When you understand the way your body works, you are more able to give it what it needs. Supporting your body and the systems in your body will allow them to function more efficiently. This can make a huge difference in your emotional and physical health.
Working with your body instead of against it is especially important during times of stress and danger. The world is facing a crisis now with the current Covid-19 situation and most of us find our lives disrupted. Our bodies will be affected by the societal stress we are facing.
Let’s take a look at the way our nervous system is wired to handle stress, so that we know how to support it and stay regulated in these trying times!
A Regulated Nervous System
The nervous system is a remarkable communication network that relays messages between the brain and the rest of your body. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is the branch of the nervous system responsible for the involuntary functions of the body and influences things like internal-organ function, breathing, blood flow, and the release of hormones.
When you are faced with danger your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are designed to work together to keep you safe. Many people simply view the stress response as a sympathetic fight-or-flight response, but it is actually a bit more complicated than that.
Initially there is a freeze response, which happens before one is able to take action. This is often a short lived state which at times can be so brief that it is barely consciously noticed. In these moments, information is gathered through the senses to assess the danger and begin to process a response.
Next, a sympathetic fight-or-flight response is launched. Stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline are released.
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Over the course of the last few weeks, the Covid-19 situation has gotten closer to home. I wanted to give you a few updates from the office. We are continuing to see patients, but if anything changes in that regard, we will let you know.
In order to help with social distancing, protect our patients, and protect our team:
- We are wearing face masks and ask all patients to wear one as well.
- Please wash your hands when you arrive at the office.
- If you feel sick, or have been around anyone who has been sick, please stay home. We will happily reschedule your appointment.
- Parents: We have removed the shared toys in the office, so please bring items to entertain your little ones during appointments.
- We will use freshly laundered pillow cases over the pregnancy pillows for prenatal adjustments.
I will be on Facebook Live tomorrow to discuss what I have been doing to reduce my stress in regards to the current outbreak.
Additionally, I have incorporated some practices into my family’s daily life to support our immune systems. I hope you will also choose to include some (or all) of these practices over the next several weeks as well. It’s always a good time to support your immune system! If you have been following us on Facebook or Instagram these might look familiar.
Nearly all the cells in our bodies have Vitamin D receptors. When we are deficient in Vitamin D our bodies can not function properly. Appropriate levels of vitamin D are vitally important for immune system function!
Research has found a correlation between children who took vitamin D and a reduced incidence of seasonal influenza A. In a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study of 430 children, half were given 1,200 IUs of vitamin D3 per day while the other half received a placebo.
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This breakfast wrap is delicious and filling! It is easy to make and uses only one pan so clean up is a sinch too. To make it even better, it is both dairy and gluten-free.
1/2 T Organic Coconut Oil
1 Kontos Gluten-Free Wrap
2 Large Organic Eggs
1/2 T Myoko's Scallion Vegan Cream Cheese
One Handful of Micro Greens
(Optional: avocado, peppers, or other veggies.)
1. Melt the coconut oil in a skillet.
2. Fry the wrap until it is brown on both sides
3. Remove the wrap from the pan and fold it like a burrito (It will be harder to shape later since it gets more crisp as it cools.)
4. Scramble the eggs in the skillet.
5. Spread the cream cheese on the wrap.
6. Add the eggs and microgreens to the wrap. Enjoy!
*I found the wraps at Family Foods in Warrenville, and the Miyoko's at Whole Foods.
Sometimes we make things too complicated. There are all kinds of elaborate programs on the market telling you how to get in great shape. But what if I told you that the foundation to being fit and strong was so easy a baby could do it? It would be hard to believe, but it's true. And babies everywhere are doing it!
I am talking about doing basic functional movements modeled after babies and how they move, organize movement patterns, and learn to stabilize. Since we do not have to teach babies how to move - lift their head, rollover, or crawl - we typically don’t think about all that goes into these developments.
If we look closely, however, there is much that we can learn from the amazing process these little ones go through as they develop their ability to move.
“The functional progression is a movement sequence that mimics the way babies naturally develop movement patterns - from the ground up, from the core outward. When practiced daily, the Functional Progression rehabilitates compromised core muscles (such as happens with pregnancy) and strengthens your core to move the way it was designed to move.” Erica Boland DC
A Developing Baby
As the central nervous system matures infants gain more and more control over their movements. They are able to control their posture and move in more intentional ways. This generally happens automatically, with each new movement building off the last in a specific developmental sequence.
The baby’s bones, muscles, and soft tissue are maturing simultaneously. Together this allows the baby to develop automatic motor patterns and gain structural stability. Proper development in these areas is the foundation of healthy, efficient movement.
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Most new parents take great joy in their baby’s accomplishments. Each new milestone is marked with joy and excitement - baby’s first smile, first words, first steps. While it’s great to celebrate these achievements, it is important to allow your baby to develop at their own pace without interference.
Often well-intentioned parents try to encourage their babies to reach these milestones before they are ready or put their babies in positions prematurely. This can interfere with the child’s natural development and is actually counterproductive to their learning. While some parents are competitive with their child’s development, most parents simply are not consciously aware of what they are doing.
Let’s take a look at a baby’s natural development and some of the ways we tend to undermine it!
Babies learn to move best by simply having the opportunity to move on their own. While they need plenty of time in mama’s lap (and daddy’s, grandma’s, grandpa’s, etc.), they also need plenty of time to explore movement in a safe environment on their own. You can still interact and be with them during these times, but they should have autonomy over their body.
According to Lindsay Mumma DC, “Children need to get a sense of how their bodies function in a gravity environment. This helps them coordinate and activate muscles in the proper sequence to initiate complex movements.” We can not do this for the baby, it simply takes time!
Babies will not learn how to do movements properly if we interfere in this process. Babies simply must learn these movements on their own to develop properly and learn to move in the most efficient manner.
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