You have to pay attention to your body and notice what works and doesn’t work to be well

Self ResponsibilityNaturopathy is based on a belief in a special energy called vital energy or vital force that guides the bodily processes. This vital energy is intelligent and is always seeking homeostasis or health. Naturopathy honors the body’s innate wisdom to heal. As a naturopath, my role is neither to diagnose or treat but to support this amazing innate healing process.

I want you to understand that when you embark on a natural healing path you assume something I call “self responsibility.” You agree to pay attention to your own body, your mental and emotional state, and notice what moves you in a positive direction and what takes you backwards.

Each and every one of us is so unique. When you are dealing with natural modalities, each individual has a unique chemistry, set of beliefs, social structure, and environment. Manipulating these factors to allow healing to take place is unique to each person. You have to find what works for each individual.

I have a dear friend who saw many people being successful on a very calorie-restricted diet, and she wanted to try it. Each time she did, she would get faint or aggravate her heart arrhythmia. It is important to recognize when something is not right for your body. Or, recognize if your body is not strong enough to deal with it at the time.

Many years ago a book hit the holistic movement called Eating Right for Your Type, describing experiments that defined how certain foods were better for different blood types. I remember people saying, “I loved the book because I tried to be a vegetarian because I thought that was the right thing to do, and now I know why I felt worse. ” This book explained that people with the blood type O needed meat. You see when you pay attention to your body, it knows and can tell you. The problem is most of us want outside validation for what we already know.

Bottom line is you have to pay attention to your body and your life!

A finer line is when you start a healthier diet, cleanse, or give up an addictive substance you can have withdrawals or detoxification. This can cause a temporary worsening of symptoms before you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Based on your current level of health, you may need to be closely monitored by a doctor. Again, bottom line is you need to pay attention to your body.

A client was doing an intense colon cleanse and decided to take a puff of a cigarette. She described remaining conscious and being able to see everything but it felt like a dark cloud surrounded her. You see, the liver was dealing with so many toxins from the cleanse that the cigarette, which the body could normally deal with, was now one thing too much. Luckily the strange feeling quickly passed. But this was something to PAY ATTENTION TO!

When you are dealing with allopathic medicine, it deals in structure. You can easily measure a blood pressure, heart rate, see an x-ray, read a lab result. But even medicine itself is not a science. They call it the art of medicine. Again it would pay off to be self responsible and know what is being put in your body and what the potential side effects are. If you have side effects, discuss with your doctor other options that might work better for your body and your lifestyle. For example, if the doctor puts you on a blood pressure pill and you have swelling or a decrease in libido, ask him to try another medication. It is important to find a doctor that is willing to partner with YOU on YOUR health.

When a person does not fit in “a box,” where the diagnosis and treatment are clear, a very sad thing can happen: that person can be left with the feeling it is in their head. They desperately need help but the doctors cannot find the cause in their model. I remember many years ago people coming into our practice frustrated because no one could help them. This was before there was a diagnosis for chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, or other autoimmune diseases. What makes us so arrogant that we think we know everything now? We can laugh now at the ignorance of earlier generations thinking the world was flat. One day there may be future generations laughing at our ignorance. There are so many answers still needing to be found.

Each and every thing that exists has a purpose. There are so many intelligent, well-meaning, and devoted people in the field of medicine. So many people are helped daily in doctors’ offices and hospitals.

The problem is that when we wait until a disease shows up structurally, we have something that is not easily reversed and is very expensive. Right now our healthcare system is stressed. It is too expensive to provide this type of care to our population. The hospitals are realizing they are going to have to get far more efficient to survive this economic and health crisis they are facing.

Your best defense is to take care of your health NOW!

On this blog we will cover how to best support the mind, body, and spirit in moving towards optimum health. Remember…I am not diagnosing, treating, or prescribing therapies for you to participate in. I am educating you as to a new way to look at your health—a way to be self responsible.

Take it easy on yourself. It is a lifelong journey.

Author: Debra Kahnen, RN, ND, is the CEO of Life Mastery LLC. With over three decades of healthcare experience—as both a nursing leader in the largest not-for-profit health system in Texas and as a naturopath focusing on wellness—her view is radically different. Debra is a renowned expert in stress management and wellness. She helps people improve their health and emotional well-being to allow for more peace, joy, and personal satisfaction. Get a free special short video eCourse, "Take back control of your life NOW!, so you can experience more balance and ease in your life.

Article Photo: courtesy of renjith krishnan / Free Digital Photos

The secret to sustaining weight loss is learning to balance these 3 important aspects of yourself

The Inner Battle—Even Coaches Need CoachesOne of the fun things I have been playing with is the many voices that live inside us. In facing my recent health challenge, My coach asked me to name a few of my voices. Ha Ha. Let’s see, the naturopath voice believes food is medicine and the diet should be organic, alkaline, anti-inflammatory, etc. in order to allow the body to heal itself. Of course, the nurse and allopathic voice just wants the diagnosis and drugs that will solve the problem by suppressing the symptoms. The spiritual voice believes if we have enough faith and can get in the right consciousness it is possible to heal spontaneously. The voices were battling whose way was best. But the voice that seems to be winning is the child voice that seems to be having a temper tantrum that we have to give up all the foods we love, the social aspect of food, and use food like medicine. The child is letting me know in no uncertain terms that it is NOT FAIR!!! Now if you force a child to do something he/she does not want to do, what happens? Right, it rebels.

Well, funny my coach made me add another voice—the parent voice. It seems when I was talking to her I would say I made a smoothie with all of these oils, vitamins, green powder and then negate it with, “But, I had coffee.” Then I would juice vegetable juice with spinach, celery, carrots, cucumber and negate it with, “But I had a sandwich with my juice.” She asked me if the sandwich and coffee really negate all the beneficial effects of the smoothie and vegetable juice. I thought about it and realized it did not. I was still benefitting from those choices. But the thoughts negated me. I have heard others call it the self-critic.

Really, if you look at it, any time we go into shame, blame, could of, should of, would of, we place ourselves in a negative feeling place. Remember, the closest pharmacy is the brain and when we are in a negative emotion we are pumping out stress chemicals that damage our bodies and take away our access to the creative and problem-solving aspects of our brain. With that said, we will not choose to act in a way that will best support us. What if we treated ourselves with acceptance and love? We would be in a positive feeling place—from there we are pumping out different chemicals that allow us to be more creative, better problem solvers, and make better choices.

The first step is to accept things the way they are. Then practice self-awareness around eating. Luckily for me I have had years of practice in self-awareness in other areas and could easily transfer it over to this area. I had a million rules on how to eat (lots of knowledge, big rule keeper, parent). Now I have just one rule and that is to be aware of when I am satisfied. In order to be satisfied, you need pleasure and fuel. I notice when I drink the smoothie and vegetable juice I feel “alive and energized,” where other foods make me sluggish and tired. My goal is to practice self-awareness until I can say, “I feel so good when I take care of myself. Why would I do anything else?”

So remember, pleasure plus fuel (nutrition) equals satisfaction. Some nutritional knowledge is important to give the body the right fuel. Equally important is to notice when you are truly satisfied.

 

Author: Debra Kahnen, RN, ND, is the CEO of Life Mastery LLC. With over three decades of healthcare experience—as both a nursing leader in the largest not-for-profit health system in Texas and as a naturopath focusing on wellness—her view is radically different. Debra is a renowned expert in stress management and wellness. She helps people improve their health and emotional well-being to allow for more peace, joy, and personal satisfaction. Get a free special short video eCourse, "Take back control of your life NOW!, so you can experience more balance and ease in your life.

Article Photo: courtesy of pakorn / Free Digital Photos

Holding a grudge costs more than you think – don’t let it bankrupt your life

Healing old wounds cannot only release stress and help you enjoy the holidays, but make you healthier and happierMary had not been home for eight years. Within the first 15 minutes of being home, those old feelings of inadequacy had crept back into her psyche. How is it that we can grow up, move on to create successful lives, and within 15 minutes of being home we can feel like we are 10 years old again?  

Esther Hicks says that emotional energy is where you last left it. Look at it this way—if the last time you saw your dad it ended with a big upset, then next time the subject of dad comes up that big upset is sitting right there. Some people will live their entire lives with one upset sitting between them and someone they love.

Nothing is more destructive in the human condition than the need to be right. People will give up love, money, success, health, happiness, and even their own life to be right. In order to be right about something, you have to continue to hold on to the energy of whatever upset you in the first place. So who gets hurt—the person you are upset with or you?  

The trick to effectively managing emotions is learning how to effectively manage your energy system. Einstein gave us the famous equation E=Mc2. Energy is on one side of the equation, and everything else is on the other. For centuries, other cultures have recognized that our bodies are composed of energy pathways and energy centers. E-motions are energy in motion. Emotions are meant to be experienced and released. When we feel a need to be right, we hang on to the negative emotion to show that other person how they hurt us. John Upledger, DO, OMM, states that emotions trapped in body tissues can lead to pain and other ailments.1

So how do we move the emotions through our energy system? A very effective way to move the energy out of our bodies is forgiveness. Studies have shown that people who forgive become “less angry, more hopeful, less depressed, less anxious and less stressed,” which leads to greater physical well-being.2

Forgiveness does not mean you condone what the other person did. It is the ability to let go of the need to be right. Oprah Winfrey said this about forgiveness: “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.” The ability to let it go is the liberating gift you give yourself.  

It is also a well-known fact that positive people are healthier, happier, and more successful. So why not free yourself from any grudges or areas of un-forgiveness? You deserve a healthier, happier, and more successful life. 

 

Author: Debra Kahnen, RN, ND, is the CEO of Life Mastery LLC. With over three decades of healthcare experience—as both a nursing leader in the largest not-for-profit health system in Texas and as a naturopath focusing on wellness—her view is radically different. Debra is a renowned expert in stress management and wellness. She helps people improve their health and emotional well-being to allow for more peace, joy, and personal satisfaction. Get a free special short video eCourse, "Take back control of your life NOW!, so you can experience more balance and ease in your life.

Article Resources:
[1] John Upledger, Massage Today, June 2008, Vol. 08. Retrieved from http://www.massagetoday.com/ mpacms/mt/article.php?id=13825
[2] Fred Luskin, in Carrie A. Moore, “Learning to Forgive,” Deseret Morning News, Oct. 7, 2006, p. E1.

Article Photo: symphony of love via photopin cc

If you ever feel like you or your life is not good enough – this article could change your life

Self-acceptance Versus Self-improvementI remember when my coach kept insisting I did not need to do everything I believed I needed to do. I felt myself getting more and more irritated with him because I knew I could not just stop doing the things that needed to be done in my life. I felt myself building to anger. I knew I wasn’t angry at him, but I felt like I was in this perpetual cycle of never enough time and so much to do. To blow things off and be irresponsible was not part of who I am. So how could he say I needed to quit doing?

I had been in the self-improvement movement for years. So why were there still so many challenges after that many years of study and work? 

In their book, Good Enough Is the New Perfect (2011), Temple and Gillespie found that women broadly fell into two categories: “never enoughs” and “good enoughs.”

The never-enoughs felt they needed to be the best at everything. Judging from this standard of perfection, they would more often describe their marriages as poor, or even a disaster. The good-enoughs were fine not being the best and were able to be more satisfied and happier in their marriages. They found women able to embrace a Good Enough mindset could be happier, more confident, and more successful. Good enough could well be synonymous with self-acceptance. 

Success Coach Margaret Lynch has a brilliant process where she leads people to the realization that they need to first make peace with their self before it is possible to make peace with their money goal. If making a certain amount of money has attached to it what she calls a “big emotional energy”—such as "I will finally be acceptable or loveable or successful when I make this amount of money"—then no wonder people struggle at making the money. She emphasizes that money has to be about sharing your gifts with the world and not proving yourself. 

Moeller (2010), in her book Waiting for Jack: Confessions of a Self-help Junkie, says we can’t go around with the idea that “one day I’ll arrive; one day I’ll be whole,” she said. “It’s an illusion that one day I’ll be fixed.”

The truth is, self-improvement needs to start with self-acceptance. When you're dissatisfied with yourself, it creates negative emotions which put you in the stress cycle where you lose access to your creative and problem-solving abilities. Acceptance creates peace, which is an ultimate productive state.

That doesn’t mean you can sabotage your health or finances by making bad choices and say "This is where I am now, so I accept it." We still need to be grown up. It is healthier to say, "I haven't been taking care of myself, and I'm not happy with the results. So I'm going to make some changes so that I can feel better and be healthier again."

Another part of self-acceptance is compassion for the self. Few of us escaped childhood without some area of not feeling good enough. The peace comes when you finally realize you are not your programming. All the things you accepted as true were nothing more than someone else’s opinion. These opinions were formed out of their programming. Sometimes there is work to be done to move some of this baggage out of the way to get to self-acceptance. 

I loved what Henry Emmons , M.D. had to say in his article, “The Chemistry of Calm” (2011): “There is a Japanese word that captures the dynamic tension created by acceptance and the desire for change—arugamama. Arugamama is a state of unconditional acceptance of yourself and your life as they are at this moment, but with the simultaneous intention to act in positive ways to create change. As one Buddhist teacher humorously put it, 'You are perfect as you are…and you could use some improvement!' Beginning with this energized self-acceptance is the ultimate 'start where you are' stance".

Author: Debra Kahnen, RN, ND, is the CEO of Life Mastery LLC. With over three decades of healthcare experience—as both a nursing leader in the largest not-for-profit health system in Texas and as a naturopath focusing on wellness—her view is radically different. Debra is a renowned expert in stress management and wellness. She helps people improve their health and emotional well-being to allow for more peace, joy, and personal satisfaction. Get a free special short video eCourse, "Take back control of your life NOW!, so you can experience more balance and ease in your life.

Article Photo: courtesy of Stuart Miles / Free Digital Photos