Your body is talking. Are you listening?
Our bodies are speaking to us all the time and giving us messages in the form of symptoms. They’re trying to communicate important information about what is and isn’t working. While we receive many subtle messages throughout the day and sense that something isn’t quite right, we often hear these messages and ignore them or tune out because we don’t have time to address them. The issue with constantly pushing these valuable messages to the side is that they continue to get louder and louder and we reach a point where we can’t ignore them anymore.
Have you ever pushed yourself to this point? I know I have and I can tell you that as a result, I learnt the hard way that pushing through, letting symptoms compound in the hope that they’ll eventually go away and opting for quick-fixes isn’t the best way to nurture your health.
Dr. Sarah Jane chats to us about common symptoms she sees in clients, what the nervous system is and how we can either put pressure on it, or calm it. Her practical tips are things that we can all do each day to help us nurture our nervous system.
What are some common symptoms that your clients have?
Back, shoulder and neck pain
Migraines and headaches
Anxiety and Depression
Muscle tightness and tension
What are the top 5 symptoms that tell us that we’re not living in alignment?
Pain in the body, poor balance, postural imbalances, stiffness and restriction in the body and uneven wearing of shoes are all typical physical signs that your body isn’t in optimal alignment. An easy way to check if you’re physically aligned is to look in the mirror and check if one ear, shoulder and/or hip is higher than the other.
While observing any possible physical distortions is important and informative, it’s just as important to be spiritually aligned. If you’re out of alignment spiritually, the physical body can also be affected. For example, if you’re stressed you may experience neck or hip pain.
Some questions you could ask yourself to see if you’re in spiritually aligned are:
Am I living out my true purpose?
What is my inner voice saying?
Am I stressed because I am not listening to my inner guide?
Do I know what I should be doing but still don’t do it?
What do you recommend we do if we feel that we’re not in alignment?
I recommended finding a Chiropractor that is a good fit for you. Someone who you can trust and have a sense of connection with because this is an integral part of healing. Within the profession there are many techniques from manual to traditional and tonal to low force which while different, all assist the nervous system to work optimally.
What is the nervous system and what are the main things that put pressure on it?
The nervous system is the communication system between your brain and every cell, organ and tissue in your body. When the nervous system is under stress it’s unable to function at its full potential and as a result this communication between the brain and body can be affected.
There are three main stressors that impact the nervous system:
Physical for example, a car accident or a fall.
Emotional such as, a family member passing away or a relationship breakdown.
Chemical for example, alcohol, smoking or eating processed foods.
All of these affect and store in the nervous system and increase tension. Through chiropractic care this tension can be identified and released. This is done by aligning the spinal column which surrounds and protects your nervous system. I work with gentle techniques that are focused on giving the most precise and least invasive adjustment possible to my clients. By using a small amount of force to adjust them, their body learns to do more with less and does not become dependent on a large outside force.
Aside from chiropractic care, what are some other things that we can do on a daily basis to nurture ourselves and avoid putting stress on our nervous system?
Here are three different ideas:
1. When the body is in fight or flight-sympathetic dominance our breath changes and becomes fast and shallow. Many of us do not actively focus on our breath throughout the day so here is a great technique to help you connect to it.
Lay on the floor with your legs out straight and arms beside you. You may like to place a pillow underneath your knees to make the position more comfortable and you can even have a blanket on top of you.
Place your right hand on your stomach and your left hand on your rib cage so that you can physically feel your inhalation and exhalation.
Start inhaling by expanding the belly outward, allowing it to inflate like a balloon.
Next, move your breath into the rib cage and all the way into the upper chest.
Exhale by reversing this and softly contracting your abdominal muscles as you finish.
2. The ability to literally ‘shake it off’ is a natural response that some animals have to relieve stress and trauma, and rebalance their nervous system. Trauma Release Exercises (developed by Dr. Berceli for PTSD) are a great way to initiate this response in the human body.
Lying on your back, bend the knees and bring the bottoms of the feet together. Bring the feet to the floor with the heels close to the hips. Let the knees open wide apart. Lift the pelvis about 2cm off the ground and hold for 5 minutes or for as long as you can without pain.
Drop your pelvis and with soles of your feet touching, lift knees 5cm off the ground for 5 minutes, then 10cm for 5 minutes and finally 15cm for 5 minutes. Then rest.
The tremors vary from person to person. You may feel furious trembling or barely feel a thing. The more you do it, the more the trembling will spread. It will most likely start in your legs and hips and then move to your stomach, chest and head. To see any changes, you may need to do these exercises every day, for ten days.
3. Another tool to calm the body is the yoga asana Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall).
Find an open wall space. Start seated beside the wall, with your feet on the floor in front of you and your left or right side body in contact with the wall. On an exhale, gently lie down on your back and pivot yourself so that the backs of your legs are pressing against the wall and the bottoms of your feet are facing up.
Your sitting bones should now be pressed up against the wall, or a little away from the wall, and your back and head rested on the floor.
Let the back of your head be heavy and your neck be in a neutral position. Soften your face and your jaw. Let your hands rest either on your belly or down by your sides. Close down the eyes and breathe deeply through your nose and out through your mouth.
Stay here for anywhere from 5-15 minutes. To come out of the position, push the bottoms of your feet into the wall and lift your hips slightly. Gently roll to one side, and return to sitting.
If you’d like to learn more about Sarah Jane, you can read more here or get in touch with her by clicking on the links below.
Remember to listen to your body whisper before you have to hear it scream. If you think something isn’t quite right, trust yourself and seek support if needed.
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