The truth about why so many of us are chronically sick

Can you handle the truth?  Many conditions are caused by too much stress. Simple.

Unfortunately, although our Doctor wants to help, western medicine doesn’t treat stress related conditions because they cannot put a bandage on it or pull it out in an operation.  Just this week I met a nurse you said her surgery is full of people who are sick because they are so stressed.  This article here confirms the research that 75 to 90% of all Doctor visits are stress related.

But the fact that a Doctor is often unable to help you with this, that doesn’t mean you cannot help yourself. Believe it or not, we  do have a choice about the thoughts we have which are ultimately negative when we are stressed.  Society currently sees being too ‘stressed’ as a human right we all have, and somehow the only way to get over it is to go on holiday.  But how about changing our perception of stress?  If we believed we could handle a situation then we wouldn’t start stressing in the first place!

Now, I am not saying life doesn’t hand us a lot of demands and we all have different personalities and levels of ability to cope, but you can learn to adapt and get stronger.  But to do this, you need awareness of what is going on within you.  What are your triggers for stress? What do you believe about the situation that stresses you? What can you change in your internal responses that can help you stay calm?

The way that stress makes us and keeps us sick is that when we feel stressed this is actually a set of thoughts and feelings that are being chosen by you as a response to the stressor.  When the thoughts and feelings are chosen, because they are so negative they send a biological response into your body which is a cocktail of chemicals that are only good for helping us run away from danger.  If we do not spend enough time after the ‘stressor’ in a relaxed state then this cocktail builds up and eventually it aggravates your Achilles Heel and comes out as a physical condition (this includes depression and anxiety which are physical as well as mind related).

And of course by then, we are stressed and now not feeling well – which can naturally make us feel more stressed! Add into the mix that when you have a stress related condition, any negative thinking will activate the stress response which will keep your body from healing.  Your body cannot heal when there are stress hormones inside it.

It is vital for healing that you learn to be calm, relaxed and thinking positively.  That way the stress hormones can leave and your body can heal.

I hope you found this article informative, please email me on khenry@howtoheal.co.uk if you have any questions.

Happy healing!

Keira

 

3 top tips to give you energy throughout the day

It’s 3 p.m. and you’re only halfway through your to-do list, but until you get a caffeine or sugar fix all you can think about is a nap. Tired of feeling tired? Join the club. Health experts say we’re suffering from a nationwide energy crisis sparked by lifestyles that leave us hurried, harried and running on empty. Instead of fuelling up on coffee and chocolate bars, try these healthy, energy-boosting tips.

LIFESTYLE
1. Clock more z’s

It’s no surprise that energy starts with a good night’s sleep, but in today’s busy world, we’re short-changing ourselves by about 90 minutes a night on average. Adults need eight to nine hours a night to restore and regenerate their minds and bodies, while children need 10 to 12 hours, and teens nine to 10.

Energy-boosting tip: Head to bed a half-hour earlier for the next few nights, then add another half-hour for a few nights. Continue adding to your sleep until you can wake up without an alarm, feeling refreshed.

2. Get moving
When you’re too tired to even think straight, exercising is probably the last thing you want to do, but you have to spend energy to get energy.The good news is that any activity that gets your heart pumping for more than 10 minutes will increase oxygen to your system and give you more get-up-and-go.

Energy-boosting tip: “Snack” on fitness throughout the day. A brisk 10-minute walk at lunch, 10 minutes of active play with your kids after work, 10 minutes of walking the dog after dinner – it all counts towards the recommended 30 to 60 minutes of activity a day. Keep at it for eight to 10 weeks and watch your energy levels soar (but don’t stop after 10 weeks).

3. Pay attention to your breathing
We tend to take short, shallow breaths through our mouths and we hold our breath without realizing it, especially when we’re stressed.  If that’s your breathing pattern, you’re depriving your body of oxygen – and less oxygen means less energy.

Energy-boosting tip: Concentrate on deep breathing a few times a day. Breathe slowly and deeply in and out through your nose – both to a count of at least five. Work up to longer intervals as you go along; feel your chest rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale. Eventually, you’ll do this automatically throughout the day and it will make a huge difference to your state of mind and energy level.

Healing tips – Yoga

Featured

Hello! I am shortly going to Yoga which I first got into a few years ago when I was very stressed, after friends told me it is very good for relaxation – and indeed they were right! Not only do I feel the positive effects of yoga on my well-being, now as a Mind-Body health practitioner, I study the science behind healing I know that there is scientific proof to prove it really helps.  Read here for positive research from the Mayo Clinic on the benefits of yoga.  It is proven to be more beneficial for activating the parasympathetic nervous system (the biological system in our bodies that helps you heal) than simply resting alone!

Healing from chronic conditions can be hard work and you need to put healing above all other things in your life for a period until you are better.  In my experience, the most successful people at empowering their own recovery are the ones who make healing fun and add variety.  Yoga is a great way to do this. But I do recommend caution if you have a condition such as ME / CFS or back pain, which are made worse by activity.  Contact me directly and tell me your condition and I will advise you of best course of action or look for specialist yoga teachers for your issues.  Good start up DVDs are ‘Yoga for Dummies‘ or ‘Beat Fatigue with Yoga

Wishing you lasting wellness.

Keira

How important is the Environment for Healing?

2012 has been an incredibly hectic year for me so far! During January I had many projects on the go, such as moving How to Heal to its new home in Clapham, renovating another property, completing the new How to Heal website and also making sure my Clients were continuing to make good progress.  Add in the boiler breaking and a family drama and it was fair to say that come end of January I was stressed.  Very stressed.

Luckily I have learnt over the last eight years a great awareness for stress and how it can negatively impact your psychological and physical wellbeing.  I suffered from ME / CFS for five years and it took me a long while to realise that when stress goes on in your environment for too long it starts to affect your thought patterns and your moods.  The negative thoughts and feelings bring about biological changes in your body as stress hormones are generated – all which leads to a Vicious Circle of stress forming in your body – your body fuelling your negative thoughts and your negative thoughts fuelling more stress hormones to be generated..

I have been fully well for four years, but I also know that my body remembers the illness and it used to be my Achilles Heel – too much stress has the potential to set me back.  Luckily as a NLP Practitioner I have the tools to de-stress myself which is great but another important factor in removing stress is the environment.  It is important in healing that we create an environment that gives us a chance to heal.  Practising the tools to de-stress and get into good states is important, but if you have stress triggers come at you 10 times and hour it is going to weaken your chances of recovery because we will always be focused on your reaction to stressful events.

Personally, I decided to have a weekend in a lovely country hotel with a spa to unwind.  Whilst sitting in the spa pool on day one I was so aware that my thoughts were very negative – a sign that my sympathetic nervous system was still activated (the stress response fight or flight system) but as I relaxed the parasympathetic system (rest and digest system) took hold and my thoughts and mood become much more positive.

It is great to be back in the How to Heal Centre today and I am relaxed, safe in the knowledge that I won’t return to the previous state as the craziness of January is over.  However, if I had been coming back to continuous stress, I may have to look at my environment and make more changes – or perhaps look at myself and notice if there was something about my reaction that could change?  Of course, when we are stressed or healing from illness we do not always have the choice to take ourselves off somewhere, so the environment needs to be as stress free as possible. But we do have choice over our reactions, we can change our reactions to something that is not stressful – choice is key in healing. We must choose to heal, leave stress behind and put our health as our number one priority.

So how important is the environment when we are healing? It is very important to make the job of healing easier for ourselves, however, as we still have choice over ourselves and our reactions it means it is not impossible to heal when there is stress in our environment, but it is harder work as we have more triggers to overcome. But to have your health….it is so worth the overcoming.