Let’s talk about fear. There is plenty of fear floating around in our society, as coronavirus continues to linger. Here is the interesting thing - when you are in a state of fear, you are using your primitive brain, composed of the amygdala and hypothalamus, which are located in the central part of your brain. This is one of the first areas to develop in utero, and is responsible for basic emotional responses, fear being one of them. Fear is a signal of danger, threat, or motivational conflict. Decisions made when scared are based almost purely off of emotion and not much logic. Logical, rational decision making is the job of your prefrontal cortex, located in the front of your brain. This area develops over the years as we grow and mature, and is fully developed by the age of 26.
Even the most calm, non-anxious person can’t help but feel the collective fear that has swept our world in the last few months. It can be easy to get caught up in the hysteria that our news media reports every day. A person who is afraid has a different physiological response than a person who is not afraid. When we are using our primitive instincts, we tend to be in a state of fight or flight. Heart rate is elevated, blood pressure is up, digestion slows down, sleep isn’t as restful, cognitive function may feel difficult. Basically your body is ready to fight or run from the bear in the room. This is fine, when you are in the presence of a bear (or other threat), but to be in this state constantly actually will wreak havoc on your body. Prolonged states of stress have detrimental health effects, on your cardiovascular system, your digestive system, your cognition, your mental health, your immune system - basically every system in your body.
So, if during a time when a virus has been spreading, and you are in a state of fear, your body’s ability to fight off an infection is compromised. In our office we talk about health as being physical, mental, and chemical. As a society, we tend to downplay the effects of our thoughts on our health. But it absolutely affects our health. I encourage you to be mindful of what news you are consuming on a daily basis and the topics of conversations you are having. Being aware of what is going on in the world is one thing, but being afraid will negatively affect your health. If you are struggling with fear and anxiety, please reach out. We have compiled together resources for our clients. We are here to help and empower you on your health journey!
In Health and Wellness,
When we decide that we are going to make changes in our lives, right away it can be easy to do. we feel the fire of motivation, we stick with our plan, we make aligned decisions. However, there will be times that you won’t always feel that fire. You may be tired. You may have excuses. You may “not have time”. I heard a health coach once say “don’t expect to be motivated. In fact, plan on NOT being motivated and remove all the barriers.” For example, if your plan is to workout in the morning, set out your workout clothes, have your gym bag ready, have the button ready on the coffee maker, whatever it is going to take to get you out the door.
The primitive “feel good” part of your brain is going to fight with the logical, planning part of your brain. When you remove obstacles in your day, it makes it easier to stick with your plan. What are some ways you can free up the barriers you experience that are getting in the way of your goals? We are here to support and empower you!
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
If you don’t know what options for health you have, then do you have any options? Not really. It is our goal at Primal Practice to empower you with knowledge to make the best informed choice, whether it's regarding to your chiropractic care, the food you eat, what a mother chooses during her pregnancy and birth, what your medication options are, how you move your body, and so on.
Empowering you in your health choices is our goal. When you know what your options are, you are able to make the best possible decision that is in your best interest. If you are only given one option, did your healthcare provider actually have your best interests in mind? If we can help you, we will tell you so. If we believe that another healthcare provider would be a better option for you, we will tell you so.
We are here to be on your team, in whatever capacity that is. Reach out if you have questions!
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
We had a wonderful event in the office this past fall, with some amazing body workers and delicious food from a local restaurant and local farm. Women came and enjoyed themselves, and we the practitioners had a great time as well! However, it got me thinking – how often do we treat ourselves? And by treat, I mean allow ourselves to take the time to relax, be intentional with our time, and do the things we enjoy? Life only seems to get busier and society seems to thrive on being “the busiest”. There is no one at the end of life handing out badges saying “oh you were so incredibly busy in your life, here, you get a badge for that”.
I’ve almost come to despise the word busy. I heard it a lot when I was in school and raising two little babies. My plate was full, but I wasn’t busy. Busy sounds like a word that is getting pulled in a million directions without a second to breathe. I don’t know about you, but even if they were giving out badges, I wouldn’t want one. Because what does busy mean? Did it mean I got a lot of things done? Were those actually the important things? Or did I allow a to-do list in a frenzy to be the busiest get in the way of the things that matter? Was I able to be intentional with my time? Did my family get my full presence? I want to be able to say yes, I took the time to treat myself and be focused and intentional on what mattered. And I hope you are able to, too!
Make a list of the areas in your life where you want to be intentional and follow through. Be honest with yourself and hold yourself accountable. You may find that your stress levels go down and joy for life goes up!
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
We all experience stress on a daily basis, whether it is physical, chemical, emotional, environmental, etc. It is our resiliency to stress that determines how healthy we are. A while back, Dr. Liz and I did a talk discussing managing stress while pregnant and this question came up - are you feeding or are you starving your stress? Stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but how you react to it makes the difference.
One example that Dr. Liz brought up was social media and how we consume it. On one hand, social media has been a good thing, keeping us connected with those who live in other parts of the world and bringing us instant access to information. On the other hand, it can easily suck us in for hours at a time, especially into some really negative spaces (think Facebook comment thread on a controversial post). I know when I have started reading comments on posts, the negativity really does affect my mood, despite it being the opinions of strangers. Or, in the case of COVID-19, with all the uncertainty and constantly changing information, reading posts would sometimes leave me feeling frustrated, anxious, and stressed.
Recognizing when something isn’t helping you or is further triggering a stress response is the first step to making sure the stress isn’t going to negatively impact you. Have you ever had a friend exclaim to you about how stressed they are? I had a couple of them who would constantly talk about how stressful their lives were, no matter what was happening. And you know what, because they focused all their thoughts on how stressed they believed they were, this affected them. The phrase was always said with such a tiredness (and mind you, at this point in time we were all single and in our early twenties with not a whole lot of responsibility). If they could have shifted their thought process around and focused on their situations as having healthy pressure instead of draining tasks, then maybe they wouldn’t have felt so tired all the time.
How does stress trigger you? Does it cause you to be angry or anxious? To shut down? To look for numbing mechanisms? What are some healthy mechanisms to managing stress instead? Working out, journaling, time alone or time with friends (whichever one fills my cup), and time spent outside are all ways that I manage my stress. As I said in the beginning, we all deal with stress on a daily basis. It’s just up to you to make sure you are going about in a healthy and resilient way!
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
You’ve maybe heard of the two states of the nervous system, “fight or flight” or “rest and digest” (I also call this freeze-and-collapse). There is a third state that is causing buzz in the neuro research community called the social state. Described by Dr. Stephen Porges, this part of our nervous system is responsible for responding to voice, facial expressions, and eye contact. He says this is really the first step of response when represented with a stressful situation.
First, we have a need to connect. If this isn’t met (i.e. a baby is cueing her parents for something), the body then goes into fight-or-flight mode (i.e. baby begins to cry). If the fight-or-flight response is not adequate for the stress of the situation, the body goes into freeze-and-collapse (baby goes quiet). The body is in a state of collapse and is “playing dead”, not expending any energy because the cues for survival were not met.
At any one point in time, our bodies may be in one of these three states. The social connection state is the primary state we want to be in. If stuck in a place of fight-or-flight or freeze-and-collapse, which aren’t sustainable for long periods of time, our health deteriorates.
We are wired to use social outlets for stress. Especially during a time like the COVID-19 quarantine, we have noticed how the lack of social connection has impacted our lives. Thank goodness for technology that allows us to virtually connect with one another! Take notice of where your stress response lies - are you stuck in a cycle of fight or flight? Are you in a state of freeze-and-collapse? Or are you managing your stress levels and being fulfilled by the social connections you need?
Chiropractic care has been shown to help mitigate the body’s response to stress. In addition to your own stress management strategies, getting adjusted helps maintain the essential brain-body communication needed for optimal function and response. Chronic stress is something that many are dealing with and being able to break free of that chronicity through social strategies and chiropractic care is one of the best ways to living a fulfilling life!
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
This is a great question, and to answer it, I’m going to ask a question back: is chiropractic about fixing problems? Or is it about something bigger than this? It is the philosophy of our office that the bigger picture of chiropractic is about a clear and connected nervous system that allows for a greater expression of your body.
There is a saying in chiropractic that “it is easier to maintain a healthy child than fix a sick adult”. It is essential that a child gets adjusted from day one to ensure optimal neurological development. The adjustment is helping their body better adapt to the world around them. There are different stressors that we are exposed to on a daily basis, and if there is an interference in the communication between the body and the brain, there is going to be a decreased ability to adapt to stress. This leads to a build up of stress and tension in the body and as an adult, one day you bend over to tie your shoe and your back goes out. But was it the bending over or was it the years of build up that caused the pain?
Our healthcare system here in the U.S. is largely focused on reactive medicine as opposed to preventive care. Remember the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? Couldn’t be more applicable to getting your child adjusted. This is about allowing for a greater expression of health in their body.
Our kiddos are now experiencing astronomical rates of mental health disorders: ADD, ADHD, Autism, sensory processing disorders, allergies, digestive issues, frequent ear aches/colds, the list goes on and on. They are exposed to a higher level of chemicals and environmental stressors than previous generations were, as well as decreased nutritional levels in their foods thanks to depleted soils. I am not intending to sound depressing here, but just to share why it is so essential that our kids get adjusted from day one, so that they can adapt to their world and environment as best as they can.
We love seeing kids in our office! An adjustment for a child looks different than an adjustment for an adult. Dr. Liz and I already practice a very gentle technique to begin with but what we do for kids looks different because their spines are still developing. If you have any questions about getting your child under care, give us a call! We would love to hear from you!
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
Chiropractic care and ice cream, an unlikely but delicious combination. What do the two have to do with each other? The majority of the public has heard that chiropractors help with pain. Someone says they have low back pain for example, they will likely get a recommendation to go see a chiropractor. While I am absolutely not faulting this, as there is a plethora of research showing that chiropractors help decrease pain, what I am saying is this: going to a chiropractor only when you’re in pain is like going to an ice cream parlor, ordering a banana split with the works, and then only eating the banana. You’re missing out on all the good stuff!
More research has shown that chiropractic helps with brain function and health. Why is this important? Your brain is the control center of your body. Every muscle, gland, and organ functions via messages from your brain. If the messages getting sent between your brain and body get interfered with, things don’t go quite right. Chiropractic care, through adjustments, removed the interferences in the message path, so that your brain and body can fully communicate.
So while getting adjusted can help decrease pain levels, it can increase the quality of your life in so many other ways. This means you get to enjoy the entire banana split, cherry and all! And life is meant to be fully enjoyed, not just partially, so, proactively get adjusted my friends!
Congratulations Mama! Your long-awaited baby is finally here. Welcome to the fourth trimester. This is a time of transition. For the past 40 or so weeks you grew and nurtured your little one inside, and then birthed them into this bright new world. Whether this is your first, third, fifth, or more, baby, it is always a time of newness. You are meeting this little human that you created and they are meeting you, outside of the womb. You are likely feeling a lot of things – elated, exhausted, so in love, possibly sore and weak, the list goes on.
This fourth trimester, the three months following birth, are such a special time for you and your baby. It is time to slow down and honor your and your baby’s needs. You need time to rest and heal. Huge hormonal shifts happened. Mentally and physically you have been changed. You may love being a mother. You may feel reluctant to be a mother. It is important to know that all feelings are normal. Crying, laughing, smiling, yawning – by you, the mom, is totally normal. Do you have a village around you to help? You are not meant to do this alone. You are not meant to be alone. Do not be afraid to seek out help and support.
Hopefully you saw a chiropractor during your pregnancy to support your growing belly and growing baby and for ease of delivery. Seeing a chiropractor postpartum physically ensures your hips return to a place of balance and ease. Mentally the adjustments ensure the brain-body connection is without interference, allowing your brain to process information. Chemically your body is being supported through the hormonal transitions as you move from pregnancy to postpartum. Most of all, your chiropractor is there to listen to you.
Welcome to Motherhood! We are happy to be here to support you and your baby during this time!
Peace Love and Wellness,
We plan and prep for our baby’s arrival and make our birth plans but do you ever consider creating a plan for postpartum? When your baby has arrived, you are caught up in a lovely haze of snuggles, feedings, diaper changes, and abnormal sleep patterns. The last thing on your mind is cooking or cleaning. Most of us no longer have a large support system around us when our babies are born, because families are more spread out across the globe. Lack of support is one of the main reasons mothers suffer from postpartum mental disorders.
There is a book called The First 40 Days that is primarily written for nourishment of the new mother, including meals, snacks, and lactation recipes. It is written by a woman named Heng Ou, inspired by the Chinese tradition of “lying in”, zuo yuezi. During the immediate days postpartum, while you are forming your bond with your new baby, don’t forget to take care of yourself too. There is an incredible amount of healing taking place in your body and make sure you take the time to honor this.
There is a lot of pressure in our society on moms to “bounce back” or to “get their bodies back”. Your body didn’t go anywhere. You didn’t go anywhere. You don’t need to move backwards. You have instead taken a wonderful leap forwards into motherhood. There is no need to rush anything during this time. Rest. Allow your body to recover. Set up a strong support system to come and take care of YOU. Call in friends, family members, coworkers, whoever. Your baby was just born and really, so were you, into a new phase of life. Good quality food, time for rest, help with cleaning, or just holding the baby are ways that others can help support you.
I am here to support you through this transition. If you are ever needing help or resources, never hesitate to reach out to myself or Dr. Liz, and join our Primal Mamas group on Facebook. We both have been there and know the power of support during the postpartum period. You are not meant to do this alone. Create your village and you and your baby will thrive because of it.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,