Inflammation has been on mind. Why? Because recently I had a ‘Lyme flare-up’ that kicked in at the start of a nearly month-long travel adventure. Now, if I’m honest, the flare-up didn't come out of the blue. There were several subtle signals that I was kicking up a bit of low-grade inflammation in the weeks before I hit the road.Read More
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve been interested in the power of the gut since 1999 after a friend introduced me to the book The Second Brain. This technical (a.k.a. dry) read sparked my interest and got me thinking about the gut-nervous system interaction. Fast forward a couple of years, and the term microbiome became a hot topic in certain geeky gut realms.Read More
Have you ever wondered why you hold your breath when doing something new?
We often take our breath for granted, usually breathing in and out 12-16 times every minute without being aware of it. Most of us only notice our breath when something happens to prevent us from breathing normally or when we intentionally bring our attention to our breath as part of a mindfulness practice.Read More
Have you ever had a moment of subtle resistance? Well of course, we all have. Here is a little trick I learned while exploring Awareness Through Movement and again while sitting on my cushion. To be frank, it has helped me in just about everything I do.
Recently I noticed I was reluctant to start dinner. Strange. I love to cook. I love to eat. I have a big beautiful box of fresh veggies from my local CSA. So, why on earth was I resisting this?
I paused.Read More
Mental health issues have a huge impact on society. Some suggest that their impact is larger than any other chronic disease, including heart disease or diabetes. And if you suffer from persistent pain, then you're four times as likely to have depression or anxiety than those who are pain-free.
There are so many factors involved in complex conditions like mental health issues and persistent pain. But today, we're going to look at just one of these factors — inflammation.
First, we’ll go over a few of the links between inflammation and mental health. Then, we’ll talk about some exciting research into natural approaches - things like foods, nutrients, and lifestyle upgrades - and how these are related to better mental health.Read More
There is no life without movement. From the blood that pulses through our veins to the actions required to gather and consume food, your mind and body are intimately connected. And while your brain is the master control system for your body’s movement, the way you move can also affect the way you think and feel.
Some of the functions for movement are obvious — like hunting and gathering. Other critical aspects of movement may be less obvious — like the way movement acts as an extension of your cardiovascular system or primary pump for your lymphatic system. And then there are all the other ways movement impacts you emotionally, mentally, and socially.
There’s a lot I could say about movement. But for today, we'll focus on the importance of moving more in everyday life (i.e. more movement, less exercise).Read More
Blood sugar is literally that: the sugar in your blood. Your blood contains all kinds of important nutrients and other substances that you need to be healthy. Including glucose (i.e. sugar), which is a crucial energy source for your brain and your red blood cells. Blood is the liquid transporter that distributes these compounds to all parts of our bodies.
Sugar (a type of carbohydrate) is one of our body’s main fuels. The other two fuels are fat and protein. I call it “fuel” because our cells literally burn it to do work. It’s this “biochemical” burning of fuel in all of our cells that is our metabolism.
So, how does blood sugar get too high?Read More
Ahhhhh….the jaw! This lesson is one of the lessons from a series of Jaw Lessons that I share in the Embodied Wellness Membership. The title of this MP3 nugget of jaw moving goodness is “The Connections & Movements of The Jaw.” You see, I am almost positive that you know in your mind and mouth that the jaw has an impact on your teeth and other mouthy parts. But did you also know that the jaw and its movements play a pivotal role in balance — physically and emotionally?
The upper jaw, part of the cranium, connects most intimately with the spine and back of the body. Every movement the upper jaw makes reverberates through the spine. But we will explore that a bit more in another lesson.Read More
I LOVE reading The Elusive Obvious!
The book is only available in Hardback format; which brings me a special kind of sensorial gratification. As I hold the book in my hands, I can feel the strength of the binding and the subtle texture beneath my fingertips. The simplicity of the firm black and white cover delights my minimalist spirit as the title begs me to delve into a koan-istic approach to moving and learning.
As I flip through the dense and fibrous pages, I digest each word of somatic wonder. My mind starts to bend towards a deeper realization that this work, The Feldenkrais Method®, is so much more than movement. What we discover about ourselves can reverberate throughout our lives.Read More
Thirty-seven years ago, my life was abruptly altered. It was my last year of college and I woke up one night with so much pain in my ribs – both front and back – that I had difficulty breathing.
It continued to happen night after night and I knew that I’d better get it checked out.
Within a week, my parents took me to a rheumatologist? Why that specialty? Because oddly enough my sister – who is five years my senior – had been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis eight years earlier and they thought it was possible that I also had RA. They were close enough.Read More
So what’s with all the hoopla about the hip joints?
hoop·la \ˈhü- plä\
: talk or writing that is designed to get people excited about and interested in something
Well, recently I have been a little obsessed and bewildered by how many people really don’t know where their hip joints are. Now I get it. The hip joints don’t take up a ton of real estate in the ol’ sensory-motor cortex. They don’t require fine motor skills or other subtle interactions with the world. Heck, they don’t even fully form until years after we are born.Read More
I was so flipping happy to find see this video about the stress response on T.E.D.! As a Kinesiology Major in college, I spent quite of bit of time looking at the stress response and recovery as a sign of health! So for me, hearing blanket statements of stress being harmful to your health has been a bit like fingernails scraping slowly along a chalkboard. If you follow my work, then you know that I have a lot of respect for the positive and negative aspects of the stress response.
In this video, Kelly McGonigal does a wonderful job of covering some of the research looking at how our beliefs about stress change our physiological reactions to stress and how the stress response has a built-in social aspect. She discusses three studies that shed new light on the stress response, and how our beliefs and relationships to stress may actually improve our health.Read More