HELP! What am I supposed to do to live right? Should I eat breakfast or not? And what should it contain? Is it good or bad to eat fruits and berries? How many portions of vegetable, fruits and berries do I need? Is it dangerous to eat late in the evening? When must I go to bed and how many hours of sleep do I need? Supplements – yes och no? Meditate and work out could be nice, but WHEN will I have time for it? Do I have to evolve at work – can’t I just go there and do my job, to get money for my life and leisure time? And if I am negative one day, is that so bad? Does everything has to be positive? Are night owls smarter? Why is it so hard to change a habit? I KNOW theoretically what I should do, but practically it doesn’t work.
I can fill out the list for eternity. Media floods us with good advices, tips, poeters and different contradicting researches. And upon all that, it is written in a tone of voice to make me feel shame for not changing or having a hard time changing my lifestyle. So, here are my advices to you:
- Take 5 minutes in a silent space and listen to what you feel inside yourself about your lifestyle.
- Write down what you think about, on the spot.
- Applaud yourself, for taking 5 minutes to listen to yourself. If you want, you can increase the time, as time moves on, and see how that feels.
- Accept that us human beings have different opinions and that you don’t have to follow others opinions about your lifestyle. They actually don’t live your life.
- Are you happy with your lifestyle? Then continue with it! Yes, but if I like my lifestyle, but it gives me problems. Well, I would say that if you feel that you are having problems, then you aren’t happy with your lifestyle.
- Can you motivate yourself: Read up on the area you feel like changing. Take the advices you feel suits you and follow them.
- Are you having a hard time motivating yourself: Get help from someone outside, that can give you an honest feedback, encouraging words and a kick in the behind from time to time, to get you moving.
- Value yourself and your time highly and get conscious about why you make the choices you do. You can only change the things that you’re conscious about. For me, getting conscious has made me have less anxiety over my lifestyle.
- Be generous towards yourself as you make mistakes, because we all make them. Take a look of what went sideways and why, and start over again. If it helps: Look at you life as a project.
- You are you and nobody else. You are in this world to be you and nobody else. Think about that as you present yourself to the world. You are unique and a piece that is needed, exactly as you are.
And the questions in the beginning? I will dig into them and a few more, and show you that it’s not easy to navigate in this jungle. It will be some blogs during this year (yes, I like digging and analyzing). I hope it will give some insight that knowledge and information is good, but that it is what you do with it that gives result. Talk is cheap, but to act is harder to do.
Here at the end, I want to leave you with these questions: What lifestyle do you want, why do you want that lifestyle and how will you get there? Remember that your lifestyle should feel right for you!
If you want to try out listening to your body more: Sign up for 7 days of “Learn your body’s signals”. It’s a gift from me.
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Day 24 has come and Christmas Eve is here. I want to thank you who has followed the journey around the body, during these 24 days. I hope it has woken your curiosity about how your body works and how its parts are related. That you can see that a body that is crooked can affect a lot in the body and that a stiff muscle can cause pain in other areas than where it is situated. That the nerves is a signalling system and that if they are squeezed you feel pain in the body. Look out for your body, so you have a good body posture, relaxed muscles and a nervous system that functions as it should. Do you want a taste of what it means to get yourself body awareness? Then sign up to “Learn Your Body’s Signals”. It’s done in 7 days and is a gift from me to you. (Has ended).
Once again Thank You and Good Luck with your continuing journey in and with your body!
This is an exercise I learned from Anders Olsson, on the breathing instructor course. It helps you meet your fears and make them diminish or disappear. The exercise is done for 5-10 minutes.
- Think about situations that makes you scared, upset, pissed or irritated. Make them as alive as possible by fantasize.
- Note how you breathe when you think about these tough situations. Om din andning är stressad och spänd är det helt naturligt, vid dessa känslor.
- Note where you feel the feeling, where it starts and how it moves. Allow the feeling to be clearer and clearer. Follow the feelings direction and speed with one finger on one hand.
- Imagine how you lift the feeling out of the body. The hand and finger move away from the body.
- Turn the feeling 180 degree, so that it moves to the other direction. Make the breathing rythmical and deep by elongating the exhalation. The breathing is your pal that is with you all the time and helps you feel calmer and safer in the middle of the hard time.
- Move the feeling into the body again, at the same time as the hand moves closer to the body. Let the feeling keep moving towards the new direction. Let the move faster and larger. Note what feeling you have now.
- Do step 3-6 until the feeling spins towards the direction and with the speed that gives you the best feeling. If the fear becomes curiosity, relief, etc. it’s all good.
When I have had a therapy session I always end with giving advice that can help the person to have a change that will stand the test of time. What I can see is that it is a process for the person to understand that simple stretch excercises, light massage and some food tips, can help them have less pain, move easier and get more energy. So, why do I give advice? Because if the advice is followed:
- it makes it easier for me as a therapeut at the next therapy session.
- the body’s balancing is hurried up and less sessions is needed for the balance to be reached.
- makes it more possible that the body will keep being balanced.
Why isn’t the advice followed, if it really shortens the time for the balance of the body to occur?
- It can be that I am unclear and that I don’t send with the person written advice.
- It can be that time disappears on other things, like family or work. And we are experts on down prioritizing ourselves, for the benefit of others.
- It can be that the person just forgot what I said. After a therapy session, the person can feel a bit sleepy and have other things on their mind than the advice.
After a few times the brain usually has understood the advice and the person starts following it. The break through usually comes as the person discovers that their body answers and they see effect of following the advice. Because it is like this, if we see or feel a positive change the motivation, to do more of what we feel good of, increases.
So, the next time you get advice from your therapeut, find out why you should follow it and what the gain is for you. If you know that it is easier to motivate yourself to follow the advice. Remember that the brain is lazy and likes to walk in the same tracks as usual, if it can, so it takes time to change a habit. And don’t get depressed if you fall off the wagon and don’t do what you should. Start again the next day. The main point is that you don’t give up, but keep trying. One day, the brain will give up and take the new road, because it will be easier to see.
The humans has in all eras used plants for food, raw material, firewood, medicin and even magic. But as we eat or drink, how many of us actually thinks about what that particular plant influence our body? The herbs you put in your food or in tea, what can they do? This article is written to make you start wondering about what you put into your body, maybe search for more information about what is in your food and see what it do to/for your body.
The body needs vitamins and minerals and we get that from food and beverages. Therefor it’s important that you eat in a way that you can absorb the vitamins and minerals. To preserve the nourish in the vegetables you can rinse them hastily, dry them and put them in the fridge in the vegetable compartment. If you manage to eat a little peel, you can use them unpeeled and brush them instead of peel them. Lemon is an old friend to use to prevent the cutting areas or peeled vegetables from getting darker. You can boil broth from the peel. If you steem instead of cook, you minimize the loss of many vitamins. If you don’t mind using a microwave oven, do that. You can use the stock to soups and sauces.
- Vitamin B – I put all vitamin B in a group. They’re needed in order to break down the food. The nervous system also needs vitamin B, in order to function in a good way. There are B1, B2, B6, Folic acid is the name of B9, and B12.
- Vitamin C – is good for the immune system It also helps the body to absorb iron that is in the food.
- Vitamins A, D, E och K – are fat soluble and deficiency is considered rare, even if vitamin D is something that can be a lack of during the winter in the Nordic countries, because the sunlight is scares. Vitamin D is needed to be able to absorb calcium. Vitamin A is good for sight, skin, hair, nail and mucous. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and prevents damages on the cells. Vitamin K helps the blood to coagulate.
- Iron – makes red blood cells. are you tired, has an unnormal mental fatigue, are pale or problem breathing, then you may have an iron deficiency.
- Calcium – teeth, the sceleton, the muscles, the heart and the nerves need calcium to function. Women has a greater need for calcium than men.
- Zink – the body needs it for growth, healing and food processing of protein and carbo hydrates. If you have white dots on your nails and skin problems, you may have xink deficiency.
- Magnesium – helps with food processing of carbo hydrates. Deficiency of magnesium is considered rare.
- Iodine – we need it for the thyroid glands to function and it’s onle needed in small quantities.
Some examples of what plants can contain
- Spinach is something most of us eat. Spinach is rich on fibres, containd 53 mg calcium/100 g, 3,2 mg iron/100 g, 0,6 mg zink/100 g and 120 µg folic acid/100 g.
- Dried apricots, I prefer unsulfurised, contains 67 mg calcium/100 g, 3,1 mg iron/100 g and 0,8 mg zink/100 g.
- Almond is a tree within the plum family and rose family. It has stone fruits and inside the core is a seed that is the almond. It contains 54,7 g fat/100 g, 20 g protein/100 g, 250 mg calcium/100 g, 3,9 mg iron/100 g, 3,8 mg zink/100 g and 96 µg folic acid/100 g.
- Parsley contains 5 g fibres/100 g, 200 mg calcium/100 g and 9,4 mg iron/100 g.
So, you can get calcium without drinking milk, even if I like a cup of hot chocolate now and then.
Take a look at your plate and start to question what it contains and what it gives the body. And also question why you are drawn to that type of food and beverages and why the body wants it.
Something I like is herbs. Maria Treben writes in her book “Health through God’s Pharmacy” about different herbs. The different methods, she goes through, on how to use herbs are drying, making tea, tincture, fresh juice, plant porridge, steem compress, ointments, oils and steem bath. I will not give up any recipies here, if you want them you can buy the book. Some of the herbs are:
Chamomile – Maria calles it for a “cure-all” especially for everything concerning cramp and stomach ache. Tea made from chamomile can calm the system and sleep better.
Dandelion – Is seen as a weed, but is healing for the liver and help diabetes. In the book, it also says that people that is weak and feel tired can do a cure with fresh dandelion stems. When she lived, she made dandelion syrup and made gingerbread on this syrup.
Marigold – It clears the blood and can be drunk without risk. It is also purifying, stimulates the cirkulation and is a help when healing open sore. Why not try a marigold ointment?
Sage – Maria says that the power if you drink tea on sage. It clears the blood and good for the stomach and respiratory organs. If you’ve had a bug bite you can try to put some ripped sage on it. Within magic they clear places and energies with sage.
Mint is not in the book, but is one of my absolute favourite. It has a good influence on the respiratory organs and stomach and tastes good as tea and in salads.
That was a little about plants. It is a vast area and I could blog for years about it. I have always had a huge interest for body, soul and nature. I hope that I have gotten you interested to dig deeper in how plants work and why they work. You don’t have to believe in what is said, men don’t discard it before you have tried it and seen if it is something for you.
“I have run to fast, i have to stop and wait for my soul” (Native American saying, my translation so it may not be the right words).
It’s something to think about when you feel stressed. But what happens in the body when you stress?
Definition of stress
Stress originates from physics and is the tolerance a material can endure before it breaks (Peter Jonsson, 2005).
It is a physical and mental reaction occuring as a person is exposed to demans or pressure from the surrounding (Peter Jonsson, 2005).
Whichever form – physically or mentally – of situation that threatens homeostasis is a form for stress (Frederic H. Martini, 7th edition 2006).
Different types of stress
Hans Selye described four different types of stress:
Eustress – (compare eufori) is the happy stress that occur in lives exiting moments.
Understress – is the opposite of eustress. It hits us when we are bored and understimulated.
Overstress – is overload of the body’s physical, mental and emotional resources. It is to press yourself over your biological limits, to burn your light in both ends. It is overstress during a long period that most certainly drives us to a state ov burn out.
Distress – is a mood that follows long period of over- or understress. It is inelaborated frustration, angst, daring situationer that can’t be avoided or held back wrath.
A stressor is the situation that trigger stress in the brain.
General adaption syndrome (GAS)
It was the Canadian researcher Hans Selye that researched in the area and found general adaption syndrome. GAS is also known as the body’s answer to stress. This syndrome can be divided into three phases.
Alarm phase – This is where the direct respons on stress comes. In this phase glucose is made and “flight or fight”-respons. Adrenaline is the dominant hormone. Some characteristics for this phase are:
- Hightened mental clarity
- Hightened energy consumption of the muscles
- Mobilisation of glycogen and lipides
- Circulation changes
Resistance phase – If no reactions in the alarm phase is taken care of, the body enters the resistance phase. This occurs for example at starvation, acute illness or bad angst. The dominant hormones are gucocoticoids, but there are also adrenaline, growth hormone and thyroids. In this phase:
- The rest of the reserves of the lipides and proteins mobilises
- Glucose is canned for the nerve cells
- The blood glucose concentration increases and stabilises
- Salt and water and the loss of K+ and H+ is canned.
- Aldosterone is produced in this phase to keep the blood volume intact, which leads to a conservation of Na+ which leads to loss of K+. This leads to the cells in the body stops functioning or function wrong.
Exhaustion phase – If the reactions in the resistance phase is not taken care of, the body enters the exhaustion phase. In this phase, vital organs collapses. This can mean exhaustion of the lipides reservs, unability to produce glucocorticoides, electrolyte balance don’t work and vital organs gets functional and structural damages.
If we don’t get our rest
The human being builds up energy in an anabolic phase. This energy is consumed and when it is empty, the consumption of the reserves starts (katabolic phase). When we put this system out of the game, the signals to the brain changes and the reactions is put out of the game.
When stress occurs cortisole is produced, which in turn creates free oxygen radicals and it starts an oxidative process. Normally the melatonine takes care of the cortisole and melantonine is created as we sleep. If we don’t rest, we get less melantonine and the production of cortisole leads to it being a deficancy of it and the cells of the body is broken down. Oxytoccin is another antidote towards cortisole. It is triggered by touch.
If we don’t take care of the stress, it leads to homeostasis being put out of the process and the body closes down the repairing and restoration of inner organs and buildning of new cells. The immune system can change and get weakened, memory can get worse and in really bad cases the hippocampus can shrink. Uncontrollable stress turns off the frontal lobes and amygdala (feelings) are turned on.
Situations in an organisation where stress can occur:
- Less persons must do more work than earlier. Populary called downsizing.
- Long periodes of uncertainty about changes or the work.
- The organisation has unclear and opposite goals.
- In the new organisation there is old competens that the organisation feels don’t have a place.
- When the demands rises or changes more individuals becomes high risk persons.
What is a high risk person?
- A dedicated soul
- VIP (Very Important Person), thinks everything depends on it
- Don’t demand any descent working conditions
- Tries to bring life to a stone
- Has sickness prescence
- Work has an inner meaning for the person
- Is good
- Has a “Can do it myself” mentality, and don’t ask for help
High risk culture
There’s also so called high risk cultures, which stands for:
- to praise accomplishments and despise weakness (the organisations definition of weakness)
- the boss should be able to do everything and know everything
- that the budget adds up is the most important thing
- that your not allowed to have a family or spare time
- a low participation at changes
Tips for you to not stress yourself to death:
- Take time out to rest.
- Be clear on your limits and borders, what you can say yes to and when to say no.
- Take care of yourself and have spare time.
- Dare to stand up for what you feel is good for your health. Remember that you are important!
- Think about what happens in your body when stressing long periods and ask yourself if you want to get sick or even risk dying. Prioritizing what’s most important may come in a different perspective then. You only have one body that you shall live a life with, what life do you want to live?
- I use essential oils to relax; lavender or francinsence/olibanum.
- Focus on one thing at a time.
How do you breathe? Really breathe? What functions does breathing really have? And at the bottom of this page there’s some tips on how you can improve your breathing with something so simple as a piece of surgical tape.
Did you know that when you clear your throat you take a breath and that snooring is a breath and that only a couple of minutes of oxygen deficiency kan ruin the brains ability to process information. That was some of the stuff I learned as I took a course in conscious breathing for Anders Olsson (www.consciousbreathing.com). The knowledge I got on the course helped me keep calm during my worst moments 2015-2016. As I lay in bed, unable to rise and feeling mostly useless, the thing I could do was breathe and think of how I breathed and that I actually still breathed. So, I want to share a little bit about what I learned from Anders. If you want to know more about this, I recommend his book “The Power of Your Breath” and that you take a look at his websight. I have taken parts of the book for this article.
So, how do you breathe? Really breathe?
What I learned was that the signs of optimal breathing is:
- Nose breathing, closed mouth
- Deep breathing
- Rythmical and steady
- Slow with few breaths
- Long exhalation
- Straight body posture
- The diaphragm stands for 70-80 % of the muscle work
- The lower part of the chest expands sideways, forward and backwards
Signs of deteriorated breathing:
- Mouth breathing, open mouth
- superficial chest breathing
- Tense, hunched shoulders
- Lacking in rythm and irregular breathing
- Fast breaths
- Short, tense exhalation
- Leaning forward, collapsed posture
- The help muscles of the chest, neck and shoulders ar overactive
- nly the lower part of the chest expands
So, how are you doing checking off the list? Anything you find familiar? To notice something is the first step to change. What you notice you can make a decision about if you want to have the pattern or if you want to change it and get a new pattern.
What functons does breathing really have?
- It supplies the body with oxygen and transports carbo dioxide out of the body.
- It gives pain relief if we breathe rythmical and deep. Test it next time you are in pain. It reduced my pain when it was at its worst and I sceam bloody murder, so my mom became worried (I have a high pain threshhold, so when I scream like that it’s really really bad).
- It reduces stress. If you calm your breaths down, you can get control of you brain if it runs wild.
- The diaphragm’s rythmical movement supports organs.
- The breathing is the most important function when it comes to keeping the pH-balance in the body.
- It makes noice and the better the breathing is, the more distinct and clearer voice.
- When you exhalate, your power is largest and you get strength. If you want more strength, you can press out the air through constricted vocal chord or tight lips.
- If worry and fear takes over you, you can calm your feelings bu deep diaphragm breathing.
- A good breathing increases the possibilities that you grow and develop as a human being.
So, what can you do to improve your breathing. Buy surgical tape, see photo, in Sweden we can buy it at the pharmacy, and put a tape on your mouth. You can put the tape either vertically or horisontally, see photos below. Then you can choose if you want to have the tape on for shorter or longer period, awake or asleep. I tape my mouth at night for some weeks and then I sleep without for a while. What I have noticed is that I no longer have a stuffed nose, I have a better singing voice and I feel more alert. Anders Olsson has also developed a thing called Relaxator, see photo below. You put it in your mouth and it will prevent you from breathing in through the mouth. I have used it working out and have felt good. So, test and see how taping affect you. Good luck!
So, that was what I was going to go through about the body. As you have got an idea about how the body works, I will start giving tips and advices around the body. But today you will get an offer to do a 7 days journey to learn your body’s signals. No cost and you will get to go through your body in a smooth and nice way, and to write about your experience. The excercises consists of massage and stretch that you do in 5 minutes at home and the writing you also do at home. I will have a group on the web where experiences can be shared. Does this ring a bell for you? – Sign up here
Welcome on a journey within and with your body!
There are 31 pair of spinal nerves and 12 pair of cranial nerves. Through these goes all the information to and from the Central Nervous System (CNS).
Two parts of the spinal nerves leaves the spinal chord to the right and two parts of the spinal nerves leaves the spinal chord to the left. These parts are protected by a bone process on both sides of the vertebrae. The spinal nerves is divided into two parts, where one part goes to the front of the body and the other part goes to the back of the body. They continue to divide to provide motoric and sensoric nerv impulses to all tissue within every segment. The parts goes to different places, some to the muscles, some to the periosteum, some to the skin and some to the inner organs. Most of the muscles gets their nerv signals from more than one spinal nerv, which makes it possible for the muscle to function even if one spinal nerve is damaged or doesn’t function in a segment in the spinal chord. The nerves to the skin is bound to specific limited areas on the skin that is called dermatomes. Here is also a backup system in the form of more nerves inside the same dermatom. If I have a client that has a problem with numbness, itching feeling or pain, it is often a dermatom involved.
The Cranial nerves are:
- Cranial nerve I – Sensoric nerve fibres responsible for the sense of smell.
- Cranial nerve II – Sensoric nerve fibres carry visual information in the eyes.
- Cranial nerves III, IV, VI – Somato motoric nerve fibres to the outer eye muscles that move the eye globe. III also consists of somato motoric fibres to the eye lid lifter and parasympathetic fibres to smooth musculature inside the eye.
- Cranial nerve V – Consists of three parts that all contains sensoric nerve fibres from the skin and structures in the face. One of them also contains somato motorics fibres to the chewing muscles.
- Cranial nerve VII – Sensoric nerve fibres from the taste buds on the tongue, somato motoric nerve fibres to the face mimical muscles and parasympathetical nerve fibres to the lacrimal gland and two of the salivary glands.
- Cranial nerve VIII – Sensoric nerve fibres from the inner ear.
- Cranial nerve IX – Sensoric nerve fibres from the taste buds on the tongue, from the mucous membrane and from pressure sensitive sensory cells at the carotid artery’s dividing place (sinus caroticus). Somato motoric nerve fibres to some of the swallowing muscles and parasympathetic nerve fibres to the parotid gland.
- Cranial nerve X – Somato motoric nerve fibres to muscles in thelarynx, throat and upper part of the esophagus. Parasympathetic nerve fibres to the heart and to smooth musculature and glands within many of the inner organs in the chest and abdomen. Sensoric nerve fibres from the same area that is controlled motoric.
- Cranial nerve XI – Somato motoric nerve fibres to trapezius and to sternocleidiomasteodeus.
- Cranial nerve XII – Somato motoric nerve fibres to the tongue’s sceleton musculature.
So, if nerves is clamped or hurt, the body’s functions i the area that the nerves communicates with, is affected. What I try to do, among other things, is to balance the body so that the nerves can communicate in an optimal way.
The nervous system is divided into the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS).
CNS consists of the brain and the spinal chord. PNS is the nerves that, in pairs, goes from the spinal chord and the ower part of the brain.
PNS is divided into the sensoric nervous system, the somatic nervous system and the autonomic nervous system. These three systems have bonds to determined nervous paths and areas of the CNS. The sensoric nervous system is the one transferring information from our receptors in peripheral tissues and organs, the somatic nervous system controls the sceleton muscles and the autonomic nervous system controls the heart, smooth muscle tissue and glands. The autonomic nervous system is traditionally divided into the parasympathetic nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system (rest/recuperation) is the oldest system. It reflects the survival instinct of a primitive and passive grasseater. The system delivers nourishing and blood full of oxygen, to the body and the system’s components controls the heart, the lungs and the peristaltic organs. The survival instincts is limited to regulate the burning and to play dead. The sympathetic nervous system (fight/flight) is a later development, which adds movability, mobilization and more survival possibilities. The sympathetic system can take control over the parasympathetic system in crisis situations, to shift the body’s resources to the system that needs it the most, at that moment.
If the parasympathetic and the sympathetic systems don’t function as they’re supposed, it can have a huge impact on your life. Cranio Sacral therapy can help your body and the physiological functions back to the balanced state, that is needed for the person to regain the power, will and focus that is needed to find a solution to the problem.
Stephen Porges, PhD, made studies that showed a third part of the autonomic nervous system had been discovered. It is the social nervous system (Triune Automatic) and it handles our social ability. When someone gets stuck in stress or depression, the social ability is negatively affected. Near and intimate relations is then hard to keep. With the help of cranio sacral therapy, the link to the social nervous system can be restored. The portals to the social nervous system consists of the cranial nerves V, VII, IX, X och XI. Facial massage stimulates the social nervous system.