of activities available to us with the warm weather. Fresh fruit and vegetables are staples in our diet. As fall begins, the days get cooler. An abundance of root vegetables and gourds are now available. I think of fall as a time to begin to slow down, to note how the year has gone, how did plans go, did goals get met, and so on. As a time of harvest, fall is a time to do the final push on projects for the year. As fall wraps up in the next couple of weeks, I challenge you to the final push. Then as winter starts and we hibernate once more, take the time to reflect on what was and set intentions for what's to come.
Peace, Love and Wellness
Enjoy these easy recipes from the Primal Team!
Stuffing is a staple at most Thanksgivings. Delicious, yes, but also made with grains that can be inflammatory for your body. Here is an alternative grain-free stuffing recipe that is just as delicious! This recipe was easy to double and has a real classic stuffing flavor with the use of sage and Marjoram.
A great way to get a plethora of vegetables into your side dish! You can choose your favs and try something new at the same time. Roasting vegetables all together is quick, easy and delicious. This recipe has a fun and tasty twist on the normal.
This brownie recipe is easily adaptable to almost every dietary restriction. Additionally, it is made with indigenous foods!! (I highly recommend checking out the rest of the recipes on this site!!)
Plan ahead, and stay hydrated! It may seem silly and simple, but these two steps will help you stay sane and enjoy the busy time of year.
I recently had a young new client come into the office. She had a few aches and pains that were the catalyst for her parents scheduling her an appointment. What I want to talk about today isn't her care or why she was in the office but one of the conversations I had with her mother.
Her Mom asked me, "Are we doing a disservice to our kids by having them rely on bodywork to keep them healthy?" It was such an interesting thing to me. She was worried that by reaching out to health care practitioners regarding her daughters health, she might be actually hurting her in the long run. Health is a dynamic state. You don't reach a certain healthy point and then say "I've done it!" and stop your healthy behaviors. It's something that you have to continually work on for your whole life. The more consistent you are, the better it is for your body. This is true for all facets of your health - movement, nutrition, mindset, and connection of the brain and body. Ideally, you are working on all facets at the same time for maximum benefit.
The goal of Chiropractic is not to help you feel better (even though that usually happens) but to help you function better; adjustments do this through improving the connection of the brain and body. To allow your body to better adapt to daily stressors so you can go about your business. When the connection of the brain and body is working harmoniously, we know that your ability to heal, adapt and create resiliency improves. This allows you to carry on with your day knowing that you're more likely going to be able to deal with whatever life throws at you. But, when you see your Chiropractor only for pain, these benefits are muted because it takes time and repetition to improve the connection. Just like it takes time to improve your capacity in the gym or change your body composition through nutrition.
So, my young client is being given the best from her parents. We are now able to help her young body create ideal connections so that she can adapt and respond to her life free from interference between the brain and the body. As she gets older, this is going to hold her in good stead to not have to rely on bodywork - whether it be a Chiro, PT, surgeon, massage - to deal with the chronic pain issues that people are facing because they've allowed minor stressors (physical, chemical and emotional) to accumulate until the body can no longer compensate and something seriously goes wrong.
Peace, Love and Wellness,
Got questions? Reach out!
I was talking with a client this week about his care. He continually used the word 'treatment' and I cringed. It's one of the words that I despise using in my line of work. It got me thinking about how important our language and verbiage is. But first, let me tell you why I can't stand the word treatment in my office.
To treat or treatment, in the terms of health care, is care given for a specific illness or injury. You might be thinking, why does this irk me so much? It all comes down to what can be achieved by a Chiropractic adjustment. An adjustment doesn't give care for a specific illness or injury. What it does do is allow the communication of the nervous system and the brain flow without interference. This means the goal of the adjustment is to improve the body's ability to send signals. When this improves then the function of the body as a whole improves. This may mean that the illness or injury that you came in for improves. Or not. It may mean that you sleep better, have improved energy, digest better, feel looser, less pain, just to name a few. Technically, the improvement is a side effect of the care provided and the care is not given for a specific illness or injury. It may seem like semantics and inconsequential, but when we are specific about WHY we are doing something, we can truly evaluate how it is affecting us.
At Primal Practice we use the terms adjustment instead of manipulation, care plan instead of treatment plan, and client instead of patient. All of these words are specific to empowering our clients to be an active part of their care. An adjustment is specific impulse to stimulate the nervous system to create change versus a manipulation which is more global with an intention to move stuck joints. A care plan is focused on you as a whole person rather than reducing you to treatment plan looking at a singular piece of you. The term client is used in lieu of patient because you are part of the process and your health is your responsibility. Our job is to be on your team and help facilitate the health that your body is already working on. Too often as patients we default to taking a back seat and letting somebody else have the responsibility for healing us. Healing never works that way. Your body is the one doing the healing and being present and engaged to this fact is important for the process.
We are defined by our language. Just as we take care with other parts of our life, using our words to support what we are trying to achieve is part of the process. At Primal we strive to create an experience that allows you to be heard, to be actively part of the process and to be excited to take your health to a greater level.
I'd love to hear your thoughts. What words do you use or avoid in your life/work/relationships to support what you want to achieve?
Peace, Love and Wellness
Trying to make change in our lives is hard. One of the biggest goals that people have is to be healthier. Being healthier can encompass a variety of different things, but it usually boils down to three. Look better, move better and feel better. There are many different avenues to take to achieve any or all of these goals, but for the most part the first thought is what can I stop to attain X, Y and Z goal.
When we decide to do something to look better, move better or feel better (or a combo of all three), in essence we are creating greater health for ourselves. But generally, we are deciding first to eliminate or subtract something to achieve this result. For example, "I'm going to quit sugar, alcohol or fried foods etc', 'I'm going to stop bingeing on inane shows at night and go to bed earlier', 'I'm going to stop slouching and stop sitting for many hours in the day'. All of these statements focus on what can be stopped with the goal of creating health. But here's the thing we can't create anything by subtraction. By the actual definition of create we must produce something to bring a result. To create we must add to our lives. Therefore, to create health we must add healthy behaviors and habits into the mix, instead of removing ones we don't want. If we take the examples from above they become, 'I'm going to eat vegetables at every meal.''I'm going to be in bed by 9pm every night.''I'm going to get up from my desk every hour for at least 5 minutes and walk around, I'm also going to make an appointment with Primal Practice Chiropractic to learn how I can improve my posture.'
These statements all focus on the addition of healthy behaviors and this is what creation is all about. By implementing this way of thinking and behavior modification, the natural consequence is that you don't have as much time or energy to continue with the habits that aren't currently serving you. They fall by the wayside with much less fuss and fanfare, and it can seem like a Jedi mind trick if in the past you've been trying to quit things to get the result you want to create.
What healthy behavior do you want to add into your life? Let me know! And if you need help, please don't hesitate to reach out!
Peace, Love and Wellness
I have been asked on more than one occasion if we see men in the practice. While for the most part, we see women and children, we do have awesome male clients who are getting awesome results. This month Edward is our Practice Member of the Month! Edward came to the office through the gym that my husband owns and operates 5 Valleys CrossFit. Staying fit, performing in the gym and keeping healthy are all super important to him. I'll let him describe his experience at Primal Practice, but I love that he prioritizes his adjustments because they allow him to do all the things that he loves at a level that surpasses an un-adjusted Ed. :)
"I initially came into Primal Practice because of knee pain. It was preventing me from going to the gym and was constantly nagging me throughout the day. Since getting adjusted my knee pain is gone, my hips feel infinitely times better when I squat, I can squat significantly more weight because of this, I am less achy when I get out of bed, and when I injure myself my body recovers much more quickly than in the past!
I continue to choose chiropractic care for myself because I came to Liz in the past for my knee pain and it helped. I stopped coming for a couple of years, but found myself not performing to a level that I liked, as well as having my knee pain reoccur. It seemed a natural choice to return to what worked in the past, Chiropractic care with Liz. Since starting again I feel much better while receiving care than not!"
People chose Chiropractic for many different reasons. But the one thing that is consistent among the people who continue to chose care regularly for their health, is that they notice their body works better when they are adjusted.
Thanks for being a part of Primal Practice and sharing your story Ed. We appreciate you!
Peace, Love and Wellness
There are a ton of misconceptions about Chiropractic. Everyday I'm in my office I get to witness powerful stories from clients on what they are experiencing through their care. Some are just what you might think - resolution from low back and neck pain and then there are days that surprise me! Even though I intellectually know what's possible, sometimes seeing really is believing. That's why I've decided that once a month I'm going to dedicate this blog to telling stories about what has happened in my office. One of the biggest reasons for doing this is that our current health status is dismal. We are told that we are victims of our circumstances and genes and unless we get on said medication there is no hope for us. I call bullshit. This next story is the epitome of the healing power of the body!
My client, whom I will call Jessica, came to me with a primary complaint of mid back and rib pain. At the first visit I'm mostly interested in your health, not your pain, but how your body is functioning as a whole. So, diving into Jessica's history I find that her health is not good. And as a young adult, it doesn't bode well for the rest of her life. Hormonal issues (so common, but not normal!), aches/pains, medications for all kinds of things, mental health issues, and a general apathy that she has any power to change her lot in life. It was so sad to see! The great thing was that she was motivated to do something different. When we talked in depth about how Chiropractic may be able to help her, I knew she was struggling to see past the pain that she came in with, but was open to actually getting to the root cause rather than continuing to mask the symptoms.
Jessica is a great client. She sticks with her care plan, is open to the changes we talk about, and even though her pain went away within the first few adjustments she saw the benefit to her system as a whole for continuing care. It took about 3 months before I saw the severity of her hormonal issues. She made it into her appointment but looked like death mildly warmed up, and that is being generous. I knew at this point I had to look a little deeper with what was going on with her nervous system. Within the technique that I use, Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT), there is a branch that looks at the organ system and how that may or may not be working. Her system was showing dysfunction at the uterine level. No surprise here. Jessica has endometriosis, as well as previous uterine cysts, and the ultrasound that she just had showed the presence of more cysts.
For anyone that has experienced cramping during their periods (sorry guys!) you know that laying in a position other than the fetal one is pretty uncomfortable. I performed the adjustment that Jessica's body needed and suddenly laying flat wasn't so bad. The pain that she had within her lower abdomen receded, the shooting pain that she was having up into her stomach was gone and color returned to her face as well as a smile. When she got off the table the tears came because it had been over a week of unbearable pain that impacted her life, work and school. Personally, I was blown away by the immediate change. The power of the body when it has the right message to heal is AH-mazing AF!
I want to put a BIG disclaimer in here that I did not cure Jessica's pain. The adjustment I gave was not intended to take away her pain or mask her symptoms so she wouldn't feel them anymore. The intention behind each adjustment is to increase the body's ability to heal through improved connection of the nervous system. It may seem like semantics, but it's not. I didn't know that adjustment was going to immediately take Jessica's pain away. But, I did know that the adjustment would improve the connection and with better connection comes better function. When that happens, what seems like a miracle can happen. I joke that I have magic hands, but it's just that, a joke. The magic is in your body. It's always been in your body and always will be. The issue in our current paradigm is that we are so busy searching for the magic health bullet, we stop searching to give our body what it needs to run as efficiently and healthily as possible. Part of what it needs is a clear connection between the brain and the body and that my friends, is achieved through Chiropractic care.
Curious to know more? Send me an email email@example.com or book a free consult!
Peace, Love and Wellness
Our annual Treat Yourself event is back and even bigger! We had amazing success last year, and made this year bigger and better. All ticket sales go to the Ronald McDonald House right here in Missoula. They provide emergency housing for families with kiddos in the hospital and moms with high risk pregnancies. They are an amazing resource in our community!!
For more information you can check out the facebook event or purchase tickets!