Spiritual Side of Heart Health

Heart Stores the Spirit

The Heart stores the Spirit. When the heart and the spirit are in harmony, one sleeps well, speaks kindly with compassion and their intentions and actions are shared, as the moment is right. This is so true. When I work with people to gain more resiliency or heart coherence, other things start to naturally fall into place in their life.

Anxiety is a wrinkle between the spirit and the heart

If you are feeling anxious, have troubles sleeping or can’t seem to get your timing right, then your heart and spirit are out of sync. You see, when the heart does not get enough Yin or Blood, it lacks substance and then it cannot anchor the spirit, causing the mind to wander. Countless times I have witnessed when patients restore their spiritual connection, whether that is inviting the Holy Spirit into their souls, getting outside more in nature, or bringing themselves closer to God in relationship, their anxiety dials down a notch or two. Usually I get a big hug too, which is all confirming of their gratitude and joy.

Even and Regular Pulse

The Heart is also regulates the flow of blood, and when the Heart Qi and Blood are abundant and flowing, the pulse will be even and regular. The majority of Heart problems are a result of imbalance in other systems. This is because the Heart relies on other organs for its nourishment and energy. Treating other organs to reduce heat and nourish Yin are also ways of ultimately supporting the smooth flow of Qi and Blood to the Heart.

You may trace the acupuncture heart meridian by starting at your axilla (arm pit) and travel down along the inner aspect of your bicep, across the inside of your elbow, and go along your inner forearm toward and off the inside of your pinky finger.

 

By treating the heart channel with acupuncture, your mind will calm (reduce sadness fear, anxiety, mental restlessness), your heat will clear (treat dry mouth, red eyes), and you will feel invigorated as we tonify Heart Qi and stimulate Heart Blood.

Another tool I use in clinic is a HeartMath monitor. With this we can see how thoughts can change the rhythm of your heart rate. We can also see how regulating the breath while going into a pleasant memory can bring the mind and the body into complete balance. This is something, which over a period of sessions and practice at home, can help you learn to bring yourself into a calm, peaceful state without any drugs or supplements.

Sometimes to help stimulate the body’s own innate mechanisms to heal I will prescribe a botanical short term to help calm the mind and nourish the Yin. This can help while the acupuncture is doing its thing and you are learning how to balance your energies with your breath and your thoughts. Nourishment in the diet can also help build Blood and strengthen the Heart.

So if you are feeling anxious, have troubles sleeping or can’t seem to get your timing right, maybe it is time to come in for an alignment of a different sort – one that has the love and care for your heart and spirit.

From the heart and mind of your local Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Phil Shares: How to Cope with Emotional Eating

 

How to Cope with Emotional Eating

How many times have you eaten not because you were physically hungry, but because you were stressed, tired, bored, anxious, angry, or (insert appropriate emotion here)?

Many of us have been taught that food can “soothe a mood,” that shoveling scoops of Ben & Jerry’s straight out of the pint can help dull the ache of a breakup. Comfort food — those warm, salty, melty bites of mac and cheese, for instance — preys upon our inability to say “no thanks” when we seek a reward or feel stressed.

When we use food to appease our moods, it sets us up for a vicious cycle of possible weight gain, followed by self-recrimination, followed by more emotional eating. But, I want to assure you that you can and you will stop this cycle if you learn a few simple tools.

Are You An Emotional Eater?

How do you know if you’re eating for emotional reasons? Try this self-test. For the following Answer each of the following five questions with a simple “yes” or “no.”

  • Do you eat between meals even when you’re not physically hungry?
  • If you eat between meals, are you eating on auto-pilot — i.e., mindlessly and without complete awareness and attention to what you’re actually doing?
  • When something upsetting happens, do you reach for the nearest bag of cookies to make yourself feel better?
  • Do you fantasize about foods that are your special “treats” such as chocolate cake or kettle chips?
  • When you eat these treats, do you hide out and eat them by yourself because you’re embarrassed to eat them in front of others?

If you answered “yes” to more than two of the above, you may be an emotional eater. When you want to eat when you’re not physically hungry, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

  • What am I feeling and why?
  • What do I really need besides food right now? (Hint: It’s often rest or a break from what you’re doing)

The healthy alternatives offered below may help you begin to escape the cycle.

Three of the Emotional States That Lead to Emotional Eating

Sadness, anxiety, and anger are the three emotional states I see most often among my patients that can lead to bouts of emotional eating. Some people eat to celebrate (hello, birthday cake), to quell boredom (think mindless snacking while watching TV), to reward themselves (“I just ran 7 miles, so I can eat a fully-loaded cheeseburger and fries”), but when it comes to patterns of emotional eating, I see them stem most from sadness, anxiety, or anger.

Sad Eating

Let’s face it: When heartbreak or loneliness hits, eating that tub of ice cream seems like a good idea. A bit of sweetness to drown out the sorrow… Before you know it, you’re caught in a self-perpetuating negative cycle that can be very difficult to escape. You eat because you’re sad, then you feel even more blue because you’ve eaten so much. This can lead to a “what-the-heck” attitude, increasing the likelihood of overeating when the next bout of the blues strikes.

Healthy alternatives to sad eating:

1. Express yourself: Your melancholy mood was probably caused by an upsetting incident. Get it off your chest by talking about it with someone you trust. If nobody is available to talk, try writing down your feelings.

2. Move: Battle the blues by moving your body and getting your heart pumping. Even doing 30 minutes of moderate exercise can boost the “feel-good” chemicals in your brain.

3. Give yourself permission to let it out: Light some candles, take a hot bath, listen to sad music, cry until you run out of tears. Allowing yourself to feel sad will help you process. Or, put on headphones, turn up the music, and dance, or punch pillows… pick a constructive way to emote that’s not eating.

Anxious/Stress Eating

Many of us eat to relieve our stress or anxiety. Research points out that emotional distress increases the intake of specific foods — in particular, those that are high in fat, sugar, or both. An excessive intake of these types of highly palatable foods shares similarities with the effects on brain and behavior that are seen with some drugs of abuse, according to research published in the journal Nutrition.

Healthy alternatives to anxiety/stress eating:

1. Stick to a regular, healthy sleep routine. If you’re not sleeping well because you’re stressed, the lack of sleep can result in poor food choices. Research shows that people who got insufficient sleep for several consecutive nights increased food intake to keep them going. When they returned to getting adequate rest, they stopped eating as much — particularly carbs and fats.

2. Do something relaxing and calming. We all have different ways of relaxing. The next time you feel stressed and anxious and instinctively turn to food, resist the urge to run to the cupboard or fridge, and instead practice a relaxing activity. Consider trying meditation, yoga, or even just pause for a moment to take some deep breaths.

Angry Eating

Unfortunately when we stuff our anger down with food this doesn’t get rid of our anger. It simply buries it. If we don’t deal with the emotion, it will keep popping up.

Healthy alternatives to angry eating

One way to get out of the angry eating trap is to delay eating — even 10 minutes will do — and to sit down, take a deep breath, and tune into what you’re really feeling. Ask yourself the following questions and patiently work your way through the answers.

  • What happened today that may have made me angry?
  • Why did that event stir up angry feelings?
  • What do I need to do in order to let go of this anger and feel peaceful?

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health

Thanks for sharing Beachbody.com

5 things you might not know about levels of toxins in your body.

 You will know if toxins are overflowing in your body if you experience things like frequent headaches, joint aches, bloating, digestive discomfort, diarrhea or constipation, multiple chemical of food sensitivities, rashes, irritability, fatigue, repeated injury, brain fog, or troubles concentrating.

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5 things you might not know

about levels of toxins in your body.

 

  1. Your body is constantly in a detox mode.  Your skin, lungs, kidneys, bowels, liver, and ability to self regulate emotions all contribute to detoxification.
  2. A baby born today has over 50-200 recognized toxins in their blood stream? Reports from Scientific American and University of Toronto.
  3. Drinking Alcohol adds to your toxic load. So could the pesticides on your food, the cosmetics you might use, renovations in home or office, cooking and freezing food in plastics, your daily commute, and the emotional stressors in your life.
  4. You can measure your levels of toxins with hair, urine and blood analysis.
  5. A naturopathic doctor can help you prioritize your actions and boost your body’s ability to naturally detoxify.

Download your Toxic Questionnaire here.

from the heart and mind of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND