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What Should You Eat For Chronic Pain? | Nutrition for Chronic Pain

Do you suffer from chronic pain? Perhaps you’ve had pain for greater than three months, and you’re not sure how you can support nutritionally? Fortunately, there is so much high-quality evidence to support how diet therapy can make a profound difference in chronic pain.

Chronic pain is associated with pro-inflammatory states which are linked to peripheral and central sensitization. This is when the brain perceives that there’s pain, and even a heightened sense of pain with very little stimuli, yet there is no tissue damage.

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Additionally, the mitochondria, which is essentially the powerhouse of our cells, are also associated with chronic pain. The damage to the mitochondria can be driven by how we eat. Consuming pro-inflammatory foods, such as the Standard American Diet—the Western Diet—which is rich in sugary foods, alcohol, processed meats, and enriched grains, can contribute to inflammation and even damage the mitochondria. Therefore, with the Standard American Diet, there becomes an imbalance between our essential fatty acids, which we need for optimal health, and pro-inflammatory markers. That’s where a specific diet therapy comes in.

The first thing we want to do is address the inflammatory markers. The Mediterranean diet is one of the best and well-researched diets that has been shown to decrease inflammation. Think of a diet comprised of fish, legumes, olive oil, low in grains, and high in vegetables – also referred to as an anti-inflammatory diet.

5 ways that you address your chronic pain through diet

1) Decreasing Inflammation

The best way to do this is through an elimination diet. Eliminate the potentially pro-inflammatory foods for at least three weeks and then slowly reintroduce them, one at a time. These include gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, coffee, tea, corn, soy, processed meats, red meat, chocolate, tea, coffee, and shellfish. If you don’t want to do a full elimination diet, you can do a modified version—eliminate gluten and dairy, for example. These two definitely can play a role in inflammation, and specifically chronic pain. If you’re eating a lot of sugar, this is also a great place to start. Sugar is a massive pro-inflammatory agent, so decreasing sugar in your diet would be very beneficial.

 2) Calorie Reduction

When we are consuming fewer calories than required by our basal metabolic rate, then we can not only increase our brain’s ability to generate new neurons by decreasing free radicals, but we can also increase ATP, the energy source of the cells, and we can increase our number of mitochondria. These all could play a huge role in inflammation and pain.

3) Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting, an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating, can help turn on genes that help cells survive by reducing inflammation. There are many different ways to include intermittent fasting in your life. Fasting from seven o’clock at night until seven o’clock in the morning would be a 12-hour fast. You can slowly increase that to a 16 hour fast, or you can do 24-hour fast two days a week. There are many options to suit your lifestyle and it is strongly recommended to start slowly.

4) Specific Nutrient Supplementation

Omega 3’s, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B-12, and magnesium have all been shown to impact chronic pain. There are other nutrients that also help specifically with chronic pelvic pain, such as vitamin E, B1, and B3. 

5) Gut Health

Seventy percent of your immune system is in your gut. If there is an inflammation issue, we should start in the gut. So, do you need to include prebiotics, probiotics, or do you need a specific gut health protocol? If you are not managing gut health properly, then you are not managing chronic pain and inflammation well, either. 

These are just a few of the ways that we can use diet to influence chronic pain.  When we have that central sensitization of the nervous systems, our brain still perceives that there’s pain, yet there is likely no tissue damage. Our nervous system is heightened, and we can begin to associate chronic pain with pro-inflammatory markers. We can use diet to decrease inflammation and optimize our micronutrient, antioxidant, and phytonutrient profile to begin to bring our body back into a state of balance and healing. 

Reach out for a 15-minute FREE discovery session to see how we can help you on your journey.

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WHAT SHOES TO WEAR FOR FOREFOOT PAIN

What do your gut bacteria do? | 10 Functions of Gut Bacteria | Microbiome

Everyone talks about the microbiome and gut bacteria, but why is it so important? What are the actual functions of the bacteria?

Before we get into the 10 functions of your gut bacteria, let’s talk a little bit about the anatomy. The small intestine which is 18 to 25 feet of our intestine, should be a relatively sterile environment. The large intestine, however, is where we house the majority of the bacteria, especially the beneficial bacteria. When we get something like a small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), it is in essence where the bacteria have now been relocated and overpopulated into the small intestine where it is not supposed to be. We have trillions of bacteria in our gut, and we have a thousand different species. There are also 5,000 different bacterial strains. With that said, everyone is unique, however, there are combinations of collections of bacteria that are present in healthy individuals.

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10 Functions of Gut Bacteria

So, let’s get into the 10 functions of gut bacteria and why it is so important that you have an optimal balance.

  1. Nervous System Modification

This is a really powerful function of our gut bacteria. We want to think of three key neurotransmitters which are essentially are chemical messengers that are formed from the gut bacteria.

  • Serotonin: This is the key hormone that stabilizes our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness. Ninety percent of our serotonin is located in our gut.
  • Dopamine: Fifty percent of our dopamine, our feel-good hormone, is located in our gut.
  • GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid): This is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that decreases feelings of fear and anxiety and produces a feeling of calm.

All of these are associated with this amazing gut-brain connection.

2. Breaks Down Food Compounds

Essentially, the gut bacteria metabolize the food and medications that we consume.

3. Pathogen Resistance

Think of our gut bacteria as one of our protective mechanisms. It will protect us from pathogens and toxins.

4. Protection Against Any Epithelial Injury

It protects against infections, just like it does with toxins and pathogens.

5. Bone Density Modulation

The gut bacteria can influence our bone density.

6. Promotion of Fat Storage

The gut bacteria can influence the hormones that store fat. Additionally, the Standard American Diet (SAD), that is, the western diet, is influencing gut bacteria, which has been linked to obesity.

7. Immune System Stimulation

Seventy percent of our immune system lies within our gut. So when we have optimal gut bacteria, this gut bacteria is influencing how our immune system responds to foreign invaders, toxins, and pathogens that they might be exposed to.

8. Promotion of Angiogenesis

When we have more blood vessels in the gut, this can be very powerful for future advances in treatments for gut infections.

9. Biosynthesis of Vitamins and Amino Acids

Water-soluble vitamins are plentiful in the diet, but also can be synthesized by the gut.

10. Metabolism of Therapeutics

This is ultimately how we process our medications and supplements. So keep in mind, that if you are planning to take things, you have to make sure that your gut is optimized so that you can metabolize these appropriately.

Now that you know the functions of gut bacteria, you know how important it is to optimize it. You can do that through numerous things, and you can see some other videos for different suggestions to optimize your gut health. But, we do want to think about everything from prebiotics, the fiber that the probiotics feed on, probiotics whether that’s through fermented food or supplementation, and then, of course, stress management, a high-fiber diet with 25 to 35 grams a day, drinking plenty of water, eating a whole, natural food diet to ensure that you are optimizing the diversity of your gut—that is one of the key things that your gut loves, diversity.

Reach out for a 15-minute FREE discovery session to see how we can help you on your journey.

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Other things that may interest you:

IS YOUR GUT PREVENTING YOUR WEIGHT LOSS?

How to fix your forward head posture | Cranial nerves

WHAT SHOES TO WEAR FOR FOREFOOT PAIN

How to fix your forward head posture | Cranial nerves

Do you have forward head posture, or do you have a friend or family member who does? Perhaps you’re always telling them to stand up straight, but they just can’t seem to do it. Let’s talk about the neurology and physiology behind forward head posture and most importantly, what you can do about it.

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Three things that contribute to forward head posture:

  1. Decreased tone in the trapezius muscle and increased tone in the sternocleidomastoid muscle

This is typically due to some kind of breathing dysfunction. That can be from an airway issue such as nasal valve collapse, deviated septum, chronic allergies, jaw issues, enlarged tonsils, just to name a few, which contributes to poor breathing mechanics, breathing more from the neck and shoulders as opposed to the abdomen and diaphragm. It can also be caused by a stressful event, trauma, or even chronic ongoing stress. This specific imbalance in these muscles is what contributes to forward head posture. Additionally, people that have asthma or COPD will almost always have a forward head posture.

2) State of the nervous system

If you are in a chronically stressed state, perhaps a fight or flight state, or even a freeze state where you feel shut down, how you hold your posture will be impacted. Your posture is your story and how you present yourself to the world. Do you walk into a room with confidence and standing up tall, or do you feel shy, reserved, and rounded forward? All of your thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and activities impact your posture. We can’t simply think about your forward head posture as a plumb line.  It is so much more than that. 

3) Scars

No matter where the scar is or how old it is, it can affect your breathing, emotions, and movement. Scars contribute to postural changes, shifts in the nervous system, and contribute to muscle imbalances. It’s important to look at any scar in your body no matter where it is or what it’s from, and begin to address the scar from a fascial perspective. This means that doing scar work can influence your emotions, breathing, and movement. 

Now that you have three causes, let’s talk about three solutions. So, when we’re thinking about how we’re going to shift this forward head posture, we have to think beyond just simple exercises such as chin retractions and thoracic mobility. We have to think about the cranial nerves because they are impacting our nervous system, facial expression, and whether we’re in a state of social engagement, which means we’re mindful, joyful, and grounded. We’re going to address this more so from a cranial nerve perspective and optimizing breathing so that you can make a change immediately. You can also have a cumulative effect the more that you do these.

What I would recommend before you start the exercises is to have someone take a side view picture of your forward head posture. Then, take one again after you finish the exercises to see if there is a change. There absolutely should be at least a subtle change if not a very noticeable change. 

Three solutions for forward head posture

Three solutions for forward head posture

1) The Basic Exercise

With this, you’re putting input to the back of your head and looking with your eyes to create more blood flow around the brainstem. This is where the vagus nerve originates. What happens when we’re not in a state of social engagement is our first two vertebrae can become slightly misaligned. By bringing blood flow to the area and stimulating the vagus nerve can bring the first two vertebrae back into alignment, which means we’re back into a state of social engagement. This can impact your forward head posture almost immediately.

To perform the basic exercise, interlace your fingers and bring them behind your head. Look with your eyes only in one direction until you sigh, swallow, or yawn. When you’ve done that, repeat on the other side. This should take approximately 30 to 60 seconds, however, it can take longer depending on if your nervous system is ready to relax 

2) The Salamander Exercise 

This is also a cranial nerve reprogramming exercise, which will help to create more space in the chest cavity, the heart, and the lungs, therefore impacting breathing and forward head posture.

To perform the salamander, assume a table position. Look with your eyes first and then your head as you bring your ear to your shoulder and hold that for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat on the other side again making sure you lead with your eyes, then side bend your head bringing your ear towards your shoulder. 

3) The Trapezius Twist

This is essentially waking up all of the trapezius muscles. It’s not stretching or strengthening them. It’s just waking them up, which means there will be an immediate change in posture, breathing, forward head posture, as well as overall posture. Especially after you’ve been sitting for some time, get up and do these three twists! You won’t be disappointed.

To perform this exercise, start with your arms grasped together at waist level rocking back and forth. Next, move your arms up to the heart line rocking them back and forth. Lastly, raise your arms slightly above your shoulders and once again rock them back and forth. You should do about five to ten repetitions at each position. 

There you have it, some causes for forward head posture and most importantly some solutions. We do have to remember that with forward head posture it becomes a vicious cycle because the more forward the head is the more blood flow that is constricted from the vertebral arteries. This means less blood flow to the brain. It also is affecting our airway which means it’s impacting our lymphatic system, hormonal system, and causing inflammation in the body. It’s really important to understand the neurology and physiology of forward head posture and begin to think about it from a much different perspective rather than simply corrective exercises like the chin tucks, upper back stretches, and retractions. We want to think of it especially from a nervous system perspective.

Reach out for a 15 minute FREE discovery session to see how we can help you on your journey.

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Other things that may interest you:

WHAT SHOES TO WEAR FOR FOREFOOT PAIN

How to Map Your Own Nervous System: The Polyvagal Theory

WHAT SHOES TO WEAR FOR FOREFOOT PAIN

Do you have forefoot pain or pathology and you’re not really sure what shoe you should be wearing? There are numerous foot pathologies that you could have, however we are going just zero in on a few today, such as bunions, first metatarsal joint arthritis, neuromas, and plantar plate tears.

Before we get into details about each, let’s just go over some quick anatomy.  The forefoot includes the phalanges (toes), the five metatarsals, and the connective tissue.

Now, let’s jump right into our foot pathologies and what feature in the shoe you should be looking for to accommodate for your pain.

  1. 1st MPJ arthritis:

This 1st metatarsal phalangeal joint is also referred to as the great toe. This is caused by the joint jamming too early in the gait cycle or an inflammatory reaction.  If you have arthritis in this toe and it is either painful and or limited in mobility, then the most important feature for your shoe will be a more rigid midsole. Secondly, you’ll want a wide toe box so that you have room for your toes to splay properly.

midsole

2. Bunion:

A bunion occurs when we lose stability in the metatarsal cuneiform joint (first ray). The first metatarsal will swing out and create a valgus position on the great toe. With a bunion, you definitely want a wide toe box. Because a bunion is caused by a lack of stability in the 1st ray, this often indicates that the foot is likely an unstable, everted foot type. In this case, a stiff heel counter in the back of the shoe will help control the foot so that it does not overpronate.

heel counter

3. Neuroma:

A neuroma is a scarred or fibrotic nerve often between the third and the fourth metatarsal. The nerve rubs on the fascial tissue and then becomes fibrotic.  This typically occurs from a loss of stability in the foot and/or compression in footwear, among other things such as injury. What will be most important with acute symptoms of a neuroma will be a stiff midsole. If the midsole is flexible, and you have an active, painful neuroma, you will continually compress the nerves at toe-off in your gait. So when your foot is more irritated, a stiffer midsole with a wide toe box will be most beneficial. 

toe box

4. Plantar plate tear:

The plantar plate is an extension of the plantar fascia that runs horizontally across the joints. A plantar plate tear can be very painful, and you’ll want to immobilize the tissue for a period of time. In this case, once again, you’ll want something more rigid in the midsole. During an acute injury, you will want to immobilize the tissue for a period of time, therefore utilizing the rigid midsole.

In certain circumstances depending on the level of forefoot pain and pathology and how it’s affecting your quality of life, a forefoot rocker is frequently recommended. If someone has advanced great toe arthritis, whether it’s fused itself or a fusion surgery has been performed, a rocker bottom shoe can be very helpful.  It can be added to the shoe or there are actually shoes that you can purchase with this specific feature.

Now for your bonus! The more cushion you have in your shoe, the more impact force you will have through your body. Picture yourself walking outside barefoot. Imagine how you would walk–your pace, your intention, your impact.  Now picture yourself doing the same walk in high cushioned shoes. Think about the difference in how you would interact with the ground. You will strike the ground much harder because you do not have the same sensory input that you would have if you were walking barefoot. 

When you have pain that is affecting your quality of life, shoes can be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.

If you’d like to schedule a free 15-minute virtual discovery session, please email drarianne@themovementparadigm.com or text 302-373-2394 to schedule. We’d love to help you get healthy again!

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THE SCIENCE OF KNOWING WHAT TO DO BUT NOT DOING IT | 6 Mindset Hacks

Did you ever wonder why you know exactly what you should be doing to make your life better, happier, healthier, but you don’t do it? You keep saying next week, next year, in five years, but it never really becomes a reality. We have all been there but let’s talk about the science of why that happens and what you can do about it. To put it simply, we are humans and we all have emotion. With that, we are naturally going to gravitate towards pleasure and away from pain. Say for example, Friday night rolls around, and your spouse or significant other wants to order pizza. You’ve had a long week so even though you’re planning to have a salad, you go for the pizza. Another example is sleeping in versus working out in the morning. The reality is that we consistently overcomplicate things. We make them way too complex for what they need to be.

Your subconscious mind is 99 percent of your mind. This is the house of all of your past experiences. This includes your memories, beliefs, and unresolved emotions. This is the domain of your habits. Our conscious mind, however is one percent of our mind and is responsible for our thoughts, goals, awareness of self. For us to be able to set a goal and be able to succeed at it, we have to align the subconscious mind with the conscious mind. Even though we know what we should do i.e. our conscious mind, our subconscious mind is a million times faster and much more powerful. If those two are not aligned, then unfortunately we will not be able to meet our goals or set out to do what we said we were going to do. As it relates to habits, we run our day on approximately 45 percent to 95 percent on habits.  Our thoughts are actually part of our habits. We have about 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day. You can hopefully appreciate that if these conscious thoughts are overpowering our conscious mind, then we are going to default to whatever is easier. We are not necessarily going to move towards the pain, we are going to move towards pleasure, whatever is the easiest thing right now. Going back to that Friday night pizza, “I’ve had a long week and I’m tired,” so I’m just going to go back to what’s comfortable and what’s easy…pleasure.

Additionally, when we get out of our comfort zone, for example setting a goal to exercise every day, this signals fear to the body. Immediately we have chemicals released that are signaling fear and danger. So guess what happens? We also want to move towards what’s easy, what’s comfortable, and what’s pleasurable. We easily will revert back and not achieve our new year’s resolution to exercise every day.

So let’s talk about six ways that you can begin to align your subconscious mind with your conscious mind, you can begin to make your goals a reality.

1) Healthful habits

You want to develop healthful habits so that when your conscious mind gets tired from all those thoughts that are racing through your head, that your subconscious mind decides to take over and do the right thing.

2) Be aware

Be aware of your thoughts, inner voice, and most importantly the language that you are speaking to yourself. If you continue to say, “I’m never really going to get strong,” then you will not get strong. You will not necessarily work out like you’re supposed to in order to get strong. So, you want to make sure that you’re in tune with the language that you’re speaking and shift it to a productive language. “I am going to work out so that I am strong.”

3) Clarity

Have clarity about what you want, what are you striving to do, and the goal(s) that you are hoping to achieve. If you do not have clarity of your vision, dream, or goal, then it will be very challenging to allow that subconscious mind to be aligned with the conscious mind.

4) Take small action steps

This is extremely important to make sure that you are making small incremental changes, especially in your habits. Think of the first time that you were told you had to brush your teeth. Since you were a young child, you’ve been brushing your teeth every single day, at least we hope so. That’s a perfect example of how habits start.

5) Consistency

It is so crucial that for you to do what you want to do, to be consistent with your habits, day in and day out. Blocking time in your schedule, for example, to allow yourself the time to be able to perform whatever it is that you need to do. Whether that’s working out, meal prepping, or meditation. Be consistent with whatever you do so that it becomes a habit, just like brushing your teeth.

6) Celebrate

Celebrate your successes! This is where we can have serotonin and dopamine responses that can improve that feeling of happiness, as well as reward and motivation. It keeps you motivated to keep doing what you’re doing to keep this habit going to make sure that it’s truly part of your life.

There are six different ways to help you align your subconscious mind with your conscious mind, allow you to achieve your goals, and do what you say you are going to do.

If you need help on your journey to better health, contact drarianne@themovementparadigm.com to schedule a FREE 15 minute virtual consultation.

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Nutrition Nail Exam

Did you know that your nails can be a great indicator of your nutritional status? Examining your nails will allow you to identify some preliminary nutrient deficiencies before you might even see it on lab work.

Let’s discuss the basic nail exam that you can perform to identify any potential nutrient deficiencies. That way, you can discuss this with your doctor, functional medicine practitioner, or dietitian, to make sure that you are assessing properly and getting potential lab work to confirm any findings.

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What You Need to Know About Nails

Nails take approximately six months to regenerate specifically the fingernail and approximately a year for the toenail. This is a living tissue that can provide a lot of pertinent information.

We’ll keep it fairly simple and we’ll look at things like the shape, color, lunula, texture/rigidity, strength, and capillary refill of the nail. For example, if there’s a postmenopausal woman who has brittle nails, it would be important to check for bone density because this can be a preliminary finding that we see.

Here is how to perform the nail exam.

6 Ways to Perform Nail Exam

1) Shape

When performing the nail exam, we will start by looking at the shape of the nail. We ideally want this to be a nice round shape. This can be different based on the individual choice of the person as well. Koilonychia, soft nails that spoon out, can be associated with iron deficiency anemia, hemochromatosis, zinc and sulfur deficiency, lupus, and Renaud’s. 

You also want to look for any clubbing in the fingers as this can be indicative of some type of systemic issue like cardiovascular disease, irritable bowel disease, mercury alcohol toxicity, etc.

2) Color

Next, you want to look at the color of your nails. You want to see a nice pink hue. When it’s a little bit paler, it can indicate an iron deficiency or anemia. If there are any brown lines that can be indicative of some arsenic toxicity. If there are any bluish hues that can be indicative of some copper toxicity. 

3) Lunula

Next, we’ll look at the lunula which is the little white, round part at the base of the nail bed. That should be present on all of the nails, but may be very small or absent on the pinky side and that is okay. The lunula is indicative of protein status, so you do want to see that on all the nails.

4) Strength

We want to check the strength of the nails. You can do this by feeling and testing how firm the nail is. Does it feel like it is easily breakable? Strength is also indicative of protein status. 

5) Texture

Is there any vertical ridging?  That is common as we age, so you do want to take that into consideration. If it is a little bit more severe that can be related to protein, iron, B12, or folic acid deficiency as well. 

6) Capillary Refill

Lastly, we will look at the capillary refill. Press down on the nail bed and release, and it will turn white. In one to two seconds, the blood flow should refill, and it should return to its pink color.  If it takes longer than three seconds, then that’s indicative of a circulation issue. That could also play into any type of related issue to alcohol, stress, gluten, protein deficiency, and/or zinc deficiency. 

This of course is just scratching the surface of a nutritional physical examination.  However, it is a start and it is a way for you to begin to assess your nails. There are lots of signs and symptoms that we see in our nails that we might not be totally aware of.

Reach out for a 15-minute FREE discovery session to see how we can help you on your journey.

For more content, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel here.

Other things that may interest you:

What Should You Eat For Chronic Pain? | Nutrition for Chronic Pain

How Your Vagus Nerve Affects Your Gut Health

Why you should consider eliminating gluten and dairy | Elimination Diet

Top 5 Minimalist Shoes

Hopefully, you know by now that we love talking about movement from the ground up and barefoot science, so today I am going to give you my top five minimalist shoe choices. First, let’s identify what you want to look for in your shoes.

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What To Look For In A Minimalist Shoe

1. Minimal Cushion

The first thing that we want to look at is how much cushion is present. A true minimal shoe is going to fall into a zero cushion shoe. You can see how much cushion the shoe has by looking at the side of the shoe

2. Zero Drop

The second is that it should be a zero drop shoe, which technically means zero to four millimeters heel-to-toe drop. Most traditional shoes have a 10 to 14-millimeter heel-to-toe drop which looks like a high heel. 

3. Wide Toe Box

The next thing is we want to have a wide toe box. This is important for the ability of the foot to splay as you push off in your gait cycle. Men have five millimeters of splay women have three when they toe-off in their gait cycle, so a wide toe box is necessary.  

4. Flexible Midsole

We also want to have a flexible midsole. That means that the shoe is able to bend at the midsole just like our foot would at toe-off in our gait cycle, rather than a stiff midsole.

5. Torsion

Next, we want to have torsion in the shoe. You want to be able to ring it out like a towel. Our foot is meant to spiral with each step of our gait cycle and during dynamic movements. 

6. Flexible Heel Counter

Last but not least, we want a flexible heel counter. A stiff heel counter can be good for a flatter foot. In a minimalist shoe, we want to be able to bend the heel counter to enhance the natural foot function.

What to know before transitioning to minimalist shoes

Minimalist shoes are NOT for everyone and it is very important to know your foot type, your injury history, and what is appropriate for you. For example, you do not want to transition from a traditional high cushion sneaker to a minimalist shoe overnight. This should be a very long transition of allowing yourself to acclimate and adapt to this new change and how you are interacting with the ground coupled with intentional barefoot work.  Now let’s discuss my top five minimalist shoe picks. 

Top 5 Minimalist Shoes

1. Vivobarefoot

This is hands down one of the best shoes to optimize natural foot function. It feels like you are barefoot and includes all the top features mentioned above.

2. Xero

Xero Shoes are awesome and provide lots of different options, such as sandals with Naboso technology, which is a small neuro proprioceptive surface. They also have great winter boots.

3. Merrell Vapor Glove

They also have a variation of trail shoes for kids. This is a shoe where you truly feel like you are walking on the ground. I’ve worn this shoe for years off and on and loved every second of it. 

4. Lems

They have great casual shoes and boots. They have a slightly thicker sole as compared to the Vapor Glove or Vivo. However, they are great comfortable, casual shoes.

5. Topo

This is a shoe that I use a lot for patients with different pathologies, for example, forefoot pain or big toe arthritis, or stiffness. They also have an Ultra Fly Lite 3, which is more of a minimalist shoe. It has a super light cushion, so it is a really good transitional shoe from a high cushion sneaker to a minimalist shoe. 

Why is this so important?

Our shoes are meant to enhance our natural foot function, not replace it. Our amazing feet are meant to move, spiral, and transfer energy through the body.

When we have a high cushion shoe, impact forces are increased as they enter the body. We are not able to detect what’s happening, so we strike the ground even harder. Although it might feel good on your feet, it is not good for your movement efficiency, gait, or balance, which are important for movement longevity. The closer that we can get to the ground, the better. The more you can take your shoes and socks off, and stimulate the small nerves in your feet, the better.

If you are not sure where to start, please reach out for a virtual or live consultation so we can figure out exactly what your foot type is and what you need. 

Reach out for a 15-minute FREE discovery session to see how we can help you on your journey.

For more content, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel here.

Other things that may interest you:

WHAT SHOES TO WEAR FOR FOREFOOT PAIN

Which foot type are you?

The benefits of GROUNDING | Earthing

What your pelvic floor has to do with your tight hips

Let’s discuss the pelvic floor’s role in our hip mobility and function.

We’ll cover functional anatomy, root causes of poor hip mobility, and of course, how the pelvic floor can influence this.

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The Pelvis

The intrinsic stabilizers of the core are foundational. When we’re looking at the pelvis, the top of the intrinsic unit of our core is the diaphragm, while the bottom is the pelvic floor. These two things have to work together in a very fluid, rhythmical fashion for everything to have the proper sequencing, timing, and coordination. This is essentially what we refer to as motor control.

Once again, at the bottom of the pelvis, we have the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is actually feeding into the deep hip stabilizers via the fascial tissue. This is what keeps the hip in its socket—think of it as a suction cup similar to the rotator cuff. This integration also occurs with our hip flexors or deep psoas.

Our psoas is also a deep stabilizer that prevents the hip from shifting forward, so it’s very important. It’s also deeply connected with the pelvic floor which integrates with the transverse abdominis—think of that as our natural weight belt. Drawing the belly button in is a way to feel this muscle. However, functionally, this will contract on our exhalation.

This ultimately connects to our diaphragm. These deep stabilizers have to work reflexively. If they don’t, we begin to see pain, injury, and mobility issues. The body will start to find stiffness where it needs it; it will create stiffness if there is a lack of stability.

To take it one step further, what you can do is try this exercise.

Breathing Exercise (with pelvic floor integration)

As you take an inhale through the nose, the tongue resting at the roof of your mouth touching the back of your teeth, allowing the pressure in the abdomen to go all the way down to the base of the pelvis, our pelvic floor will be in a lengthened position. Then as we exhale, our diaphragm goes back up to its resting position. The pelvic floor is gently contracting and lifting, and then that pressure is decreasing, of course. As the diaphragm goes back up, our abdominals are contracting to create that corset, and thereby we have a full diaphragmatic breath. This diaphragmatic breathing is critical to having an optimal hip function.

So why might you have tight hips?

Some of the several reasons include:

1. Sitting

This is the most common reason as to why you might have tight hips. Increased sitting decreases joint mobility and decreases the elasticity in your muscle and your fascia, creating ongoing stiffness.

2. Poor Breathing

Another thing that you might not think about is breathing. If we are not diaphragmatic breathing, as I just mentioned with proper sequencing and coordination, that can cause tight hips.

3. Pelvic Floor Tightness

Squeezing or clenching the pelvic floor is common as this is where we tend to hold a lot of emotions.

4. Stress

Because we hold our emotions here, stress is a big driver of tight hips and pelvic mobility.

5. Poor Hip Stability

If you are not sequencing properly from that stabilization perspective, you can not create force through the glutes. This is necessary to move the hip to its full range. This can lead to tightness and compensation. Your body will always figure out the path of least resistance, so if you don’t have stability somewhere, it will find stability by tightening things up.

How to Address this Issue

One of the simplest ways to begin to address this is to begin to work on your breath.

You can do this lying down with your knees back. It’s a great starting point. Stacking your rib cage over your pelvis is really important. We want the ribcage stacked right over the top so the diaphragm so it can communicate effectively with the pelvic floor. Inhaling, breathing 360 degrees of pressure into the abdomen, exhaling, contracting the abdomen—think of it like a corset or weight belt.

Now, begin to integrate it into everything you do: your day-to-day activities, exercise, stress management, and so on. Adopt this breathing pattern as your normal healthy breathing pattern which is exactly what it is. We breathe 25 000 times a day, so this is really how you want to think about breathing all right.

This can help you improve your hip function, hip mobility, and core function and give you a new perspective on why you might have tight hips.

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How Your Vagus Nerve Affects Your Gut Health

Optimal vagus nerve function drives your digestion, assimilation, and elimination. Let’s discuss all the reasons and benefits as to why optimizing your vagus nerve function will help with your gut health.

We first want to remember that the vagus nerve is 80% of our parasympathetic nervous system. Think of this as our ‘rest and digest system.’ For us to have optimal digestion, we have to be in a calm and safe state.

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As we remember from the anatomy of the vagus nerve, it exits the brainstem, innervates muscles of the face, throat, and branches into the ear. It innervated the SA node of our heart and most importantly, it innervates our entire digestive tract. That is why it is so imperative that when we see gut motility and health issues, we want to look more closely at the vagus nerve.

For example, if someone is experiencing chronic stress or trauma, this may contribute to poor gastric motility and enzyme activity that ultimately leads to gut health issues.

8 Ways Vagus Nerve Is Involved In Your Digestion

We are going to discuss eight different ways that the vagus nerve is involved in your digestion. 

1) Upregulates Breakdown of Solids

The vagus nerve upregulates your mechanical breakdown of solid food. This is important because most of us are eating solid foods of course unless you have some kind of medical condition that warrants you to eat softer foods.

Being able to break down our food before it enters the entire digestive tract is important. Otherwise, we can have a whole host of symptoms from reflux, to bloating, flatulence, and so on. 

2) Stimulates Secretion of Saliva 

When food enters our mouth, that is our first step in the digestive process. We have our salivary glands that release salivary enzymes. This is helping to break down the food before it enters the esophagus. 

3) Stimulates Release of Digestive Enzymes and Bile

It stimulates your digestive enzymes coming from your pancreas as well as bile from your liver. These are very important in breaking down the food appropriately so it can continue to pass from the esophagus to the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine to be ultimately excreted. 

4) Allows for Accommodation of Food in Stomach

Optimal vagal tone allows for the proper accommodation of the food in the stomach. This is where hydrochloric acid and pepsin help to break down the food even further, especially our protein. 

5) Slows Gastric Emptying

This is important because we do not want the food to pass through the system too fast. Slow emptying will make sure we are getting proper absorption of the nutrients from the food that we are eating. 

6) Coordinates Motility of Intestines

When food comes into the small intestine, that is where we are absorbing our nutrients. Then the food has to pass through to the large intestine and ultimately excreted via the rectum.

Our migrating motor complex is very critical in the small intestine, which creates a wave-like action to help move the food through to the large intestine; this is an essential function that is dependent on the vagus nerve.

7) Decreases Inflammation and Intestinal Permeability  

Intestinal permeability is also referred to as leaky gut. When we do not have proper function of the vagus nerve, proper motility, and proper assimilation of the nutrients, these tight junctions in the epithelial lining of the gut lose their integrity.

This allows pathogens, toxins, undigested food, and bacteria to move through the bloodstream igniting the immune system causing an inflammatory response. This can cause a whole host of chronic health conditions. 

8) Increase Satiety

If you have optimal vagus nerve function and tone, you’ll be able to easily recognize when you are hungry and when you are full. When this is disrupted and you have a low vagal tone, often you will see this is difficult to determine. You may eat too much or you may not eat enough. This is a simple, but important, concept in terms of weight loss and overall health and performance. 

As you can see, the vagus nerve has a tremendous impact on our digestive system. It is innervating the entire digestive tract.

If you are experiencing chronic stress, low vagal tone, frustration, anger, worry, anxiety, or you’re in a freeze state, your gut health can be deeply affected. Many gut issues such as the leaky gut, IBS, and SIBO  are linked to some of the above. It is important to think of this from a global, integrated perspective.

In order to improve our gut health, we also have to improve our vagus nerve function. Please make sure you check out all my videos on vagus nerve hacks, so you can begin to regulate your own nervous system. 

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Vagus Nerve Hack | Sphinx

The sphinx, another powerful vagus nerve hack, can improve your cervical range of motion, thereby increasing blood flow to the brainstem and stimulating the vagus nerve. Let’s briefly review the anatomy, how to perform the exercise, and the implications that it will have for you. Please make sure to check out some of our other vagus nerve hack videos on YouTube so you can explore what works best for you.

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Anatomy

In the meantime, let’s review the vagus nerve. Remember, it is the 10th cranial nerve and it is a paired nerve. It originates from the brainstem, exits anteriorly, and innervates muscles of the throat, heart, digestive tract, and is involved in all of our autonomic functions.

If we have forward head posture and limited cervical range of motion, our cranial nerves are going to be impacted since they exit from the brainstem. We need optimal cranial nerve function so that we can be in a state of social engagement. This means that we are connected, joyful, mindful, and/or grounded. It involves muscles of the face or facial expressions. Again, if our range of motion is limited, then that can impact the functionality of these nerves and thereby how we interact with the world.

Before you begin the exercise I would recommend checking your range of motion. You can start by keeping your head in a stacked position over your body and look all the way to the right and left. How does it feel? Is there pain and/or restriction?

You should be able to get your nose over towards your shoulder while keeping your eyes level, so make sure not to side bend when you perform this.

How To Perform

To perform this exercise, start by lying on your stomach and then prop yourself up to your elbows. From here starting with your head centered, lift your pubic bone off the ground, lift your head gently, and then slowly rotate to the left, holding that position for 30 seconds. Next, come back to the center, and then move to the right and hold that for 30 seconds.

Now that you’ve performed the exercise, you can reassess your range of motion to see how that feels. If it feels better, then that exercise was meant to relax or stimulate cranial nerve XI, the accessory nerve. This will relax your SCM muscle as well as your trapezius muscles. If it didn’t, then that means that there is another problem in another one of the cranial nerves. Just know that there are other exercises that may be more appropriate for you.

This is a developmental position, something we did as babies. When we prop up onto our forearms, it ignites a postural reflex. It is also optimal for reflexive stability. This is a great position, movement, and posture to work from, and even exercise from. If you have a stiff neck, or you experience migraines on a regular basis, then this is a powerful exercise to perform. Make sure to do it as often as you need to help with your symptoms.

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How To Assess and Treat Your Scars

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How To Assess and Treat Your Scars

Did you know that your scars, whether from surgeries, falls, or even tattoos, can provide significant psychological and functional consequences? The great thing is that scars are a normal part of healing, but what happens is our collagen fibers that are normally aligned in a parallel fashion, lay down in a haphazard direction. Because of this, the myofascial tissue is much stronger, however, it is not as elastic and typically not as functional.

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Our fascial tissue is considered our ectoskeleton—the glue that holds us together. It surrounds all of our muscles and organs. It has seven times more sensory nerves than our muscles do. Therefore, these scars are very sensory driven so they can disrupt the information coming from our tissue to our brain. Ultimately that can change different types of movement patterns that might be happening in the body, contributing to pain or even injury.

For example, if you have had a C-section or other type of abdominal surgery, the scars and adhesions from that can affect how the deep core is stabilizing as an integrated unit. This will affect the transverse abdominous, diaphragm, pelvic floor, and so on.

If you’ve had back surgery and you have scars in the back that can attribute to how the tissues around the spine are stabilizing and firing. If you’ve had a chemo port scar, that can attribute to the way that your shoulder is firing. The list goes on. You want to just recognize that scars are a very integral part of a movement and it’s something that can be assessed and addressed.

What To Look For When Assessing Your Scars

Here are some things to look for when assessing your scars:

1) Color – Red or white?

2) Scar height – What is the thickness?

3) Pliability – How extensible is the tissue? You can move your scar in different directions to see which direction is more restricted.

4) Surface texture – How does the scar feel overall as you glide over the tissue?

5) Sensitivity

6) What is the story that it tells? 

After you’ve assessed your scar, the next step would be to begin to treat it. You want to think of this as a very gentle, yet intentional approach.

How To Treat Your Scars

Here is how to treat your scars:

1) Desensitization

You can use a washcloth and just gently rub it over the scar. That is to desensitize any type of hypersensitive scar if you found it to be painful. 

2) Feathering and Gliding

This is used as a great general technique to warm up and relax the tissue.

3) Smudging Technique

After you’ve done that, if needed, then you can begin by a basic smudging technique where you put pressure with your hand into the skin and you’re moving the skin over the tissue. You are moving the skin gently in the direction where it felt more restricted and hold that for a period of time.

4) Circles

Then you could do gentle circles on the scar as well as around the scar to make sure you improve the elasticity of the scar.

5) Long Holds

Lastly, long holds can be used when there are noted restrictions in the elasticity of the tissue.

6) Rocktape

You can also use rock tape.

Remember when working on scars we are not breaking up the tissue. Forces over 2,000 pounds per square inch are needed in order to actually break up the tissue.  What you are doing is helping to make the tissue more elastic and pliable. You are also helping to reorganize those collagen fibers so that they are aligned properly as opposed to that haphazard direction. This can help improve how the tissue is moving in that general vicinity and beyond. 

7) Integration 

The last step is integration. You want to integrate whatever type of scar work you did into healthy mindful intentional movement. For example, if you were doing some type of scar work on the abdomen, you would want to do breathwork perhaps pelvic floor activation, and then some type of integration into an actual movement where you can put all those things together. This could be something like a dead bug exercise, bird dog exercise, or some kind of basic stabilization exercise. 

Now you know how to assess your scar, as well as treat it.

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How To Do An Elimination Diet

Do you suffer from chronic allergies, eczema, or even some digestive issues that seem to be continually unresolved?

You’ve tried everything from topical creams for your skin, supplements, and more, but you just can’t seem to get to the underlying root cause of why you’re having a specific health condition. Perhaps you’re suffering from some other kind of health condition or autoimmune disease? Maybe you are suffering from MS, Parkinson’s, or other chronic health conditions, even things like diabetes and high cholesterol?

Performing an elimination diet, or even a modified elimination diet, can be a very powerful tool in uncovering some of the potential food triggers. Food triggers can be commonly overlooked as a potential driver for these specific health issues, so stay tuned for how to perform that. The elimination diet has been used for decades by allergists, functional medicine practitioners, and dietitians. 

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How To Do An Elimination Diet

Ninety percent of all chronic health conditions are associated with excessive or persistent inflammation. Food is one of our five potential inflammatory triggers. Here are the steps to an elimination diet.

1) Identify Current Potentially Inflammatory Foods

Let’s first identify what the potentially inflammatory foods are. These can be things such as gluten, dairy, corn, soy, peanuts, alcohol, sugar, processed meats, red meat, alcohol, shellfish, coffee, and/or chocolate. All of these things can be potentially inflammatory for you, but that doesn’t mean that every one of them is.

When you’re thinking about performing an elimination diet, the first step is to evaluate how many of those foods you’re eating daily. Now please note that there are other categories of foods. These include oxalates, histamines, nightshades, and even grains that all could be inflammatory for the individual person.

2) Prepare for Elimination

Now that you’ve identified how many of those foods you’re eating on a regular basis, the next step would be to begin to slowly transition out of some of those foods and into other anti-inflammatory foods.

Rather than just purely eliminating these foods, we want to think about optimizing our health with phytonutrient and antioxidant-rich foods. To prepare for the elimination diet, you should pick a start date, so that you have it on your calendar and you know exactly when you’re going to be starting this particular journey. 

3) Elimination

The elimination diet is performed for three weeks. That means you’re eliminating all of these foods for an entire three-week period, so that means 100% elimination of these foods.

4) Reintroduce

After you have performed the three-week elimination diet, now it is time to reintroduce. You will reintroduce one food at a time. You will reintroduce that food twice in one day. For example, if you were having dairy you would have yogurt in the morning and perhaps cheese at night. Then you would wait three full days after that, without having any more dairy or any of the other foods you’ve eliminated.

You’ll track all of your symptoms: digestive issues, sleep issues, urinary issues, skin issues, joint muscle pain, and any other symptom that comes up. This will tell you if any of these foods are an issue for you. It is important to recognize your symptoms don’t necessarily have to be immediately after you eat the food. 

What To Do After Performing An Elimination Diet

Now that you’ve performed the elimination diet and reintroduction process, you can begin to continue with one food at a time. This way, you can identify which food triggers you might have. What are the things that are causing your skin issues? What are the things that are causing your digestive system, and so on?

Now, there’s always a root cause beyond that. If you find yourself having many food triggers and you’re almost sensitive to all of them, then there’s most likely an underlying issue. That is something that is still going to need to be resolved because your immune system is hyperreactive.

In my opinion, it is also one of the simplest things that you could do. It gives you complete control and ownership over what you’re putting in your body and what is appropriate for you.

You can use this Food Reintroduction Tracker below:

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3 Ways To Improve Your Lymphatic System

Did you know that the lymphatic system is one of the most powerful, yet neglected systems in the body, and it is crucial to our immune health?

As we already know 90% of all chronic disease is linked to excessive or persistent inflammation. How do we get rid of inflammation? Primarily through our lymphatic system, as well as our other detoxification organs. These can include things like our liver, kidney, lungs, tongue, fat, skin, and more. 

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Now let’s compare our lymphatic system to an aquarium. All of our bones, ligaments, joints, muscles, and organs are bathing inside of this lymph tissue. Let’s say that our lymph is the aquarium and if this aquarium happens to be unfiltered, toxic, and full of pathogens, then, unfortunately, all of those things within the lymph tissue are also going to be negatively affected. This means that we’re not getting the proper nutrients to our cells. That’s when we can have cell death and inflammation. This is what contributes to chronic disease.

So how is our lymph system negatively affected? First and foremost, our food and agricultural industry has changed dramatically since post-World War II. We have more GMOs, toxins, herbicides, pesticides, and we are constantly being bombarded with these things on a regular basis. That, in combination with the choices that we make and our lifestyle factors, such as eating a standard American diet, not exercising, and not getting enough sleep. All of these things can impact our lymphatic system. 

3 Ways To Improve Your Lymphatic System

Now let’s discuss three ways to improve your lymphatic system.

1) Diaphragmatic Breathing

 As we are diaphragmatically breathing, the diaphragm acts as a respiratory pump that pumps the lymph to the cisterna chyli, which is one of our major lymphatic ducts and drainage locations. This is located at the center of our abdomen. Breathing diaphragmatically 20,000 to 25,000 times a day is ideal. If you’re breathing more from your neck and shoulders, you can begin to slowly change your breathing pattern by starting with taking three nice slow diaphragmatic breaths every hour and building up to more.

2) Movement 

Movement is one of the key things that move our lymph. Sedentary lifestyles will be correlated with stagnant lymph. Think about every hour trying to get up, take a walk, move around, do some squats or push-ups, any type of mobility or stability work, or just any type of movement that you can do consistently. This is not sitting all day and then exercising for one hour. Instead, think of moving most hours of each day. 

3) Lymphatic Drainage

This can be a very powerful way to stimulate your lymphatic system. You’ll want to tiptoe the system and not go too fast too soon. You want to go slow with your lymphatic drainage and make sure you let your body adjust so that hopefully you can continue to progress.

How To Perform Lymphatic Drainage

To begin the lymph drainage, you will start by using a feather-light technique for five seconds, then faster deeper for five seconds, then tapping for three, and then pull in the direction of your heart for three. You want to start right above the left collarbone and then move to the right collarbone. Next, proceed to the following areas: pecs and axilla, abdomen, the inguinal area, inside the groin, behind the knee, and then inside the ankle. Make sure to always pull in the direction of your heart, and to always perform on both sides starting on the left side.

Face Lymph Drainage

The next progression is the face lymph drainage, which you will use a toothbrush. You will start with the left collarbone with the same technique of feather-light for five, faster deeper for five, tapping for three, and then pulling in the direction of the heart for three. Make sure to always start on the left side and perform on each side. After performing this above each collarbone, move to under the jaw, then lateral jaw, then next to the nasolabial lines, then the temple area, and then lastly the occipital area (you can just use your hands for this area). 

Dry Brushing Technique

The next progression is a dry brushing technique. You’ll start by clearing the left supraclavicular area. You can do this just by tapping. Then you’ll start with your feet and lower leg, brushing in long, slow strokes up towards the direction of your heart. Make sure to get behind the knee in that popliteal area and then move to the other leg. Once again, several strokes in each area.

Next move to the inguinal area moving up toward the direction of your heart. Then move to the abdomen, you can just do circles around your belly button. Next, move to the glutes and then to the low back. Next, move to the arms starting from the fingertips, and make sure you go through the axilla and pec area. Lastly, moving to the upper back. Once again make sure to perform on each side. You can do this right before your shower. 

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5 STEPS TO HEAL YOUR GUT

Do you experience food sensitivities and triggers? Perhaps you might have been told that you have a leaky gut or SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)?

Maybe you just have chronic inflammation or a health condition and you’re not sure where to start with healing your gut? But, you know how important it is to heal your gut. So let’s dive into how you could do that.

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Our food supply has changed so much since the end of World War II and our agricultural industry is very different than it used to be. We have many more GMOs, herbicides, and pesticides that are used in our food. We also have much more processed food, and therefore that has greatly impacted the health of our microbiome.

In addition to that, we have more stress, more sugar, more antibiotics, a lack of sleep, and lots of caffeine. All of these things are attributing to systemic inflammation and poor gut health. Just one round of antibiotics can shift your microbiome forever.

5 R Approach to Heal Your Gut

1) Remove

We want to remove any potential triggers. This could look very different for each person but here are some examples. This could be doing an elimination diet to remove potentially inflammatory foods. It could also be a modified elimination, like removing gluten and dairy. It could include antibiotics, anti-microbials, or antifungals to eliminate some kind of infection like SIBO or yeast overgrowth.

Removing stressors if you are maintaining a high-stress lifestyle can be very important in your healing.  You can’t remove the stress of course, but you can begin to manage and reduce the stressors in your life.

Ideally, you want to have a health professional to help you during this process. They can assist you with looking at all things that are happening in your life: sleep, stress, movement, relationships, and social aspects.

2) Replace

 Now that we removed all of these potential triggers, you’ll want to replace them with proper nutrients and anti-inflammatory food, and phytonutrients. Maximize your fruits and vegetables, olive oil, and healthy fats, for example. This can also include supplementation as well.

As we get older our digestive enzyme activity begins to decrease. That can be one factor in some gut issues. Using supplementation to support you during this time can be very beneficial because many times you’re not absorbing the nutrients as you should, especially in the case of leaky gut or intestinal permeability.

The protective barrier of the epithelial lining in our gut becomes less protective and then pathogens can come into our bloodstream causing an immune reaction. When you have SIBO, you’re not absorbing the nutrients in the small intestine like you should be. These are just a few reasons why we might need supplementation.

3) Reinoculate

This can be with probiotics. Bifidobacterium and lactobacillus are two of the primary strains that could be very beneficial in contributing to this anti-inflammatory effect and increasing the diversity of the bacteria of the microbiome. You can supplement and then you can also work towards increasing fermented foods regularly in your diet. If you’re not able to consume a small amount regularly, ideally daily, then it may be best to supplement in addition to that. If you’re able to eat it on a regular basis, then that’s the best approach.

4) Repair

Specific nutrients, as well as medicinal herbs, have been very beneficial in healing the gut lining. Things like glutamine, 14 grams per day, have been very beneficial in healing the epithelial lining of the gut. Also, things like licorice, vitamin D, omegas, and much more can be given to begin to help repair the gut.

5) Rebalance

This is where you want to look at all the aspects of your life critically and make the appropriate lifestyle shifts to bring your body back into its most optimal state of wellbeing. 

You want to remember that this approach could look very different for each person. The timeline can look very different for each person as well.

Reach out for a 15-minute FREE discovery session to see how we can help you on your journey.

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Vagus Nerve Hack | Breathing Before Eating

If you are experiencing acid reflux, bloating, constipation, or poor digestion, then this vagus nerve hack is definitely for you.

In order to have optimal digestion, we need a lot of blood flow to our digestive tract. When we are in a fight or flight state, or a stressed state, the blood is moving away from our digestive system which will slow gastric motility.

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Why perform diaphragmatic breathing?

Performing diaphragmatic breathing before you eat will stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, thereby improving your digestion.

We breathe 20,000 to 25,000 times a day. So, when we are breathing from our neck and shoulder muscles and not allowing our ribcage to expand with each breath, our diaphragm becomes restricted. Since the esophagus passes through the diaphragm, it will become restricted as well, which can cause symptoms such as acid reflux.

We want to optimize the bi-directional communication between our gut and brain since 80% of that afferent information is coming from the gut up to the brain. We do this by diaphragmatically breathing.

This means when you inhale, you have a full 360 degrees of pressure through the abdomen, and when you exhale your belly button goes toward your spine. This will help to calm the nervous system down prior to eating by stimulating the vagus nerve and releasing acetylcholine to create a sense of calmness.

Simply taking 3-10 diaphragmatic breaths before you eat will help with your digestion tremendously.

It is important to calm the nervous system before eating so that we can truly rest and digest.

Reach out for a 15-minute FREE discovery session to see how we can help you on your journey.

For more content, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel here.

Other things that may interest you:

Chew Your Food To Heal Your Gut

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