Chronic Stress & the Three Stages of Adrenal Fatigue 

Ben White

Stress is a natural and healthy reaction to everyday life problems. Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, is healthy and necessary when released at appropriate times.  

Stress factors such as mental/emotional stress, sleep cycle disturbances, blood sugar imbalances, and inflammation trigger the release of cortisol.  In appropriate doses, this is a healthy response, but when these factors compound for prolonged periods of time, cortisol is released too frequently and causes physical, mental and emotional symptoms. 

Without a proper balance between cortisol and DHEA (the hormone that balances cortisol), cortisol becomes a burden on the body. Overtime, this can result in adrenal fatigue.  Chronic stress release of cortisol takes its toll on the body in three stages of adrenal fatigue: Hyper, Dominant, or Hypo.   Continue reading

SWEAT SWEAT SWEAT! 6 Health Benefits of Infrared Saunas

Sweat.  Not cool. 

If I could avoid getting sweaty, I totally would.  

I’ve never liked steam saunas.  I don’t understand the attraction to actually wanting to sweat.  My personal record was about five minutes, which was a major triumph of the will for me.  

The infrared sauna is totally different.  I sweated more in that 30 minute session than I ever have before (including 101 degree temperatures during cross country season), and I found that I was really enjoying it!   Because the infrared sauna uses dry heat, it warms from the inside-out, instead of the other way around.  No suffocating, sticky blanket of sweat like in a steam sauna or when exercising.  Just soothing, dry heat. Continue reading

3 Therapeutic Massage Methods for Fibromyalgia Pain Relief

Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects over five million Americans. It is characterized by intense pain in the joints and muscles, chronic fatigue, and muscle cramps. It can lead to long term issues such as depression, insomnia, and migraines.

Massage therapy is an important part in relieving symptoms caused by fibromyalgia.  When working with a client with fibromyalgia, I use a combination of various techniques of body work in order to remove tender points, ease muscle soreness, and increase relaxation.

Thai Massage

Thai massage is gentle assisted stretching of the body. Stretching with the assistance of the body worker can help to gently relax the muscles. It’s also helpful in regaining range of motion and increasing fluid flow throughout the body.

Continue reading

Diet Coke, Yoga, and the Mind-Body Connection

There was a time when diet coke was my very favorite drink in the whole world.  I would stop at the Safeway for a 44 oz diet coke on the way to the office, and then refill it at lunch, and even more at dinnertime.  Every morning, I looked forward to that familiar first sip, the bite of the carbonation, the sharp refreshing taste, the complete lack of calories. 

It was like we were meant for each other.  A mutually beneficial relationship.

Like any good American woman, I understood at a visceral level that calories were my enemy, and to the extent sugar-free stuff helped me avoid them, without actually giving up things I liked to eat, I blessed whomever it was who came up with the stuff.    Continue reading

Top 10 Most Useful Essential Oils from Veriditas

Whenever ailments pop up, essential oils can help.  From upset tummy to grogginess, there is an essential oil or blend of oils you can use.  Here are our top 10 essential oils for every day uses.  

For your skin: Calm Skin Dropps

  • Soothing relief for dry, itchy, patchy skin while gently bringing skin back to its natural balance.
  • Application: apply to affected area 2-3 times per day. If dry, use olive oil, shea or a healing salve after application.
  • Use daily for 1-3 months to help balance ongoing itching, irritation, flaking or redness.
  • A gentle and effective remedy for children and elderly folks.
Continue reading

Liposomal Glutathione: Your Body’s Favorite Antioxidant 

Liposomal Glutathione is an antioxidant formula that uses liposomal technology (more on that later) for superior delivery and absorption of nutrients to cells.  Liposomal Glutathione may benefit those with insufficient amino acid status due to inadequate protein intake, digestive dysfunction, lifestyle factors or conditions affecting proper function of the stomach, pancreas, liver or small intestine.  

Liposomal Glutathione is taken by mouth and held for 30 seconds before swallowing for most effective absorption.  It is convenient for those who prefer to swallow fewer pills and tastes like lemon and peppermint. Continue reading

Out of My Body, Into My Mind: Yoga & the Mind-Body Connection

Since I’ve started practicing yoga, I’ve gone out of my mind.  

Of course, some people will suggest it wasn’t the yoga that caused this, but I’m pretty sure yoga has something to do with getting me out of my mind and into my body.  

One of the most-touted benefits of yoga is a greater connection between the mind and the body.  When I first started yoga, I was functioning under the common misconception that a better connection between mind and body would mean that I could get my body to do what my mind told it to.  

I was functioning under the common misconception that a better connection between mind and body would mean that I could get my body to do what my mind told it to.

Remember those commercials for Advil, where the mountain biker suddenly realizes in horror that he is allowing his body to dictate how far he can push himself?  By taking this little pill, the commercial crows, you can be freed of worrying about what your body needs and follow your mind wherever it wants you want to go.  I thought yoga worked kind of like that little pill.  

So far, however, my body has been completely unimpressed with this particular line of reasoning.  What has actually happened as I become more aware of my body is that it has begun to take over.

What has actually happened as I become more aware of my body is that it has begun to take over.

I am not always exactly pleased with what it is telling me. 

For instance, to feel really awake and refreshed, I require more sleep than I find entirely convenient.  With my stack of unread books, my collection of under-visited friends, my un-weeded garden, my un-finished household projects, not to mention all that un-watched TV, where is sleep really supposed to fit into this fabulous modern life I’m trying to live?

If the yoga thing worked the way I’d like it to, I would be able to explain to my body that 9 hours a night just wasn’t working for me, and negotiate it down to, say 6 hours a night. That seems like a reasonable compromise to me.  

Unfortunately, my body seems completely uninterested in this sort of compromise.  

While I can function on 6 hours of sleep, or even less if something really important (like the opportunity to dance until 3am) comes up, my body has ways of letting me know it’s not happy with me.

I don’t know what all my body will have in store for me over the coming years, and I can’t exactly say I’m completely looking forward to all of it.  But one thing’s for sure, I’m certain it will be an interesting journey.  

They say going out of your mind usually is.

Lisa Meece teaches Vinyasa/Hatha every Tuesday from 9:30 – 10:45 am and Yin from 11:00 – 12:15 am.

Kundalini Yoga: the Yoga of Awareness

What is Kundalini Yoga?

When I read “The Eight Human Talents” in 2001 by renowned Kundalini Yoga teacher, Gurmukh, I had to learn more. So on a visit to Los Angeles, I stopped into a class that Gurmukh was teaching.  From that moment on, I knew I had found the yoga for me.

Kundalini yoga is known as the “Yoga of Awareness.” It was introduced to the West by the Indian master Yogi Bhajan when he arrived from India in 1969.  Yogi believes that everyone has the right to be “Healthy, Happy, and Holy.” 

Kundalini’s purpose is to expand your awareness and tap into the vitality that already exists inside you. It does this by awakening the energy that resides at the base of your spine (kundalini) by means of postures, intensive breath practices, chanting, and meditation  The latent energy ascends through the chakras (energy centers along the spine) to the crown, enabling you to connect to the Infinite and realize Samadhi (enlightenment). 

Chakras

How is it different to other forms of yoga?

Like other yogas, it links movement with breath.  The way it differs is its direct focus on moving energy through the chakra system, stimulating the energy in the lower chakras and moving it to the higher chakras. 

The chakras are energy centers, seven in total, located beginning at the base of the spine and ending at the top of the head. An eighth chakra exists in Kundalini Yoga, which is the electromagnetic field, sometimes called “aura.” The aura is thought to be strengthened through the practice of Kundalini Yoga.  

As Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa describes in her book, Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power:

“We practice Kundalini Yoga in order to balance and coordinate the functions of the lower chakras and to experience the realms of the higher chakras. After the kundalini energy rises and becomes accustomed to flowing freely through all the chakras, there is a definite change of consciousness, a noticeable transformation in the character of an individual. The person looks at life differently, feels different and therefore acts differently. The real “proof” that someone’s kundalini has risen lies in the upgrading of that person’s attitude toward life, his relationships with other people and with himself.”

New Chakras 

How has the practice of Kundalini Yoga benefited me?

My own practice of Kundalini Yoga has awakened talents and energy that have long been dormant. I have rid myself of habits that were acting as barriers to my fulfillment and to go on to create new habits and choices that are allowing me to experience my own infinite potential.  

For example, I had a habit of napping after work for an hour or even longer because I would be so exhausted at the end of a work day.  The gift of Kundalini Yoga for me has been the gift of sustained energy throughout my day.  It has also improved my spiritual life due to the meditative aspect of the practice. 

I continue to be amazed by the on-going benefits of my practice of Kundalini Yoga. With Kundalini Yoga, you have a method of achieving your goals.     

Karla Becker teaches a community Kundalini class on Wednesdays from 5:30 – 6:45 pm.  
Karla

Naturopathic Medicine Explained

I always strive to help myDr Melanie clients balance mind and body with yoga and Naturopathic services.  But you may be wondering just what Naturopathic Doctors (ND’s) do and how they differ from Medical Doctors (MD’s).  

The main difference is that MD’s focus on individual organs or body parts to relieve immediate symptoms.  Naturopaths instead focus on entire systems and the relationships between them in order to correct underlying causes of disease. 

Another major difference is that MD’s rely heavily on pharmaceutical medications, while ND’s prefer natural methods such as dietary changes and herbal supplementation.  Additionally, ND’s take a holistic approach, also addressing emotional well-being, lifestyle, sleep, and stress issues.  Treatments are highly individualized and draw from many medical traditions including Homeopathic, Ayurvedic and Chinese practices.

In the state of Indiana, ND’s are not authorized to write prescriptions but have access to  pharmaceutical grade supplements that cannot be purchased in retail stores. The advantage here is that these products generally are less expensive than prescriptions and come with fewer, less serious side affects.  In this way, Naturopathic methods can actually afford a bigger bang for your medical buck.

Note that Naturopathic Doctors often do not accept insurance and are not recognized by insurance companies. An exception would be that they can order blood work, which may be covered by insurance. Many also accept Health Savings Accounts (HSA).  The upside to this is that Naturopaths are free to spend more time with their patients and are not forced to utilize one-size-fits-all protocols. 

Finally, remember that though it often affords relief where traditional Western medicine has failed,  Naturopathic Medicine is considered complimentary to allopathic methods and is not intended as primary medical care. 

Just For Fun Yoga

When I started yoga classes, I thought a lot about the phrase “just for fun”.   

The yoga-nition of “fun” seemed to be “damn near impossible”, based on what was generally demonstrated when that “f-word” was invoked in class.  I would wonder what that woman (always in mental-italics) does for fun on a Saturday night. This thought was generally accompanied by a fervent wish to never find out.  Ever.  

funny yoga picture

I could almost never do these “fun” poses. Well, not like I thought the teacher wanted me to anyway. I would fall out of the balancing poses and never quite make it into the deep stretchy ones. For a long time, I felt like I was failing to do the poses, and like many adults, I had long ago concluded that failing wasn’t any fun.

For a long time, I felt like I was failing to do the posesand like many adults, I had long ago concluded that failing wasn’t any fun.

But then I noticed something.  These “fun” poses were kind of interesting. 

I started to think that it was fun when something new crossed my path. I didn’t look like the cover of Yoga Journal when I tried them, but challenging myself was its own kind of fun. The kind of fun I remember my grade school self having when I mastered a new physical skill like riding a bike or walking on top of my neighbor’s fence.

…challenging myself was its own kind of fun.

When I first started teaching, I could barely say “just for fun” with a straight face.  Just a few years later, it took an audible groan and dramatic eye-rolling from a regular student before I caught myself saying it.

I hope it has the same effect on my students as it has had on me.  I hope it expands their definition of fun to return to the process of learning new things and mastering new physical skills. After all, that’s a part of being a kid that we can all stand to spend more time mastering. 

Lisa Meece

Join me for yoga on Tuesdays at 9:30am and 11:00am. 

Full yoga schedule at www.dragonfly360.net/schedule