When I used to work as a personal trainer, I heard this all the time, "I can't do that, it hurts my knees!". It would get pretty irritating trying to modify exercises, work with the Athletic Therapist, all for no real answers of why this person had knee pain.
I even struggled with it myself! My knees would give me grief doing any form of lunging, especially while wanting to grow a boot-ay, that wasn't exactly fun.
I used to get SO frustrated... why wasn't I getting answers?
I'm young, I'm healthy, I've never done anything that has injured my knee. Why were my knees in so much pain? Sure, I did as much as I could physically. I strengthened my quadriceps, I stretched my hamstrings. I went to physio, chiro, massage. It would help, but only temporarily. It got to the point that the pain was starting to effect my hips, and then my back.
...And queue BodyTalk.
I started working with a practitioner who worked with releasing stuck emotions from the connective tissue. Low and behold, the pain went away! That's what happens! When we don't express our emotions in a healthy manner, the body has no idea what to do with the "emotions molecules" that are floating around. So it sends them away for storage, and usually that's the connective tissue. The connective tissue then gets dense and tight, limiting your range of motion and even triggering a minor inflammatory response!
Interestingly enough, the knees have a funny pattern to them. Often, knee pain represents: an inability to cope with life (do you fear change? Handle your stress well?), excessive or not enough willpower, (do you allow people to walk all over you? Or are you overly stubborn?), flexibility (can you keep an open mind? Or are you rigid in your thinking and beliefs?), and fear.
The kidney meridian, which you may know from some of my previous posts, runs through the knee. It is an essential meridian in Traditional Chinese Medicine, responsible for sexuality and sensuality, as well as your foundations in life, fear, survival, and coping. When your kidney meridian is in balance, you may feel level headed, determined, and rational.
When I was experiencing a chronic, and debilitating pain in both knees, I was also going through a huge transition period in my life. Sure, I was working as a personal trainer, and it did make me happy. However, I was being challenged with my beliefs on spirituality and was constantly finding myself secretly searching for ways to start practicing it. It wasn't until the emotions were addressed, and I truly started to stand my ground when it came to, well, skeptical assholes, that I was able to address my pain.
Wishing you all healthy, happy knees!
Until next time,
... and a little bit about my personal skin care routine!
I often talk about the importance of keeping our organs clean, and detoxifying when necessary. Think about it! I've posted articles on my personal journey with a liver detox, I often take detox baths... but there is one organ that often gets neglected.
How many of you think about your SKIN as an organ! The skin is the largest organ in the body. It's our first line of defence from the environment, keeps us safe from the elements, and keeps us microbe free! (for the most part).
The skin has three layers- two of which are made up of connective tissue! If you missed my last post, we can misfile a lot of emotions in our connective tissue. Have you ever had inexplicable breakouts? Red, blotchy skin? Big bags under your eyes?
Your skin says so much about the health of all the other organs. There is so much that I've been doing to take care of my skin, I wanted to share some of my little secrets! There are a few, key things that I do to ensure the health of this organ!
1. I've been doing my best to follow an anti-inflammatory diet, and a vegetarian diet to boot! I'm making sure to get all my beans, lentils, and brown rice, as well as a variety of of fresh vegetables. My favourite recipe right now are kale lentil patties. I've been eating them as burgers, on salads, they are to die for! I also make sure I stay hydrated! I'll be honest, my coffee intake has started to creep back up in the last two weeks with all the household stress going on. Even though I should cut down on my coffee, I'm still ensuring that I'm drinking enough water!
2. I've made sure that I am using natural, vegan, products on my face; light products that don't clog my pores. (PS- This totally isn't sponsored, I've just found these great products that I love and I want to share them!) In the photo above, I'm using tinted moisturizer, set with powder, and a little concealer under the eyes. A Brow pencil to fill in the gaps, and mascara and tinted lip gloss. Nothing heavy!
3. I make sure to remove my makeup every night, and use various masks a couple times a week. My favourites are from Lush Cosmetics. A recent endeavour I've also started is to get Facial Acupuncture once a week, for six weeks. I'm going in to the third week, I'll be sure to post pictures of the before, during, and after! (Keep your eyes peeled for that blog).
All in all, I want to encourage you all to treat your skin just as you would any other organ! If you have a questions, be sure to let me know!
could your emotions be causing your chronic pain?
It happened to me this morning. I opened my eyes, rolled around a bit, and thought, "man, I must have slept funny". The last couple of days or so, I've had an aching, dull pain in my mid and lower back. Most would brush it off, say to themselves it's nothing and will go away on it's own, or I just need to stretch. However, having dealt with this demon before, I know exactly what the cause of this pain is, and how I can address it.
I can almost guarantee that the pain in my back is due to the fact that I'm dealing with a lot of anger this week.
Before I dive in too much, I wanted to explain a little bit about what connective tissue is all about. If you were to think of how the human body is constructed, we have systems that each have their function. We have the skeletal and muscular systems that keeps us structured, and mobile. We have our digestive system, we have a circulatory system, and the list goes on. But what keeps this all together? What is it that holds everything upright, keeps us firm, keeps us put together? Connective tissue! Connective tissue is made up of cells and matrixes, but of course there are different types. The easiest one to think about is something called dense connective tissue. These are the fibres that make up tendons and ligaments, which are the "cables" that attach muscle to bone, and bone to bone, respectively. Where does our society see most of its chronic pain? In this joint, or that muscle, etc. etc.
So, how does this explain your chronic pain from an emotional perspective?
Each muscle cell is surrounded by connective tissue, which is then grouped in to a muscle fibre, wrapped in connective tissue. That fibre turns in to a bundle, which is wrapped in connective tissue... until you wrap it and group it ten million times, (ok exaggeration, but you get it), then anchor to your bones. TA-DA! You have an upper trapezius muscle (those neck/shoulder muscles that always seem to be worn as earrings from stress).
That's a lot of connective tissue!
The hypothalamus (a part of your brain responsible for maintaining homeostasis, and the part that works closely with the pituitary gland to secrete all necessary chemicals and hormones) creates molecules for each emotion based on what you are experiencing. These emotions then get circulated throughout the body by the blood, and are attached to connective tissue for storage. Connective tissue has receptors for each of the five basic emotions: fear, anger, worry, joy/sadness (yes two emotions, but really two sides of the same coin), and grief. Every other emotion can really stem from these guys. Because it has a receptor for each emotion, if the emotion isn't expressed up an out, or down to the intestines and out, it gets stored in the connective tissue. A build up of each emotion in the connective tissue is then how people blow their knees out, struggle from frozen shoulder, or like me, wake up with a dull, achy pain in their back for no physical reason.
So why am I having back pain?
Last week was a really tough week for my household, which included a lot of trips to the ER for some issues that have yet to be figured out. Luckily, we've been referred to a specialist, we've been receiving a TON of support from friends (and strangers!) from meditations, to Reiki, to distance healing, and BodyTalk. We've been making sure to eat healthy, stay hydrated, and sleeping well (and when I say we I'm totally just partaking for moral support, and my own health!). But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't just straight up pissed. It's a tough balance between being calm, supportive, and positive, without suppressing my own anger. But I am, I'm angry that my better half has to go through something like this. It's hard, especially being in a healing role, to see him suffering. Those of you who have had spouses go through tough times, I bet you can relate.
I've been doing everything I know how, and when we are able to work through this less than ideal time, I'm sure my BodyTalk sessions will involve a lot of Emotional Releasing from my end. I am doing my best to release my anger in a healthy manner, but man, am I ever grateful to have the people in my life that I do. What's that saying? Admitting is the first step? Hopefully admitting to myself that it's okay to be angry is the first step in releasing, but if not, I can say for certain I'll be booking an appointment for BodyTalk veeeeery, very soon.
Until next time, stay pain-free!
How should you choose your path to health?
One question I often found myself pondering is: "Which avenue do I take for this particular problem?" I have experience in holistic or alternative modalities such as BodyTalk and Reiki, as well as experience in care such as Personal Training. I also am lucky enough to work in an environment where I am surrounded by practitioners of all kinds. My family doctor is also very respectful of alternative medicine, and always likes to hear my opinion. One piece of advice I used to always give my clients is "do what's right for you!", but how does one really know what is right for them? It always comes down to your belief systems. If you aren't sure of what they are, I encourage you to do some inner work to find out!
I'm finding lately, especially on social media, people are shaming people for there opinions. As long as your opinion isn't intentionally harming another, then you are damn well entitled to your opinion! Even within my own family, if I choose to make broth to cure a cold, rather than pump myself full of cold medication, I'm getting questioned or laughed at. The problem I am finding is that so many pharmaceuticals offer a quick fix, instant results, and people make no mind to the potential short and long term side effects. Or worse, they aren't looking at the root cause of the problem in the first place. I am definitely guilty of sometimes wanting the quick fix. It's a lot easier to take an Ibuprofen to cure a headache than it is to do all the inner work. But is it? If I stay on top of my inner work and healing, would I have even got that headache in the first place? What is my body really trying to tell me? Am I dehydrated? Hungry? Overtired?
I have done a lot of meditating on what my core beliefs and values are. I want to treat my body right, so that it takes care of me in to a ripe old age. Now I want to make myself VERY clear. I am NOT against any particular type of medicine. I still firmly believe that every modality has a place and a purpose. I still get vaccinated, I get my blood checked, go for my annual physicals, and get my PAP smears done (sorry guys haha). Like I always say, if I get in a car accident and my guts are split across the Deerfoot, please take me to a hospital to have my parts sewn back together! But when it comes to more preventative medicine, I will almost always choose homeopathic, natural, alternative or energy medicine. When I got a cold, I used herbal tincture, epsom salt baths, and acupuncture. When I get stressed out, I do Reiki, stress journals, and again, baths. When I hurt myself, I do BodyTalk Fast Aid, and seek osteopathic care. Now, that all being said, That's me. Those are my choices that work for my body. I am not you, and you are not me. So I cannot stress ENOUGH that everyone should make their own choices! However, when I experienced a ridiculously severe flu back in December, I knew I needed some helpful intervention and ended up in the lovely emergency room of the South Health Campus Hospital.
It is so easy to trust the authority figures. We listen to our doctors, we listen to our veterinarians (it's not as random as it sounds- check out the live video I posted earlier on today, here!). Hell some of you may even listen to me! What I want to stress is I don't want anyone blindly doing what people say, just because they say so. They are following their own belief systems, what they've been taught, and more than likely, what works for them. My dad once told me "always question the man". And any healthcare provider that you are seeking information from, is the man. Question, question, question! My better half is seeking treatment right now for various health concerns, and I'll tell you right now it's not from any of the modalities that I offer. Do I shame him for that? Absolutely not. It's what works for him, and lines up with his belief systems. He is happy, healthy, and on the Crooked Path to recovery!
I encourage you all to really think about what is important to you. If you are fascinated by medicine, and the technological advances that modern medicine has made, then you keep on pursuing that! Don't let anyone stop you. If you fantasize about creating a new recipe from your vegan cook book at the end of the day to help cure the headache or tension you have built up over the week, then you keep on cooking. If you seek treatment from a naturopathic doctor, or a conventional doctor, go get 'em tiger. Your beliefs are your own, and don't you dare apologize for them. If your course of action works for you and lines up with your beliefs, then I encourage you to continue.
I was so happy to have an amazing experience with a holistic veterinarian, someone who appreciates my values and beliefs, and allows me to nurture Scout the best way I know how!
If you have stories to share, questions, or comments, please don't hesitate to message me!
Until next time,
(P.S. the picture below is Scout's usual position when I do BodyTalk sessions. The girl just loves it!)
…and the very medical reason behind my coffee choices!
A wonderful Saturday morning breakfast to satisfy your sweet tooth! Originally inspired by this lovely lady, with just a few minor changes, these pancakes are super filling, healthy, and keep well in the fridge for leftovers. I’ve made these a couple times, and with a touch of organic maple syrup and some frozen blueberries, these pancakes are to die for! As for the coffee, there is a reason I drink the coffee that I do, my health comes first, always!
My coffee of choice is usually on the fancier side but there are some reasons for that. Having struggled with abnormal cell changes in various areas of my body, I’ve really tried to stay on an anti-inflammatory diet when I can, and consume cell-changing foods in moderation.
Some examples of cell changing foods are things like:
Unfortunately, coffee has been known to have estrogenic properties, making it difficult for the liver to expel estrogen. (FYI this is why I chose to do my liver/GI cleanse back in December!) Excess estrogen in the body can be one of the factors that leads to abnormal cell changes (read more about it here!)
My coffee is limited to 16 oz. a day (which is still a lot, I’m trying to cut back!) and I choose to only drink high quality, organic coffee. It’s a better option, as the roasting process is quite a bit different than the cheaper coffees. My favorites are Monogram Coffee, Kicking Horse Coffee, or OneCoffee when I’m in a rush!
On top of all of this, I make sure to still go for the appropriate tests with my family doctor, and stay on top of all my inner healing work.
Enjoy the pancakes and coffee suggestions! If you have questions, you guys know where to find me!