Your Journey to Healing and Recovery

Your Journey to Healing and Recovery

It’s not a one-off event

Like success or anything else worthwhile, healing takes time. Many people think of the ability of our bodies to heal, for example back or knee pain, or an injury like a pulled hamstring muscle, as a one-off event. Others imagine this recovery takes place in a similar time frame to healing a broken bone (about 6 weeks). In reality, healing issues and injuries, such as these, usually involving soft tissues, like muscles and tendons, will begin to heal within this timeframe. However, they will rarely complete the healing and recovery process that quickly. In this blog, I will discuss how healing works and why healing takes time.

Many of our clients initially arrive at our clinic, in a great deal of pain and discomfort. As you can imagine, our first focus is to improve comfort and mobility. Then we focus on supporting and strengthening the body. This allows the changes to consolidate and build. Enabling this new posture or way of being to hold for longer and longer periods. Ultimately, this leads to improved health, strength, resilience, energy, and vitality. Unfortunately, this doesn’t all happen in one visit, it takes time. Often it will take many visits, as well as time for their body to assimilate these changes.

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During your body’s healing and recovery from an issue or injury, there are three clinical stages: Inflammation, Proliferative and Remodeling.

Inflammation

Inflammation is the first stage, and often our first sign that something is wrong and our body needs help. Actually, it’s part of the healing process itself. Our body’s early response to the injured tissues. Inflammation creates swelling and redness, due to the influx of supplies and reinforcements (particularly red and white blood cells), which the body directs specifically to the affected area. This launches the beginning of the process of healing and repairing the tissues, and can last up to 4 days.

 

Proliferation

The Proliferation stage begins about 3 days into the process, overlapping with the end of the Inflammation stage. In this stage, the tissues, for example, the muscles or tendons, are being rebuilt. As this happens, the tissues can contract, feeling tight, restricted, and often painful.

Remodelling

Remodelling is the last stage and can last 6 months to a year, after injury. This is the stage of re-educating our body, helping it regain its original strength and conditioning. It involves our body adapting to these re-educational changes and finally assimilating them. When done well, it can even enhance and improve the state of our body, from where we initially began. This is due to what we learn and change in that process of re-education. For instance, in the process, we can learn better habits of lifting, exercising, movement, and posture. So, if you improve your habits, you may find that after you’ve “recovered” from your injury, your body is actually stronger, more proficient and more resilient. You may even have more energy than before the issue or injury.

Journey to healing and recovery

Are healing bumps normal?

Healing rarely happens smoothly nor in an exact straight line, it’s not linear. Healing is a process. One that naturally goes up and down. The old saying of “two steps forwards and one step backward” can sometimes be how it feels. Sometimes things can feel worse before they start to feel better. Sometimes it can feel like you’re going backwards, when in reality, your body is working with and assimilating the changes it’s being led and encouraged to take. Unfortunately, this can be a common response during healing and even to treatment. So yes, there can be bumps in healing. It’s normal for the process to be a bumpy one.

If this is how your body responds, it can feel tight, uncomfortable, or even painful. We’re sorry to hear you’re suffering. If this sounds like what is happening for you, heat will usually be your friend. Consider a warm shower, an Epsom Salt bath, foot bath, or heat pack, to soothe and relax your muscles. If you have any questions or concerns, please call your practitioner, and they can help you understand what might be happening specifically in your body. We help you understand what your journey to healing and recovery might look like, we want you to feel better ASAP.

Healing is like a spiral

I have often heard clients and practitioner friends describe that healing is like “a series of hills or mountains to climb”. Especially when they get frustrated, it’s not progressing in the straight line they expected. My favourite image or shape to describe the healing process is a spiral. Looping around, coming back to a similar place. For instance, when we feel pain, discomfort, or tightness recur. But in fact, the process has actually moved forward. It has improved and gone to the next level, loosening muscles or releasing tension in places. But the body has gone as far as it can at this moment and hit the next point of resistance. That is the pain, discomfort, or tightness that we feel. With some more help, from you or your therapist, you can also move through this, to your next level of healing and recovery. Reaching an even higher level of strength, resilience, and energy.

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Healing is the new high

Through this up-and-down journey of healing and recovery, we observe that our clients are so focused on how they feel in the here and now, that they forget the more intense, constant pain, discomfort or tightness they suffered at the beginning. This is a normal and natural part of the healing and recovery process. But it reminds me, as a practitioner, to help my clients reflect back on how far they have come. To celebrate their wins at each step, no matter how small they sometimes seem. Feeling more positive about the healing process can empower, enhance and even increase the speed of healing, because we are then supporting rather than resisting it. Focusing positively on each milestone can make the journey of healing feel like a fabulous high.

Imagine for a moment what you would do if you could clear your pain sufficiently and improve your movement? 

During this strange and crazy time,  YOU are still our highest priority!

We can still treat you in person with Osteopathic and Massage services at our Turramurra clinic during COVID-19 lockdown.

So come in, feel nurtured as we provide you with the treatment and tools so you can feel brilliant again.

 

Where are you at in your journey to healing and recovery?

Join and comment in our Facebook Community Group – Essential Lifestyle Academy, we’d love to connect with you!

7 Benefits of good posture – And how to maintain it

7 Benefits of good posture – And how to maintain it

Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and realised your posture appears a little too similar to The Hunchback of Notre-Dame?

Well, it isn’t too late to improve your posture and subsequently your overall health. Sustaining a good posture is an important part of your physical and mental health. It ensures your bones are well aligned with the rest of the body. As Moriehei Ueshiba states:

“A good stance and posture reflects a proper state of mind”.

So let’s examine 7 benefits of good posture and how you can improve your posture today.

Good Posture Benefits:

1) Promotes better breathing and helps you remain mentally alert. It can increase the amount of oxygen you inhale. While slouching would reduce it.

2) Improves your circulation and digestion. Your blood vessels (circulatory system) and digestive organs can function effectively. When you have correct posture, there’s no unnecessary compression or constriction inhibiting functionality. Examples of digestive issues connected to posture include: heartburn, indigestion and reflux; gastritis; and constipation.

3) Creates a strong, healthy spine. It does this by supporting and maintaining your intricate muscles, nerves and blood vessels, around and to, the vertebrae.

Breathe release stress

 

4) Strengthens muscles and joints by minimising wear and tear. Correct alignment optimises muscle function, allowing strength of muscles and stability in joints. This also reduces the risk of degenerative arthritis and joint pain.  It also reduces the stress on the ligaments holding your spinal joints together, minimising the likelihood of injury.

5) Boosts confidence and makes you look smarter. Have you ever noticed how leaders and celebrities walk across a stage? The confidence in a stride comes from a good posture. This not only impacts how you look on the outside, but also how you feel on the inside. An upright posture will help you look slimmer, smarter, and carry yourself with an aura of elegance and confidence.

6) Improves your state of mind – Your body’s posture reflects your mental and emotional state. A bizarre concept right? The body mind connection is immense. Body language actually sends signals to your brain about how you’re feeling. So, you can transform your state of mind by improving your posture.

7) Communicates to others about you!
How you hold your body is often referred to as body language. Body language, or posture, can tell others more about you than words alone. Sitting or standing up straight when speaking are powerful and confident stances. Slouching or a stooped posture displays the opposite.

Did you know that straight posture also communicates how interested you may be in what another person is saying? And how much you value the conversation?

With the multitude of benefits of having good posture, you may be wondering how you can maintain a healthy posture for yourself? So, to help you on this journey here are our top tips:

Journey to healing and recovery
Poor desk posture

Top Tips For Maintaining a Good Posture.

FirstNotice your posture throughout the day.  An easy way to do this is to ‘monitor’ it whenever you swap to a new activity. Good posture should feel natural. Be careful not to overcorrect yourself while establishing this new “proper posture” habit.

Stand up and move around every 30 minutes to an hour if you have a desk job. This works well in combination with the pomodoro technique. Movement can relieve muscle strain and improve breathing, circulation, attention and productivity. As you do this, take a moment to notice your posture.

Adjust your chair height so both of your feet can comfortably touch the floor. Keep your knees at the same level or lower than your hips. This encourages your back to straighten.

Keyboard – have this adjusted to be at elbow height, to allow your wrists to stay straight and relaxed as you type.

Computer monitor – Place laptops or tablets on a platform, to bring them up to eye level.

Mobile phone – hold at eye level so you can keep your head up. Use a hand-free device for lengthy calls or viewing.

The Chair – Sit back against the back of the chair. If it does not support your lower back, use a small pillow, rolled up towel or invest in a lumbar support cushion. This applies to car seats too!

Walking – When you walk, hold your head high and look forward, not at the ground. Roll your foot from heel to toe as smoothly as possible. Keeping back straight up, pulling from the highest point of your head. Keep your shoulders moving naturally, elbows slightly bent, and let your arms swing freely. Core Muscles activate when standing and walking correctly.

 

Lifting – Keep your back straight and bend at your hips and knees, rather than your waist, to keep your upper back from rounding. If you’re carrying a pint-sized human or pet for prolonged periods, alternate sides regularly.

Reconsider your footwear if you regularly wear high heels. Walking in heels is essentially walking on your toes, which is not a normal body movement. High heels cause tight calves, knees to hyperextend, the pelvis to tip forward, lower back muscles to tighten, and your core muscles to become weak. Shorter, wider heels can help better distribute your weight. Top tip – If you wear heels, remember to keep your core muscles activated (for as long as possible).

Having the correct posture will holistically support your mental, emotional and physical health. It helps you look better, feel more confident and suffer less pain.

What does your posture say about you?

Blossoming Me offers a fully integrated approach to your wellbeing. Located on Sydney’s Upper North Shore. Alexis our qualified Osteopath, offers a drug free, minimally invasive, “hands on” treatment focusing on the musculoskeletal system with its associated muscles, tendons, ligaments, membranes, bones and joints. Alexis takes a functional approach. This means that she focuses on the way a component (body part, tissue or group of tissues) performs its role, as well as the way the body works, performs and integrates as a whole.

Our remedial masseuse and health and lifestyle coach Sarah, offers complimentary support to help relieve those problematic knots, tightness and other specific ailments to promote a healthy recovery. These alternate massage therapies can be combined to suit your needs, including: shiatsu, acupressure, reiki, body mind massage or swedish. Our team will be able to support you to improve your posture and therefore your overall health.

8 reasons why poor posture is harmful for your health

8 reasons why poor posture is harmful for your health

Most of us would agree that during childhood, the reminders to ‘sit up straight’ and ‘don’t slouch’ were countless. The truth is that we also need these reminders regularly in adulthood. Activities like sitting at a desk all day, Netflix and chill time, high-heel shoes and looking down at a smartphone are likely harming your posture.

This blog highlights 8 reasons why poor posture is harmful for your health.

What is Posture?

“Posture” describes the positioning of your body, when you’re sitting, standing, walking and lying down. It refers to how your head, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles are lining up, and how they relate to each other.

 

What is Good Posture?

When your body is in a healthy postural position, it’s aligned. This means that the natural forces of gravity are effectively distributed throughout your muscles, ligaments and tendons (with minimal energy usage). Thus, no one structure is over stressed, reducing the risk of muscle strains and joint pains.

Good posture enables you to move easily, maximising your flexibility as well as the strength of your muscles. It helps you to maintain concentration and work productively. You’ll feel less fatigued, because you’re losing less energy due to compensating for strains present in your body’s ligaments, joints and muscles. This enables your vital organs and nervous system to function effectively.

Breathe release stress

Look at a young child (around the age of 2 years old) for a fabulous example of what ‘good posture’ and movement look like. You will notice the three main curves of their spine forms an ‘S’ shape. The cervical curve develops when they start to lift their head. The lumbar curve, when they begin to walk. And the third curve, the thoracic curve, goes in the opposing direction, joining the set of three to form the ‘S’ shape. This shape in the spine is vitally important, as it is the basis of its suspension, and creates the magical and crucial combination of flexibility and strength.

Journey to healing and recovery

What is poor posture?

When you have “poor posture” you’re essentially out of alignment. Some of your muscles have to work harder to keep you upright, which causes imbalances and can lead to stresses, strains and tiredness.

So let’s delve into the 8 Health Issues caused by Poor Posture:

1) Headaches

Are commonly caused by straining our head, neck, jaw and upper back muscles.

 

2) Jaw pain can be caused by a forward head posture

Forward head posture, causes strain in at least the neck and suboccipital muscles. This can overwork or overload your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), resulting in pain and potentially leading to further pain and difficulties with the jaw and surrounding areas.

 

3) Back pain is a common consequence

It can become chronic, impeding your ease and range of movement, ultimately reducing your quality of life.

self care acupressure points

4) Spine Curvature

Poor posture over time will cause the natural curvature of your spine to change shape. This can impact all facets of your body, as your spine’s natural function as a shock absorber will deteriorate.

 

5) Shoulder pain

Also commonly occurs, particularly from a forward, hunched posture. This stresses the rotator cuff muscles and tendons, in particular, which can get pinched, or potentially torn. This can lead to significant pain and weakness in the shoulder.

6) Hip, knee and foot pain

Can be caused by poor alignment of either hip, knee or foot, or all of them. This misalignment can lead to muscle weakness, tightness and lack of flexibility. Ultimately resulting in strains and pain. Examples include “sciatica” or sciatic pain, and plantar fasciitis.

 

7) Tiredness, breathing and digestive problems

Can all be caused by poor posture. As can a pot belly appearance. Issues such as slouching or any level of kyphosis that restricts your rib cage, compresses your diaphragm and other internal organs. Making it harder for your lungs to inhale a full breath and exhale it completely. Which can lead to shallow breathing and respiratory issues, increased stress levels, lack of energy, fatigue or tiredness. Ultimately affecting your productivity. It can even make it hard for your intestines to digest food effectively, which can further lead to digestive disorders.

 

8) Bad Mood

A study from the journal Health Psychology found that people who sat with a slumped posture exhibited more negative moods, more fear, and lower self-esteem than those who sat upright. (refer to your teacher was right blog).

No one wants to be in pain, or have their posture likened to the third guy in the evolution of man. So take care of your posture, seek support to learn the correct exercises and postural alignments for your body, and you’ll find a multitude of health benefits will follow.

Where to seek help to improve your posture?

BlossomingMe offers a fully integrated approach to your wellbeing. Located on Sydney’s Upper North Shore, our qualified Osteopath, remedial masseuse and health and lifestyle coaches will be able to support you to improve your posture and therefore your overall health.

Autumn Energy Cleanse; Clear Your Blocked Energy

Autumn Energy Cleanse; Clear Your Blocked Energy

One of the things Alexis and I are passionate about is nurturing and cleansing our bodies through the power of nature. An Autumn energy cleanse is but one example. As humans, we are closely connected with and directly affected by the rhythms of nature.  These rhythms can be seen in the cycles of the moon and the tides, as well as in the seasons. We can learn from the lessons nature shows us. Nature doesn’t attach stories, emotions or expectations. It simply and naturally follows the cycle of life. 

Seasonal Energy

Each season has its own energy and symbolism, which indicates where nature is in its annual cycle. Similarly, many cultures have traditions and beliefs reflecting the seasons and their symbolism. Take this time of year, for example mid-Autumn (in the southern hemisphere). The Christian faith celebrates Easter, while the Jewish faith celebrates Passover. Both are uniquely symbolic of the cycle of life, birth, death and renewal. Each faith naturally taps into the cycles of the season, and uses its energy to strengthen and nourish.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy, the season of Autumn is about releasing and renewal. Like the leaves released from the trees in Autumn. The orange, red and yellow leaves fall from the branches in a beautiful rain of colour that can gently swish around you. You can allow these leaves to help you let go of what you no longer need, to make room for anew.  Nature prepares for the coming changes, by shedding what it no longer needs. You can do the same! Like nature, it’s time to clear out what is no longer revitalising, and to free yourself from the things you’ve been afraid to let go of.

Energy Channels in Traditional Chinese Medicine

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, we have energy channels throughout our bodies. These energy channels, known as Meridian channels, support our body, mind, spirit and emotions. There are twelve main channels, grouped in pairs, with the exception of one set of four meridians. Each set is associated with characteristics, including:

  • a season
  • an element
  • a primary function.
  • an emotion (that we may feel if the energy becomes stuck.) 

Chinese medicine meridian channels

The Autumn Meridians

In Autumn, the lung and large intestine meridians, in the metal element are at their strongest. If our energy gets stuck, you can suffer with the emotion of grief. But the counterpoint or the power and primary function of the energy of the metal element is letting go. This enables you to release negative energy, so you can rejuvenate and refresh.

If we think about the function of our large intestines and lungs, this starts to make sense. Our large intestines help eliminate waste from our bodies, after we’ve absorbed all the nutrients from our food. Our lungs expel the old used air, in the form of carbon dioxide. This leaves (pun intended) room for the new air you inhale to bring fresh oxygen to be absorbed into your bloodstream. So the lungs and large intestines have a similar purpose. They both absorb vital compounds that we need to survive, and release what we do not need. Tapping into this energy of metal and Autumn, of the lung and large intestine meridian channels, can help us do the same thing in our lives.  So let’s delve a bit deeper into the functions of the lung and large intestine meridians:

Autumn Leaves chinese medicine and meridians

The Lung Meridian

  • Receiver of pure Chi.  It’s our connection to the heavens and all that is spiritual. This meridian helps us to see and appreciate the quality in ourselves, others and the outside world – it is the source of true self esteem. You might remember an earlier video where we spoke about expanding our posture, which expands our lungs; and breathing deeply, to lift our spirit, and boost our self esteem. If you missed it, check it our here (add link).

The Large Intestine Meridian

  • In charge of the waste system for the body, mind and emotional self. The large intestine also helps ensure we have space for the new by getting rid of the old. This meridian affects our ability to let go of what is no longer needed in all aspects of our life.

 5 Cleansing Techniques, Using the Metal Energy of Autumn.

 

1. Balance

It’s important to create a balance of giving and receiving. A period of rest, followed by a period of growth. Create a balance of inhalation and exhalation. 

You can also learn from nature by letting go of the stories and expectations  attached to your experiences, which can cause additional suffering. Live in the present moment with truth and acceptance. Practice letting go, trusting, and accepting, as you use the energy of the seasons, to help you move through your own seasonal cycle and energetic shift. 

 

2. Release thoughts, beliefs & behaviours that no longer serve you

We often think of spring as a time to clear, clean & declutter, but autumn has this connection even more. Allowing us to release things, thoughts, beliefs & behaviours that we no longer need. 

Sometimes I’d like to declutter people in my life too. But they are usually the people closest to us. They are the ones who unconsciously & mostly even unintentionally seem to know which buttons to press, to get under our skin.

Let me share a recent private challenge with you to illustrate my point. Just the other week, I had one of those days. I had to resolve a work progress issue with a member of our team, who’s a lifelong close friend. Much thought and preparation went into the meeting, which ultimately went well, and was uplifting for all involved. Although the process to get there was certainly taxing and an energy drain. As soon as I came out of that meeting, I found myself falling headlong into a misunderstanding with my mother.  Does this type of thing happen to you? Like someone is trying to teach you a lesson?

Over the years, these incidents have led me to search for strategies for forgiveness. And most of the time I realise there is at least an element of forgiving myself that I must address. This is, in my opinion, one of the reasons why it’s so powerful. Forgiveness is emotional release, just like the autumn leaves. Forgiveness, however, is not for the faint hearted, and although you may think it is, forgiveness is certainly not for other people. As Gandhi says:

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

Practicing Autumn Breathing Cleanse Technique

Three strategies that I have found, that work best for me, are:

(i) Breath Cleansing

One of the best and simplest ways to strengthen your lungs is deep breathing. Especially outdoors, in the brisk autumn air. This nurtures and nourishes your immune system, supports your energy, and promotes good sleep. When you breathe deeply and deliberately, you flush your cells with the oxygen needed for all your bodily processes. Promoting the process of releasing and rejuvenating. Your lungs interact directly with the outside environment through your nose, mouth and skin pores. This plays an important role in fighting off external pathogens, like viruses and bacteria. As the temperature drops and winds become dry, you may notice cold or flu-like symptoms, such as a stiff neck, body aches, chills, fever, sore throat, headache, cough and runny nose. Existing skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, may get aggravated, and asthma or allergy reactions may flare. Now is the time to strengthen our Chi, energy, to prepare for winter.  

        Let’s get breath cleansing:

  • Consider each breath out, as a time for releasing any unwanted energies and developing the energy you desire. 

This is your time to heal and let go. You can be open to letting go of anything that no longer serves you. Focus on the simple in and out breath. A longer out breath will help you relax if you feel stressed or emotional.

  • With every breath out, you can let go.

  Release anything that holds you back or no longer serves you.

  • Now is the time to release and surrender.

Imagine as the leaves float to the ground, as the gentle breeze is carrying them. Along with these leaves, allow this breeze to carry what you no longer need. Feel the safety in this energy of releasing, to prepare for a renewal period and to make room for what is coming. 

  • Without falling leaves, there can be no new growth.

So…ground yourself in nature, close your eyes and breathe deeply as you feel the weight being lifted while you let go. Let go of anger, free all guilt. Liberate your grief. Release sadness. Free any judgments. Remove comparisons. Let go of shame. Unburden yourself of whatever is weighing you down. These emotions may have served you in the past, they may have protected you in some way, but now give yourself permission to release them. 

  • Should you have persistent negative thoughts invade your release cleanse.

Simply thank the thought for sharing. This helps it feel acknowledged. If it persists, rephrase or reframe it by adding “up until now” or “yet” to encourage it to feel heard. If it remains, then tighten your face and fists up on the in breath and release and relax on the out breath.

Autumn Cleanse Forgiveness and release 3 methods
  • Take another deep breath in, and as you breathe out feel the release.

Like the colourful leaves that fall from the branches. Feel a heavy weight being lifted from your shoulders. Like clearing out unwanted clutter from your mind.  

  • Now you have released everything you no longer need.

You feel a lightness, a calm feeling of inner peace. You look around you see the wind has stopped. The leaves have all fallen, and the forest of your mind is calm and still. 

(ii) Visualisation – Based on Forgiveness Visualisation by Vishen, at Mindvalley 

Forgiveness is when you let go of your resentment towards an individual or situation. Start by seeing the individual in front of you. As long as you sense they are there, it doesn’t matter if you cannot get a clear picture of their face. When you see them, remember that we are all connected.

  • Repeat the following phrase in your mind: “I forgive you and I ask you to forgive me”. 
  • Take a deep breath and as you exhale, feel your forgiveness flow to them, feel whatever resentment, anger or rage, release from your body.  
  • Now imagine this person telling you the same thing. “I forgive you, and I ask you to forgive me”. As they say it, take in a deep breath, and as you exhale, feel all regrets, resentment and rage, release from your body. 
  • Sometimes, if it is a deep, more painful memory, it can take longer to feel you’ve forgiven the person. Forgiveness is a trainable skill. One day, with practice, forgiveness will come. When you forgive, you improve your own health and you improve your own happiness in your life. 
Forgiveness and Release

(iii) Hawaiian Ho’ Oponono Technique

Simply say, or write these statements, with feeling (and whilst holding an image of the person you’re forgiving), in your heart and mind:

  • I’m sorry
  • Please forgive me
  • I love you
  • Thank you

Sometimes I practice these exercises in the safety and privacy of home. Other times, it can be a virtually immediate and deliberate response in the moment. When this is possible, it’s a great feeling, to let go, and not have it over my head for the rest of the day.

Autumn Release Acupressure Points

 3. Pressure Points & Brushing

If you have a thought that won’t budge, or a habit or behaviour that persists, try using acupressure points as well as the above practices. Even a meridian brush can amplify your results and improve your ability to release Also, notice if you wake up at night… What time is it? To help release the energy, you can brush your meridian channels, along your arms. 

  • Waking between 3:00 – 5:00am 

This is when lung energy is most active. Brush the inside of your arm from your shoulder to your thumb.  

  • Waking between 5:00 – 700am 

Focus on your large intestine meridian. Lightly brush with your fingers, from your pointer finger, all the way along the back of your arm, up your neck, and across to your opposite nostril.  You can also press acupressure points on yourself at home to strengthen your body, mind, and spirit. These metal points can help you let go of anything you no longer need. Releasing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual tension, as well as strengthening you from the inside out, to boost your personal composure. You can activate these acupressure points to clear stuck energy and emotions by stroking or pressing on the points. Let’s do it together now.  See the diagram:  Large Intestine1 (LI1)  and Lung 8 (Lu8).

  • LI1 – On the radial (also thumb) side of the index finger, about 0.1 finger width posterior to (towards the back of the hand) from the corner of the nail.
  • Lu8 – On the anterior (inside) forearm. Follow the line from the lateral (outside) edge of your thumb nail, to the depression at the base of the styloid process (wrist bone). 1 finger width above the transverse crease (across) your wrist.
  • To invigorate the energy, press these points gently  3 – 7 times.

Acupressure point
Autumn Cleanse nutritional support

4. Nourish with Nutritional Support of this season to Strengthen Your Body and Immunity

Healthy foods that can be easily added to many dishes, to further nourish our bodies, include: bay leaves, garlic, horseradish, leek, ginger, capers. They can support our lungs and boost our immune systems, naturally.

 

5. Allied Health Team Support

To strengthen your immune system and entire body, consider a ‘tune-up’ with a visit to your preferred professional practitioners. An osteopath, naturopath, acupuncturist or transformational massage therapist will be a complimentary support for your holistic Autumn cleanse. 

Wishing You Happiness and Strength This Autumn!

If you knew that you could, which aches and pains in your body, would you let go of?

If you were courageous enough, what thoughts, ideas or habits would you release?

Let us guide you along your wellbeing journey BlossomingMe is a holistic health service located on Sydney’s Upper North Shore.

Our specialised Remedial Massage Therapist and Osteopath offer a fully integrated approach, which assesses and addresses the specific issues in your body. With a clear understanding of your goals, we treat both mind and body to help you live your best life.

Dealing with Overwhelm

Dealing with Overwhelm

What is Overwhelm?

At some point in our lives, most of us have felt that all-encompassing feeling that everything is “a lot” or too much. Sometimes it feels like your head could just explode, sometimes it feels like you just want to run away, other times you feel like crying because you have been under so much stress (whether that is work, family life, or your health) that you are completely overcome with emotion, but not in a good way.

This is overwhelm.

How Many Things Can We Handle?

Is your closet too full?

No, I’m not talking about decluttering or clearing out your wardrobe; I’m talking about clearing your life. Reducing that sense of overwhelm that’s been paralysing you.

I recently heard a fabulous description of overwhelm: simply having too many hangers in our already full closet. Let me explain. If we put one task from our project or item from our to-do list, for instance, on each hanger, how many hangers can we fill at one time without stressing out or hitting overwhelm?

Well, usually, the answer is about 5-7.

Why? Because that’s commonly how many things our unconscious mind can handle at any one time. If we have a shopping list, a phone number to remember, or some other task, we can usually recall up to 5-7 things. Anything more than that often gets lost or forgotten.

Anything more than 5-7 often stresses us OUT!

Ultimately, if we do this regularly, it can reduce our resilience levels, patience, ability to concentrate, and more over time.

Woman overwhelmed by closet

What Happens When We Have Too Much Going On

 

You know when you have too many programs running on your computer, and it starts to slow down – this is what our body does when we’re overwhelmed.

You may recognise the signs of overwhelm such as:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mental slowness
  • A racing mind
  • Impaired ability to problem solve
  • Inability to think logically
  • General irritability

When this overwhelm occurs over a period of time, we can also suffer from cognitive or nervous fatigue, which I spoke about in our last blog.

When this happens, the symptoms of overwhelm are usually heightened and can make us feel even more overwhelmed simply from feeling like we can’t function how we think we should be. It becomes a vicious cycle.

Recognising What Is Causing Your Overwhelm

One of the first keys to dealing with overwhelm is to recognise what is causing it. If you look at what is going on for you, in different areas of your life, you can often pinpoint what the leading cause of your overwhelm is. Some common ones are:

  • Work
  • Family life
  • Financial
  • Illness
  • Injury
  • Relationships

It may be one, it may be two, it may be all, but regardless, working out what is causing your overwhelm is where you need to start.

Going back to our coat hanger analogy, it can sometimes look or feel like certain issues or tasks take up more than just one coat hanger. Some things can feel much more significant than others, meaning they leave less space for you to cope with other things. Pain, for example, especially when it’s constant, can be very pervasive. It can feel like it’s taking up several coat hangers at once, leaving only one or two coat hangers available for actual tasks to “hung on” – this is part of why we feel like we have such a short fuse when we’re unwell or in pain.
Taking up lots of hangers

How To Deal with Overwhelm

Now you have identified what is causing your overwhelm, let’s look at what you can do to help reduce the load.

Set Boundaries

Are you taking on too much with work? When you really need to be saying no, do you say yes to everything? Are you staying back late to finish everything off? It’s time to stop and put boundaries in place that allow your work to be done during your work hours and not for hours beyond that. Are you really the only one that can take on ALL the extra work, or can you say, “no, I can’t do that right now”?

Taking on more and more work and not getting adequate downtime will leave you, you guessed it, overwhelmed and essentially unproductive, likely causing you even more overwhelm!

Are You a Perfectionist?

Do you find yourself stressing over things and constantly thinking, “this could be better” or “I could do better”? The problem with this thinking is that you spend so much time analysing and stressing over that one task, that you fall behind in all the other things you still need to do, which causes your overwhelm to grow when things start piling up.

Sometimes you need to step away and say, “this is good enough.”.

 

Have You Tried Delegating?

If you’re a perfectionist, it can be hard to hand over tasks for someone else to complete; however, in doing so, you will free up time for yourself, and you can concentrate on what you specifically need to be doing. Whether than be a project at work that you can delegate tasks out to other team members, a part of your business that you can outsource to outside support, or asking family members to bring a dish at the Christmas or birthday celebration instead of taking on all the cooking yourself.

Imagine how much time you could get back and how much calmer your mind could be if you let a few things go.

Busy brain and time

Are You Catastrophising?

Do you think the worst when things don’t quite go to plan? “If I don’t cover all the tasks myself in this project, it won’t be done right and will fail.”, “Aunty Sue forgot the salad last time, and it completely ruined the day, I can’t let that happen again.”, “If I don’t say yes to all the jobs, they will think I’m not good at my job.”.

Take a deep breath! Will the project really fail if someone else helps out, was the family function indeed ruined, and are you sure they will think you’re not good at your job, or are these all assumptions in your head?

Simply becoming aware of these thoughts can help you let go of them. When they happen, take a minute to take a step back from the situation, catch your breath and then look at it again. Even have a chat with someone else about it for a rational and logical perspective.

Break Down the Tasks

Another element of this clever coat hanger analogy is how we deal with big projects. Chunking them down. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time – and that’s how we get projects completed, especially large ones. When we prioritise tasks, using the 80/20 rule (when 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort) to order them, we get the biggest “bang”, or results, for our “buck” of given energy and focus, and then just choosing one or two things to focus on.

But the first step is to “chunk” or break the project into bite-sized tasks. If we don’t break them down small enough, the tasks end up “hanging” on more than one coat hanger, leading us back to that feeling of overwhelm. Have you ever tried to tackle a step in a project and not known where or how to begin?
Sometimes the first step is not to take the measurements of the wardrobe you want to rebuild the inside of. It’s going to buy the tape measure so that you can take them.

Are You Looking After Your Mind and Body?

Are you taking YOU time? As the saying goes, our body is a temple, and we must treat it accordingly. If you’re going to treat it like a garbage dump, that’s how you’re going to feel, so it’s time to practice some self care!

• Take time each day to move your body, whether that is through exercises, yoga, daily stretches, or even dancing around your kitchen.
• Enjoy some chill-out time – listen to music, meditate, read a book, relax in the bath.
• Practice gratitude – the simple act of taking time to look at what in your life you are grateful for can do wondrous things to calm a racing mind.
• Good posture is important! We have spoken previously about how good and bad posture positively and negatively impacts the body. We must practice good posture to help increase our energy levels and positive feelings.

Blossoming Me can help you with this, address your pain, and get you well on your way to feeling calmer and pain-free.

Based on Sydney’s North Shore, Osteopath, Alexis and, Remedial Massage Therapist, Sarah are experienced in helping patients on their well-being journey and would love to get you back to feeling yourself once more.

Contact us or book an appointment online by clicking the button below if you’re ready to get started.
Is Nervous Fatigue Affecting You?

Is Nervous Fatigue Affecting You?

In our clinic, we see a lot of patients that have no one specific reason they have tight and sore muscles, joint stiffness and aches, and who are feeling tired and run down. One cause, and something not commonly realised, is nervous fatigue, and we are seeing more of this over the last couple of years. So, let’s talk about what nervous fatigue is, and what can be done to help.

What is Nervous Fatigue?

Nervous fatigue is a type of fatigue caused by excessive emotional stress – think studying or working for long periods without a break, dealing with overwhelming responsibilities over a significant period of time, living with mental health symptoms, and spending emotional and mental energy on worries, stress, and problems. While it isn’t uncommon to feel tired or even exhausted after a particularly mentally draining day, nervous fatigue isn’t something that a good night’s sleep can fix, and can have some rather intense effects.

Elements of Nervous Fatigue

According to Dr Claire Weekes, there are four elements to Nervous Fatigue – Physical, Emotional, Mental, and Spirit. Some people find that they are affected in just the one way, while others are affected in more than one way, and sometimes by all four.

Physical

Muscles rest in a state known as “tone”, a balance between relaxation and contraction. When muscles are held in a tense state, for long periods of time, this delicate balance of “tone” is upset. And this creates a build-up of the chemicals of fatigue, which leads to the aching muscles. Often a sense of muscle weakness follows as well.

Dr Weekes explains that although these bodily reactions are temporary and ultimately unimportant, a sufferer, who doesn’t understand what is going on, can become intensely fearful of these attacks. And this fear of the body’s reaction, becomes larger than the original fear of the situation, thing etc. This “anxiety state”, when the sufferer is afraid of the effects of fatigue, allows this fear to affect their life. At this point, Dr Weekes says, the Nervous Fatigue has become an illness.

Emotional

When nerves are subjected to stress for a long time, especially with strong emotions, like fear, they effectively become trained. As I’ve spoken about before, the more this neural pathway is fired or used, or higher the intensity of emotion, the bigger and stronger the pathway becomes. Therefore, it fires faster and more intensely, with even the slightest of provocations. Dr Weekes, refers to this as “Sensitisation”.

Journey to healing and recovery
All emotions can be intensified: fear, anger, sadness, guilt, as well as love and joy. What a roller coaster! All these exaggerated feelings are tiring for the sufferer. To a point, the body can adapt to the stress of the emotional ups and downs, as long as the adrenal glands can keep up supplying the adrenaline and other essential hormones. When they become depleted, it can lead to adrenal or hormonal depletion and complete exhaustion.

Mental

Most of us can flit lightly between our thoughts. From idea to idea, subject to subject. With mental fatigue, this simple act is not so easy. Their thoughts either come haltingly and slowly, feeling like each individual thought must be specifically selected, making thinking feel like a huge effort. Or they stick together, so that if they begin to think about a certain thing, it tends to feel very difficult to let it go – particularly if it has a strong emotion attached to it, like fear.

“When sensitisation and mental fatigue come together, throwing off frightening thoughts can seem impossible.”

Spirit

Especially if the unknowing sufferer has been trying to recover by fighting their way out of fatigue, they may lose their sense of purpose, and wonder if the struggle to go on is worth it. They don’t need much, a sliver is enough to begin, but it is hope and courage that they need to pull through.

“We all have this strength, this power within us, and it will work miracles if we trust it to.”

How To Overcome Nervous Fatigue

You can relieve this by releasing these 4 types of fatigue, in the same order they built up. This is something that will take time, as we have previously spoken about before, however it will yield great results.

Facing, is acknowledging that even though external guidance support can help, the cure must come from inside oneself.

Acceptance is allowing the body to loosen as much as possible. Moving into the body’s response and letting it come, rather than fighting it. Like being right in the centre of a hurricane, in the “eye” of the storm, where the storm swirls around but cannot reach them. But first they must go through the storm.

The initial instinct is fearful tension, withdrawal or rigidly pushing and forcing, which produces hormones that make the “Storm” feel even stronger and wilder. Facing and relaxing the body into the symptoms with acceptance, on the other hand, help to dampen and eventually stop them.

self care acupressure points
This “allowing” takes time. To feel and to allow. To be able to trust that it will indeed pass. When it comes, it creates peace of mind and confidence built, not in the absence of symptoms, but the deep knowing, even in their midst, that they will pass.

Dr Weekes describes floating very much like breathwork or a visualisation. Allowing the body to relax and go as loose and limp as possible. Then deeply breathing in and slowly exhaling, whilst imagining gently floating, as if on a cloud. Allowing muscles to loosen and release.

Floating creates a sense of relaxation, but it also encompasses, Facing and Accepting, with grace and gentleness.
Dr Weekes says that “Physical support can help more than just physical pain”. Who knew?

Keep it light and simple – eg going to the gym – don’t go crazy making up for time you haven’t been, like the last 4 months during lockdown. Or as a therapist, light and gentle, through to firm, but don’t go hell for leather.

Personal connection is vitally important. What a surprise, she says! Whilst sufferers can overload and get tired very quickly, leaving them to their own devices to relax etc for hours or days at a time, is actually unsupportive. That whilst they may only have the energy reserves to do some activity, some activity is actually essential. Both from the point of view that leaving them to their own devices leaves far too much time for them to fall into negative, energy draining trains of thought, where they can expect the worst, beat themselves up, and generally lose energy.

And because doing things, an exercise or activity of choice, leads to having more energy, do what you can, within your limits, for yourself. In this way, building your own confidence that you can Face the fear. Let it pass.

“One finds strength quicker when active than when lying on the couch waiting for it to come”

 

Utilise our subconscious mind, in the form of simple routines and habits. Again, less is more. Rather than trying to stay relaxed all day, choose a set time, just once a day, to relax or meditate or whatever calming activity you like to do, then let it go for the rest of the day. Don’t worry about it, don’t even think about it. Slowly this will create a habit of success – what a surprise!

Even a short daily routine, like cleaning your teeth, can work. This simple action can give you something to do, something for the mind to focus on. Particularly if you use a manual toothbrush rather than an electric one that buzzes and vibrates in your head. This can help “calm the whirlwind within.”

Journey to healing and recovery
Emotional and hormonal exhaustion aren’t helped much by rest. Only by reducing stress. This is where we must “Face” our fears. Gently and with acceptance, not defensively.

We can gently change our mood. With acceptance, with time, and by moving through them gently, “floating” and allowing. I recall Louise Hay, motivational speaker and author, used to say that if you sit with an emotion and just allow it to pass through you, it usually only takes 10 minutes. Whilst for fatigue sufferers that may seem like a life time, simply allowing, rather than fighting them, will allow energy reserves to be maintained and the emotional energy to be released, rather than held and stored in the body.

Supporting the Spirit through the process; this is the part that sufferers really need help with, as a completely exhausted spirit has no inner source of joy to lift them from inside.

  • Help molehills not turn into mountains. Don’t trivialise their issues, but help them move past them, to other ideas to focus on.
  • Help them to float rather than fight through their journey.
  • Celebrate small wins and encourage flashes of normality, as glimmers of hope to which they can cling to.

“Each of us has unsuspected power to accomplish what we demand of ourselves, if we care to search for it.” – Dr Claire Weekes

If this sounds like you, and you’re needing a little extra help with how to gain relief from your fatigue, osteopathy and massage can assist in getting you back to your usual self.

Feel free to get in touch with Sarah, who provides amazing remedial and therapeutic massage services, for some further advice and guidance, or click the button below to make an appointment.

Had CoVid, and you are still not back to your old self?

Had CoVid, and you are still not back to your old self?

Have you had CoVid, and wondered why, weeks later, you’re still not back to your old self?

You may well be suffering from “long CoVid”, or “post CoVid”, and the after-effects of the virus.

I had covid about 8 weeks ago and the last of the symptoms, my fuzzy tongue, and ongoing fatigue really only began to shift in the last couple of weeks. This prolonged healing time is not uncommon for most viruses, but many of us have become much more aware of this part of the healing and recovery journey, since CoVid’s arrival. Just because you are no longer contagious and can return to work, does not mean that your body is fully recovered from the virus or the effects your body has weathered in defending itself against it.

Breathe release stress

Symptoms of the virus do seem to be different

Symptoms of the virus do seem to be different for everyone. They are often strongest in your individual body’s “weak” spots and tend to be the expression of where the virus is sitting in your body and has managed to get a foothold. The main symptoms I had initially, were a fuzzy edge around my whole tongue, skin irritation, sore neck, fever, inflamed glands, and fatigue. For a few days, I also had aches throughout my whole body. I was fortunate and only suffered those for a few days.

The all-encompassing fatigue was the worst. As a massage therapist, interacting regularly with numerous other people, I had to watch my energy levels. I love my clients with all my heart, even so, when my resilience levels are low, especially as an introvert, there is a finite number of people I can manage to work with each day, without feeling drained. For me, it was about prioritising my effectiveness with my clients. Meaning keeping my energy levels up. This meant that for a period of time, I couldn’t see as many clients as I usually would. This obviously had a business-level impact, but it also impacted me, as just an individual. So, to maximise my effectiveness with and for clients, my focus, my concentration, and my attitude, which all consume energy, and still have enough energy to cope with the rest of my life, I had become deliberate about what I did and didn’t do. I had to learn how to take my self-care and energy management habits to the next level.

This blog is about the things I learned along the way, and what we, the team at BlossomingMe, are now focusing on, to take even better care of ourselves and our clients, through the post-CoVid healing journey. Much of these actions and habits can also be applied to times when you go through any big changes in life. Whether it’s a virus, like Glandular Fever/ Epstein Barr virus, auto-immune reactions like Urticaria, or other skin reactions, or other life-changing events or stressors like moving house or having a baby. Especially in the postpartum period, close to delivery, when your body goes through more changes, in readjusting to no longer being pregnant, these actions and routines can help you feel better and recover more quickly.

Low Energy Levels

One of the first indications I had, that I was still suffering low energy and the general symptoms of “long CoVid”, was my business partner asking me, three mornings in a row, “what was wrong?”, “was everything ok?”. Whilst in the moment, this didn’t help, in that, it drew my attention to the negative emotions I was feeling, rather than helping me find and focus on the positive ones that were also there. It did make me realise that there was an issue that needed to be dealt with. That I hadn’t recovered as fully as I had thought. My resilience was still low and I wasn’t coping with challenges as well as I usually might.

Breathe release stress

One reason that managing my energy levels was, and still is, important is the effect that my energy levels, and therefore my resilience levels, have on my attitude. Like the spike proteins that are what allow the Coronaviruses to penetrate the host cells in our body and cause the infection, (https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-are-Spike-Proteins.aspx), my personality became very prickly. Protecting my mental attitude, in order to lower my defensiveness and reduce my prickliness, as well as to increase my resilience and ability to cope when things around me didn’t go to plan, became a  mission. 

Journey to healing and recovery

Minimising the number of people I saw

Managing my energy levels was a multifold process. One aspect was managing people interactions, another was supporting and nurturing my body through its physical and emotional healing, and the third was maintaining my precious, positive headspace.

The people aspect, I managed basically by staying close to work and home. Keeping quiet and keeping close interactions with people to a minimum. Not being in crowds of people, not even for my birthday. This was really trimmed down to basically immediate family and clients only. Both lockdown and naturally being an introvert, certainly helped a lot with this.

Reducing the number of projects and ultimately tasks

Just like I deliberately minimised the number of people I saw, or more specifically, emotionally connected with, to keep my energy levels high. I came to realise just how much multitasking really does not equal multi-focusing. The process of focusing my concentration became a much more deliberate, intentional, and conscious one.

I found reducing my focus from broad to laser-focused hard because my natural bent is big picture and historically, details have not been my forte. In fact, they often downright scare and overwhelm me. However, whilst big picture thinking has its uses, when my energy was limited, what I really needed, was to focus on getting specific tasks done and completed.

I began learning to reduce the number of projects and ultimately tasks I was trying to do at once.  As Henry Ford said, “Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.”

I started to concentrate on breaking the projects down into bite-sized tasks. Small enough that I could action without overwhelming myself and freaking out or feeling completely exhausted and beaten before I’d even started. This process didn’t happen overnight and if I’m honest, is one that I am still learning.

One strategy is organising my week, at least mostly at the beginning of the week, so that the most important projects or tasks are prioritised and done. Another is to protect my headspace more, whilst I actually do these tasks. One way that helped me both organise my week better and protect my headspace, as I’d heard so many times before, was to set up business sprints. Short bursts of focused time, usually about 60-90 minutes each. The times for each of these sprints and what each one was dedicated to doing, were noted in my calendar and eventually even on my Trello board. This strategy helped me immensely, to structure my time and my focus so that I could keep the main thing, the main thing. It helped me lift the energy drain from feeling scattered and directionless and save my energy for my main focuses, my family, and my clients.

As well as consciously setting up, and learning to use these sprints of time, I used some of the spaces between them and clients, to clear my mind. Meditation is something I’ve been doing for a few years. My favourite styles are simple. Either repeating mantras or listening to guided visualisations. As Adam Fraser talks about in his book, “The Third Space”, (reading is another favourite relaxing and nurturing activity of mine) these spaces between activities became very valuable, in helping me to change my focus. They were especially useful when I ran into things like roadblocks in trying to solve a computer or technology issue. They helped me to separate mentally, from the issue and frustration around it, before stepping into a session with a client. So that I was able to leave the discomfort of dealing with machines, as well as my anxiety and prickliness, from the issue remaining unresolved, outside. That way I could also focus on the specific problems for the client at hand, and the joy of finding solutions for them.

Working with these strategies deliberately, step by step has helped me come out of my Post-CoVid recovery with a stronger mindset. So that I feel more in charge.

Self-nurturing and Supplementing

From a physical health perspective, one of the questions that came up for me was “can I accept nurturing​ from others​… yet?” for example an osteopathy treatment or remedial massage.​ To be honest, this may take a while to return. It certainly took me longer than I expected. Even as a touchy-feely massage therapist myself, as well as a generally huggy person, although I still definitely enjoyed a simple, long hug from my hubby,​ I did not feel the desire to be nurtured so much by others. Particularly not being touched much by others. I did have an osteopathic treatment a couple of weeks ago, to support my body’s healing, but it’s really only now, 8 weeks later, that I’m looking for a massage myself.

Self-nurturing, on the other hand, was very powerful and really felt like an essential part of my healing. What worked really well for me were frequent baths. Both simple, Epsom salt foot baths, and full-body soaks in detox baths. Using an easy, homemade recipe designed by our osteopath. These really helped to ease not only my body aches but my mental and emotional irritability and smooth my sharp edges around people, as well. They were also instrumental in helping me to regain and maintain my positive attitude as well as rebuild my resilience.

self care acupressure points

Supplementing with vitamins and herbs, such as Echinacea, especially at the beginning, can be very helpful in supporting your immune system to deal with the invading virus. While antioxidants like vitamin C, garlic, can work very well for your immune system longer term. Zinc can help the vitamin C be absorbed, and work better in your body. And finally, NAC (N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine) can amplify the effectiveness of the anti-oxidants and can be particularly helpful to your body in clearing out the spikey proteins, that the virus left behind.

This is how we take care of our clients

and encourage them to take care of themselves, post-CoVid, as well as post-childbirth, moving house and any number of other stressful events you may have experienced.

We would love to take care of you. Either through the process, if you so choose, or, you know, once you’ve resolved these initial symptoms. 

 

 

 

Let us guide you along your wellbeing journey BlossomingMe is a holistic health service located on Sydney’s Upper North Shore.

Our specialised Remedial Massage Therapist and Osteopath offer a fully integrated approach which assesses and addresses the specific issues in your body.

With a clear understanding of your goals, we treat both mind and body to help you live your best life.

 

Your teacher was right!

Your teacher was right!

Your teacher was right, sitting up straight affects your performance. We all know that our body responds to the way we think, feel, and act. How we carry ourselves when we walk or move reflects how we feel inside. For instance, when we feel down, we often frown, hunch shoulders and face downwards. When we’re anxious, we may tap our feet or shift our eyes, and when happy we tend to smile.

Walking Styles

It’s no wonder many assume it’s the mind that controls the body, not the other way around. But, did you realise that the relationship between your mind and body runs both ways? Interestingly, whilst your mind definitely influences your body, your body posture and physiology also trigger thoughts and emotions in your mind.

This leads us to the reversed concept that William James, founder of modern-day psychology, proposed; “We don’t laugh because we’re happy – we’re happy because we laugh.” Another common example of this same idea is that if you act confidently, even when you’re not, you may begin to feel confident. ‘Fake it till you make it’.

But how does this relate to how we sit? And did our primary or elementary school teacher know about it?

We're Happy because we laugh - William James
Sitting Styles

Several studies on students’ sitting positions have found that students who sat slouched forward, more crunched up or hunched over themselves tend to notice more feelings of “hopelessness, helplessness, powerlessness, and negativity”, especially about themselves.

While those who “sat up straight” were more likely to focus on empowering, positive feelings about themselves. They were better able to think, and were more likely to trust their own thoughts, opinions, and abilities. They had more energy and a greater feeling of control, as well as resiliency. They also displayed an ability to tolerate pain and emotional distress. And were more creative and were more expressive.

So if you find yourself slouching for hours at a badly placed home computer, it may not only lead to a high number of headaches, and neck and shoulder pain, which in itself is unpleasant enough right? It also may significantly contribute to lower energy levels and a rise of depression.

Our simple advice to you is this: Be kind to yourself, take frequent breaks, sit straight in an ergonomically sound position and you might just find that you have more energy, focus, creativity, higher trust in yourself and even better able to express yourself.

Wow! Who would have thought it would be as simple as taking our teachers’ advice to simply sit up straight?

We're Happy because we laugh - William James

Let us guide you along your wellbeing journey. BlossomingMe is a holistic health service located on Sydney’s Upper North Shore.

Our specialised Remedial Massage Therapist and Osteopath offer a fully integrated approach which assesses and addresses the specific issues in your body.

With a clear understanding of your goals, we treat both mind and body to help you live your best life.

 

Is Self Care Selfish?

Is Self Care Selfish?

Self-care is vital, and one of the least selfish things you can do to improve your life. When you invest time in caring for yourself, you’ll reap the benefits and return on investment in almost every area of your life. You may notice improvement in your physical and mental health, your relationships with yourself and others will likely improve, and your productivity increases. It enables you to become the best version of yourself, able to give more to the people and projects that are important in your life. It allows you to truly blossom.

How can self-care benefit me?

Simple self-care activities can help ease your body’s aching muscles and painful joints. Self care can also increase energy, reduce stress, uplift your mindset and attitude. It can increase your resilience, and boost your immunity, generally supporting your wellbeing. You may even gain clarity about who you are, where you’re going, what’s important to you and why.
 
At our clinic, we find that much healing happens in the time between one consultation and the next.
We observe that the best results occur for our clients when they implement self-care activities to boost the healing and recovery process.

What is Self-Care?

Many people seem daunted by self-care. Some people over complicate a self-care act and think it means allocating a whole day at an expensive day spa. It doesn’t need to be this extravagant. Self-care can be as simple as taking a moment to remember to breathe.  So let’s practice together right now… 

Take a long, slow, deep breath and feel it filling your lungs and into your belly. Hold it for a few seconds, then release the air through your mouth.

It’s like releasing a steam valve. By taking the pressure off, you prevent it from “popping its seal” or “overflowing”. The secret is regularity. So make self-care as simple, enjoyable, and easily repeatable as possible. Creating lifelong habits, to support your physical and mental wellbeing.

Breathe release stress
Journey to healing and recovery

What Self-Care Activities appeal to you?

To support you with actively implementing self-care into your daily lives, we’ve created a self-care list for you.  It’s vital when creating a self care routine or habit that you choose something you enjoy. It needs to work for you and uplift you.

Here’s a list of some of our favourites self-care activities:

  • Go for a walk or run

  • Immerse yourself in nature, either in the bushwalking or along a beach

  • Stretch, even gentle stretching will get your body moving again, boost circulation and ease achy joints into action

  • Read a good book

  • Listen to your favourite music – create a playlist.

  • Create something (baking, sewing, arts and crafts, a piece of furniture)

  • Start a journal

  • Play with Pets

  • Talk to a friend

Self-care-list-BlossomingMe-Turramurra-Osteopathy-Massage
  • Take a bath

You can make it a luxurious one, to make you feel extra special and nurtured. Try using:

    • Epsom salts or
    • Essential oils such as
      • Lavender to relax
      • Peppermint to soothe tired, achy muscles, or
      • Eucalyptus to refresh and clear any sinus challenges, particularly in the cooler, dryer autumn and winter weather.
  • Moisturise your entire body.

Choose something that feels nourishing. Nurture your body and make it sing with pleasure.

  • Watch a movie

  • Meditation is a favourite of mine

  • Mindful activity

If meditation isn’t for you, do an activity in a mindful, deliberate way. By this, I mean clear any distraction and be fully focused on one small task. It might be over a simple cup of tea, for example. For these few moments, focus intently on your senses: can you smell the aroma of the tea? What is the taste as you sip? Can you feel the warmth of the cup in your hands? Stay in the moment as long as possible.

  • Acupressure Points

You can press acupressure points on yourself at home to strengthen your body, mind, and spirit. They can help release emotions like sadness, grief, or loss, as well as boost your personal composure.

Especially during Autumn, when the meridian channel of metal is in its element, (for more information click our blog). These metal points can help you let go of anything you no longer need. This practice releases physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual tension, as well as strengthening you from the inside out.

You can activate these acupressure points by stroking or pressing on the points. Let’s do it together now. See the diagram:  Large Intestine1 (LI1)  and Lung 8 (Lu8).

Large Intestine 1 and Lung 8:

These points clear and calm the mind, to revitalise you. They clear stuck energy and emotions.

  • On the radial (also thumb) side of the index finger, about 0.1 finger width posterior to (towards the back of the hand) from the corner of the nail.
  • Stroke your lower arm upwards, in line with the pointer finger, towards your body
  • To invigorate the energy further, press the point gently – 3-7 times
self care acupressure points
Journey to healing and recovery
  • Release old thoughts that no longer serve you. 

This has the additional benefit of releasing any habits that also no longer serve you. Then, deliberately bring in new ones, which support and uplift you. 

    • One habit I recently explored is a tool I learned from mindset extraordinaire, Ben Elliott. He describes a simple process in which, if something happens, a trigger, something that would usually set you off or upset you in some way, you can decide to react differently.

Here’s an example of how I practice this new habit. When something happens that I’m not happy with, in the clinic or more often, in myself, I choose to refocus my attention on anything that I’m grateful for. Here’s a few that work for me:

      • Simple – Having two feet that work and support me well
      • Personal – Receiving a thoughtful phone call or text from my step-children. Or the cosy feeling of being loved supported and surrounded by my wonderful hubby and family.

Sinking into that feeling of appreciation and warmth, helps me regain my composure, refocus my energy and stay strong.

This process does take practice before it becomes automatic. Moving from being “triggered” and reacting , to deliberately choosing a better response (thought or action).  Simply put, this formula is: “When X (trigger), Do Y (new response)”.

  • Ask for help

If you notice any niggles as you implement some of these “at home” self-care activities, consider complementary professional assistance, this too is an act of self-care.

    • e.g. if you feel physical aches and pains, consider booking an appointment with your favourite Osteopath, Chrio, Accupuncturist or Massage Therapist. Or consider salt therapy rooms, an infra red sauna or float tank.
    • For mental and emotional support, consider a Counsellor, Psychologist or Mind Set Coach.

This self-care list is just the tip of the iceberg. Select activities which make you feel stronger, refreshed rejuvinated or nurtured.  After a while, you may be inspired to try something new. We strongly encourage you to do so!

When you do, we’d love to hear about it. Please let us know how you go, in our Facebook community group.

Let us guide you along your wellbeing journey BlossomingMe is a holistic health service located on Sydney’s Upper North Shore.

Our specialised Remedial Massage Therapist and Osteopath offer a fully integrated approach which assesses and addresses the specific issues in your body.

With a clear understanding of your goals, we treat both mind and body to help you live your best life.

 

When Will I Feel Better?

When Will I Feel Better?

When will it feel like I don’t have to keep coming back on such a frequent basis?

“When will I feel better?” – Most of our clients seeking Osteopathic treatment ask this question at some stage in their healing and recovery journey. This blog will address this frequently asked question with the aim to educate and manage expectations.

While it’s difficult to provide an exact answer, as everyone is different. We can however give you an idea of the ‘average’ recovery period  and the factors that might hasten your recovery.

Some people find the problem they came in with disappeared almost straight away. Others find it improves with each session, but over the first few weeks, it seems to keep coming back. This can sometimes feel like a boomerang, and you can become concerned that while treatment provides relief, it doesn’t appear to go away completely.

So how long does it take to get better after an osteopathic treatment?

While we know that by the 4th or 5th session, you will be well on your way in the healing process. We have also observed over and over again that it’s generally not until about the 8th session that clients really start to feel the transformation.

Can you explain why you recommend such a long treatment plan?

Within the first session or three, you will notice considerable relief and more mobility. You likely will even notice changes and improvements throughout the week. These improvements between sessions occur as your body continues to process and assimilate the changes and space created in the treatment session.

While you’ll feel some improvement, you  may find your body is feeling less comfortable again. This usually happens by the end of the period between sessions. If you notice this, we understand it’s easy to feel disheartened, and wonder whether a change is happening, or if you have to keep coming back…

Alexis Weidland Osteopath Blossoming Me Treating client

What can I do to aid my recovery?

  • Eat well – your body’s ability to heal is aided by good nutrition
  • Rest after treatments
  • Understand your body is trying to heal itself
  • Reduce emotional stress and strain as it slows recovery
  • Follow the treatment plan, do the exercises – Your daily exercises make a HUGE difference

Trust your body and follow the treatment plan

Our message to you, is this: keep an open mind, trust your body and follow the plan that we have created with you. As your body continues to heal and assimilate, a transformation happens! As stated above, this often is around the 8th to 10th session. At this point, you likely still are not “fixed”, but your body has started to stabilise. In this more stable place, your body can relax a little, allowing you to keep healing and strengthening, but simultaneously feel more resilient.

At this stage, you’re less likely to fall back into the old habits, movements and pain. And when a small disruption happens, you notice your body has more resilience, such that previously, when whatever challenge occurred, you would have been in pain for days. Whereas now, if there is pain, it seems to easily resolve itself in a day or so, or does not create a noticeable problem at all.

Treating underlying issues and maintenance

At this point, the space between treatment sessions can also increase. So that we can continue to stimulate healing and realignment, and deal with the underlying issues that contributed to your injury or compensation patterns in the first place, while allowing you to do more home-based maintenance. Allowing you to be in control of maintaining, improving, and dealing with any minor flare-ups along the way. While you focus on strengthening yourself in a more balanced way, to help you stay well and strong, and without pain.

It’s easy to forget

Some people quickly forget the problem they initially came in with. They become aware of all the other issues that they either: didn’t realise they had, didn’t realise that we could assist with. Often, in this situation, you can become so aware of the current symptom, and that it’s not as perfect as you would like yet, that it’s easy to forget the symptoms that have greatly improved or even completely disappeared. In this scenario, it’s probably not until the later stages of the first or second phases of the treatment process, around 10 sessions or more, that you begin to notice how far you have come and how good you feel – in general, and especially compared to what you felt when you began treatment.

 

Most importantly, know you can smile, and exhale, as Alexis’ caring, compassionate approach, combined with professional skills and qualifications as an Osteopath, means you are in safe hands.

If you are unsure about your response to treatment or would like some advice, don’t hesitate to contact Alexis directly, and she will do her best to guide you through.

With True Healing comes Resilience
Spring Cleaning in Autumn!

Spring Cleaning in Autumn!

Working with the energy of the seasons

One of the things Alexis and are passionate about is nurturing our bodies through the power of nature. Tapping into the cycle of the seasons and utilising this energy to strengthen and nourish us. And helping others to do the same.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, we have channels of energy through our body. These energy channels, called Meridian channels, support our body, mind, spirit and emotions. There are 12 main channels altogether. Grouped in pairs and one set of four meridians. Each set is associated with characteristics, including a season, an element, an emotion, that we may feel if that energy becomes stuck, and a primary function.

In Autumn, the season we are right in the middle of now, the Lung and Large Intestine meridians channels, in the metal element are at their strongest. The emotion, if our energy gets stuck here, is grief. But the counterpoint to that, or the power and primary function of the energy of the metal element, is letting go of. Releasing, so that we can rejuvenate and refresh.

If we think about the function of our Large Intestines and Lungs, this starts to make sense. Our Large Intestines help us eliminate waste from our body after we’ve absorbed all the nutrition from our food. Our Lungs release the old, used air, making room for the new air they inhale.
And we can tap into this energy of Metal and Autumn, of the Lung and Large Intestine meridian channels, to help us do the same thing in our lives.

“Spring” Cleaning & Decluttering in Autumn!

Usually, we think cleaning, decluttering and re-organising our homes as a “Spring” Clean, but doing it in autumn can actually support us. Making this process of releasing the old and creating room for the new, easier.

We can sort and organise our wardrobe, study or office desk and computer files, kitchen cupboards and generally de-clutter. Go through our computer and delete files we don’t need anymore. Go through our wardrobe and put together a collection of clothes we don’t wear anymore. Instead, we can make a donation to feel great about!

We can use this energy not just in a physical environmental sense. We can utilise it to boost our ability to let go of what we no need, like aches or tension in our body, and stressors in our mind. Helping us to clear old habits, old ideas, any physical or psychological clutter, that no longer serve us. As such, autumn is a good time to reflect on what we may be holding onto and work these ideas through fully so that they can be completely released.

Journey to healing and recovery

Uncovering the Real You

In her book, “The Gift”, psychiatrist, Dr Edith Eger explains that “in trying to keep ourselves modest, we risk making ourselves less than we really are”. She says that the foundation for being our whole self, for being truly healthy and joy-filled, is our ability to love ourselves.

But what really spoke to me, in her book, was the concept that once we begin healing, “what you discover will not be the new you, but the real you.” The You who was there all along. Born innately beautiful and full of love and joy.

Edit goes on to say that if we want to take charge of our thinking, we first need to look at our actions, what we’re doing, and what we’re saying to ourselves, and ask: “is it empowering or depleting me?” “Is it kind and loving?”

Recently, One challenge I’ve been falling into is the trap of negative thoughts and the roller coaster of emotions that they bring. When I’ve woken up early in the morning, I get annoyed that I’m awake, which leads to other annoyed thoughts and I get sucked into the cycle of negative thoughts, that turn into a tidal wave! It’s hard to break and left me getting up in the morning, “on the wrong side of the bed”, angry and frustrated with the world and focused on what wasn’t working for me. Not a great way to start the day!

The other day I took myself through a process that Edith talks about. One that I haven’t done for ages. I took time to journal my thoughts. Just jotting them down each hour through the day. With no judgement or analysis.
Just bringing them up to my conscious awareness level.

That night, I woke up at 3 am, as I often do.
But this time, I was finally able to remember, at 3 in the morning, that I had a choice about what to focus on and where my thoughts went. I was finally able to choose to find things to be grateful for! A husband who loves me, a family who cares about me and supports me, and a business I love working in.
But I wasn’t able to start there. I had to start with really simple things, like: 2 eyes I can see well with, 2 nostrils I can breathe through (that’s actually quite a big one since I’ve had sinus & respiratory troubles all my life), teeth I can chew with, tongue I can taste yummy food with, 2 legs that carry me and 2 arms I use all day, for writing and sharing my thoughts & insights & for helping clients deal with their issues and improve their lives, to the best of my ability.

Another tool I’ve used numerous times, to start to change negative thoughts I’ve had, these are some phrases I like to add:
“That used to be me”
“….. yet”
“Up until now ….”
We can use phrases like these to take back our own power, gently. We can even utilise them to empower affirmations. Making them feel more real and possible. Expanding out thinking and self-belief also themes empowered throughout the season of Autumn and enabling us to bring in qualities and characteristics we desire for ourselves, as we become our best versions of ourselves.

Until we can change our language, as Edith predicts will happen, and we can genuinely, authentically and strongly state:
“Yes I am!”
“Yes I can!”
“Yes I will!”

Women Initiative

Nurture and Nourish Our Body, to Strengthen Our Immunity

One of the best and simplest ways to strengthen our lungs is deep breathing. Especially outdoors, in the brisk autumn air. This nurtures and nourishes our immune system, supports our energy, and promotes good sleep.

When we breathe deeply and deliberately, we flush our cells with the oxygen needed for all our bodily processes. Promoting the process of releasing and rejuvenating.
So next time we take our morning or evening walk outdoors, take and moment to take a few long, slow, deep breaths. Letting the cool air seep into the lungs, strengthening them.
As you breathe the air out, know that this process, of air flowing in and out of our body, is helping us to release. To let go of anything that is no longer supporting us. Be it social, emotional, mental or physical.

Through our nose, mouth and skin pores, our lungs interact directly with the outside environment, giving them an important role in fighting off external pathogens, like viruses and bacteria.
As the temperature drops and winds become dry you may notice cold or flu-like symptoms such as a stiff neck, body aches, chills, fever, sore throat, headache, cough and runny nose. Existing skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis may get aggravated, and asthma or allergy reactions may flare. Now is the time to strengthen our Chi, energy, to prepare for winter.

Healthy foods that can be easily added to many dishes, to further nourish our bodies and our family, include: bay leaves, garlic, horseradish, leek, ginger, capers. They can support our lungs and boost our immune systems, naturally.

For further support and strengthen our immune system and our whole bodies, with a “tune-up”, we can visit our preferred professional practitioner. An osteopath, acupuncturist, naturopath or transformational massage therapist (see website link), can really help us make a difference.

Wishing You Happiness and Strength This Autumn!

If you knew that you could, which aches and pains in your body, would you let go of?

If you were courageous enough, what thoughts, ideas or habits would you release?

 

Please comment in our Facebook Community Group, we’d love to hear from you!