Everything is Connected
The wellness cycle I created shows the integrated connection of our health. Breathing influences the stress response which affects sleep patterns. Sleep affects movement and nutritional choices – both of which influence mindset. And mindset has a direct reflection on the breath pattern.
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Here's a more in-depth explanation of the Remedy PT Wellness Cycle.
We are made to move!
Here’s something you may not know:
Movement is controlled by the brain and guided by your vision.The core is the center connection of all your movement. Movement is fueled by your breath and sustained through food. Stress transforms your movement and sleep restores it. Each of these components are integrated into the treatment session at Remedy PT.
What keeps you from moving well? Besides illness or injury, the main factors that reduce your capacity to move are fatigue, stress, pain, and fear. It’s empowering to learn that your emotional and mental health have a deciding factor in how you move. Everything is connected.
How to connect to your body through movement?
- Do what brings you joy. Movement is essential to everyone, yet the way people move can be so diverse. Finding some form of movement that you enjoy can help both your physical and emotional well being.
- Prioritize it. Move with the knowledge that you are nourishing your whole self. Making it a priority is how you meet your goals.
- Don’t fear movement. Let it become your remedy. It can be the gateway to trusting your body again. When you are able to be more confident in movement your nervous system isn’t as sensitive which sets the stage for pain relief way better than any physical modality ever will.
Daily movement and exercise help guide positive nutrition choices. Eating well to nourish your body and brain makes a powerful impact on your health. When you are trying to heal from pain and/or injury, eating a healthy anti-inflammatory diet should be a priority but can often be overwhelming.
How to connect to your body through food?
- Simple Swap. Instead of overhauling it all or going cold turkey, pick one vice item you can replace with a healthy item. The next right step in this direction will cause a ripple effect of positive change.
- Change your perspective on food. You can choose to see healthy eating as terribly restricting or you can choose to say, “I get to nourish this one body I have.” It’s the difference between mindset of nourishment or consumption.
- Eat. Food gives your body available energy. Depriving your body of the very thing it needs will reduce it’s ability to heal.
When you are dealing with persistent pain it’s invaluable to be given education and empowerment on every factor that can create a more positive loop in the pain cycle. Adopting the mindset, “I am sore but safe” helps you lean into the healing journey with hope.
How to connect to your body through mindset?
- Nourish your mindset through food and movement. Choosing to eat a well balanced diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, nutrients, good bacteria, and healthy fat is a great first step to take. Moving well and more often helps you fear movement less.
- Become self aware. How do you talk to yourself? What mindset informs your choices? Is it fear, shame, anger? Or is it love, growth, and freedom?
- Notice your body. Take a moment to close your eyes and notice your body. Where do you hold on to tension? How do you respond to this pain or tension? Noticing is the first act of connecting.
Breathing has direct connection with the vagus nerve to calm our nervous system. Breathing is also a powerful tool to help the body excel in performance.
Breathing is one of the main components in my Wellness Cycle because it reinforces how everything is connected. You can use breathing for improving physical performance, improving mental and emotional well being, improving core and pelvic floor strength, improving mobility in your body, and reducing pain.
How to connect to your body through breathing?
Breathwork. In my clinic I educate on specific breathing practices necessary for your condition. Depending upon your needs, you may need calm/restorative breathing or breathing for pressure regulation, or breathing for postural mobility, or breathing for improving strength and performance. Personalizing it helps you connect to your body again.
Breathe to reduce stress and tension:
- Time your inhales and exhales for 1 min.
- Notice your regular pattern so you know how to change it.
- Then practice slowing your breath rate.
- Take your time and don’t force it.
- See if you can slow it enough to Inhale 5 seconds and exhale 5 seconds.
- Repeat this cycle for one minute.
Optimally this would be inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Not huffing and puffing big deep breaths.
This should be the resting breath – so make sure you are doing this in a comfortable position to be able to connect. One tip is to practice this before bed to help you wind down for sleep.
Stress is both necessary and negative. Ultimately we want balance of both positive and negative stress and the resilience to bounce back from stressors. How your body responds matters. The nervous system is the main driver of pain and muscle tension. It also helps to regulate heart rate, breathing, movement, digestion and even immunity.
Your vagus nerve activates the “rest and digest” (parasympathetic) system. This system should be our default mode, but in our high tech and high stress day and age, most people are living off their fight or flight mode (sympathetic nervous system) and are ready to react at a moment’s notice — which eventually leads to extreme exhaustion.
If you want your nervous system to respond well to stressors, you need the foundational components of this cycle integrated into your daily life.
How can you connect to your body through stress?
Calm your nerves. Here are a list of activities to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system:
- Sun exposure – get outside
Sleep is vagus nerve activity at its finest. Quality sleep restores our body and brain. It helps us heal, move, eat, think, and reduce stress. If you are dealing with persistent pain, it is empowering to know you can change your pain response through focusing on your sleep.
How can you connect to your body through sleep?
- Practice expressive writing before bed. It is a journal of sorts to get your thoughts out of your mind and onto paper. These can be both negative and positive thoughts. Write it all out, then tear up the paper. This helps to calm the nervous system and decrease the mental fixation on your negative thoughts.
- Avoid screen time ideally two hours before bedtime to allow melatonin to rise and cortisol to lower naturally.
- Practice deep exhales to stimulate the vagus nerve to enhance the “rest and digest” system and reduce the fight or flight system.
- Get Sunlight within the first hour of waking.
- Bedtime and wake time should be a consistent daily schedule.