Blue Heron Holistic Health Shaping Healthy Bodies, Minds, And Hearts Through Chinese Medicine

Tag Archives: Stress Management

Let Go of Stress

Were you rushing out the door to work this morning or to your last appointment? We often feel stress in our busy lives… When you’ve come home and you hear that reminder ding on your phone one more time. When you are driving along and you are startled by someone blaring on their horn. When you feel the construction from the nearby street vibrating through your house and you spill your tea down your shirt. When we are told from our supervisor we need to make an improvement at work, but we’ve been doing the best we could every day. When we feel like we give and give and our partner tells us we aren’t doing something enough and they need more help. How many stressors are you bombarded with on a daily basis? While these are all things that we at times deal with, I’m going to share ways to bust through stress and especially emotional, nutritional, environmental and spiritual stress. We all know that we live in a society that doesn’t honor the body and soul or its needs. But, we all live in it and have to navigate it.

Nutritional stress is one that you hear a lot about from me. The soil, air and water are all full of toxins, so even when we are doing our best in terms of eating whole foods and organic, we are not always able to get the nutrients we need. Of course we are all on a spectrum on our eating and healing journey and some of us are still eating foods that are not so nutritionally dense, or lacking in nutrition. Yes, these foods are processed. But remember, we aren’t aiming for perfection, only working to get better. And when we don’t get the nutrients we need for our body, there are break downs that happen. You have heard from me about some of the vitamins that are synergists, such as calcium and magnesium. These are ones that work together as a team. In the body, there are many of these that need to be in play to get the body into full alignment and orchestration. Some of us are putting things into our body that are drawing minerals and vitamins out such as coffee, birth control pills and medications. While there may be a need for some of these, there is a causal effect in the body. These things and others can deplete the body and we can experience nutritional stress that will manifest in ways such as fatigue, cravings, mood swings, muscle tension, insomnia and sometimes even more chronic issues. When you come in to see me, I can tell you what foods and supplements you will need according to your patterns and symptoms to get the body synergizing.

Emotional stress has a role from the nutritional stressors as you can see. When we are already having a lack of nutrition, it can affect the mood. I studied Cultural Anthropology in college initially and indigenous people work maybe 4 hours out of the day. The mere fact that we have to produce often is probably the largest modern day stressor. The importance of feeling our emotions and finding a way to express it in a healthy way is imperative to healing. We are leaving an old way of being where we had to stuff our emotions or were told to suck it up and keep going. But we know those ways never helped any of us and now we are learning to undo this programming. Finding a healthy way to express yourself is of vital importance to healing the body. And deep listening to our issues is also needed. We need to set aside our judgments of how we “need” to be, “should” be, or “could” be. Our body and soul have the wisdom to teach us when we stop and listen. And using Emotional Freedom Technique can help you feel and release these emotions. Let me teach you how to do this, and you will have this tool for life!

The other stressors we experience today are from technology, noise and light pollution and environmental malaise. What do I mean by that? In Chinese Medicine they have something called Geomancy. This is how we are in relation to where we live, the landscape around us, both in our home and outside of it. If there is a noisy freeway outside of our home, this will be a stressor. Our health is directly influenced by our environment. This is why the practice of feng shui has been helpful to people and we are rediscovering its value to our overall health. And remember, cell phones are a new phenomenon and the EMF’s emitting are being proven to have detrimental effects to us. I recommend at least one day a week to not go on your social media or email. Keeping notifications off of emails and app alerts unless absolutely necessary will help you find more peace in your day to day being. Be sure and turn your phone on to vibrate when you want your family time in the evenings and weekends, and also put your phone in airplane mode if it’s in your bedroom while you sleep. Finding a way to bring beauty and balance to your home will greatly assist your health. And if you aren’t happy where you are living, begin steps to make that move so you can have the peace and happiness you deserve!

We all know that spending time in nature is healing and I recommend finding more ways to incorporate this into your spiritual practice. Spiritual stress is a common one today. This is why the self-help movement has become so large. A practice or ritual is important. When you take time for meditation, yoga, walking, journaling, and resting, you are honoring your body and soul and you will often arrive at answers that you didn’t have before. There is no right way to get in touch with the divine, but practicing it will bring inner peace. Finding a community that supports and is in alignment with your values is also a way to meet your spiritual needs. Lastly, when we are of service, we feel our best. This boosts our immune system and feeds our feel good hormones in our body. Remember though that volunteering should be something you love and feel great about during and after you leave.

Stress builds in us and it erupts in many ways. For some of us it’s anxiety, some a back ache, for others it will develop into premenstrual issues, digestive issues for others and the list goes on. When you come in, I can help you to understand the ways in which stress is affecting you in your body and mind and I will coach you through that while you get the energy moving. I am always pleasantly surprised to see what Amma can do to assist in healing the mind, body and soul.

Here’s to letting it all go! 

Many Blessings,

Tanya

Breast Health

It was a little over two years ago that I had an annual exam and my doctor felt lumps in my breast. She told me very seriously that I needed to have the lumps checked out, in a firm and urgent tone. I left there feeling anxiety welling in me, and later, panic formed. I was frightened, and facing what many women in our society must: to reconcile that I may have breast cancer. My great grandmother passed from breast cancer and I never got to know her, so I took this information even more seriously. I also knew the possibility that I may be totally safe and the lumps could be benign. However, after leaving there, I developed a fear of my breast tissue that had the lumps. I couldn’t touch them without being thrown into a panic. I knew that this was something I needed to overcome, but the thought of cancerous tissue was more than my mind could handle.

Luckily by this time I was graduating from the Amma Therapy program and was on my way to becoming a holistic practitioner. There was more than the physical going on here I knew, and there were alternatives for me to seek out to help resolve this no matter the outcome. I was armed with knowledge, but nothing trumps an experience of an invitation of death on your doorstep.

I also had a great resource on my shelf, a book: “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” written by an MD. This doctor had been in practice a long time and seen many patients with lumps in their breasts. Her words calmed me. I learned that fear in my body would only create more of a problem. It didn’t mean that everything was going to be okay. I was not yet in the clear. It meant that I needed to change my mind about the way that I viewed lumps in my breasts.

These lumps are commonly benign and are either fibroadenoma or cysts, and sometimes still referred to as fibrocystic disease. Disease is a strong word and I prefer to state that we can be in dis-ease, or I refer to our health issues as disharmonies. Lumps are a common phenomenon and you do not have to be in fear when you find them. There are many reasons they can occur and be there even for some time. After all, 90% of lumps are benign. And if you do have cancerous tissue, there are often ways to work to remove the cancer from the body without having to use chemotherapy, radiation, or remove a breast, especially if it is caught early on.

Over time if the blood, qi and lymph of the breast tissues aren’t moved and become stuck in the chest, lumps can form. This can happen from improper diet, from emotional issues and being exposed to too much radiation, as well as other toxins in our environment. Wire bras constrict the flow of blood, lymph and qi, and can also be a factor in this energy restriction.

The liver meridian is linked to the breasts and the associated emotions with the liver are anger, frustration and resentment. Having any of these emotional issues can block the flow of energy in this area. It is good to keep in mind that many illnesses come about due to blocked emotions. This can be highly unconscious and if you have sent unloving thoughts to your breasts because of size or other body image issues, it will be important to forgive yourself and to love yourself as you are now.

Most people in our society are pretty well educated on the importance of doing regular breast exams. This is good self-care that I highly encourage. Massaging the tissue around the breasts regularly (especially where the bra lines are) to move the energy is important. Taking your bra off when you come home from work in the evening, or at least an hour or two before bedtime assists the energy to flow properly.

Diet, exercise and reducing stress are also huge factors in maintaining healthy breast tissue. Reducing dairy products is known to benefit breast tissue. And if you are consuming any dairy whatsoever, be sure it is organic so you are not adding additional hormones to your body, which may contribute to breast swelling, tenderness and pain. Reducing caffeine (and yes this includes chocolate), sugar and refined carbohydrates will help decrease the overstimulation of breast tissue. Alcohol, caffeine and tobacco are all very hard on the liver, and therefore stagnate the energy in and around the breasts.

Exercise is also essential because you have to move your body to move your lymph (or get bodywork). Working out four hours a week is recommended. Expressing all of your emotions in a positive and balanced way through journaling, meditation, counseling and mindful movement are also important in dealing with stress.

Amma therapy, a form of acupressure and massage, is very effective in helping move lymph, blood and especially the liver qi in the body. An entire treatment is focused on moving energy through all of the body, and getting regular treatments is great preventative health care. Specific points can be done during a session around the breasts and over other areas of the body to help coordinate the flow so that all organs are networked and in proper alignment. Sessions can assist in reducing lumps, pain and treating other women’s issues.

It is my desire to bring peace, clarity of mind, and to assist you in your health so you may go out and do good things in the world!

Blessings,
Tanya