I came across an article in the October Women’s Fitness magazine launch issue - '7 Reasons to Try Kinesiology'. Although a brief article, it was interesting as it discusses some unusual reasons to try Kinesiology and it’s good to see it getting a bit more exposure.
As a kinesiology practitioner, I often get asked how it would benefit your health and typical reasons why people would want to consult a Kinesiologist. It's not very often that someone asks if there are any reasons that they shouldn’t see one, so I decided to list some points to consider below.
7 points to consider before seeing a Kinesiologist:
Any natural therapy is not a quick fix - improving health and vitality is a team effort. A Kinesiologist has the tools to help facilitate the body's ability to heal itself rather than ‘fix’ you.
You need to be an active participant in improving your health and wellbeing and you're probably the type of person who likes to have some control and contribute in the decision making process.
You're also familiar with the term being self-responsible for your own wellbeing. There's no point in seeking help if you choose not to make lifestyle changes that are necessary to improve your health.
A Kinesiology session is all about helping you feel empowered and maintaining autonomy.
You need to be ready to embrace change. Not everyone is comfortable or ready for the journey yet and that's OK.
You will get the best results if you are open minded and receptive, e.g. if you think the only way to improve your health is by taking prescriptive medication, then a natural therapy might not suit you.
Commitment is important – as it usually takes a few sessions to feel the most benefit. Sometimes the body needs time to adjust – even if it is a positive change.
Kinesiology is very holistic and works with the body as a whole, not as separate parts. It recognises the fact that the mind, body and spirit work in unison and affect each other. Some of the main areas that a Kinesiologist looks at, which all contribute to health and wellbeing are:
People are looking for more choice in their health care and would like to address the core issues of their health concerns. Kinesiology is one of the best ways in which to do this. When looking for a Kinesiologist, some questions to consider include: Do you feel listened to and respected, do you have a trusting relationship with your practitioner and what are their qualifications?
“Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty”
~ Coco Chanel
Considering that skin is our biggest organ, we need to treat it with respect and look after it as we would any other part of the body. Skin not only protects our internal organs and affects our wellbeing; it also plays a significant role to our self-esteem, confidence and our appearance to the outer world.
Ever since I was about 12 years old, I got into the routine of applying moisturiser on my face to alleviate dry patches of eczema. Now almost approaching half a century, I’ve had plenty of experience trying many products on the market – ranging from budget to high end. As I was fed up with making the big cosmetic companies richer, I decided to blend my own. Besides being affordable, I was looking for something that was: organic/additive free, not tested on animals and fragrance free.
Recently I tried adding infused carrot oil to my usual organic moisturiser base (I also add essential oils and other plant based oils depending on the therapeutic benefits I’m looking for). In less than a week, I’ve already noticed the difference to the way my skin is looking and feeling. What I’ve experienced so far is better hydrated skin especially when I wake up in the morning, a smoother more even complexion, no dry patches or tightness and an improved application when using foundation.
I’ve done a bit more research on the benefits of carrot oil for the skin, here are some quick facts listed below:
Carrot Oil is rich in beta-carotene (a plant substance that the body converts into vitamin A) as well as vitamins B, C, D and also E.
Carrot oil is a natural antioxidant which protect cells from harmful free-radical attack.
Keeps the skin more radiant due to its anti-aging properties.
It stimulates cell growth and rejuvenates the basal layer (the bottom layer of the epidermis responsible for the constant renewal of skin cells).
Promotes healing and the soothing properties helps dry skin problems.
It protects sun damaged and wrinkled skin.
Carrot oil can be yellow to pale orange or amber-coloured and can be bought in different forms (i.e: Infused oil or essential oil which are produced differently).
It’s not a miracle cure but it’s worked better than any other cream I’ve used before. The false claims made by cosmetic companies these days really amuses me, such as having the ability to lift your skin – only a face lift can ‘lift’ your skin. It’s unfortunate that people are throwing away their hard earned cash and buying into these claims.
Of course it has to be mentioned that good skin doesn’t only occur as a result of what we put on to it. More importantly what we put into our bodies, our habits and lifestyle also greatly affect our largest organ of the body. By the time we are into our 40’s, the tell tale signs of the past 20 years will certainly start to appear - a topic to be covered in another blog.
Please note: I’m not selling or endorsing any specific products, just sharing my experience and knowledge. Carrot oil can be obtained from organic/health food shops or botannical suppliers. (Add a small amount - about 1 teaspoon depending on base ratio to your usual moisturiser or blend your own).
The ironic part about this blog is that I was mentally composing it at 4am one morning. Consistent and good quality sleep has been something that I’ve had to work at on and off most of my life. So I’ve tried nearly every remedy under the sun (except prescription medications) and found a number of non-addictive remedies to help me get the restorative and healing sleep needed for good functioning.
Here’s a list of 10 tips for getting a better night’s sleep naturally :
Take a hot water bottle to bed – warming your core/abdominals raises your core temperature and helps promote the right conditions for sleep. Also raising your body temperature before bed helps to induce sleep.
Eat a small handful of pumpkin or sunflower seeds after dinner. They are a complete protein and a good source of tryptophan - an amino acid promoting feelings of calm & relaxation. (Turkey and dairy are also good sources, but seeds are suitable if you are dairy intolerant or a vegetarian).
Herbal teas or supplements – some options include: Chamomile, passionflower, or valerian root extract (not to be confused with valium) before bed, or a warm herbal tea in the middle of the night can help you get back to sleep.
Taking a magnesium supplement before bed helps relax the nervous system and muscles.
Relaxation music, meditation or nature sounds - these slow the heart rate, promoting a relaxed state helping you get to sleep.
A gentle stretch before bed (or a light massage if you’re lucky enough) helps relax the body making it easier to fall asleep.
Exposing yourself to at least 20 minutes of daylight each day triggers your brain to release specific chemicals and hormones that are vital to your body clock and rhythms.
If you have a lot on your mind, try writing your worries/thoughts down before going to bed. It will lessen anxiety and free up your mind and energy to move into a deep and restful sleep.
Bach flower essences: Bach Rescue Sleep (or Rescue Night - alcohol free & suitable for children) includes 5 individual essences to promote a restful state of mind. You can also buy individual essences that are appropriate for your needs. E.g. White Chestnut - to help ease a restless and overactive mind or Impatiens - for irritability and tension.
Aromatherapy - when choosing oils we want them to calm and sedate the nervous system. They can be used in a burner before bed or put a few drops on a tissue and put under the pillow. Some appropriate oils include:
Lavender – helps calms the emotions & has a balancing effect on nervous system.
Clary Sage – Sedative and calms over excitement or panic.
Basil - Tonic for the nerves & calms nervous conditions.
Frankincense - Slows down breathing and improves anxious states.
Ylang Ylang - Pacifies the mind, sedative action, slows down breathing and rapid heartbeat.
Different remedies will work for different people, depending on whether the cause is physical, chemical or an over-active mind, but it's worth trying a few to see what suits you. Chronic and a persistent inability to sleep can also indicate an underlying medical condition, so it's also worth investigating the true cause of your insomnia.
Your adrenal glands and cortisol levels play a vital role in energy production throughout the day and help you control stress. Adrenal fatigue is a condition which affects the ability of the Adrenals to function to their full capacity due to acute or prolonged stress. Even though many people suffer with it, conventional medicine doesn’t fully recognise it and usually only acknowledges extreme adrenal dysfunction (e.g. Addisons or Cushings Disease). Anyone who has every suffered from any of the symptoms, myself included, knows that it's a very real condition.
It is important that the adrenal glands produce appropriate amounts of cortisol which are maintained at an optimal level for normal physical functioning. If this balancing act is disrupted in any way, our adrenal glands will become compromised and over a long duration, create an imbalance in our physiology. The cause of adrenal fatigue can come from a variety of stressors including physical, mental, emotional, chemical and environmental. You are more likely to be affected if you have several stressors going on at the same time which builds up over time and becomes chronic.
Some of the more common tell-tale signs include:
Difficulty getting up in the morning
even after sufficient sleep.
You have more energy later in the day.
Feeling tired and rundown for no apparent reason.
You’ve noticed that it takes longer to recover from a stressful day/week.
Weight gain and difficulty losing weight, particularly around the waist.
Lowered immune response
Increased PMS symptoms for women
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may be able to make some lifestyle changes to help restore your wellbeing. It may take several months, even up to a year to feel back to normal.
Some tips to overcome Adrenal Fatigue:
Avoid low blood sugar levels – ideally eat breakfast within one hour of waking, try to eat lunch around midday and your evening meal no later than 6pm.
Include healthy snacks throughout the day to sustain energy.
Ensure your daily protein intake is adequate and you include a combination of protein, healthy fats and complex carbs at every meal.
Eat low GI fruit and vegetables.
Cut back on energy drinks and caffeine.
Participate in regular activity / enjoyable exercise to help combat the effects of stress.
Develop a good support network – friends, family, doctor, therapist or anyone you can trust.
Identify what and/or who drains your energy – you may need to learn how to be assertive, set boundaries in relationships or develop a new ways of thinking and dealing with problems.
If you are your own worst enemy in terms of being a perfectionist and having high expectations, a reality check may be in order.
Learning some simple meditation techniques which are consistently practised can help with the over-thinking and over-analysing voice in our head, creating a sense of peace, calm and acceptance.
Aim to get good quality, restorative sleep – avoid going to bed on a full stomach, herbal teas or supplements can assist in helping you relax.
Nurture and be kind to yourself!
Who to see for help:
There are a number of practitioners who can help with stress management and adrenal fatigue. Below are some ideas of who may be suitable for your needs:
Professional support from a counsellor, coach or mentor. They can help with relaxation techniques, changing negative thinking, setting boundaries and assertiveness skills, addressing problems or trauma from the past and setting attainable goals etc.
A Kinesiologist can help identify the underlying cause of the stress (especially when several factors are involved) or muscle test which supplements or food will strenghten the body's energy system. Kinesiology can also work out the priority corrective measure to restore balance whether it is emotional, physical or chemical etc.
An integrative medical doctor or naturapoth can utilise blood and saliva tests and rule out other conditions.
An exercise specialist to help plan a program that increases your energy and wellbeing, yet doesn’t put undue stress on your body.
Body workers such as massage therapists, reflexologists, energy healers to help you feel grounded and centred.
Participating in regular meditation/relaxation, whether it is done alone or in a group setting to help improve your relaxation response.
The best medicine is prevention and the aim is to make yourself more resilient for future stresses and learn to recognise the triggers and symptoms earlier.
Stress is something that we have all experienced to varying degrees and is necessary in small doses to help keep us motivated and perform, however we don’t always recognise it creeping up on us and the impact it has on our overall wellbeing. A high percentage (as much as 80%) of visits to the doctor are related to stress, but with a 10 minute consultation it is difficult to address the problem and get to the core issues.
Stress is a very broad term and hard to define, as what is stressful to one person may be exciting and challenging to another. Stress management needs to be tackled from a variety of angles to ensure that the early warning signs are recognized and some strategies can be put into action before we start burning out.
The three main aspects in managing stress are:
Identifying the major source of stress
Recognizing the warning signs of stress
Controlling the major sources stress
Major sources of stress include:
Goals – which have to do with how much you want to accomplish and the demands you put on yourself - this is the issue of ambition.
Standards - are to do with how well you must perform all the time. Being determined to never make a mistake and a need for perfection.
Limits/boundaries - how attentively we should respond to the wants and needs of others. If you think you must satisfy the desires of others and not disappoint anyone - this is the problem of obligation, causing relationships to become a source of stress.
Recognizing the warning signs of stress:
Constant fatigue: Fatigue causes a person to become increasingly discouraged and negative over time.
Beware of nagging discomfort: The body and mind can register stress in painful ways. Stress can actually hurt and cause physical symptoms.
Burnout: Losing interest in what you usually care about. Stress can lead to depression and a feeling of hopelessness.
Beware of breakdown: Stress can become debilitating, functioning becomes difficult and feels too problematic to try and correct it.
Emotional: Anxiety, depressed mood, loss of confidence & self esteem, decreased pleasure in life.
Cognitive: Negative thoughts, impaired judgement, loss of concentration, forgetfulness, difficulty making decisions.
Behavioural: Changes in appetite, problems with relationships, withdrawal, problems managing time, substance abuse.
Control the major sources of stress by adjusting expectations:
Rethink, and re-prioritise goals – make sure they are realistic and achievable.
Rather than aiming for perfection all of the time, change standards by accepting that doing your best is good enough.
Review limits by being aware of your own needs, setting clear boundaries and learning to be assertive.
It’s important to identify what you have control over and what isn’t in your control. Changing other people is almost impossible, however you have the power to change your own perceptions and the way you react to people and your circumstances. Learning to cope with change and deal with difficult situations more effectively is also within your control.
Developing a greater level of resilience and managing emotions and thought processes are also tools to improve coping strategies. Trying to think from a solution focused perspective rather than always seeing the problem can help you feel more hopeful and see a way forward. It's important that you can find support and resources to help you get back on track and prevent it becoming a major problem in your life. If not managed properly, chronic stress can lead to a serious illness, anxiety disorders or depression.
Welcome to Breakthrough Natural Therapy’s first blog. This is an opportunity for me to discuss what I’ve been passionate about for over 20 years and allow me to share information about a variety of topics relating to health and wellbeing. My blog will be a blend of knowledge gained from qualifications, a life time of experience and working with clients, as well as my own observations and insights while overcoming my own challenges. Having a curious mind and always needing to know more, has definitely been a big advantage in this instance.
I am a practising Kinesiologist, Counsellor and Reiki practitioner, always researching new matters and keen to share it with whoever will listen. My interest especially lies in the mind and body connection and promoting a holistic approach to wellness. My aim is to bridge the gap between traditional and natural therapy and inspiring those who are interested in exploring alternative practices.
From my observations, it was obvious to me that our mental, emotional, nutritional, physical and spiritual health were all connected. If I verbalised this belief to doctors, I would get some very strange looks, so I eventually stopped and started doing my own research. Today I am excited about all the new medical research, using new technology which proves that to truly increase wellness and vitality, we need to address our mind, body and spirit.
Over the last few years, I have spoken to many people who have said that they wanted to be more involved in their decision making regarding their health. This is a clear indication that people want to feel empowered rather than giving total control to medical practitioners. I still get occasional sceptical looks, but the majority of people recognise the need for more choices such as natural and alternative therapies and so the need for it is steadily increasing.
Considering that about 80% of all visits to the doctor are stress related, my first topic will be about stress management and gaining a better understanding of it.
More to come soon …
"The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease." ~ Thomas Edison