TouchStone Health Photo
TouchStone Health Photo
TouchStone Health Photo

Psoas muscle and its connection to stress…..

Posted on: July 20th, 2017 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

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.

Kale Chip Recipe

Posted on: June 22nd, 2017 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

Kale has made a serious come back from being one of the most unpopular veggies around to the most talked about.  I remember having to eat a cup of cooked kale/day when I had mono, some 25 years ago.  I had to eat this for a month straight, at the request of my dad who wanted to ensure I was eating nutrient dense foods to help heal.  Eating this kale helped boost my antioxidants, increased my immune supporting vitamins A and C, was anti-inflammatory and high in iron.

As trendy as it is now, it is an amazing food that provides numerous benefits to various health conditions.  I wasn’t impressed with eating it 25 years ago, but appreciated my father’s insight into knowing I would benefit from it.  If you are unsure of trying this popular food out, I’d recommend trying this recipe, as it’s delicious and easy to make.

Vegan “Cheesy” Kale Chips – Little Green Dot

I made mine with a dehydrator with 1/2 the seasons as recommended and they were tasty.  See what you think…a fun summer treat.



Acupuncture to Help Relieve Seasonal Allergies

Posted on: May 9th, 2017 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

By Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist

Acupuncture is a safe and effective way to treat seasonal allergies. Acupuncture treatments help support the immune system and balance the organ systems involved to help alleviate any symptoms.

Seasonal allergies are a response to environmental substances and symptoms can range from itchy and watery eyes, itchy throat, full sinuses, fuzzy head, tiredness, cough, to sneezing.

Acupuncture sessions leading into or during allergy season can be very helpful in balancing the body’s response to the allergens along with some diet changes.

Please contact Anna Totzke, R.Ac. if you have any questions.

Stop Staring, it’s starting to get weird

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

I recently saw this quote written by a friend and it made me laugh out loud.  I love laughing out loud…it doesn’t happen that often but when it does, I take notice.

By the way, your past called to say, stop staring, it’s starting to get weird.”

Dr. Rajesh Ragbir, N.D.

If my past could talk she’d definitely yell this out with a few other words as a reminder to move on, to stop being stuck.  It’s so easy to get stuck though, to stop and stare.  Part of the staring can be helpful – to reflect, to learn and understand how to change outcomes in the future, but so much of the staring is the opposite of helpful.  Why I love this quote so much is the friendly and humour-filled reminder points out that the staring is weird.  Just like if you caught someone staring at you for long periods of time, it’s weird.  You can’t do anything about it, so stop staring, stop ruminating, stop beating yourself up over a moment that is done.

So much about getting better on all levels of our being, whether that be the emotional, the mental or the physical is about moving on…not being stuck.  Yes, reflection is important and necessary at times, but the staring…not so much.  What a fun and playful reminder Dr. Ragbir, N.D. gave us with these words.  I hope if you catch yourself staring at the past, that you’ll gently remind yourself to stop and maybe in that moment, you’ll stare around at the now where real change can take place and where you can actually do something about it.

Dr. Amanda Cressman, N.D.

Homemade Coconut Yogurt that actually tastes Great!

Posted on: April 10th, 2017 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

I have been wanting to make yogurt for some time, as I grew up in a home where homemade yogurt was the only yogurt we consumed.  But I have a daughter with a dairy sensitivity so I wanted to make a coconut yogurt that not only tasted great but was actually thick and delicious like the greek yogurts available now.  Many of the coconut yogurts on the market are delicious but the stabilizers and gums don’t always agree with me.  So I needed to get creative and find a solution.

I was grateful to find a recipe that worked and for my Instant Pot that made it possible.  (An Instant Pot is an amazing device that is a yogurt maker, rice cooker, steamer, pressure cooker, slow cooker, warming pot and sautes all in one.  It’s amazing and has helped me make delicious foods in minutes compared to hours…and I have no affiliation with this company, just a big fan).

So, I made a great recipe from Amanda Naturally (not me…but a wonderful Holistic Nutritionist that makes delicious recipes).  I followed her recipe but instead of using a yogurt starter I used 3 probiotic capsules from my favourite probiotic and 2 tbsp of local maple syrup.  I also used a smidge more gelatin as I like my yogurt thick but may stick to the recipe next time.

It’s delicious and a great alternative for anyone wanting to make a dairy alternative yogurt that really tastes wonderful.  See what you think.




Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or instruction, it is provided for educational purposes only. This information shouldn’t take the place of seeing a Naturopathic Doctor on any matter relating to health or well-being.

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