Here’s the good news….
The practice is open, new patient consultations (see below for our special offer) and entrainments are available. Here’s a few things we’ve put in place to ensure everyone is kept safe & well.
We are only inviting practice members and new patients into the practice who are…
I would like to add that if you don’t feel comfortable coming to the practice right now, I am still here for you. I am very happy to be available over the phone or via video call to offer advice on things you might be able to do at home to help yourself. So, if you would like to, please do get in touch.
As we navigate the terrain of a new normal, what’s changed?
Behaviours, attitudes? What we appreciate in life? Lifestyle habits? A realisation that no government can boost our immune system??
As a practice we are seeing more people who want to resume their care with us. Obviously we are taking into consideration social distancing and thankfully we have spacious rooms to allow that.
We’re cleaning benches between entrainments and ensuring hand hygiene asking people to wash their hands at the sink at the bottom of the stairs. There’s no need to touch any other surfaces that won’t have been cleaned when they are in the practice. I’m also available to support people over the phone or online, so don’t hesitate to be in touch if you’re struggling. The usual means are available: phone 01937 918419 and email email@example.com
I recently followed someone out of a supermarket who was wearing a face mask throughout his time in the store. As soon as he got outside he took off the mask to light up a cigarette. Although comical, it highlights the paradox of how we have come to manage some aspects of our wellbeing without looking after other important things.
I have compassion for the gentleman in the supermarket- shopping can be stressful at the best of times, but especially if you believe your life is in danger. And we all deal with stress and anxiety with our own habits and coping methods. My hope is that going forward as a society we can find more sustainable, health promoting ways to manage the stresses and strains of life and recognise the effects of mental emotional health in all matters.
On that thread, you might remember a recent presentation in the practice by Jonathan Streeton. He spoke about the effects of our mental and emotional health on all aspects of our wellbeing, which is something that resonates with us. Jonathan is also qualified in EMDR therapy which many people have found to be enormously helpful. You can connect with Jonathan here. His new website www.themindcoach.org goes live next week.
Also there is a good reminder from Dr Rangan Chattergee about the effect of movement on mental and emotional health. His interview with Dr Kelly McGonigal is both insightful and inspirational. They talk about how movement can positively affect so many of your body’s processes, hormones, neurotransmitters, mood and energy levels. Here’s a simple take home from the interview if we are ever struggling to find the time or motivation to exercise.. Dig out a favourite piece of music and move to it, what could be simpler? You can listen/watch it here.
Another insightful podcast from one of my favourite podcast hosts Rich Roll is with Dr David Katz- specialist in epidemiology, preventative medicine, public health and statistics. They talk about the current health crisis in the context of the other preventable health crises which get far less publicity. Very interesting. Again for ease, there’s a link to the conversation here.
The next few weeks and months are going to be littered with opportunities and decisions about how we want to interact with the world again considering what would be ‘safe’ and what are the ‘benefits’.
I’m sure we’ve all felt the yearning for more interaction with others, more of a sense of connection and community. I think these are primal instincts that should be nurtured (however safely) for a greater sense of health and wellbeing.
We are here to help in any way possible, we continue to come together on a Sunday evening at 8pm online via Zoom.
Online SRI workshops and 1-2-1 support is also available.
There are two parts to any infection: the bug, bacteria or virus and the host it invades.
Whenever a bug passes through a population some people will be affected more than others. For example, if a cold ‘goes through’ a school, not everyone is affected. Although it’s likely that everyone is exposed to it the extent to which the bug affects us is a function of the strength of our immune system, overall fitness and energy levels.
Much of the global response to the current health challenge has focussed upon minimising the spread of the virus to ease the pressure on the healthcare system and rightly so.
Much less media-time has been given to what we can do to minimise the effect that this (or any other) bug might have on us. Improving our resilience has huge potential to take some of the load off our struggling health services.
Over the last few weeks we have been discussing what we can do to help ourselves, as potential ‘hosts’, as strong as possible. Here are some resources that I have listed previously and some new ones:
Dr Zach Bush has a few simple tips to help keep your immune system strong. You can link to his simple summary here.
Dr Aseem Malhotra, consultant cardiologist, talks about how quickly we can turn our health around if we make a shift away from processed foods in this 5 minute BBC interview. View it here.
In brief we should eat whole foods, avoid refined sugars and reduce alcohol, get good (but not excessive) exercise, sleep well and minimise stress through relaxation exercises, time for ourselves, meditation etc. Supplementation with vitamins C, D and a probiotic are also beneficial.
I would add that using Somato Respiratory Integration (SRI) exercises and limiting our exposure to anxiety promoting conversations or media can also be of benefit.
If you fancy a deep dive into the nature of our society’s response to the global health challenge, I can highly recommend Rich Roll’s podcast with Charles Eisenstein (social philosopher and author of Sacred Economics and The Ascent of Humanity, amongst other titles). One of a number of topics they cover is how the current state of society is an intensification of what has been happening anyway; namely increased social isolation, commerce and education going on-line as a result of technology and an increase in paranoia about germs and fear of others. They do however talk freely about how this current hiatus to the status quo gives us the opportunity to break the habit of believing that we live separately from one another, and the biosphere that supports life. I think it’s a brilliant conversation, and even if you listen to it in bite-sized chunks, it’s worth a listen. https://www.richroll.com/podcast/charles-eisenstein-511/
SRI in Context
As many of you know, the framework of NSA and SRI is the book written by Donald Epstein The 12 Stages of Healing. He has been talking about these stages (and the exercises to help us connect to them) on Facebook and you can learn directly from him by clicking here.
I have recorded a quick 5 minute video explaining my take on the first 4 stages of the 12 stages of healing in the context of the current health challenge. You can take a look here.
Here to help
I am continuing to offer SRI workshops and 1-2-1 sessions online, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org to book a slot. As a chiropractic practice we are still allowed to be open for emergency care. If anyone feels they need some extra support call the office which will redirect to my mobile.
In the meantime we are still getting together for our online hub each Sunday evening at 8pm.
Remember we are here in any way we can be to support. Even if it’s just for a chat, or join us on a Sunday evening for the weekly get-together.
Who are you becoming?
Happy Easter! A little different from the usual one but I hope that you are well and able to enjoy the weekend in new creative ways?
Exploring our creativity for at least 10 minutes a day is one of the nine key cornerstones of wellbeing that Zach Bush MD recommends as lifestyle advice not only in response to the current pandemic, but to further our wellbeing generally. You can read the rest here.
If you haven’t yet engaged with Zach’s work, I strongly urge you to. Not only is he a medical doctor, but a soil scientist and campaigner for sustainable regenerative agriculture. He has some challenging insights into the current state of our health globally, especially in relation to the state of our soil, our ‘broken’ food industry and its effect on chronic disease. I recommended his latest conversation with Rich Roll last week. It’s very insightful, moving and inspiring, make sure you play it to the end. Here is the link again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUiGgRHES4k&t=1s. As part of their conversation Rich and Zach discuss how they are changing as a result of what is going on right now. What new things they are putting in place and what new perspectives they are bringing to the fore.
I’d love to hear about what’s changing with you? What new habits are these circumstances bringing to the fore? Are they short-term coping strategies or valuable lessons to take forward in your life?
This is also a theme in another great conversation (between another couple of inspirational voices in the health and wellbeing landscape, namely Drs Rangan Chatterjee and Gabor Mate. https://drchatterjee.com/gabor-mate-is-coronavirus-showing-us-who-we-really-are/
In this conversation Gabor Mate explores how our response to this (and any other challenge) is rooted in our experiences in childhood. They discuss the way in which we can physically hold the fears, anxieties and tensions we perceive around us. Thankfully, we know that chiropractic can be a great antidote for these tensions!
Now is a great time to stay connected to your body and disconnect from too much media. SRI exercises can help with this and will be much better for your overall health and wellbeing. We are hosting small online group SRI workshops on:
Nancy and I have really enjoyed hosting our Sunday evening ‘social’ on Zoom. It’s been great keeping in touch with everyone and hearing how you’re getting on.
How are you managing? Are you managing to get healthy food? I know that supermarket delivery slots are scarce so you could consider one of the catering industry deliveries. Since pubs and restaurants are no longer open they have re-directed their efforts to home deliveries and often have more availability. Have a look at Mydelifresh: https://delifreshltd.co.uk/, Heslington Fresh Foods: https://www.facebook.com/heslingtonfreshfoods/ or Bidfood: https://www.bidfood.co.uk/bidfood-direct/
Remember, if there is anything that we can do to help or support, please email or call me.
P.S. Given the monumental effort that our frontline staff are giving, I would love to support in any way I can- online now, or hopefully face to face soon. Please put me in touch with anyone under strain right now. We’re here to help.
Uncertainty is the new norm…how are you doing with that?
Every day we are adapting to new circumstances, new information, changing lifestyle habits and being more comfortable with being uncomfortable. If you are in a patient-facing role right now, no doubt you feel this even more so.
Many people feel that their support structures, or support networks, have been disbanded and, as we collectively start to realise what the next few weeks and months may hold, many of us are choosing to ‘just take one day at a time’. I want to acknowledge that this is a big shift for many of us, especially if we have been used to a good degree of certainty and control. I am reminded of Anthony Robbins who has often said:
‘The quality of your life is in proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with.’
This might seem like a huge undertaking right now but the following lifestyle approaches, which nurture mind, body and spirit might help us adjust to the new norm. Here are a few new ones to consider and a gentle reminder of previous offerings:
Amongst all the fear and worry that many are facing right now, there are clearly going to be new insights and opportunities. A greater appreciation for what we have previously taken for granted and a new-found respect for caring professions are two shifts that will hopefully become the norm.
There will be many more. Can we sit mindfully in this time of uncertainty and become the change we are wanting to see?
The antidote to fear and anxiety is strength, calmness and becoming grounded.
Given the upheavals and uncertainties of our lives right now, it’s very easy to be thrown off-balance. Even if, by chance our working lives are unaffected, some of us might be feeling isolated, concerned about ourselves or others, unsure about what the future holds, let alone concerned if we can buy groceries for ourselves or loved ones!
Now more than ever, I find the benefit in lifestyle habits such as:
‘Stand guard at the doors of your mind!’
SRI with Donald Epstein
For the first time ever, the founder and developer of NSA and SRI will be teaching the 12 Stages of Healing online, for free. This is the framework on which these techniques are based and is born out of vast experience and keen observation. This is an amazing opportunity to learn from the founder and developer of this work. Follow this link to register: www.epienergetics.com/12-stages-in-12-days.. short notice however, it starts tomorrow!
I will be offering support, clarification and help with applying the techniques if need be.
A reminder that we are hosting a virtual get-together on Sunday evenings:
Almost everyone is going through great transition and transformation right now. It might get a bit bumpy at times and it’s ok to feel knocked off centre. The gift is of course to use the challenge to build our resourcefulness and strength. As the old saying goes:
‘The stronger the breeze, the stronger the trees..’
When Nancy and I opened the practice 7 years ago we set out to build community. We are very proud of how that has developed over the years, we have created a space where people can be authentic, whole and can meet with other people experiencing life through similar lenses. Furthermore, as we start to unwind the defences that have built up over the years, we open up to connection and community, and guess what? It was always there.
This goal remains central to Brighter Life and always will. So, despite closing the practice at the moment, and because of the strong sense of fear and anxiety that many are feeling, we would like to offer a number of ways to maintain and enhance our sense of community.
If you’re struggling to stay calm and centred amidst all the news and hearsay, I recommend three things.
As the practice is now closed for the foreseeable future if you are currently paying for your care by standing order by all means pause it and re-start it when we re-open. Alternatively you can leave it in place and have a few more sessions to boost your care, your health and your immune system when we re-open the doors.
Look out for newsletters for details of the activities in the practice and engage with us as much as you want to. Also, please let me know questions you would like answering about chiropractic, Network Spinal Analysis, or my take on what is happening to the world right now. I will be able to address the topics in future newsletters, blogs and videos.
Be Healthy, Be Strong and Support Your Natural, In-Built Defences
In light of the news about ‘the virus’ at the moment, it could be very easy to live in a constant state of fear.
As these fears and concerns appear to reach a fever pitch, it might be useful to put as much energy into thinking about what we can do proactively to ensure that we remain healthy, fit and strong. This shift in focus is not only a more empowered position, but also allows us the opportunity to take more personal responsibility.
Washing hands and cleaning surfaces are good ways of minimising the spread of the virus, but now more than ever is the time to adopt the lifestyle practices that we know help to ensure that we stay healthy, strong and support our immune systems.
Our practice is open as usual. We are continuing our usual high standards of hygiene and are here to help people feel strong whatever the external situation they are dealing with.
As one practice member said after an adjustment today.
‘I feel strong and ready to face whatever comes my way.’
We can learn a lot from our children, parents, I’m sure you’ll agree. But we can also learn a lot from their TV shows.
I was recently watching an episode of ‘Bing!’, (which happens to be one of our favourite past-times). In one particular episode two characters had a falling out over sharing some of their toys and started to express their frustration and anger towards each other. An emotionally-literate parent encouraged the warring parties to direct their anger towards the passing clouds and to try and blow them away to ‘see if we can blow away the angry..’
As infants most of us were pretty good at expressing our emotions, be that happiness, joy, frustration or rage but as we grow up we learn to suppress what we feel in order to conform to the social conventions of our environment- in the UK that has always meant ‘stiff upper lip’, which can result in un-expressed emotions, frustrations and anger. Whilst I’m not suggesting that we go around shouting at everyone, it’s important to recognise the overall effect our emotions have on our health and wellbeing, let alone how we hold tension in our bodies. The book Molecules of Emotion by Candace Pert is a great insight into how these things are inter-linked.
Perhaps some kind of practice like ‘blowing away the angry’ could be useful to acknowledge how we are feeling, so that we don’t have to direct our unexpressed emotions towards the first unsuspecting person we come across.
Copyright: antimartina / 123RF Stock Photo
Are you living life at such a pace that your mind is spinning like a hamster in a wheel… faster and faster without getting anywhere?
It’s a common condition and, I don’t know about you, but I don’t come across many people for whom the pace of life is slowing down!
One of the downsides of ‘hamster-wheeling’ our way through life is that we naturally down-regulate our ability to be able to feel. It is a necessary part of the stress response (Fight, Flight or Freeze), so that we can carry on in times of danger or when our life is threatened. For most of us however the daily challenges that we face are not life threatening (although cumulatively they sometimes feel that way!) but the effects of the incessant ‘hamster-wheeling’ means that we miss the subtle clues about how our bodies are carrying tension. Are you in need of more exercise, water or loving & caring attention. The same could probably be said for our ability to recognise the needs of those around us who crave more exercise, water or attention…
Most of us will acknowledge this and say “yes but it will all be different when my life circumstances change”. More accurately (and honestly) our life circumstances will change when we change.
In what ways can we slow the hamster wheel in our every day life? What do you need to do to check in with what your body is communicating to you? (If we ignore our body’s messages for some time, it tends to shout louder).
Whatever journey we want our minds to take today, let’s ensure that we take our bodies with it.