For years, many of us have heard the idea that stress is bad for us. You may have even heard that stress can kill you.
This idea definitely has some basis in reality, as stress can contribute to things like high blood pressure and heart disease, which can cause sickness and even death.
However, in the past decade, new research has come out supporting the notion that stress doesn’t always have to be bad for you and that in many cases, believing it is “dangerous” is part of the problem.
One of the key components of this new research is that there are actually 3 different stress responses, not just the “fight-or-flight response” we all think of.
With this new paradigm there is also the “challenge response,” which helps to prepare our bodies for situations where we need to perform under pressure, and the “tend-and-befriend response,” which drives us to connect with others and use the power of community when under threat.
These 2 other types of responses activate different hormones and neurotransmitters in our bodies than the “fight-or-flight response” does.
The “tend-and-befriend response” helps to produce oxytocin to help us connect, empathize, and trust, to produce more dopamine for motivation, optimism, and decreasing fear, and more serotonin for enhanced perception, intuition, and awareness.
The “challenge response” allows the body physiologically to respond like we are exercising, rather than running for our lives. This puts less stress on the heart as our blood vessels stay relaxed, our heart beat is actually stronger, and each beat pumps more blood. In addition, different hormones like DHEA help the brain learn stress resilience rather than becoming more sensitized to future threats.
In future posts, I will be sharing more about these 2 other types of stress responses and ways that you can start to shift out of “fight-or-flight” and instead use “challenge response” or the “tend-and-befriend” response.
Sitting in a room filled with hundreds of people there to see him was powerful. I was initially struck by just how amazing it is to live in a place that hundreds of people would buy a ticket and spend a day hearing such a thought leader!
The day was focused on the topic of “Becoming Supernatural: How Common People are Doing the Uncommon” (I highly recommend you check out his book with the same name!). Dr. Joe shared stories of people who had healed themselves from conditions like Stage 4 cancer that doctors said was terminal or a condition that caused partial blindness and resulted in a woman losing her driver’s license, her job, and her independence (again deemed “incurable” by Western medicine).
These examples were mind-blowing, even to me. I work in the field of healing and transformation and I witness amazing things like clients going off of medications for chronic illness and having more energy than they’ve had in over 20 years and yet the possibilities that Dr. Joe revealed through his stories were incredible.
Are You Living in the Present Moment?
For much of the day, Dr. Joe talked about how many of us spend much of our time living from subconscious programming. We wake up in the morning, begin thinking the same thoughts, go through our same routine (get up, make coffee, shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, go to work, etc), and we are stuck living in either thinking about our past and all the horrible things that happened to us (traumas, people who wronged us, our struggles, what our parents taught us) or we are always focusing on the future (what we need to do next, how long it is going to take us to get to our goals).
Dr. Joe said “We are becoming addicted to a life we don’t even like—but at least it’s predictable.”
What we are missing is being in the present moment. It is only in the present moment that we are really PRESENT and it is from that space of the present moment that we have the opportunity to step into new possibilities that exist for us. As Dr. Joe said, “If you aren’t being defined by creating a new future, your brain is already in the past.”
Tapping Into Infinite Possibilites
Dr. Joe has travelled the world and teaches week long retreats where he works with participants to develop meditation practices that help them to detach from their bodies, their personalities, their possessions and work with different brain wave patterns to tap into the quantum field and connect with the infinite possibilities that exist to create whatever new reality (health, money, relationships, etc.) it is they are wanting to create.
One of the key parts of this process is to feel the feelings of the new reality before that new reality exists. It is in this way that we can signal our genes ahead of the environment.
He says, “To change is to be greater than your environment, and your body, and time.”
What is amazing is how at these events, Dr. Joe and his team use scientific equipment to measure participants brains during meditations and some of what is being observed is blowing scientists’ minds.
Observing My Own Patterns
Since Saturday, I’ve been spending a lot of time observing myself, observing my habits and patterns, noticing when I am checking out and going into an old habit or thought pattern. For one thing, I’m noticing how much I can get hooked into looking at my phone, checking social media, email, and more. This is one of the things Dr. Joe talked about was how for many of us, all these pieces of technology really reinforce our current identity and personality and keep us stuck in the past or future.
So now I am not looking at my phone until AFTER I do my morning meditation and am ready to shift into “work mode.” I’m noticing how when I feel bored by a situation, I tend to want to mindlessly scroll Facebook to “check out” and I’m working to curb that pattern.
I’m catching myself if I wake up in the morning and immediately jump into thinking about my schedule and all that I need to do today. And then working to bring myself back into the present moment once again. I’m excited to start working more with the meditations Dr. Joe has created and to see the transformation in my own life.
What Is Possible for YOU?
I truly believe in the power of possibility and that we can heal from any condition we currently experience but it takes discipline and changing habits and patterns of going unconscious. As Dr. Joe shared in the story of the man who healed Stage 4 cancer (with over 50 tumors in his body), it does take WORK. And sometimes we will feel resistance and not want to show up and keep doing the work but if we do, we have tremendous potential to change our lives.]]>
Losing weight has never been a particularly easy thing for me to do. Even as a teenager who was very active (doing ballet for 90 minutes three times a week), I had a tendency to gain weight more easily than many of my peers.
I remember one summer that I decided to focus on trying to lose a little extra weight and to tone up. I spent that summer eating healthy (more fruits and veggies and lean meats, very little processed food or junk food) and working out very regularly.
And yet at the end of several months, there was no difference on the scale. Zero… Yes, I had possibly gained a little but of muscle and therefore offset any weight loss but I still felt like a failure on some level.
I remember from this relatively young age wondering WHY it was so easy for some people to lose weight when I was doing all the right things and yet nothing changed.
I knew the story of my mom’s best friend who also struggled with weight her whole life and it was only when she was in an in-patient weight loss clinic eating around 500 calories a day that her body could start losing weight. That was pretty messed up, I remember thinking, but I didn’t really understand WHY that was.
Throughout my adult life, I have continued to struggle with a difficulty in losing weight. Let me just say that I do not believe in crazy fad diets, miracle pills, and things of those sort (so please don’t come talking to me about those kinds of things- because I have ZERO interest). I have always just focused on eating well and moving my body, yet nothing has changed.
In fact, in the almost 5 years since I’ve been together with my husband, I have gained more weight and I have tried several times over the past 2 years to lose the weight but once I have lost about 10 pounds, if I don’t keep up a very focused way of eating, it immediately comes back again…
About a year or so ago, one of my mentors in the BodyTalk system, Dr. Laura Stuve, started talking about how she has had tremendous success in using BodyTalk tools (which she strengthens with her own background as a PhD scientist) to help both herself and her clients successfully lose weight.
I was immediately both excited and intrigued! While I couldn’t take her hormones of weight and metabolism class when she first offered it in 2017, I put it on my wish list for 2018 and I did take that course last October!
In the class, we learned a great deal about things like:
- how traditional diets actually mess up our metabolism MORE, making it even harder to lose weight
- how the calories in, calories burned model that has been dominant for years is flawed because it doesn’t take into account the QUALITY of the calories you are eating
- how the experiences of our ancestors (like food shortages and famines) can actually affect our metabolism today, making our bodies think we also need to be prepared for food shortages
- how imbalances in the gut microbiome (that community of good bacteria in our digestive system) can contribute to weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- and so much more…
I have been diving into using the new tools I learned from Dr. Laura with a small group of clients for several months, and also I started getting BodyTalk sessions on this topic from Dr. Laura herself.
It is my intention to blog a bit and share my own journey with this process and so this is the first entry in that documentation.
Since my first session with Dr. Laura on December 30, 2018, I have already lost about 6 pounds in 2 weeks.
This isn’t through some crazy restrictive diet but instead through making a few key tweaks in what I’m eating (which was customized based on what MY specific body is requesting) and also adding more exercise into my life (with the requirement the exercise must be FUN, not something I don’t enjoy).
So I am working out now 6 days a week, many days doing NIA videos since I love dancing and this way of movement feels fun and also good to my body. I’m changing what I eat for breakfast and cutting way back on eating potatoes to only once every 2 weeks, per my body’s request. I’m eating less sugar and more fiber, again per my body’s request.
It feels good to finally be shifting this long pattern of mine, which for me actually runs back through my mom and that side of the family. I’m doing this in a healthy, balanced way, and a way that honors my unique needs, which will make it sustainable.
Through BodyTalk, Dr. Laura is helping reset underlying imbalances in hormones, the brain centers that know whether we are safe to lose weight or if we are in danger of starvation (including those ancestral patterns I mentioned above), my gut microbiome, and so much more.
I look forward to writing another update in a few weeks!
And if this is an area that you are interested in exploring support and healing for yourself, reach out as I’m launching this as another focused offering of my work. I truly believe that losing weight shouldn’t have to be hard, require starving ourselves (that actually won’t help you lose weight), and it isn’t “your fault” if you’ve tried things and haven’t been successful. I’d love to help you have a different experience.
How many times have you judged your emotions (or even if it is a specific emotion, like anger) as being a “bad thing”?
In our Western world, many of us have been raised to think of various emotions or being “too emotional” as a negative thing and therefore we judge ourselves and get frustrated when we feel emotions, or instead we are driven to suppress our emotions.
I’d like to share a little mindset shifting philosophy with you, in case you hold this all-to-common belief that emotions (at least some of them) can be “bad.”
Emotions are just energy and they are meant to be in motion… They actually are quite powerful forces that our bodies can use as fuel for action, healing, and many other things. It is really only when our emotions get stuck or when we push them down and suppress them that they become a problem.
In the Chinese Medicine philosophy, each emotion is seen as designed to help with a particular movement/action in the bodymind.
The emotion of worry, for example, is designed to help us think and problem solve. It is only when we get stuck in it that we can fall into confusion, which often results in anxiety.
The emotion of anger is actually designed to be fuel to move forward in our lives (when coupled with the planning energy of our Liver, it is powerful at this). However, when anger becomes imbalanced or suppressed, that is when we get to the explosiveness stage that many people are familiar with and often afraid of.
Grief is all about letting go of things. It serves the energy of releasing what we no longer need but if we don’t allow it to move, then we often fall apart.
The next time that you find yourself wanting to label certain emotions as “negative” or “bad” or you feel the desire to push them down, remind yourself instead that they are fuel for your body to use and each one has its own intelligent purpose.
Allow the energy of the emotion to move, as it is intended to do, and see what happens.
When we allow the healthy movement and expression of ALL of our emotions, our bodies don’t have to also find places to hold onto them, to store them in our tissues, which is often what causes pain in areas of the body that seemingly comes “out of nowhere.”
Recently I was guest on the “Learn True Health” podcast with Ashley James! We had a GREAT conversation about listening to the body’s wisdom rather than always reaching for a medication to silence symptoms and so much more!
Other topics include:
- my own story of chronic illness and my misdiagnosis with leukemia at age 25
- my exploration of alternative healing including biofeedback and therapeutic yoga
- my discovery of BodyTalk
- my book, “You Are Not Your Diagnosis”
- a simple technique to help YOU listen to your body
To listen to this episode, click on the image below!
BodyTalk Access is a powerful, one day class where you will learn a simple but highly effective routine that you can use on a regular basis to help support your overall health and well-being.
Today, I’d like to share my top 5 reasons why you need BodyTalk Access in your life.
1, Learning the immune system balancing technique is worth the cost of admission alone!
Think of how many times you end up with a cold each fall/winter/spring. Think of how easily you pick-up any bug going around or if you are a parent, how often your kids pick it up and then bring it home to spread it throughout the household.
How much do you spend on Nyquil, cough medicine, cough drops? How much do you lose on sick days and time off? Or taking time off work to take care of sick kids?
No one likes to catch every bug going around and with this technique, you will learn how to help your immune system stay optimized so that it can easily and effectively fight of what is going around– and you can use it to help your whole family do the same!
If you do start to come down with something, using this technique frequently during that time can dramatically help your body recover faster!
2. You might think you are staying hydrated by drinking your 8 glasses of water a day but you might not actually be absorbing the water into your cells!
This is a fascinating thing to learn, right? We can drink PLENTY of water and yet still be dehydrated!
You might even be thinking of times when you have been drinking enough water but you still feel dehydrated. I know I’ve felt that way many times- like I just can’t drink enough water to feel good.
With this technique that you will learn, you can help all of your cells take in the water that you are drinking daily. Sometimes, due to a variety of reasons that you’ll learn more about in the class, we can drink water but it doesn’t actually get into the cells! With this technique, that is a problem no longer!
3. You will learn one of the most effective ways to balance and optimize how your brain is functioning on a daily basis!
Do you sometimes lack mental focus and concentration? Do you find it hard to do certain cognitive tasks? Want to be able to better concentrate for important meetings, phone calls, or other activities?
When you learn the cortices technique in the BodyTalk Access class, you learn a technique that you can use daily to help give your brain’s functioning a boost!
This technique also has the added side benefit of helping to diminish cold spots, which are areas of lower blood supply in the brain. If we have a physical injury or illness, this issue is actually reflected in our brains as a cold spot so by helping decrease cold spots, we also help the area of illness or injury.
4. You will learn how to optimize your response to stress
Many of us find ourselves feeling stressed out and overwhelmed on a daily basis. Our brains and bodies shut down from reacting to every little stressor in our daily lives and with a simple technique called Switching, you will find yourself less reactive to stress and more able to use challenges as a fuel for success!
I’ll also be sharing cool new research about how stress doesn’t have to be bad for us- that part of it is our mindset about stress!
5. Learn a quick technique to help with minor or major emergencies
Maybe you stub your toe on something… Or one of your kids falls down and scrapes up a knee… Maybe you just witnessed a horrific car accident and you find yourself in a state of shock…
With the Fast Aid technique, we can help the physical, mental, and emotional parts of ourselves handle anything from a little cut in the kitchen to experiencing a life-changing trauma.
For example, I’ve used this technique to help a family member who banged her hand and had it swell up to at least double its normal size quickly reduce inflammation and pain and by later that day, there was no pain, swelling or bruising! It is AMAZING!
If you think that this sounds like something you need in your life, I invite you to sign up for my upcoming BodyTalk Access classes in the Portland, OR area or find a class near you at www.bodytalksystem.com/seminars/
We chatted about my new book, “You Are Not Your Diagnosis,” how to listen to the wisdom of your body, and how to not have your diagnosis control your life!
Last week I was interviewed by Kole Hansen on her Warrior Women with a Purpose Podcast and it was SUCH a great interview that I wanted to share it with you all!
Kole is also a healer with an amazing story (which she tells on one of the podcast episodes) and we really jammed about the wisdom of our bodies, how things like illness are a wakeup call from the universe and more.
I hope you’ll take a listen and if you enjoyed it, leave a 5 star review on iTunes for the podcast!
Find out the answer to this fascinating question in my latest video!