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The Intelligence Within

Posted by on Mar 22, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's, Quotes & Thoughts | Comments Off on The Intelligence Within

The Intelligence Within

(Image: ‘Serenity’ by Dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net) Have you ever heard the expressions: “Trust your gut” or “Listen to your heart”? Do you? Have you ever had a gut feeling about something? What happens when you have a gut feeling about something and you do not listen to what your body is trying to tell you? What happens when you do listen? I find when I can follow my gut, or my heart, that life flows with ease and good things come to me. In Chiropractic Philosophy one of our main tenets is that in each one of us there is an innate intelligence governing all function within our bodies and sending us messages to guide us in our lives. These “gut feelings” that we have are messages sent to us by our innate intelligence which is trying to get us to listen. In our society, due to the large volumes of information we deal with on a daily basis, we often spend a lot of time in our heads processing and analyzing our situation. We use our educated mind to make choices for ourselves and decide the paths we are going to take in our minds based on our previous life experience. Our educated mind was a blank slate when we were born and we have been accumulating knowledge and information to “educate” ourselves and survive in our lives. Our educated mind is finite and shaped by our personal experiences. On the other hand, our innate mind, is infinite and all knowing. When we can bypass our educated mind to be quiet and listen to our innate intelligence it will reveal the wisdom to us and guide us in our lives. This is not an easy task however, and it is a lifelong journey for those who choose. However, simply making the choice to become aware of your innate intelligence will make a profound difference in your ability to hear what it has to say. How can you connect more deeply to your innate intelligence? The first step is to become aware of your present state? So how do you know if you are connected to your innate intelligence, or to your heart? Here are 3 different areas to look at to help you know if you are connected. 1) How are you feeling?At any time you can check in to your emotional state. It is simple, when you are experiencing positive, joyful emotions, you know you are connected. If you are feeling negative, unhappy emotions, then you know you are not connected. 2) How are your energy levels?When your energy levels are abundant you are connected; when you have low energy you are not connected and are not following your heart. 3) What kind of language are you using?The type of language you are using is a reflection of your internal state. Using words like “I choose to…”, “I love to…”, “I want to…”, are signs that you are connected and doing things that come from your innate intelligence and are an expression of who you are. Words like “I have to…”, “I should…”, and “I need to…” are less connected expressions that imply that you are doing things that are not coming from your personal self-expression. These are all things that you can be aware of throughout your day and check in on a regular basis. If you feel that you are connected, great, keep doing what you are doing and notice the factors that are helping you be in a connected place. If you are not connected there are many different things that you can do...

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Year of the Snake- Year of the Spleen

Posted by on Feb 14, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Year of the Snake- Year of the Spleen

Year of the Snake- Year of the Spleen

(Image: “Snake In Green Nature” by SweetCrisis/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net) Many Chinese communities all over the world celebrated the Chinese New Year this week and welcomed the year of the snake. A short brief: According to ancient Chinese philosophy, there are two main cycles in nature representing the order of the universe. The first is a cycle of 10 (“stem”) and the second, a cycle of 12 (“branch”). Each branch can be viewed in 3 different perspectives: 2 hours of the day (24 hours divided by 12 branches). 12 months of the year (lunar months). 12 years great cycle. Within the great 12 year cycle, every year is represented by a sign that symbolizes the characteristic of that year, much like the famous zodiac known in the west. Each branch, in addition to its correspondence to an animal, has a deep relationship with an organ in the body. It is important to keep in mind that an “organ” in Chinese Medicine is a wider term than it is in Western Medicine: there is the physical organ and physical function, and it also includes its meridian, and its emotional and spiritual functions. The “Organ” belonging to the year of the snake is the Spleen. The main role of the spleen is to control everything that has to do with digestion. On the physical level it is food and fluids but consider also the digestion of data, thoughts, and information. Why snake? The snake represents a very strong digestive system. So strong that it can digest a prey that was swallowed whole. This year, therefore, the spleen is especially active. It means that it has the potential to be in its full manifestation and strength if we take good care of it. Conversely, it means that it can be easily injured and harmed if we don’t treat it appropriately. So how can we help the spleen this year? As the master of digestion the spleen likes a variety of foods. A diverse and colourful menu, rich with many nutrients will nourish and support the spleen. The one exception are carbohydrates. It is important to monitor the quantity and quality of these to ensure the spleen is “happy” and is not harmed. The spleen is also sensitive to cold foods like dairy products, and uncooked food straight from the fridge. Raw fruits and vegetables should be eaten at room temperature. Ice creams and ice cold drinks should be eliminated!! All of these are truths in every year but more so in a snake/ spleen year. On the mental/ emotional level it is important to keep a relaxed lifestyle as much as possible. The spleen is prone to harm from overthinking and too many worries. Practicing meditation, qi-gong, yoga or any meditative activity on a regular basis will support the spleen. Even things like guilt and avoiding responsibilities can harm the spleen so this year is a great time to take action and ownership in our lives. Regular Chinese Medicine treatments, Acupuncture and herbal remedies designed to nourish the spleen are also highly recommended. Wonder how your spleen is doing? Signs for injured or deficient spleen include: • Gastrointestinal symptoms like IBS, diarrhea, constipation, nausea and stomachaches. • Food allergies and intolerance • Menstrual disorders • Tendencies to bruise easily, nosebleeds, bleeding gums • Hemorrhoids • Collapsed organ/tissues • Severe conditions like anemia and immunity and autoimmunity diseases If any of the above conditions are familiar with you and you wish to address them, please contact us by phone or email. Together we will have a great, healthy and successful year of the snake! Yuval...

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Healthy Habits for Travel, Office and Home

Posted by on Jan 4, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's | Comments Off on Healthy Habits for Travel, Office and Home

Healthy Habits for Travel, Office and Home

In my previous two posts [ post 1 | post 2 ], I wrote about my amazing experience of Beijing. I still think fondly of my 45 degree climb up the Great Wall of China. Reconnecting with family on our walking tours and over meals was wonderful and rejuvenating. Sharing meals with my new friends made the trip even more joyful. And practising simple healthy habits made it possible to enjoy the experience and feel energetic, happy and relaxed. On my previous post, I mentioned regular Network Spinal Care, daily yoga and healthier food choices were 3 ways that I stayed healthy on my trip. With NSA, I arrived in Beijing with a healthy nervous system and a healthy spine. Daily yoga helped me limber up and start my day with more energy. Healthy meals provided clean-burning fuel to sustain my well-being. The key to health was to continue practising my daily healthy habits and modify them to suit my day. Without further ado, the last of my healthy habits during my Beijing trip!   Early to bed Our days usually started with rising early at 6:00am. I typically need 8 hours of sleep nightly to feel refreshed the next day which meant I was in bed by 10:00pm. This was not the easiest goal as we would return to our hotel room as late as 8:30pm. I got to bed quickly by cutting down on the electronics: namely the television and cell phone. This helped me to maximize my time to wind down from the day with a nice slow shower and personal care. Stay hydrated Experts say that we need at least 2-3 litres of water every day to stay properly hydrated. When counting your intake, remember that beverages and foods are both sources of water. Our tour guide and bus driver provided bottled water during our trip which was very considerate in light of Beijing’s questionable drinking water safety (http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/722561.shtml). A combination of bottled water and lots of fruits and vegetables – both water-rich foods – made it easy for me to stay hydrated.   Keep moving, especially when seated! Do you know what children do after they sit for more than a brief moment? They get restless and move around! This is a perfect reflection of our body’s intelligence to keep tension under control. Every few minutes on my trip, I would lean from one side to the other. Then I’d slouch forward for a few minutes, and then sit upright. I would twist one way, and then twist the other. And of course, if I could safely stand and move around I would do that too. Moving around is important to manage tension. Whether it be on vacation, at home or at the office, if you sit still for more than a few minutes certain tissues in your body will start to compress, stretch and strain. The only way to counteract the load is to switch positions regularly so that the strained tissues get a break and share the load with other parts of your body.   SRI SRI stands for Somato Respiratory Integration (click to read more) and is an incredibly effective tool for enhancing the breath and releasing built-up tension. It’s so simple and that anyone could learn it in a single session and enjoy right away the benefits of regular practice. I used it to help me to sleep each night as well as whenever I felt tension build up. There are 12 different stages of SRI that can be practised, and the simplest and most frequent stage I practice is stage 1. See below...

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When It Rains It Pours

Posted by on Dec 10, 2012 in Featured, Health, How-To's, Quotes & Thoughts | Comments Off on When It Rains It Pours

When It Rains It Pours

I have personally been dealing with a lot of potentially stressful challenges  lately.  Now, the reason I say “potentially” is because nothing is actually stressful until it is perceived by the nervous system as stress.  That said, I have also noticed that many of my clients and friends have been experiencing an abundance of potential stressors recently.    The expression “when it rains it pours” comes to mind in these situations.  It is interesting how this can often be the case in our lives where challenges are concerned.  They can often pile up leaving us feeling overwhelmed, helpless, anxious or drained of energy.  The cumulative effect of compounding experiences can have a significant impact on our health and wellbeing and on our ability to manage our stress  When I have a lot to deal with, I am especially grateful to be able to call upon the strategies I have learned in my body and life through my process of healing.     What I know about stress in the body is that if we want to be able to handle stress and actually process and learn from our experience of it, we need to create an environment of peace within the body.  When the body is at ease then it has the chance to be able to process stress.  If the body is in a state of overwhelm, this capacity is significantly diminished.  It is also very difficult to process things with only the mind.  When we can use the whole bodymind to process we have much more capacity.  This is why choosing actions to help us move into our bodies at times like these are especially valuable.   When I am faced with a lot of potential stress, it is vital for me to choose actions that will help me stay present and connected to myself and my body, which takes me out of thinking and worrying and into feeling and processing.  Here are some strategies I use for connecting with my body and processing potential stressors:    Increase my frequency of Network Chiropractic Entrainments Increase my frequency of Somato Respiratory Integration Exercises Doing whatever actions are necessary to deal with the practicality of my situation(s) Practice other body centered techniques I have learned (i.e. meditation, focusing, body scan, pelvic awareness, grounding) Practicing faith, trust and surrender Exercise Yoga, especially restorative yoga Journaling Spending time in nature Connecting with family and friends and sharing my situation and feelings with them Dancing Playing guitar Doing anything creative Getting good rest Eating clean and healthy food   Certainly, there can be times when I am so overwhelmed that I feel like I don’t have access to any strategies.  This is when it is the most difficult to take actions like I am suggesting above because when we are in overwhelm, or fight or flight, we do not think clearly.  However, when I choose to utilize my strategies I am more able to harness the pouring rain and use it to nourish my healing process to allow myself to...

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Healthy Travels

Posted by on Dec 3, 2012 in Featured, Health, How-To's | Comments Off on Healthy Travels

Healthy Travels

Want to enjoy the sightseeing, the company with fellow travelers, and the local cuisine while staying healthy along the way? I found myself in this very scenario while travelling to Beijing in October 2012 (and wrote about it on my previous blog post here). Beijing is an amazing place full of countless opportunities for touring, shopping and enjoying the local food and culture. There’s the Great Wall of China, numerous palaces and tombs of emperors and empresses past, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and more. For the destinations that were nearby, the commute was swift and effortless. The destinations that were further off, however, were much more of a challenge and needed a little more attention.  Add the 12 hour flights to and from Beijing, and you can really imagine what impact such a vacation could have on well-being! Staying healthy in Beijing was easy, simple and rewarding. The key was to continue practicing my daily healthy habits and modify them to fit the circumstances. Here’s are 3 ways I stayed healthy during my week-long trip through Beijing:   Regular Network Spinal Care before and after the trip Drs. Allison, Anita, and I all benefit from getting regular Network Spinal Care. Kiva Bottero, Natural News (link), calls Network Spinal Analysis (NSA) “an innovative approach to chiropractic that focuses on communicating with the nervous system in order to release the underlying tension that keeps the spine misaligned.”  NSA is a powerful way for us to have a well-functioning nervous system and a body that is resilient, flexible and free to heal itself naturally (read more from our website here). During my week of travels, I still benefited from all the NSA Care that I have received. My body-mind has strategies to stay calm and connected, and to practice healthy travel habits needed by my body.   Yoga during the trip During the trip, I practiced 15-20 minutes of yoga each morning before breakfast. I performed a short routine that includes standing postures and floor poses for strength, endurance and flexibility. Yoga is great for awakening our bodies and for preparing us for our first meal of the day. I find it always helps me clear out my lungs and airways of anything accumulated the day before. It’s also easier for me to be still physically and mentally on long bus trips after moving my joints, breathing deeply and stretching my tissues in yoga. With a bit of practice it can be very easy to do your own yoga practice! Stay tuned for a future article on building a personal yoga practice. In the meantime, our Monday night yoga class (click here for schedule) with Rupel Pandya is a great step to having more yoga in your life.   Make healthier food choices Beijing is brimming with food choices that span the entire spectrum of healthy nutrition. I looked for plant-based whole foods wherever possible – vegetables, fruits, legumes and grains and leaned towards dishes that were lightly seasoned and oiled (or even better unseasoned and un-oiled). That meant I was enjoying dishes such as millet congee, freshly made unsweetened hot soy milk, stir-fried vegetables and tofu, and plain white rice. On some days, I’d eat a meal of simply watermelon, Chinese Hami Gold melons, Chinese fresh dates, and mandarins / clementines. Eating whole foods helped me maintain steady energy levels and regular elimination. It also helped me ensure I was getting all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are so abundant in plant-based foods.   Staying active, eating well and getting regular Network Spinal Care are 3 of the ways I got the most out...

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