Fred is one of my favorite bloggers. I thought I would share one of his posts with you. You can read more of his work at his Empowered & Fit site or follow him on Twitter @empoweredandfit. Enjoy! PJ Harris LMP
Balance Your Body With A Simple Energy Exercise by Fred Krazeise
Your body is naturally hard-wired to react to threats in a way that is meant to protect you (think of encountering lions, tigers and bears, oh my!). But your body and your mind may pay the price if your “fight-or-flight” reaction – a natural protective mechanism – is constantly “on.”
Stress today comes from different sources than that of our ancient ancestors. It may come from fighting traffic during the daily rush hour, the rush of getting yourself, your family off to work and school everyday, from pressures related to job and career and managing your workload, and from worry about making ends meet in this difficult economy. And while these daily stresses may not be immediately life-threatening, if left unchecked and uncontrolled, if you allow your body’s natural stress mechanism to be left continuously in the “on” position, you will begin to pay a price over the long haul.
When your body perceives a threat, and is under stress, it releases a combination of nerve and hormonal signals that prompts your adrenal glands, located atop your kidneys to release a surge in hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. According to an article from the Mayo Clinic, here’s what happens when these hormones are released:
Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies.
Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues. Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or detrimental in a fight-or-flight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes.
Fortunately, your body’s stress response is usually self-regulating. As the perceived threat goes away, blood pressure returns to normal, adrenal glands stop producing cortisol and adrenaline and your body returns to normal functions.
The problem occurs when levels of stress are constantly present in our lives, even at low levels. When this happens, the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and the other stress hormones begins to create health problems. Such problems include:
o Heart disease
o Sleep problems
o Over eating, which can lead to weight gain
o Skin problems, rashes, eczema etc.
o Short-term memory loss
So, how do we cope with the stress that is a part of our daily lives? As the woman and primary care-giver in most families, you have to put yourself first. As I am fond of telling my clients, “If you are going to constantly write checks off of your wellness account, we have to put some deposits into the bank from time-to-time!”
It’s all about achieving balance in your life, finding the time you need to maintain your optimum health, while at the same time caring for your loved ones. Some of the things you can do include:
Exercise – finding 30-minutes a day, at least 3-4 times a week doing an activity you enjoy. Walking is a great form of exercise. Remember, exercise isn’t punishment! As human beings, we are meant to move, to walk, to run, to stretch, to jump, to throw. Incorporate simple, joyful activity into your life
Get plenty of sleep – this is one lifestyle factor that you can directly control, not just for yourself, but for your family. Turn off that TV early, and set a goal to get 7-8 hours of rest every night. Your body needs this time to recharge and re-energize
Find time to meditate or use other relaxation techniques – I lead a very busy life, but I’ve mastered the art of the “5-minute meditation!” Ideally, I will find more time each day, but I have also found that taking short, little meditation breaks, as short as 3-5 minutes, really help me become calmer, more grounded, balanced, and focused. Just find a quiet spot, turn off outside distractions like the TV or radio, focus on your breathing, and let your mind find that calm, quiet space it needs
Surround yourself with friends – there are few greater joys in life than good friends. Surround yourself with them and they will help you find comfort
Counseling – Talk therapy really works. If you find that you cannot manage the pressures of your life on your own, please do not be afraid to go out and find a professional that can help you. Start with your doctor and get a referral. If she can’t help, here is a good resource for you.
Finally, here is a simple energy medicine techniques that I think you will find helpful.
Connecting the Central and Governing Meridians
This is a technique that strengthens the Central Median, which will help you stabilize your body’s energy systems, and will help you to center and ground yourself.
1) Stand with your arms loose at your sides, feet comfortably apart
2) Breathe in through your nose, and then out through the mouth several times until you begin to feel a sense of calm taking over your body
3) Place the middle finger of one hand between your eyebrows and the bridge of your nose (this is the point of your third-eye chakra)
4) Place the middle finger of your other hand in your navel
5) Gently press each finger into your skin, pull it gently upward and hold for about 20-30 seconds while continuing to breathe deeply through your nose and out through your mouth.
You can repeat this technique 2-3 times or until you feel a sense of balance and grounding.