A New Discovery about the link between Stress, Sleep and Healing

A New Discovery about the link between Stress, Sleep and Healing

If a client is struggling with several chronic conditions where their problems are growing, I often find out that they aren’t sleeping well.

Sleep is vital for our bodies to repair.

Why?

Our bodies operate in two main modes. We have an autonomic nervous system that operates either in a rest and digest state, called the parasympathetic nervous system, or the fight and flight state, called the sympathetic nervous system. Our bodies cannot operate in both modes simultaneously. By default, the parasympathetic nervous system turns off the sympathetic nervous system.

Our bodies need to be able to default to the parasympathetic state in order to heal. And a lack of sleep might indicate that we can’t relax enough for our bodies to repair. Our bodies cannot both be in fight or flight, and rest and digest at the same time.

We have also known that sleep helps solidify what we’ve learned, and that our brains detoxify during sleep.

But recently, a new discovery at the University of Rochester shows a clear demonstration of how stress inhibits both our ability to sleep, and our ability to heal.

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We Need Trust to Thrive

We Need Trust to Thrive

My world without trust

I grew up in an environment where I was regularly criticized, berated, or yelled at for minor infractions. I never knew when the tirades would come, and so I tried at all costs to avoid my parents. But it wasn’t easy to thrive in our small home. I didn’t know who I could trust. I felt like I was constantly walking on eggshells, and because I felt I could be blamed for just about anything, the world did not feel like a safe, just, or fair place to be.

It took decades to finally understand the diagnoses that explained my parent’s behaviors. But as a kid, it was much harder to make sense of the anger. I alternated between trying to please them and lashing out. Because I couldn’t make sense of my life at home and lacked healthy parenting, I had to draw my own conclusions about the world. I decided that I had to take care of myself. I couldn’t trust people of authority or God. Love wasn’t something that I could count on. I couldn’t trust that good things or good people could come my way.

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To Fear or Not To Fear the Coronavirus

To Fear or Not To Fear the Coronavirus

As a Holisitic Brain Health Practitioner, I’m a huge fan of Dr. Bruce Lipton, but he and many others are warning people about the dangers of fear, and I’m sensing a dismissing  of the magnitide of this outbreak.

But as an epidemiologist, I think that’s dangerous.

We have to honor our emotions.  They are there for a good reason. We want fear when we encounter a tiger.  The Cornoavirus is today’s tiger.

That being said we need a balance.

Lets talk about healthy vs. vs. unhealthy fear.

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Reviving from Failure to Thrive

Reviving from Failure to Thrive

John would lock himself in his apartment for days, not talking to anyone.  After not being able to reach him for days, his mom stopped by his apartment and found pizza boxes and empty cans of coke and pepsi strewn throughout the apartment.  The place reeked with his body oder, moldy food and urine.

John had been struggling with severe mental health challenges for entire life.  In addition to depression, he had autism and oppositional defiance disorder.  He had a habit of alienating everyone he met, and so he was lonely and uninterested in life.  He was 385 Ibs, sedentary, and had diabetes.

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Six Steps to Handling Stressful Situations We Can’t Control

Six Steps to Handling Stressful Situations We Can’t Control

This year America has been in crisis mode!   With Hurricane Harvey and then Irma, the fires in the West coast, and the threats of nuclear war, I found the news to be extremely stressful!   Lucky for me, this onslaught of bad news came when I was able to handle it.   Years ago, I would have probably gotten overwhelmed and freaked out, and it would have effected my ability to work and sleep.

When the bad news just keeps coming, what is the best way to get through it and stay strong?  

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5 Steps to Recover From The 2016 Election

5 Steps to Recover From The 2016 Election

Many people I know, including myself, are struggling to grapple with the implications of this election.   Not only has a racist xenophobe won the election, but Republicans will now have complete control over every branch of government. For those of us concerned about racial tolerance, the environment, and preserving the social programs we do have, there are no words to describe how worried we are.   And for those of us concerned about climate change, there is a growing terror about the Republican’s denial that global warming is man made, and what they will do when they have all the power.

So how can we process the results of this election?   How can get back to the things that are important to us?  How can we make the best of this situation?

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