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The Stress Epidemic (Posted On: Tuesday, November 13, 2012)

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When your nervous system is overwhelmed do you suffer from: Insomnia, weight gain, irritable bowel syndrome, changeable bowel movements, digestive difficulties, gas, or bloating, fatigue, bladder irritation, hormonal imbalances, dizziness, headaches, Immunity imbalances, Poor concentration or difficult focus or memory?    All of the above symptoms have one thing in common - STRESS! The nervous system is in overdrive!

Often we are aware of the big stresses in life - a move, job change, loss of a loved one, new addition to the family, deadlines, exams. It is often the day to day subtle stresses that we bring less awareness to such as traffic jams, television, bright lights, lack of sleep, loud noises, cell phones, toxins in the environment, pesticides and additives in our food, relationship disharmony, and emotional upset to name a few.

Our thinking brain may not be aware that these are stresses, but our nervous system is constantly responding to stimulation. When we are not able to consciously process day to day stress and move the energy of stress through and out of our bodies, the body will start to speak to us in the form of symptoms.
 
One of my favourite yoga teachers says, "Listen now to the whispers of the body, otherwise you will hear it scream later."  Commonly we try to avoid, suppress, or distract ourselves from stress so we don't have to feel it. It's uncomfortable. We eat junk food, we watch television, we shop, we shut down, we take drugs, we repress, we get depressed. We don't listen. Through symptoms, the body is calling us to check in and observe, to be present for ourselves, to love ourselves enough to listen. In order to move the energy of stress through our body, we need to BE embodied. No amount of DOing is going to undo the stress. We can't get to the root of our symptoms by rationalizing our way through. We need to feel it. We need to learn from it. Have you ever wondered - WHY is my body expressing this symptom?

The good news? Your body is amazing! It is resilient! YOU have the power to heal your body! It might not happen overnight. Sometimes moving in small slow baby steps is the fastest way to get to where you want to be. The first step is to embrace where you are. When you type a destination into your GPS it will ask you where you are coming from. It will be tough to move in the right direction if you don't have a starting reference point. The habits you have engaged in so far in your life have led you to this moment. Accept this reality first in order to change it. Even if you are not where you want to be love yourself anyway, be present for yourself, breathe deeply, have patience, give yourself the same compassion you would bestow to a loved one, and remind your body as often as you can "I am listening".....

Dr Laura Vanderaa, CYT BSc ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

Calm Mind, Healthy Body Workshop: How simple stress management techniques can change your life!Thursday November 15th 7-8:30 pmJoin Sarah Heipel of Good Energy and Dr Laura, ND for a fun, restorative, informative, and inspiring evening!Sarah will be preparing adrenal supporting foods (vegan & gluten free latte and treats provided).  Dr Laura will give a short lecture on adrenal health and the nervous system (relating to energy balance, sleep, hormones, weight gain, and general health and vitality) and how to bring it back into balance with simple easy to integrate lifestyle techniques, yogic breathing exercises and a few simple postures that are accessible to every-body! Please see poster attached for more details. Investment $40 (Naturopathic Lectures are covered by most health insurance plans) Space is limited. Register early to reserve your spot. 

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