This past season I have found it very difficult to find balance…something that I strive for and value deeply. I can struggle with the cold weather, particularly if that cold weather makes it difficult to be outside and definitely if it involves a lack of sun. It’s been a hard and long winter season for a variety of personal reasons too and with that comes thoughts and reflections about behaviours and patterns that I often do throughout the winter season that don’t always do a great job of creating balance.
If you’ve spoken with me before, you know I speak about the stool analogy when it comes to balance….the four legged wooden kind of stool, not to be confused with speaking about bowel movements, although that is an important and helpful discussion, as well. I love this analogy, as many people understand it and often connect well to it. I often say, if you and your well being are the seat of the stool, you are held up by 4 legs – the mental leg, the emotional leg, the physical leg and the spiritual leg. Sometimes we make the stool a tripod, if that last leg is not a match for the individual. And my job, as a Naturopath is to figure out why the stool is toppling. In this analogy, maybe one stool leg is extra long, making it topple over, or maybe one leg is incredibly short and thin. For some, the mental leg takes the brunt, for others it’s the physical leg. Regardless of what it is, I find it fascinating to see how we all work at doing our best to create balance amongst adversity and stress.
Many people come to see me for physical reasons and as we begin dialog, the focus is on the physical leg of the stool, but as we dive in deeper to the root cause of the problem, we often uncover other legs of the stool to be at the root of the problem. Let’s use me for an example. In previous years I have created a wonderful habit of running almost each morning. I wake up early and run with my dog to clear my head, feel nature and get some physical exercise. I work at eating a clean diet…clean meaning no gluten and dairy for me with my specific health concerns and limiting sweets, even fruit as I love sweet food, but can struggle with insulin regulation. Everything in my world feels and works better if I maintain exercise and clean eating. I physically feel great, emotionally am more stable and mentally am sharp….I love this place, as it’s me feeling something I adore, balance. But, at the end of January someone very close to me passed away when I had a few other stressful things happening at the same time, it felt like the emotional leg of the stool got yanked out from under me and I was flustering to achieve balance in the other legs. The mental, spiritual and physical legs of the stool were doing their best to compensate to ensure I stayed upright but life changed. I stopped running as I didn’t have time/ability to do so daily, my clean eating went out the window as I physically couldn’t grocery shop easily or have energy to food prep and I started getting into old patterns of behaviour to compensate for my heart feeling broken.
As a culture, we are notorious for avoiding being present with difficult situations/pain. We distract and numb ourselves through television, food, social media, etc. and all the while our emotional leg of the stool is not actually being nurtured while the other legs of the stool are suffering, desperately working at creating balance for the whole. These distractions and changes in behaviour can have a time and a place, but the tricky thing is catching when the compensation becomes a pattern and then a habit. For me, this past winter, I started watching tv shows at night – positive, lovely shows but it was distraction from feeling what was real for me. I stopped journaling regularly, as it was hard to be real with the hurt and I started baking often as this is a comfort for me. Even if my baking choices are raw vegan desserts and technically “healthy”, they are still desserts and connecting to a pattern I developed as a child, that when I was sad, food would numb the hurt.
The body is an amazing thing, always striving for balance or homeostasis, a medical term for essentially the same thing. I see many people in my practice where the physical leg of the stool is in rough shape – but if that’s happening for you, consider thinking about the stool analogy and what events got you to where you are today. Yes, that physical leg of the stool will need care and support but as that leg gets stronger, the other legs can be nurtured and are often the real reason we are off balance in the first place.
For me, I know the warmth and sun of next week will help. I have supported my adrenals the past few weeks which have helped give energy and motivation to consider cleaning up my diet and food patterns. I have good supports that I have used to help sort out the past events and I have once again, run daily. My runs are slow and not super long, my diet could be even cleaner with better prep work, but I’m feeling more balanced and stronger again with an improved inner resilience.
This past season has been hard for many and this culture we live in, particularly, the culture of Kitchener-Waterloo is unbalanced. We are driven, busy and stressed out people. See which leg of the stool in this analog needs nurturing for yourself and seek out that balance. Whether it’s doing more social events, improving your physical exercise regime, taking up a creative hobby, clean eating, meditating, having alone time…work at creating the specific balance you need. The journey is much easier when the stool is not toppling.
Hoping that you are able to feel supported and balanced into the coming season.
We are happy to welcome Dr. Jocelyn Hayes, D.C. to TouchStone Health.
Jocelyn is a Chiropractor who has a unique practice style, incorporating various modalities to assist you in your health journey, whether that is achieving recovery from injury, injury prevention or wanting to optimize your state of health and well-being. She is warm and friendly, incredibly knowledgeable and open to working with you to create the right treatment plan, specific to your needs. Jocelyn is known for treating the whole person and is passionate about you feeling comfortable with the treatment plan created for you.
Dr. Jocelyn Hayes, D.C. works with various modalities to help you with your health goals. These are:
- Myofascial Release
- Kinesiology Taping
- Contemporary Medical Acupuncture
- Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
- Chiropractic Joint Manipulation/Adjustment
- Breathing and Biofeedback Techniques
- Therapeutic and Corrective Exercises
These various modalities are often used in combination to ensure you have the right care package, specific to your needs.
Some of her favourite conditions to work with include (but aren’t limited to):
- Headaches and migraines
- Pregnancy related pain
- TMJ or Jaw Pain
- Repetitive Strain Injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Golfers and Tennis elbow
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Achilles Tendonitis
- IT Band Syndrome
- Shin Splints
- Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
If are you interested in becoming a patient of Dr. Jocelyn Hayes, D.C. please use our online booking system to find a day and time that work for you. If you have any questions she is happy to do a 10 or 15 min consultation over the phone or in person to answer any questions you would have before booking in.
Acupuncture has been used to optimize women’s fertility for over 2000 years. There have been several recent clinical studies showing that acupuncture for IVF can:
-Increase your chances of implantation and full-term births.
-Minimize symptoms associated with ART treatments.
-Reduce stress and help you relax before and during IVF.
Acupuncture: To Prepare for IVF
Starting acupuncture treatments 2-3 + months before your IVF cycle is ideal to help prepare your body for pregnancy, to encourage relaxation, to balance any underlying health concerns, and focus on the maturation of the egg.
One acupuncture treatment a week is recommended if acupuncture is started 2-3 months ahead but if acupuncture treatments are started 1 month or less before the IVF cycle, twice a week is recommended.
Acupuncture During the IVF Cycle: (days are approximate)
DAY 1-3 Menstrual Period – One acupuncture treatment
DAY 6-11 Follicular Development – One acupuncture treatment
Acupuncture can alleviate the side-effects of hormonal stimulation, improve blood flow to the ovaries and uterus (resulting in better ovarian response and a receptive endometrium).
DAY 11-14 Days leading into Trigger Injection and/or Day of – 1-2 treatments
Day 14- 16 After Egg Collection – One acupuncture treatment
Acupuncture can help recover from the procedure and prepare the uterus for implantation. This treatment also helps with any bloating and ease cramping after egg collection.
Day Of / Day Before Transfer – One acupuncture treatment
Research shows that this treatment significantly increases pregnancy rates.
Day after to week after Transfer – One treatment following transfer and one about a week later
These treatments promote implantation and eases any anxiety.
Do you find it intimidating or overwhelming to prepare healthy foods for yourself or your family? This is a common reasons why most people struggle with clean eating. We all know the basics of eating better – lots of vegetables, added fruits, healthy proteins and clean carbohydrates work for many but it’s hard to actually do this on a consistent basis.
Many people’s lives are full…full of many things and eating healthy foods generally falls off the priority list or is forgotten. By the end of a busy day/week, it’s hard to make good decisions that are in alignment with how we wish to be eating. Check out this article on Decision Fatigue by The Harvard Business Review. Do you ever find yourself eating well and clean for the first part of your day but by the end are eating foods you wish you hadn’t? We make dozens, some studies report hundreds of food-related decisions throughout our day and after deciding many things throughout the course of a day, we are tired and start making easier decisions which usually results in poorer choices for our health. I know for myself, I have ideals of eating healthy foods but sometimes the inspiration falls short and I’m eating the same thing over and over or eating rice crackers and hummus at the end of a long day which although is an ok food, not a match for my constitution which does better on vegetables and a light protein.
So, we have begun a new program to help you eat clean and take away the work of deciding what to eat and when. We are now developing Healthy Meal Plans to suit your specific dietary needs. Weekly or Monthly recipe plans are put together for your specific needs. Foods can be avoided specific to your needs and menus can be created specifically for your health goals (example: dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, FODMAP, Anti-inflammatory, PCOS, Thyroid, Autoimmune, etc).
-a detailed shopping list is given for your plan
-a to-do list for the week of prepping food
-all the recipes
-micro and macronutrient breakdown
And…we can make it for whatever serving size you want. If you have a family of 5 we can ensure all recipes are specific for your 5 people or for one person. Prepping your week/month is incredibly easy as we do the work for you.
We started this program a month ago as many people were sharing their desire to eat well but that more support was needed to stay interested and consistent. We hope this is the solution to help. Pricing is located on our Meal Plan page and ask your Naturopathic Doctor: Dr. Cressman, N.D. or Dr. Reidl, N.D. if you have any other questions.
Attached is a sample 3-day eating plan to let you know what a plan would potentially look like. sample-diet
This helps make eating delicious, healthy foods easier.
Written by: Natalie Poynton, RMT
Stress is a common factor of many peoples lives in society today. With decisions to make, growing families, career paths and more connection to today’s society it is fair to say that many of us feel an increase in stress in some way…whether it be considered a negative stress or positive one. Question is, how does it impact us personally? Forget everyone for a moment… think of just you…how does stress impact you?
So while you are thinking of you and identifying your stress and the impact it has, let’s take a look at what stress is and how it can really impact the body.
What is stresses impact on the body? What are the general factors? How do they impact you?
Stress is going to increase muscle tension which physically impacts our bodies, leading to symptoms such as headaches, jaw pain, muscles aches and various pains.
Everyone feels the impacts of stress in many different ways, which may lead to many different effects; but most commonly we feel pain. But what is the pain we feel, can we explain it or can it be defined? Do you know where the pain is coming from? This can sometimes lead to unexplained pain, which becomes a hardship in so many peoples lives. Remember, define your pain: Don’t let it define you!!
Here is a theory for you…something to consider…
Stress is commonly known to impact our muscles with tension, and some muscles increase in tension without us consciously knowing, like our Psoas muscle.
The Psoas muscle is a long muscle located on either side of our vertebral column(spine) and brim of the pelvis. Our Psoas muscle is also known as the “muscle of the soul”. It is one of the largest muscles in the body and it is in a place where we often store stress or trauma that can literally influence our mood and outlook on life. This is our bodies connection to the intake of stress. If we are holding onto this stress it has got to go somewhere…commonly we feel it in our shoulders as tension, some may feel pain usually located in their back or stomach and that is our connection to Psoas.
Fear, anxiety, irritability, changes in mood are all part of feeling stress, this can inhibit our ability to think clearly thus creating an unhealthy perspective that can cause harm and build up stress in our bodies. With Psoas being our “muscle of the soul” this is where the tension is stored, causing us pain and discomfort. Having this connection will help guide you to positive healing.
In turn to the stress and need to decrease pain and tension, the psoas needs to be released. Pressure can be applied to the muscles’ tendon at the pelvic attachment and the tension slowly starts to decrease. Techniques using pressure release can also be used by applying moderate pressure through the abdomen. Having this care can not only provide muscle release; it can help you find balance in physical, mental and emotional health and healing as a whole.
564-572 Weber Street North, Unit 3A Waterloo, Ontario N2L5C6