Aah, the holidays – after Christmas & New Year, some of us have enjoyed Auckland Anniversary weekend, and those of us in New Zealand have Waitangi Day off to look forward to on 6th February.
Even if we don’t go away on holiday, we can still enjoy a “staycation”. It is a good opportunity to take stock of our lives, re-evaluate & perhaps re-set the course for the coming year. This may be in the form of establishing small good habits (eg, ensuring there is no food or dirty dishes left on the kitchen bench before leaving the house) to bigger things, like reducing portion sizes or committing to a regular exercise regime, or deciding whether what we do for work is really what we want to be doing with our lives.
The build-up to Christmas and the summer holidays can be a very stressful time, something noted in an article in “The Listener” by an overseas author just before Christmas 2017; they marvelled how, unlike the Northern Hemisphere, we have Christmas, New Year, summer holidays and the end of the academic year all at once – no wonder many of us feel under pressure.
The summer break can be a good opportunity for us to examine how we manage our stress and we can explore coping strategies which suit us best. Stress is something we all have from time to time – some people more than others. Sometimes it can be good (helping us focus to meet a deadline), sometimes not so good (eg trying to fit too many things into one day, or making a presentation to a boss or to colleagues or to a public audience). Scientifically speaking, stress is an evolutionary adaptation to help us survive. It temporarily increases awareness & can improve physical performance for short periods of time. It speeds up the heart rate, breathing & raises blood pressure, which keeps us alert and tense. However, this is not meant to be sustained for long periods of time, as it can initiate health problems such as anxiety attacks, hypertension & obesity.
Some of us are stressed more often, & some of us stress out about everything. We can feel stressed even when there’s nothing specific we can identify as the cause – we are just tense and anxious all the time. This is where stress has evolved into chronic stress. This is nothing to be guilty about, it just is, and sometimes we need to seek support from an outside source. This is where making an appointment with a health professional comes in.
In some cases, going down the medical route may be appropriate. A visit to a GP may result in medication, perhaps only short-term, to give you space to sort yourself out. A GP may also refer you on to a specialist.
However, in many cases, a visit to a naturopath for an overview of where you are at and for a safe place to discuss the problem & the factors contributing to it and to put in place a holistic plan is a good place to start. Naturopaths will discuss with you your lifestyle and help identify hotspots which may be causing distress & disturbing your equilibrium and then help you troubleshoot accordingly. You can be assured that you will be treated with respect and compassion, and of course everything discussed remains confidential. We look at diet, exercise and how you spend your down-time & tailor-make a strategy. It may be surprising just how effectively a little regular exercise can decompress stress and anxiety!
Meditation (or prayer) may provide answers. The adrenalin we experience when we are in stress mode is directly counteracted by meditation, which induces the exact opposite thing in the body; it slows down breathing, heart rate and reduces blood pressure.
Meditation does not have to be a big commitment – just a few minutes a day can make a big difference. It’s enough just to establish the habit.
Also, disregard the popular myths about “emptying the mind”. Meditation is about being present and paying attention to your thoughts.
In our clinical practice we have had some excellent results with clients who have chosen to go with guided meditation or imagery; they choose a setting which they particularly relate to and conduct themselves through a progressive meditation or pathway. This can be done either still and quiet in a room in your house, or, if you are that kind of person, it can be an active meditation, that is, done while walking. There are many apps you could look at, or ask your naturopath.
Then the idea is to try & apply the mindfulness mindset to your life in general; practise calming your mind and centring yourself whenever you can.
Sometimes when you come to talk to us about stress and anxiety management, as well as diet, exercise & lifestyle discussion we may prescribe a herbal formula, herbal tea or a supplement designed to help you relax.
The beginning of the year is a great time to address the issues of stress and anxiety, to take control and put a plan in place. If this is something you need help with, please do not hesitate to call us on 09 282 3588 to book an appointment with Marion or David.
From my own very long journey back to health from chronic fatigue, depression and many other ailments, plus working with hundreds of women, I have noticed there are certain habits, traits, beliefs or patterns which will halt progress in its tracks. Here they are…
This is one of the biggest misnomers that people looking for a solution will have: expecting healing to happen overnight, or even in a few weeks.
Why is it unrealistic to think this?
Because in 99% of cases, illness takes years to build up in the body, even before symptoms are noticed, and expecting an overnight change, without making the necessary changes within ourselves we need to make, is the biggest mind trick ever. In every client I have yet worked with, the actual ‘set up’ happens within the first 10 years of life, but it is not apparent at this time.
Partly this expectation is fueled by our healthcare system which does offer ‘quick fixes’ in the form of medication or surgery. For example, anti-depressants can take effect in a few days or weeks, allowing us to continue on with our daily life as before, without ever asking the question ‘why am I ill in the first place?’ Blood pressure pills can balance our blood pressure in days, but if we don’t explore why the pressure is out of balance in the first place, we are just placing the proverbial plaster on the wound.
The problem with this is, unless we discover and address what created the symptoms, the real problem is not being addressed, and symptoms are merely being masked, and will usually re-occur in some other form sooner or later.
Advertising also fuels this misnomer. How many ads have you watched telling you that if you have the flu or a strained back ‘just take xyz medication’ and you can get on with your day as if nothing has happened? No! If your body is sending you symptoms, it is asking you to take stock of what is going on in your life to understand what has brought it into this state of ‘dis-ease’. If you have the flu, the natural intelligence of your body is telling you it needs to rest and repair. Your body is not a machine and it deserves your care and respect! If you have chronic fatigue syndrome, your body is telling you to stop and re-assess your whole life, and how you are ‘doing’ life. Every symptom has a message which is waiting to be interpreted, and this must be done.
So expecting your body to self-repair overnight or in one session is simply unrealistic, and this must be understood and accepted. Then the real work of healing (which means ‘to become whole’) can begin.
Often we can think that one therapy will be the one-stop-shop solution.
In my experience as a practitioner working with many clients, this is less likely to be the case. For my personal experience, I had to test and implement a number of methods to get results.
Whilst some people can hit on one therapy which will be the one ‘miracle cure’, the percentage of people this happens to is much less, and in my personal experience I would say about 5% of people are this fortunate. For the other 95%, we are going to have to use more than one approach.
Why is this?
Because finding and addressing the real root cause of illness, and all the many potential contributing factors, is not that simple. There may be physical factors, emotional reasons, belief and thinking factors, dietary issues, geopathic stress, environmental issues, toxic issues, people issues, genetic or epigenetic issues, lifestyle and habit factors which need to be addressed. The list is long.
Many therapies are developed to focus on one particular issue, and may be perfect for that, and brilliant at addressing that one particular issue, but just like expecting ‘one religion to fit all’, it is unrealistic to expect that a therapy will address all causes.
So for example supplements can help with nutritional deficiencies, but they will not address the trauma and stress of dealing with an abusive partner which is creating the ‘dis-ease’ in the digestive system in the first place.
Plus what works for one person will not necessarily work for another! Which is why it is so important to follow our ‘gut’ feeling to find what ‘feels‘ right for us, and why healing is a journey of self-discovery. We must be prepared that we may need to use multiple approaches and that this will not happen overnight.
In my experience, getting well from a chronic illness is a cumulative process, where finding and implementing different strategies will eventually, sooner or later, help us to reach our goal of wellness.
This is a very common expectation, especially if we have been ill for a long time. Of course we want to be well again, but putting time deadlines on the body does not work at all. In fact, it slows down progress because it puts our body under pressure to achieve a result it cannot achieve without right understanding of what has caused the problem, and right rectification of that problem.
A much better question to ask is ‘what is it I need to learn or change in my life in order to bring my body back into balance? What is it I need to do to stop damaging my body‘. Once we discover this, and implement it, and once our super intelligent body sees that we mean for real to live our life in a healthier way, and we have proven that we are no longer going to ‘damage’ it with negative beliefs, behaviours and actions, it will bring itself back into health. It doesn’t want to be unwell any more than you do, but it will keep you unwell if there are still lessons to be learned.
While it is true, useful and sometimes very necessary that we receive emergency treatment, medication or surgery, we must look at the bigger picture. We must understand that our body is a self-healing mechanism that can and will self-heal given the right circumstances.
The more we understand this, the more self-responsibility we can start to take for our health. We become more aware of what it is that WE are doing to create or perpetuate illness. Then we can start to make necessary changes and get a different result. As the saying goes ‘the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result‘.
Initially it may feel scary to feel that we play such a huge role in our health, but ultimately when we take back our power and become self-masterful, it is a highly satisfying and empowering experience.
When a client comes to me and says ‘I’ve tried everything’ my first question will be to get a specific list of what ‘everything’ means. Usually I find although it may seem like a long list to the person, it is not nearly ‘everything’. Usually the number will be somewhere between 5 and 20 therapies.
Having tried and tested nearly 200 therapies myself, and trained professionally in 20, I know that I am also nowhere near to ‘trying everything’! There are an abundance of health modalities in the world today, and the more countries and cultures you experience, the more health approaches you will discover. On my journey to discover solutions to my illness, I travelled to Egypt, Mexico, USA, Canada, Costa Rica, Guatamala, UK, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand and more and discovered some truly unique therapies!
So whether you have tried 5 or 50 therapies, why is it that thinking we have ‘tried everything’ will prevent our progress? Well, for 3 core reasons:
Similar to ‘I’ve tried everything’, the thought that we already know the answer will block our ability to see and hear new possibilities. We must keep our mind open to new information.
We must also let go of what we think we know and develop ‘beginners’ mind’.
As ancient Masters say “You cannot fill a cup that is already full. Empty the cup first”.
Even if you think you already know it, let go of the urge to think or say this when receiving advice from an expert, because they may just say something which could change your life. Which brings me to the last point…
Now this piece of information is probably one the BIGGEST mindset changes that blows people’s minds if this is the first time they have heard it!
Physical symptoms are less likely, than more likely, to be caused by something that has nothing to do with any physical! Of course this goes against the grain of much of our ‘education’.
For me it was the missing piece of the puzzle: for years I tried physical therapies, never realizing that what was going on my mind and emotions was affecting my body. But as you will discover, everything we feel and think changes our chemistry, and chemistry is what makes our cells; when we feel and experience good-feeling thoughts and emotions, this will have a beneficial impact on our cells. When we feel and experience negativity and negative emotions, this will lead our cells to experience something completely different. This is why learning to keep ourselves ’emotionally clear’ is necessary for health, as well as happiness.
Whether we like it or not, we all have our ‘blind sides’ where we cannot see our ‘stuff’. The interesting thing is, other people can see our stuff!
I remember the day I realized I was super stressed: one day I just became aware that I was really, really stressed, and that I needed to do something about it for the good of my health. The funny thing was, as I saw this, I knew I had been this way for years, but until that moment I had not ‘re-cognized’ it consciously. Upon having the recognition, I then saw that everyone else had been seeing it, but not me!
As human beings we are simply ‘not aware of what we are not aware of’, until we become aware. This is the key to healing most illnesses and unhappiness: becoming aware of what we were previously unaware of, and then having new choices.
As the saying goes, we can never see ‘the dark side of the moon’, and so it is with human consciousness. We need help to see our blind side, and this is why a coach is so invaluable and can save you years of pain and thousands of dollars in wasted effort.
Recovering from chronic illness is not easy. It can often bring us to our knees, but there is a reason for it, and lessons to be learned, and a gift in the journey. We must be prepared to put in the work, to persevere, to commit to ourselves no matter what.
As one of my first teachers said “healing is a journey of transformation: when you heal you change and are never the same again”. True healing requires that we transform and transcend our previous self. This is going to require change on all levels: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. Often illness is a sign we have gone off track, and it is a way of bringing us back on track.
Illness is never random, it always has a message, a story, a meaning. It is our body trying to tell us something, because our natural state is to be healthy, so if we are experiencing anything but this, it means we need to do and learn whatever it is to return to our natural state of health, which is possible.
In the words of Winston Churchill, “never, never, never give up”.
Kim Knight is a health and empowerment coach who helps women ‘who do too much but value themselves too little’ to take back control of their life.www.kimknighthealth.com
All at Holden Health Care wish you all A Very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year where we can help you achieve your 2016 Health Resolutions!
David Holden and The Team at Holden Health Care have the skill sets to help you get well and stay well. You can make bookings, order products or ask questions on our new contact details: 09 282 3588 or email@example.com. Located upstairs at 7 Anzac Street.
Please see our new Website www.holdenhealthcare.com. Be sure to Check out our new blog articles and products for you to order online.
Vital You: A Program For and About You
Vital You addresses Your Current State of Health
combined with Nutritional and Psychological Guidance.
Mary Garner & David Holden will guide you through a Journey to Wellness. Check out our interview with The Beat Goes On Gerald Smith interviewing David Holden re Baby Boomer Health to see how you can Be Vital in Your Way at Any Age.
Holden Health Care offers a very skilled line-up with Acupuncture, Tuina massage, Ayurvedic & Aromatherapy Massage, Naturopathy, Herbal Medicine, Personal Training and Emotional Baggage Busting with a wide range of therapies not-offered-before now available to you all. Don' forget to Check up on our Current Christmas/New Year Specials!
Book Now! 09 282 3588 or email Jane Shaw, office manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Holden ND is a natural on TV. Gerrard Smith, the host of longest running New Zealand talk show, The Beat Goes On, interviews Holden Health Care's David Holden on Weight Loss, Longevity, and Vitality for the older generation. Click on the interview here.
Holden Health Care is located in Takapuna at 7 Anzac Street across from the Berkeley Cinema - Level 1, Suite 2. Come see David for your Health Assessment and then Mary Garner for your program. See all Testing at David Holden website. Ring: 09 282 3588 or email@example.com for booking and information.