I read a beautiful article the other day by Erica Cirino from Healthline about the benefits of hugging. We all know that a hug feels wonderfully amazing but the health benefits are even more surprising. I have summarised the main benefits below:
Hugs reduce stress
Hugs protect you against illness
Hugs make you happier
Hugs are good for your heart
Hugs reduce pain
Hugs help with anxiety
Hugs help us to communicate.
Sometimes we choose to just give a quick hug because we ‘have to’ or we’re running out the door and forget to give one at all. Yes, we are all really busy these days and renowned for not being present with one another but is it really worth it for the benefits of say a 20 second hug. I can admit to this, can you?
Family therapist Virginia Satironce said, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”
There are no side effects to the magic touch of a hug, just loads of healthy benefits that will unfold within your amazing body. An adjustment is totally one big hug, so I will see you at OLIVE for a hug with your adjustment!
During these colder months, there’s a phrase I’ve been hearing more and more:
“I don’t drink as much water during winter.”
Now that doesn’t make sense. Did you know that our bodies are composed of around 50-60% water? Your brain alone is made up of 75% water – which is why you should often hydrate when you have a headache. Dehydration has actually been linked to a decrease in cognitive performance such as memory, attention, motor skills, and mood. It takes as little as 5 minutes for the water you drink to appear in your blood cells – so go drink some now!
Water also makes up a large percentage of your discs in your spine and is one of the important factors in keeping them healthy. They allow our spine to move around and act as a shock absorber – as long as they’re kept nice and hydrated. Drinking water hydrates the discs while movement transports the water into them. This is why being sufficiently hydrated leads to a smoother adjustment and helping your body to hold and integrate your adjustments quicker.
Water makes up a large percentage of your bodies
It takes as little as 5 minutes for the water you drink to appear in your blood cells
Dehydration can affect cognitive function (memory, attention, motor skills) and mood
Happy, healthy discs come from hydration and movement
Being hydrated is great for your adjustments!
So, how much water should you be drinking?
We recommend 2-4 litres per day in adults and 1.5 litres per day in children. It all depends on your body and level of activity, the more active you are and the more water you lose through sweat, the more you should drink. An easy way to tell if you’re getting enough water is by the colour of your urine – it should be clear to transparent or straw coloured yellow.
You can also squeeze half a lemon or one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar for an extra Vitamin C boost.
When we have stressful thoughts, our body perceives that to be just as life threatening, as if a tiger was chasing us through the jungle. Unlike a tiger chasing us though, mental stress is much harder to shake, (I mean with a tiger, you will either be eaten or escape up a tree – so the stress stops). Mental stress for most of us will consume so much of our energy and takes a toll on our body.
I’m not sure where I learnt the 5 for 5 rule, however it has significantly shifted how I approach the stresses in my life and I wanted to share that with all of you.
The 5 for 5 rule:
‘If something isn’t going to matter in 5 years time, don’t spend more than 5 minutes worrying about it’.
Running late for work? Dishes aren’t done? Your beautiful child has spilt kombucha on your new couch? Will any of that matter in 5 years time? Will you even remember it in 5 years? If not, take a deep breath and move on, life is far too short to waste time and energy on things that really at the end of the day, don’t actually matter!
I was just reading an article by Dr. Nat Kringoudis, the natural fertility expert and ‘Hormone Revolutionist’, and she recommends a brilliant rule of thumb to keep stress levels in check that I just had to share with you.
There is an overwhelming amount of research these days showing the connection between stress and our overall health, particularly hormonal health. Many of you would have heard me say before, that whether you want to be having a baby or not, your fertility (ability to fall pregnant/impregnate a woman) is a very accurate gauge of your overall health. Stress, whether it be physical, toxic or mental/emotional, ages us in the blink of an eye and can very quickly throw our hormonal balance out of whack.
There is a simple way to help manage your stress levels; it’s the 8 x 8 x 8 rule!
8 hours of work
8 hours of play
8 hours of sleep
Simple right?! I understand that not every single day of the week are we able to do 8 hours of work/play/sleep, however it’s a brilliant tool to check in and see if we are living a life that is sustainable and supportive of our health goals.
I personally love reading this kind of research! One of the most common, and least discussed causes of subluxations in our body is emotional/mental stress.
Think about it; you’re running late for work, and you’re stuck in traffic. Your breathing becomes rapid and shallow, your shoulders tighten and your head moves forward. You’re not in a jolly good mood. This increased tension in the body changes the normal position and balance of the body, which changes how the spinal joints function. What do we call this? A subluxation!
And that’s why our job exists; chiropractors help restore normal function of the spine and nervous system by adjusting subluxations.
I’m really excited to share that in the next few months I’ll be taking some time away from OLIVE to prepare for the birth of our little one. For the past 5 years I have dedicated much of my time and energy to ensure you and your families could all thrive and grow… apparently it’s my turn!
My husband Ryan and I are expecting the new addition to our family to arrive sometime in late August. In order to practice what I preach I know it’s important for me to reduce my hours before the baby arrives and have some time to prepare my body, mind and home!
We are so fortunate to have Dr Laura here at OLIVE. She will be extending her hours when I am away and I am so grateful that she has been observing me more recently and trying to meet many of you. I appreciate that many of you have only been adjusted by me – but I’ve chosen Dr Laura to be at OLIVE for a reason. Not only does Dr. Laura adjust very similar to myself but she also went to the same chiropractic college and was adjusted by the same chiropractor growing up. I have been adjusted by her my whole pregnancy, so I know you are in good hands.
I’ve been struggling with the thought of not being at OLIVE for a little while, I love adjusting you and sharing in the lives of your families and it’s also a little daunting to start a role that is so new to me – being a mum! If there is one thing I have learnt from all of you – it’s that family and health comes first so I’m going to try my best to prioritise our little bubba and our health for the next few months.
So I will be away from July 15th and will be back in practice sometime towards the end of the year. During this time Dr. Laura, Nikki & Steph will be here to look after you all and I will be sure to share some baby photos and updates on how we are all doing. You may even bump into baby & I when we are getting adjusted by Dr. Laura.
It’s so important to me that you continue to get adjusted, learn, grow and thrive whilst I am away. As a female business owner it’s challenging to balance family life and to keep a business running but I feel pretty blessed that the OLIVE Community is so supportive of me having a baby. Having the practice running as “normal” as possible allows me to relax knowing that you are all being looked after and so that I can concentrate on discovering the wonders of being a mother.
I can’t wait to meet our child and introduce to you all one day!
There’s always some new fad that seems to hit our shelves. Bone broth has been the hipster drink de jour for the last couple of years. Given up caffeine? Bone broth. Trying to get healthy? Bone broth. The Brooklyn hipsters have been carrying around this meaty bone soup in lieu of a super sized Starbucks coffee like it’s going out of fashion.
Except it isn’t. Going out of fashion that is. Instead, this age old recipe is going mainstream. And much like encouraging people to exercise more or get a good nights sleep, this wonder liquid may well be the turning point for lots of people suffering from health issues. We’ve covered in our blogs articles relating to the gut being the second brain and the relationship between gut and heart and mind and we’ve addressed the conditions that are linked to leaky gut.
In a nutshell, the gut is being recognised as one of the primary sources of disease in the body. These diseases range from our mental health1, anxiety and depression1 to the physical issues we address, everything from autoimmune diseases, diabetes, thyroid, adrenal gland issues, weight gain, and a host of other physical complaints. Frankly it’s all about inflammation. When your gut is in bad shape and starting to get holes in it, otherwise known as having “intestinal hyperpermeability”, waste product starts to leak out of through the intestinal wall lining. And as these toxins, gluten, dairy, alcohol, sugar etc hit our insides it promotes inflammation in our bodies.
But what’s so special about bone broth that makes it’s such a super food?
Basically bone broth is gold mine of amino acids and minerals. This unique amino acid profile is so beneficial because it contains Proline, Glycine and L-Glutamine.
This is a huge repair substance. It’s the amino acid for tissue repair. It converts to collagen, which is what keeps your skin tight and firm. It keeps muscles and joints flexible. We hear about collagen a lot in regards to wrinkles, hair condition and cellulite. As you age over time your body produces less collagen, which is why we develop wrinkles and saggier skin. A deficiency in collagen gives rise to digestive issues and hormone issues. Bone broth is high in Proline, higher than in any other food found out there today. When it converts to collagen it not only tightens up your skin, but collagen tightens up your gut lining too and repairs any holes in the small intestine walls. Perfect for people suffering from leaky gut syndrome!
People have been using this amino acid in bodybuilding for a long time. It helps to increase muscle mass and burn fat. But it’s also used as fuel source by the small intestine to help protect your gut. It helps stabilise blood sugar levels and there has been research that supports it is helpful in reducing alcohol consumption. In a study2 rats who were given a diet of L-Glutamine voluntarily reduced alcohol consumption by up to 34%. Scientists believe it is because it controls sugar cravings by reducing the amount of insulin in the blood and forcing the body to covert store fat as a glucose source instead. It protects your gut by forming a lining. This means when you consume chemicals or antibiotics it protects it from leaking out of your intestinal wall. A pretty amazing amino acid!
But it’s not just this combination of amino acids that makes bone broth a super food.
It also contains minerals that we need in our diets that we use to repair our body.
This mineral is essential in the role of calming our nerves and anxiety. It also helps with digestion and is great in relieving constipations. It relieves muscle spasms and aches. Research has shown3 magnesium to reduce migraine headaches and prevent osteoporosis. It also works with regulating calcium, potassium and sodium levels in the body. It’s also important in heart health.
This is your number one blood pressure mineral. It relieves strokes, enhances your muscle strength and metabolism. It’s effects on the nervous system are much like magnesium, it helps with anxiety and stress and controls your electrolyte levels.
These days you can pop into a health food store or growers market and pick yourself a hot cup of it, or a take home pack, but it’s pretty easy to make.
It’s essentially all about the bones. Throw into a stockpot, chicken feet, chicken necks and chicken back. Then pop them in pot with water and apple cider vinegar and let it simmer up to 48 hours and bingo, bone broth!
Not a bad days work in kitchen, making a super food that will assist in the healing your body!
I just drank my cup this morning. Why not give it a try? You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
See you on the adjusting table,
Dr. Bree & the OLIVE Chiropractic Team
References  The Gut-Brain Axis: The Missing Link in Depression. Alper Evrensel and Mehmet Emin Ceylan Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci. 2015 Dec; 13(3): 239–244.  Glycyl-L-glutamine injected centrally suppresses alcohol drinking in Prats.Simpson CW1, Resch GE, Millington WR, Myers RD.Alcohol. 1998 Aug;16(2):101-7.  Intravenous magnesium sulphate relieves migraine attacks in patients with low serum ionized magnesium levels: a pilot study. AlexandeMr AUSKOPB, ellaT. ALTURA,RogerQ. CRACCO and BurronM. ALTURA Departments of Neurology and Physiology State Universityof New York,Health Science Center of Brooklyn,U.S.A.
You have probably heard Dr. Laura and I talk about how most of us run in a Sympathetic Dominance (SD) state. SD is when our brain activates a flight or fight response or basically when our brains think we’re getting chased by a German Shepard!
Our neck and shoulders become stiff and tight, our hands and feet become cold, our posture goes forward, we get tired, our digestive and reproductive system doesn’t work properly, we start to sweat, our sleep is terrible, we have noise and light sensitivity and our buttock and calf muscles become tight.
Modern life doesn’t improve this scenario. We live demanding jobs and arrive home with financial stress sitting like heavy weights on our shoulders, we wake up with a to-do list as long as our arm. We go to bed knowing the same will wait for us the next day. Some of us have businesses, noisy or demanding family lives. Others have illnesses or sick loved ones that we worry about.
Most of us can relate to being in a SD state at some point in our life. However when this scenario becomes an ongoing survival mechanism our beautiful bodies are unable to rest, repair and digest. That feeling when you your can’t get rid of your month long flu, you constantly ache. This is your body talking to you!
So how do you help your body express it’s true health and vitality without being in a sympathetic dominant state?
Find your way to de-stress! Is it:
Time with loved ones
A reminder on your phone to belly breathe (you know you want to try it!)
Find ‘your something’ that nourishes your soul. With only a few months till Christmas (yes I said it), this can prove to be a very stressful time for some, however with these simple rituals it doesn’t have to be.
Wishing you a magic sympathetic dominance free lead up to Christmas!
Have you ever noticed that kids always want to flick off their shoes? Innately, they know it will be a lot easier learning to walk without them!
Contrary to popular belief, the barefoot is well suited for walking and all types of running without requiring modern, heavily cushioned, high-heeled running shoes.
Humans & our recent ancestors have been accomplished walkers & endurance runners for more than a million years (Lieberman et al. 2010). Research by Robbins and Hanna et al, indicates that humans were able to run comfortably and safely when barefoot or in minimal footwear by landing on the fore- or mid-foot before bringing down the heel.
However, too many people get injured every year (around 80% of runners) form problems arising in the foot because of incorrect equipment and inadequate technique.
The key for a long life of efficient movement involves reconnecting your brain and reconditioning your body. This is achieved by relearning the skill of locomotion by perfecting simple barefoot motor skill milestones and simultaneously, and gradually, building up adequate strength.
Another brand we love and wear are Vivobarefoot shoes! Vivo’s look like normal sneakers but feel lighter, wider and flexible. Yes they are the perfect barefoot shoe! They even have videos and diagrams for you to learn the skill of barefoot running.