By: Dr. Richelle Galay ND
So this past long weekend the kids and I took a road trip to see my husband. Mountains here we come!
We decided to rent a vehicle to do this because although my old stick shift jeep still has some life left in it, I wasn't sure it was up for such a trip.
So this new fancy vehicle we rent has all sorts of "driver assist" features. And while I'm sure there is a way to turn them off I didn't take the time to do that.
One of the features is geared to help you "stay in your lane" while on the highway. If it senses you are getting close to either the middle line or the shoulder line it shows all these reddish coloured notices on your dash and gently nudges your wheel back to centre. Which to be honest threw me off a few times! There were a few instances when it was wrong. I was perfectly fine and just merging lanes but it was sensing that I was "crossing a line" I shouldn't have been.
Now the rebel that I am decided well what would happen if I just let go of the wheel all together? (sorry to all those squeamish rule followers).
You know what it did? This fancy "driver assist" vehicle dinged a bunch of noises and sent a giant notification on the dash reading "PLEASE KEEP YOUR HANDS ON THE WHEEL".
Well duh car!
I'm the driver! I am the one with the full view of the road ahead in all directions. I'm the one who is able to decipher the nuances that you are not.
So dear reader, please remember that you are the driver. Any practitioner (including myself), expert, support person you engage with is just there to "assist" you on the journey. You are the one in control as you have the greatest vantage point.
You got this; own it.
Keep your hands on the wheel.
On the other hand, being calm has shown to upregulate those same genes. How quickly we
can recover from a stressful situation can also affect other health outcomes. Constantly being in fight-or-flight mode means cells are using all their energy to deal with the present “emergency”. They cannot devote energy to digestion, circulation and other essential functions that keep our bodies balanced, like they do in rest and digest mode, the other division of our autonomic nervous system.
Some amount of acute stress is unavoidable and necessary. The good news is, we can use techniques for stress management as a way of bringing our selves back to baseline. Exercise, nourishment, meditation, breathing, self-hypnosis, guided imagery and visualization, to name a few! People that use these and other methods of managing anxiety and stressors, even for a few minutes a day, have reported better focus and time management skills. These options are cost and time effective strategies for our long-term health.
Learn more about how nutrition affects our ability to deal with daily ups and downs.
Book your complementary 15-minute meet and greet with me today.
So, what is really important in nutritional counselling?
In my opinion; the relationship with the counsellor. A positive client-counsellor exchange is
paramount for success. The counsellor’s main job is to understand your perspective, to build a trusting relationship and cultivate positive regard, even when things do not go as planned. Nutritional counselling is different because non-food nutrition, sleep quality, stress levels, fulfilment, general moods and beliefs about one’s self, are also considered. The goal is not a diet. The goal is fuel for life. Ask your self “What is my life like now? What do I want my life to look like a year from now?” Really visualizing the future can make meaningful changes last. A great way to start is to set the stage for your day to play out the way you want it to. If we set up life to make healthy habits the easiest thing to do, our chances of meeting our goals are greatly enhanced. Things like having your breakfast table set the night before or bringing runners to work for a quick lunchtime power walk. Setting up your environment for small successes can make a big difference for your health.
Learn about que management and other techniques to promote overall well-being and nutrition.
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This isn't a post about exercise, but about support.
The last few days I have been in excruciating pain. And that's saying a lot since I think I have a pretty high pain tolerance.
Pain to the point of keeping me up at night and not being able to do regular daily activities.
For those that deal with chronic, daily pain, I can not even imagine.
So here's what happened.
I did a strength training workout late last week, with these nice, fairly heavy 15 lb weights. We're talking, overhead presses, you name it.
It was tough, but nothing I hadn't done before or knew that I couldn't handle.
Until Sunday came around.
Either the combination of how I slept, my cleaning frenzy or god knows what, but my arm became almost numb, achy and extremely painful and unusable.
Now being educated as I am, I knew it was likely my previous workout had landed me in "pinched nerve" territory and I needed to stretch asap, get some heat on it and rest it the remainder of the day.
But then night came and none of my tricks had worked, and who wants to guess where my head went?
"Oh my god I'm having some kind of cardiovascular event!"
"What if I have to call 911, who will come be with me kids?"
"What will happen if I end up in the hospital?"
And so on and so forth, as only the 2 am, lack of sleep brain can.
Morning came, I was still in pain, my mind was still going to worst case scenarios and my first calls of the day were to my husband, my mom and my chiropractor.
No it wasn't 911, it was to my support network. My husband to let him know what was going on, for advice on what to do next and just general emotional support.
My mom because she is also my emotional support, but also my back up when I need someone to take care of my kids.
And my chiropractor. Why are they part of my support network? Because I knew, despite my overthinking brain, that what I really needed was physical support, not an ECG. (If you didn't know that arm pain can be a sign of early cardiovascular events in women, this is your PSA.)
Today, things are already feeling so much better! I am thankful for my own knowledge of how the body functions and what can go wrong, as well as the support network I was able to lean into to get back on track.
If you are struggling with any aspect of your health and feel as though a better support network is in order, then please reach out, there are different options for finding that support.
Booking a 15 minute meet and greet with me over at vibrantclinic.janeapp.com is a great place to start or clicking on the link below to find out about the upcoming women's community health program - The Braided Table - where the focus is on knowledge and support!
Don't suffer alone, you don't have to.
Richelle and Chris. Empowering people to live positive, vibrant lives.