Our Body’s Most Important Stress Coping Organs – Pt.

Last week we dove into the importance of supporting our body’s most important stress coping organs, our adrenal glands.  Adrenal fatigue is rampant – it’s estimated that up to 80 percent of adults experience adrenal fatigue during their lifetimes, yet it remains one of the most under-diagnosed conditions in the US.  

Anyone is susceptible to stress, but some primary components leading to adrenal fatigue are: lack of restorative sleep, living through periods of intense emotional stress (current times!), over working, poor food choices, using food and drinks as stimulants when tired, lack of proper rest and rejuvenation.  Poor adrenal function can even begin at birth – children born to mothers already suffering from adrenal fatigue or who experience stress in the womb typically have lower adrenal function.

Adrenal fatigue is a collection of symptoms, some of which include:

  • low energy
  • a general sense of feeling unwell
  • hypoglycemia
  • reduced libido
  • ringing in the ears
  • increased premenstrual symptoms
  • subfertility
  • decreased immunity
  • insomnia

People with poor functioning adrenal glands may not have obvious signs of illness, yet they live feeling unwell, do not feel rested after sleep, and may rely on stimulants like coffee or sugar to get through the day. 

Sometimes the adrenal cortex can become so depleted that the body resorts to recruiting the fight or flight hormones – epinephrine and norepinephrine.  This can lead to rapid heart rate, anxiety, and insomnia. 

Adrenal fatigue can be difficult to recognize, because our bodies have an incredible capacity to ‘rise to the occasion,’ and we’ve gotten so used to living such a pressured lifestyle.  Because poor adrenal function can lay the foundation for other more serious illnesses such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, type II diabetes, and auto-immune disorders it’s important to tend to these walnut sized glands that sit like hats on top of the kidneys.

Want to support your adrenals?

Last week we went over some foundational nutritional advice that will go a long way in steadying your adrenal function. 

Here are some other ideas to bolster this critical stress coping glands as we navigate this pandemic that has no end in sight, so far.

Light Therapy

The adrenals thrive on rhythm and routine.  Establishing a healthy waking portion of the circadian rhythm supports optimal sleep as our sleep-wake cycle is light driven.  Restful sleep is how our adrenals repair.  I have been using a light box for the first time myself and notice better clarity, focus, and easier to rise in the morning.

Establish Strong and Healthy Boundaries

Are there people in your life who simply drain you?  When you get off the phone with them, they say how much better they feel and you feel like total crap.  They were able to get in and take a hit – I love Dr. Northrop’s book Dodging Energy Vampires – it dives deep into this phenomenon.  The truth is if there are energy vampires in your life, it will be hard to heal your adrenals.

B Vitamins to the Rescue

We’ll do more of a deep dive into these powerful supplements.  B vitamins are essential for the production of cellular energy and provide foundational support for neurotransmitter production.  B vitamins are readily depleted by stress, and because numerous neuroendocrine and enzymatic processes rely on B vitamins, they are an important nutritional supplement to consider.  B vitamins are necessary for regulating cortisol and they are considered essential – meaning they are not produced by the body, so we need to get adequate levels from our diet or from nutritional supplements.  It’s important to get an active form of B vitamins to ensure bioavailability.  Any excess of B complex that isn’t used will be eliminated through the urine in a body that’s well hydrated.

Get Grounded 

If there is a fountain of youth, establishing a strong and powerful connection to the earth is it!  When we can heal our root chakras to be able to communicate with the electromagnetic field, this stabilizes our nervous system making us more resilient and able to stay centered under pressure, or to bounce back more easily. Check out this guided meditation. 

P.S. Consider attending my Yoga and Energy Healing Retreat, guaranteed to ground your nervous system and revitalize your adrenal glands.

Our Body’s Most Important Stress Coping Organs – Part 1

We’ve been ‘staying safe’ & ‘hanging in there’ for – oh, about 9 months now during this pandemic – while recently weathering the most contentious presidential election in US history. I think I’m well overdue for a post about our bodies most critical stress-coping glands – our adrenal glands!

Our adrenals are the two walnut-sized glands that sit like little hats on top of both kidneys. Our energy, stamina, immunity, and even sex drive depends upon the proper functioning of our body’s adrenal glands. The adrenals have an outer layer or cortex that produces cortisol and an inner medulla that produces the fight or flight hormones: epinephrine and norepinephrine.

In Chinese medicine, the adrenals are called the ‘Root of Life.’ They function as ‘batteries’ which store our life energy and are also responsible for our immunological resilience. When undisturbed by stress, the adrenal glands secrete minute, yet precise and balanced amounts of cortisol in response to everyday changes in our internal circuitry. Cortisol affects all of the major physiological processes in our bodies – the utilization of carbohydrates and fats, regulation of blood sugar levels, maintenance of blood pressure, and the production of sex hormones. In general, how well we feel really depends upon how well these glands are functioning.

Adrenal fatigue is caused by everyday stress in all forms – whether it’s physical, mental, emotional, or even environmental. Stresses such as illness, poor diet, environmental toxicity, financial stress, relationship issues, and work-related pressure have a cumulative effect on adrenal gland function. The body responds to all of these stressful events in the same manner by secreting adrenal hormones. The repetitive cycle of stress causing adrenal hormone secretion eventually depletes our adrenals. We begin to suffer from reduced output and fatigue.

Because we are currently enduring a prolonged exposure to stress, and sustained stress can impact our bodies as trauma, now more than ever it’s important to take stock of our adrenal health…so we can implement changes and strategies that promote resilience of the HPA axis (hypothalamic pituitary adrenal) as well as effective stress adaptation of our adrenals, bolster our adrenals and thereby promote resilience.

Take the Adrenal Stress Test

If you answer yes to 3 or more of the questions below, it may be time for Adrenal Rehab:

  • Do you have difficulty getting up in the morning?
  • Feel a fatigue that’s not relieved by sleep?
  • Crave salty foods?
  • Notice that it takes an increased effort to complete everyday tasks?
  • Have a decreased ability to handle stress…little things that never used to bother you are getting at you?
  • Does it take longer to recover from illness or injury?
  • Do you feel light-headed when standing up quickly?
  • Experience PMS? 
  • Notice less enjoyment of activities that previously were fulfilling?
  • Experience poor concentration, loss of train of thought, feeling fuzzy headed?
  • Experience an afternoon lull in energy around 3 pm or 4 pm?
  • Better energy after 6 pm?

Implement these dietary suggestions:

Quit or greatly reduce coffee. If this is impossible, consider turning your coffee into a meal by adding grass fed butter, MCT oil, and possibly even collagen protein powder.

Keep blood sugar levels as steady as possible:  by eating protein at each meal, and don’t skip meals. Avoid/minimize  refined carbs and sugars, and when you do eat them, balance them with protein  Alcohol also spikes blood sugar, so moderation is important and having 4 hours before bedtime is ideal to process alcohol.

Adrenals like rhythm – get into a sleep/wake routine by going to bed and waking up within an hour of the same time each night. Avoid stimulating activities before bed – watching stressful news or suspenseful movies, or talking to drama queens close to bedtime will strain your adrenals!

If you’d like support to balance your adrenals, let’s chat!

2020 has really been something, hasn’t it?  

As it draws to a close in these colder months, if you are feeling more tired than usual, less motivated, or having a hard time concentrating – you are certainly not alone! 

Those of us who are highly sensitive hold space for change by helping to transform the energy around us, and…it’s not uncommon to absorb some of it in the process. We could all benefit from an energy boost right now!

WOULDN’T IT BE GREAT TO CLEAR ENERGY
AND SHIFT AS A GROUP?


Are you ready to feel: lighter, clearer, hopeful, and inspired again?

Would you like support and a safe space to release old energy?

Are you interested in learning some self-care practices to carry into 2021?

Is it appealing to set healing intentions and a vision for the coming year?

Would you like to receive a powerful and deep nervous system reset?


IF SO, CLEAR THE YEAR is the perfect virtual retreat for you!

We will gather virtually January 9th and 10th 12-4pm EST. 

I’M READY TO REGISTER!

Spotlight on the Warming Socks Treatment

A handy immune-supportive tip to have at the ready!

As rates of infection are on the rise, it feels like an appropriate time to continue sharing immune-supportive tips for you to have at the ready.  This week I’m highlighting the ‘Warming Socks Treatment’ – be forewarned – when you read the instructions, you may think this is the last thing you want to do on a cold winter night! However, I swear, this is a safe, simple, inexpensive, AND highly effective hydrotherapy technique  – it’s a staple in naturopathic practice

This therapy is often recommended at the first sign of any congestion in the ears, eyes, sinuses, throat, and/or lungs. Those who try it quickly learn how effective it can be in helping relieve nasal or chest congestion, earaches, sinusitis, and colds or upper respiratory infections. It’s even helpful to mitigate the brain fog that can result from a night of over-indulgence!

The beauty of this therapy is that it is a nice complement to botanical medicine, homeopathic remedies or other medicines, both natural and conventional.

Note: this treatment should NOT be used by those who are very weak, tend to run cold, or who have a fungal infection on the skin of their feet.  For small children or people of weaker vitality, wet only the toes of the cotton socks. If you don’t have heavy winter socks sized for kids, use larger ones folded down.

Supplies:

  • 1 pair cotton socks
  • thick winter weight or wool socks
  • Warm bath or warm foot bath

Directions:

  • Warm feet first.  Warming can be accomplished by soaking in warm water for 5-10 minutes or by taking a warm bath or shower.
  • Take the pair of cotton socks and get them wet with cold water only up to the ankle of the sock.  Be sure to wring the socks out thoroughly so that they do not drip.  Place in the freezer for a couple of minutes.
  • Place cold wet socks on feet.  Cover with thick dry heavy-weight or wool socks.  Go to bed and cover with blanket.  Avoid getting chilled.
  • Keep the socks on overnight.  The wet cotton socks will be dry in the morning.

Effects of the Warming Socks Treatment:

This treatment works to reflexively increase the circulation and decrease congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head, and throat.  It has a sedating and grounding action – many patients report a deeper, more restorative sleep during the treatment.  This treatment is also effective for pain relief and increases the healing response during acute infection.

The person’s body will dry the wet socks by pulling the circulation toward the feet and past all the organs of elimination. The immune system will be stimulated, and the person will sleep well. Throbbing may be felt in the feet. For optimum benefit, leave both sets of socks on throughout the night, even after the cotton socks have become dry.