Energy…Give Me More!

By Michelle Owen.

We all want to have abundant energy to get us through the work day…and still have more to go to dance the night away!

This is one of the most common things that people want when they come and see me – more energy.

As C,H.E.K Practitioners, we never treat the disease that has the person – we only treat the person that has the disease. So for those suffering from lack of energy and its consequent disease, we teach how to embrace the Six Foundation Principles. These are:

THOUGHT,  BREATH,  HYDRATION,  NUTRITION,  EXERCISE   and   SLEEP.

As far as energy goes, I have written many things on the importance of breathing correctly, hydration, quality of food, postural balance, exercise and sleep.

This time I am focusing on thought.

Thought triggers emotions. Every thought we have has a corresponding emotion, and every emotion has a hormonal and energetic reaction within our body. Hence our Psychology is our Biology.

Thought always comes first and the thought creates the emotion. For instance, if the thought is: “I don’t like my job” or, “Nobody loves me” these thoughts can cause us to feel very unhappy. Consequently our energy levels fall. The same goes for other life situations such as relationships; self image; financial status etc.

Poor thinking pumps stress hormones into our body. Over time this causes hormonal imbalances, leading to decreased energy and disease. Too much stress or poor thought of any sort will weaken the immune system, no doubt about it!

When we create what we don’t want, our energy decreases.

When we create what we do want, our energy increases.

When we are in tune with what we really want, we never run out of energy!


We are all given the same amount of life force. If people are sick or tired they still have the same amount of life force, they are just channeling their energy differently. Creating new and positive thought is the most powerful way out of this.

Pain of any sort, physical or emotional, is the compass of our soul. These experiences help to push us to make better choices to get to our higher self. The more the pain, the more we are out of alignment with who we really are.

For some people, injury or illness can be one of the most valuable things in life, maybe not in the moment, but the learning from the experience because it can be so life changing! It can lead to greater knowledge of themselves, greater health, love and appreciation of all they have in life. Quite often it is only on their death bed that people’s appreciation for life is amplified.

Wouldn’t it be far better to reach this appreciation while they are in fully involved in life?

Give yourself some energy

Energy is like money in the bank – What are you doing to put it back? Or are you spending it all?

A lot of my clients are so busy; they squeeze things into every moment of the weekday and their weekend! This is great for productivity, but we all need to stop and refuel at certain times. Running on the fast track without rest and recovery soon leads to decreased energy, depression, anxiety, long term adrenal exhaustion, and burn out.

There are many different ways we can give energy back to ourselves (get the money in the bank). For instance:

  • Meditation
  • Hot baths or spa pools with oils and candles
  • Saunas
  • Good quality food in the right balance for your metabolic type
  • Deep breathing
  • Any time spent in nature
  • Time with animals
  • Time with good friends/family/people that give you peace
  • Massage
  • Soul healing work
  • Pedicures/manicure/facials
  • Nice energy music, movies or reading
  • Good quality exercise
  • Low level exercise like stretching, mobilizations, tai chi etc.
  • Getting to bed before 10pm.
  • Having afternoon naps

Give to yourself often, even if it is small. If you spend all your energy without giving back, you will end up emotionally and physically bankrupt.

The importance of clearing past traumas

The human mind is an endlessly complex creation made up of the conscious/subconscious or active/reactive mind.

The subconscious or reactive mind stores every picture of our past, good or bad. This includes sight, sound, smells etc.

The reactive mind is so strong that in times of stress it takes over our conscious mind and can put us back into the feelings of past experiences. This can cause all sorts of pain physically and emotionally. It also keeps us stuck in feelings of loss, fear, anger; an endless list of negative emotions.

I believe that one of the most powerful things we can do to recreate health in mind, body, and soul is to get professional help in clearing past traumas/ experience that keep us stuck in poor patterns, repeating the same cycles. A professional will guide you along the path that best suits you, for many such paths exist. I have tried several and continue to do so. All are very powerful and each person will find a different one that works for them.

To me they are all different roads to the same outcome of cleaning up rubbish in our minds.

Michelle Owen
Michelle is a C.H.E.K Practitioner Level 3 and CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 3. With a successful studio in Auckland, New Zealand, Michelle works as a Postural and Wellness Specialist, Lifestyle Coach and Practitioner. She also offers onsite Corporate Wellness Seminars and has spoken for a number of corporate companies including Hyatt Regency, Kensington Swan and ANZ Bank. As a Key Note Speaker, Michelle is passionate about bringing the CHEK principles to people everywhere.
www.michelleowen.co.nz
www.stitchedup.co.nz

Advertisements

Posture and Pain

By Michelle Owen.

The Impact of Forward Head Posture.

Other than acute injury or trauma, most of the mild discomfort or chronic pain felt in the neck, shoulders and back are contributed by adopting poor posture. This adoption of poor posture can start in our early childhood years and progressively develop over time into pain, discomfort and for some, debilitating illness.

In Fig 1 (right) we see on the left good posture – where the line running through the ear, middle of the shoulder (as well as the hip and ankle if they were in view).

On the right however, we see that the head has migrated forward and the ear lobe does not line up.

Every inch your head is forward in posture, you are adding the additional weight of your head.

If your head posture is 3 inches forward from the correct position you will have added 3 times the normal weight, which is an additional 10 to 15 kg of load on the spinal column where the head and neck joins the back (Fig 1 No 1 & 2).

The effects are never felt immediately as neck and back problems develop over time and can start from a very early age, for example from poor sitting posture at school or carrying heavy back packs.

As a result of having a forward head posture and rounded shoulders, (Fig 1 No 3) the angle of the first rib gets depressed. The result of this is that major organs in your body will become compressed and not be able to sit in their proper location and position. This restricts them from proper healthy function and adds additional and unnecessary stress to your body. It will also affect your overall wellness, vitality and quality of life.

Quite often people will develop a fatty tissue deposit called a Dowager’s Hump located where the neck meets the upper spine, as the body attempts to stabilise the additional head weight. There is also a huge pressure exerted on the spinal cord (Fig 1 No 2). Its ability to carry messages and feelings is restricted and impaired to the point where we suffer severe problems.

Other examples of areas affected by poor posture are poor lymphatic drainage and poor circulation throughout your body – the pump system including the heart, diaphragm etc.

The spine also houses the spinal cord, which is an intricate sensory network that runs through the vertebrae to transmit feeling and movement commands from the brain throughout the entire body.

When posture is poor we are putting pressure on the whole nervous system and this is extremely draining to our daily energy and vitality.

Correcting Poor Posture

If you have forward head posture you will most likely have other related issues that also need to be addressed. The only way to correct poor posture is to treat the body as a whole.

As a C.H.E.K. Practitioner Level 3, I will begin with a comprehensive in-depth Postural and Orthopedic Analysis. From this assessment I can determine which muscles are tight, weak or long.

Once a program has been designed to correct the imbalances in the body that are causing the discomfort or pain, the client begins to learn a specific stretching plan to stretch “the tight muscles only”. Upon mastering this we would move along to stabilise the spine and the weak muscles throughout the body that we found during the assessment.

From there we move into functional movement patterns that we do on a daily basis, to strengthen the body as a whole. This becomes the base of the strength and conditioning program to move the client into other goals that they may want to achieve. These may include things such as body fat loss, muscle shape/tone, and strength for home, work or sports.

Our body is just like a car. We can be a vintage in great condition or a new model all beaten up and not running well. Age does not have to determine our condition.

If you have mild discomfort now, it will not correct itself, it will only amplify as time goes on.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure!

Footnote

If you have imbalance in your body and you do a balanced fitness programme you will have no chance to correct the imbalance. Fixing muscle imbalance is very individualised. Your body needs to be coached out of imbalance through specific exercise as well as a re-education process that addresses every other area of your life, e.g. sitting, walking, lifting, working positions etc. This is done at a neural, (brain) level. We have to re-educate the way that we think about our posture.

Also, you could have the best exercise program in the world but if you did not apply the six foundation principles you may not have the ability to recover and repair. Using the 6 Life Principles we can support the postural correction with improvements in our overall wellness. For more on the 6 Life Principles visit www.michelleowen.co.nz

A Note from Michelle.

In this article you have read about the impact of poor head posture and the effect this has on our whole body. It is
imperative to point out that any poor posture in any part of our bodies impacts on the rest of our body. I am using Forward Head Posture as an example and it is only one common postural dysfunction that isrequired to be treated in many people.

Information resourced from “C.H.E.K Practitioner Level 3 manual” from Paul Chek and the C.H.E.K Institute.

Michelle Owen
Michelle is a C.H.E.K Practitioner Level 3 and CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 3. With a successful studio in Auckland, New Zealand, Michelle works as a Postural and Wellness Specialist, Lifestyle Coach and Practitioner. She also offers onsite Corporate Wellness Seminars and has spoken for a number of corporate companies including Hyatt Regency, Kensington Swan and ANZ Bank. As a Key Note Speaker, Michelle is passionate about bringing the CHEK principles to people everywhere.

www.michelleowen.co.nz

Sleep-Wake Cycle

By Michelle Owen

Sleep and Maintaining A Good Body Clock

Each of us has an internal body clock called the Suprachaismatic Nucleus that regulates our daily sleep-wake patterns. This is often referred to as the “Body Clock” and it governs the release and timing of most mood, energy and sleep related hormones.

The body clock is dependant on light signals to function properly each day, dawn and dusk allows us to know when wake up or go to sleep.

For many people their lifestyles, living conditions, work, health and other conditions don’t allow them to get the correct sleep-wake signals anymore.

When we don’t get these correct signals, our sleep – wake patterns suffer and this can develop into a sleep disorder. When we have disrupted sleep patterns our body becomes stressed from the release of hormones at incorrect times in the day.

Good quality sleep gives the body a chance to repair, recover and heal.

  • We get our physiological recovery between 10pm and 12am
  • We get our psychological and nervous system recovery between 2am and 6am.

If you are getting into bed at 12pm on a regular basis it means that you are missing two hours a night of your physical recovery. This can result in all sorts of aches pains and niggles that will simply not get better.

When our bodies are healthy we can get away with the odd late night here or there without affecting us too much. However, when we abuse our sleep times on a regular basis, this becomes a major stress to the body, upsetting hormonal balance and causing adrenal fatigue. When the body is under stress of any sort, the immune system suffers…THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS!

But what if my sleeping patterns are due to my job?

Sometimes we cannot change our sleeping situation, for example, shift workers or parents with new babies. In these situations it is important to look after yourself in all other areas of your life to reduce overall load, that’s where the Six Foundation Life Principles come in.

Our daily sleep-wake patterns are called circadian rhythms. ‘Circadian‘ is Latin for ‘about a day‘. If you struggle with sleep, a circadian rhythm disorder is probably a factor. The body clock uses signals like sunlight and darkness to know when to produce the active hormones and when to shut them down and release the night time withdrawal and sleep hormones.

Our bodies crave and need regularity in all areas of our lives and this is not just related to sleep. Our bodies thrive when we have regular eating, sleeping, hydration, exercise and other important life principles. If we have the required regularity then our system will be in time with our body clock. When we lose the regularity that our system needs them we suffer in many areas.

Things that inhibit sleep

Many things can disrupt our sleep-wake cycles:

  • Working late in bright lights (especially fluorescent)
  • Electromagnetic stress from computers
  • TVs flickering
  • Training at high intensities late in the evening
  • Coffee
  • Energy drinks
  • Sweet desserts
  • And more!

In addition, alcohol and sugar can both make you crash to sleep but then wake later in the night through a drop in blood sugar level, to find yourself tossing and turning in the early hours and feeling hungry.

Toxicity in the body is also a common thing today as people eat more and more processed foods, bad fats, food colourings and preservatives.

Entrainment is another factor. People can retrain a sleep pattern with in 7 to 21 days. For example if you stay up till midnight for three weeks in a row your internal body clock will be trained to wait till midnight to start Cortisol reduction. This means melatonin, the sleep recovery and repair hormone kick in very late and you will be robbed of recovery time. Over time this can lead to chronic fatigue, adrenal stress, suppressed immune function and poor or impaired physiological repair resulting in aches pains and niggles.

Did you know…

When you get up in the night and switch on a light your sleep-wake centre will think the light is dawn and it will release Cortisol, serotonin and other alertness hormones. This diminishes the melatonin (sleep hormone) and makes it difficult to resume your sleep.You get back into bed and you try to get back to sleep. Your body has gone into wake-up mode and this is why many people have trouble getting back to sleep.

Sleeping In The Day

If you have to sleep during the day I recommend that you always wear an eye mask and make the room as dark as possible. This will reduce the amount of light filtering through eye lids and assist in a better quality of nap or sleep.

By doing this you will get a far better quality of sleep and you will wake up feeling a lot more refreshed than if you try to sleep without one.

Tips to assist you in getting good quality sleep:

As the evening goes you can assist with the reduction of Cortisol (stress hormone) from your body and increase melatonin (sleep hormone). There are many ways to do this and everyone will have something different that appeals to them. Some of these are:

  • A hot relaxing bath
  • Dim the lights
  • Candles
  • Massage
  • Deep diaphragmatic breathing
  • Meditation
  • Soft music
  • Positive reading

As well as these, the following tips are helpful:

  • It is healthy for your sleep cycle if you do not go to bed with either a full or on an empty stomach.
  • Eating a correct snack for your Metabolic Type will help greatly with the quality of your sleep.
  • If you have a busy mind try writing your thoughts in a journal to get them out instead of them racing around in your head while trying to sleep.

Sleep well.

Information resourced from “How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy!” by Paul Chek, available from www.hqh.com

Michelle Owen
Michelle is a C.H.E.K Practitioner Level 3 and CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 3. With a successful studio in Auckland, New Zealand, Michelle works as a Postural and Wellness Specialist, Lifestyle Coach and Practitioner. She also offers onsite Corporate Wellness Seminars and has spoken for a number of corporate companies including Hyatt Regency, Kensington Swan and ANZ Bank. As a Key Note Speaker, Michelle is passionate about bringing the CHEK principles to people everywhere.

www.michelleowen.co.nz

Sweet Enough to Kill

By Michelle Owen

Sugar. Sweet enough to kill you slowly.

Many people are eating sugar on a daily basis without even realising it. Sugar is hidden or camouflaged in many foods that are promoted as healthy, such as:

  • Modern breakfast cereals
  • Processed juices
  • Processed yoghurts
  • White bread
  • Milk products
  • Muesli bars

However many of these “shelf” products are overloaded with sugar, it is simply hidden on the label – instead coming under many different names.

The average food label lists higher quantity ingredients first. When it comes to sugar though, many food manufacturers break it down into different sugars so that each individual sugar appears further down the list and the sugar content does not look so daunting. This is done knowing that the average person does not know all the different names of sugar!

Be aware: Anything with “ose” on the end, e.g. fructose, lactose, sucrose, ribose, glucose…is sugar!

But why all the fuss about sugar?

When carbohydrates, (sugars), are eaten in any form without an adequate mix of quality proteins and fats to stabilise blood sugar levels, many things can happen within the body.

As we eat sugar we experience a rise in blood sugar levels. As this occurs the adrenal glands release insulin to clear the blood sugar from the system. This can result in a crash in blood sugar and then energy. If this is happening on a regular basis it is very hard for our system to maintain stable energy within the body. Over time this can lead to health issues such as:

  • Body fat storage
  • Stressed adrenal glands
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Type II diabetes
  • Gout
  • Candida overgrowth
  • Thrush infections
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Suppressed immune function.

And the list goes on!

Perception vs. Reality

People perceive that they are eating healthily when they have their low fat, packaged cereals or toast with jam and juice for breakfast. Unfortunately, if we break all of this down we find that it is predominantly simple sugars. You cannot possibly generate good energy from these types of foods!

Balance is Essential

No matter what a person’s Metabolic Type or age, it is very important to maintain a correct balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and oils with every meal and snack. Doing this will work to maintain blood sugar in a controlled fashion. Unfortunately, many people begin their days with a breakfast consisting of sugar. One of the biggest concerns here is our children who are going to school hyped up on sugar, resulting in a decrease in attention and an increase in hyperactivity disorders.

When we look at the fact that one-teaspoon of sugar can suppress the immune system for up to 4 hours, we begin to understand how this can cause havoc within the body over time. What many do not realise however is that healthy items like dates, raisins, bananas, or other foods also have a very high sugar content (glycemic index), and when eaten alone without fats, oils and proteins, they can actually have the same effect as refined sugar. Although they carry nutritional value, they can still be very disruptive to the hormonal system of the body.

It is extremely important for your health to know how to properly food combine to stabilise blood sugar levels. This creates steady energy not only for your body but also for your brain function and mood. Sugar makes the body acid! When the body becomes acid the PH levels and many hormones become disrupted.

Fungal and Parasitic Infections.

Long-term consumption of sugar in any form will lead to poor health. As our health deteriorates our vitality decreases. Our internal environment shifts to a point where our body is now a good place for fungal infections and parasite infections to live. Both of these live and thrive on sugar and as you continue to eat it, even if it perceived as healthy, these organisms will flourish in your system.

Common problems that occur when somebody has a fungal infection are dandruff, vaginal yeast infections, athlete’s foot, jock itch, just to name a few! People with intestinal parasite infections are usually under-nourished and weak, infected with viral, fungal, or bacteria, and have various types of chemical and metal poisoning.

Human intestinal parasites can be present in any disease, in any person, at any age. They are responsible for many health problems because they secrete toxins and steal the vital nutrients from our bodies. They can irritate or exaggerate other health problems you may be experiencing. Everyone is at risk and under their mercy during parasitic infections.

We create the perfect living environment for parasites and for the feeding of fungal infections when the bowel becomes ineffective in the elimination of our waste products. The build-up of faecal material on the walls of the colon is attributed to constipation and the amounts of junk food, chemicals, bad fats and sweets we consume.

To clear this type of infection an anti fungal diet must be followed. This includes eliminating all sugars, fruits, and below ground vegetables because of their high sugar content. Concentrate on good quality meat, chicken, fish and above ground vegetables. Eating right for your metabolic type is very important.

CHEK Points on Sugar

Read product labels for sugars that end in “ose” and avoid these. These include:

  • Fructose, lactose, sucrose, ribose, glucose. Look and purchase foods that say “100% Sugar Free”
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners as this tricks the brain. Stevier is a good natural alternative if you require a sweetener.
  • Avoid soft drinks, they are all sweet and fizzy.
  • Use seasonal fruits and berries to sweeten food.
  • Purchase whole foods, organic meats and vegetables
  • Keep away from processed foods!

Information resourced from “You Are What You Eat” CD series and “How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy!” both by Paul Chek www.hqh.com

Michelle Owen
Michelle is a C.H.E.K Practitioner Level 3 and CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 3. With a successful studio in Auckland, New Zealand, Michelle works as a Postural and Wellness Specialist, Lifestyle Coach and Practitioner. She also offers onsite Corporate Wellness Seminars and has spoken for a number of corporate companies including Hyatt Regency, Kensington Swan and ANZ Bank. As a Key Note Speaker, Michelle is passionate about bringing the CHEK principles to people everywhere.

www.michelleowen.co.nz