When lifestyle habits get in the way.

Transcript from a video blog- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsfMgiKSn00

In this short video I want to talk about a trend that we are seeing at the moment in our culture in terms of healthcare, healthcare habits, different supplements, different regimes, different exercises. All designed and advertised to help improve our health and wellbeing. 

What I have noticed, and what I want to comment on, is there are a lot of very wonderful things out there such as herbal teas; different kinds of supplements like spirulina ,chlorella; other vitamins and mineral; there are lots of different exercises you can do; there is information about how to improve your sleep; about the effect of screens on our health before and after sleep for example so not doing too much before you sleep etc.; having cold showers. All these wonderful, wonderful things, they can all improve our health massively. What I have noticed from my perspective dealing with people's spines and nervous systems, is really all of those things contribute to our physical health, our ability to regulate ourselves, ultimately our ability to survive. So they are all designed to help us survive, to help our bodies self-regulate  , to help our body repair and function with enough energy. 

What I have noticed, the trend is at the minute, or there can be a trend to put a lot of focus and attention on these things, so we are starting to use our mind and our emotional resources to deal with survival. Meaning you might go to meet a friend, or you might be that friend sometimes, and someone says 'how are you doing?', and the bulk of the conversation, the bulk of the focus is all about these different healthcare trends you're involved in. As opposed to having those things in place, so that they support your health and wellbeing, so that when you are with friends, when you are at work or involved in your carer or with your family and loved ones, the focus can be something else. The focus could be 'how am I adding value', 'how am I optimising things', 'how can I be more courageous', 'how can I have more loved here', 'what emotion would support me growing or improving, or feeling more joy', for example. 

So what I am noticing is, a lot of our mental and emotional resourcefulness, the energy we have for different parts of us, is being focused towards our survival. So our survival is getting a huge amount of attention, and as a result people aren't necessarily having the quality of life or improvements they could have, because they could be using that mental and emotional energy for many, many, many, many, many other things. 

So my advice is, now I should say pretty clearly, and if you know me pretty well and have seen the kitchen here at our practise you will see every kind of organic herbal tea in existence; when I have coffee I optimise it with oil and clarified butter and things of that nature; I exercise regularly; I make sure I get plenty of sleep and plenty of water; if you see me in the practise you will often see me have a green smoothie. So I use all of those things, but I try and do with them is make them habits. So I don't have to think about it, I don’t have to invest any more energy into my survival, my survival is handled. So now I can use my mind, my emotions, my other faculties to contribute more, to add more value, to be more present with the people I'm with. 

So my advice is, get the things that are really going to handle your survival habitualised. But all means play with it, tweak it, optimise it, as you go, I think that is wonderful. But the key is, have it so that it doesn’t need any more time, effort or energy thinking about it; so that you can know you have it handled; so you can then get on and use the energy they give you, and the energy in life and your emotions to go and add value to your life or go and live your life with more joy and more quality somewhere else.

As ever I really hope you have enjoyed this. I really welcome your comments and feedback, please feel free to please email me at the practise, I would love to hear from you. 

What are our symptoms trying to tell us?

Transcript from a video blog- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7aJYfhE3vo

As you can probably hear in this video I am slightly nasally and congested, and I thought this would be the perfect time, since I am experiencing them, to talk about symptoms, what they really mean and how they can really improve our health and wellbeing.

Now, our current trend, or our current healthcare model says that when we have a symptom success is- let’s treat the symptom, reduce it, eliminate it or get rid of it so that you can go back to life as normal. Now, if that symptom is a heart attack, then that approach is lifesaving. If that symptom is something where you are in a life or death state then it makes complete sense. Reduce the symptom, let your body get back to a state where it can recover so that you can live. When it comes to quality of life, when it comes to headaches, neck pains, back pains, arm pains, colds, just not quite feeling right, feeling like something is off, that approach in our experience doesn’t let people get any wisdom, get any meaning and therefore any fuel to really improve their life.

So at Thrive, my personal and my clinical experience, what we’ve found is that symptoms are really trying to tell us “stop what you are doing!” Now, let me be completely honest with you here, none of us like this, I certainly don’t! I don’t like a symptom coming along interrupting my life, I like my life to go the way I like it to go and I think it’s fair to say a lot of us do. We like knowing we can continue, I can get up I can move around , I can do the things I want to get done  or I feel I need to get done or I should get done today.

So, the first thing symptoms do, is they interrupt us, they say “STOP what you are doing!”, something’s off. As annoying and frustrating as that can be, that really allows us to pay attention to our body, pay attention to our life, our mind, our emotions, what’s going on around us, take an inventory and really start to assess what is working and what isn’t working. The wonderful thing with that is sometimes there is not necessarily a massive change, like you have to change your job or you have to change your relationships. Sometimes we do, but more often than not it’s how you are doing those things, how you are showing up, how you are conducting yourself, where your boundaries are, what you’re allowing to happen, what you are not allowing to happen, how much you’re contributing or not etcetera. More often the not the changes are how we do what we do, not just what we do. Ultimately, once we’ve stopped, paid attention, we can put a change in place. My experiences personally and clinically, and there is some research (I will put some notes under the video if you wold like to read that), that allows us to have a disease of meaning, that researchers call ‘a disease of meaning’, where we can learn something about our health, our life, put a change in place that actually improves our quality of life. So my assertion here, is that if you allow yourself to stop, pay attention, make changes, and of course that can include whatever treatment or diagnosis you think is fair or you think best serves you right now for whatever condition you are in, if you also include the idea that you can pay attention and make some changes, I found that people’s quality of life can improve.

I found that approach is what leads people eventually to say “I’m really glad that symptom happened because it allowed to make xyz changes”.  At the time when those interruptions happened, as I said it’s very rare that someone says “I’m so thrilled this cold is interrupting my life”, but once they’ve put those changes in place, once they have recognised “oh my goodness my body has just given me feedback, it’s saying pay attention!”, a bit like a hand on a hot place, it’s just hurting so that I can notice what I’m doing, change and preserve myself and enjoy my health and life.

Once we get the idea that our bodies isn’t doing anything to us, it’s more trying to communicate with us and for us, then our symptoms really become a vehicle, when we put changes in place, for our health and our quality of life to improve.

As ever, if you have questions or comments please do get in touch with us. I’ll do my best to get back in touch with you. I hope you have enjoyed this video, share it if you find it useful. I look forward to talking with you again soon.

Should I have a food allergy test?

Transcript from video blog- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L94SG2Iolw

This video will be answering a question from one of our practise members which is about food allergies, food intolerances, the genetic testing or other kind of testing that is possible for us.

So the first thing is, unequivocally, there is some solid scientific research that shows that not all foods are appropriate for all of us to eat. It’s a really good idea to find out what works for us and what doesn’t work for us. The caveat here is that obviously if you’re under the care of your GP, and your health is really suffering, then the tests might be much, much, much more important and at times they might be part of what saves your life because we need to be sure we are able to absorb and put together, assimilate, all the food we take in. So that’s the first thing.

There is defiantly some sound research testing can be really, really useful. So I like to make this much, much, much more simple because the whole topic of food can get really, really complicated. So, if we look at three different groups of people – the Inuits, the Masai warriors and the Native American population- the Inuits live largely on fats like seal and whale blubber, that kind of thing; the Masai is meat, milk and blood, that sounds really key but that’s what they can have; and the Native Americans can have a largely carbohydrate rich diet.

 Now the main thing of interest to me is that if you look at those groups when they are living in their environment eating that way, none of them have the main chronic waste and health conditions that are very common for us such as stroke, heart attack, diabetes, cancer. The rates are significantly less than they are here. Now, what’s interesting is research has shown that if you take any of those groups and you add sugar and flour into their lifestyle; and we notice this because sometimes the groups move to Western places and start eating more fast food etcetera; all of a sudden rates of stroke, heart attack, diabetes, cancer, the main western lifestyle diseases, they start to rise. So they start to become more like the norms that we see over here.

So the first obvious thing, is that sugar and flour are not designed to in our diet to the level that they are, so that’s one thing. My approach, the approach we take here at Thrive, is how do we connect with our body and listen to what our body is trying to tell us? I’ve asked thousands of people, this kind of question face to face, and the question is this- “are there things that you are doing that you know you shouldn’t be doing and are there things you are avoiding or know you’re not doing that you know you should be doing?”. Almost unanimously people answer ‘yes’ to that question.

So my advice is, begin there. Begin with what you know you should be doing and you know you should be avoiding. I’ve asked over a thousand people this question face to face and when people say things like ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I’m not sure’, my response is ‘if you did know or were sure what would you do?’. I’ve never had any human being that I’ve been with face to face not be able to answer that question and come up with something they can start with.

So my advice is, begin there, connect with your body, listen to your body, let the 14 billion years of evolution floating around inside your cells, your inmate intelligence or your intuition or whatever you call that factor, let that influence you. It is trying to show you, trying to get you to go on a path that’s going to work for you. Be open to it changing throughout the year. So right now we are moving into autumn as I’m shooting this video, so how we eat, how we sleep and our lifestyle factors need to change a little bit because we have less sunlight, we have less warmth outside, our body is doing a different job.

Cutting right down to it, yes the food allergy testing, the genetic testing that really has a place that can be very important. My personal advise is that where the majority of us should begin is- ‘what’s my body trying to tell me?’, ‘what is it that I know I need to be doing?’, ‘what is it that I know I need to be avoiding?’. Begin there, make it easy to win and build momentum. Then after time it’s easier, and easier, and easier, and easier to get listening to yourself habitulalised. Before you know it, or at least in my experience personally and clinically, people’s health and wellbeing can really improve.

As ever I hope you found this useful, and I welcome comments. Please get in touch with me when you see me. I hope it adds lots of value. Enjoy.

Stability vs Instability

Transcript from video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPsOvHmZLHA

Hi, I’m Krishan Ramyead, the founder and director of Thrive Chiropractic. In this video we are going to talk about the healing process, and this is just a little overview because the human mind thinks that most progress should happen linearly (meaning from here is a straight point up to here). The fact is that when you are dealing with something biological like the human body, and even when you are in business or in a relationship or in a health or social or hobby pursuit where you are trying to grow and make progress, progress very rarely happens in a straight line from one point to the other. 

So what I want to talk about here is a couple of forces, and couple of the things at play that are really controlling this, because when you understand this simple idea it will help you have a lot more self compassion, an understanding of what’s going on, it will help you predict what’s about to happen in your health and your life a little bit more and it will help you navigate the situations a bit more effectively when they arrive. 

So the two simple principles, and I am talking specifically about health and healing now but they can be applied to other areas of your life also, are instability and stability. So for the most time we like to live with stability, we like things to be comfortable, we like to feel grounded, safe, secure, knowing all the boundaries, knowing where everything is, having everything handled. Like knowing how things work, knowing how to execute things, knowing how our body is working, being well rested, feeling we can take on problems as they come our way. Just stable, like ‘we got this!’, things are handled, we know the boundaries, we know the factors at play, we got it handled. 

And then if you have lived long enough you will notice that lasts for a period of time, and in some cases its weeks, months, years and sometimes it’s a few days. There is a different rhythm for all of us and sometimes there is a different rhythm individually at different times in our life. So in our twenties it might be different to our thirties, forties, fifties, sixties for example. 

The second force is instability. Thank mother nature because if we were stable and we remain stable with all the boundaries and that feeling that we can handle things for too long we would be bored out of our minds and we would never make any progress. So that feeling that the human spirit cherishes, joy, of accomplishment, of being able to stretch ourselves and achieve more and become more would be absolutely stifled. So instability comes along, and instability means things get unstable, things get unknown, there are new things that happen, there are new variables. So in your health there may be a sudden ache or a new pain or a new symptom, or when things were working really well in your business now there is a new challenge which you couldn’t have predicted, in your relationship or in your family dynamics or in your social (circles) the same things. So instability comes along and the idea of instability is it’s designed to shake everything up, it’s designed to create a bit of chaos. The idea being, so if we are plodding along stable and instability happens, we reorganise ourselves and we now create stability at a higher level of organisation. Meaning we can now take on more, we know more, we can handle more with our physical health, our emotional health, our mental and spiritual health, our career, our social life, our hobbies, our practises, whatever it is we are engaged with. So that’s the idea. The idea is that we should be moving from stability to instability and then back to stability again.  So these are the 2 forces that are really at play. And when you know what they are you can in a sense start to predict for them. So if you have been stable and comfortable and well known for a long time and you know the boundaries and you feel like you have got things handled, you are probably due some instability. Likewise if things are really chaotic and feel like they are always all over the place or they have been all over the place for too long, it’s time for some more stability. 

 The work we do here in our practise, and our suggestion to you is, to really make instability full of progress. If you can experience it with enough energy, if you can experience it and really embrace it, really take it on and really welcome it and really go towards it rather than be afraid of it, stressed by it, that’s when progress happens. That’s when you can literally take that instability, run with it, feel it, sense what it’s doing and what it’s trying to tell you and then reorganise your habits, your life, your way of thinking and being at a higher level. So instability adds stability. 

Another little interesting thing here, and this is just my anecdotal observation and that of a few thousand practitioners who work the way that we do around the world, is that we are starting to notice that if people are having chronic health conditions so a condition that has been there for 5,10,15,20 years, a long period of time seemingly unchanging, then there is often the suggestion that they have been too stable for too long. And when people suddenly have an acute or something that comes out of nowhere like they are fine, fine, fine then bang! something happens in their health like sudden onset back pain or neck pain or something of that nature that seems to come almost out of nowhere, that’s probably when people are having too much instability and not enough stability. 

  So I hope you can play with that idea and take a moment to really look at your own life, to think am I going through a period of stability right now or am I experiencing instability, because then we know what we need to do. If we are stable and we have been stable for a long time it is probably time to get ready for some change. If we have been feeling chaotic and all over then place then it is time to think ‘how do i strategize?’ ‘how do I reorganise myself?’, ‘what needs to change to get more stability but at a higher level of function?’. When people get stressed and that happens what they tend to do is make their lives smaller, so ‘I’m ok if I do x,y,z’, ‘I can’t do that’, ‘I can’t eat that’, ‘I can’t move this way’, ‘I can’t see a certain person’. That’s not what we are after. What we are after is ‘I feel this instability, I’ve grown from it, I’ve felt it in my body, I’ve come up with some kind of strategy, I’ve reorganised myself and now I can handle more’. 

Stability and instability.  These two are dancing back and forwards. So when people are healing they often feel like they are going backwards, it might just be that you are feeling some instability, and now is the time to reorganise at a higher level. 

Any comments or questions ask me when you see me in practise and if there is something you want to know more about likewise always ask me. 

 

 

Complexity is the enemy of execution

If you want to do something new or challenge / stretch yourself MAKE IT SIMPLE!  

If there is anything that I have learned about following through and moving towards our dreams it is that the path there must be straightforward. In fact the path, the action steps etc must be as simple as possible.

The more complicated it seems to us, the less likely we are to act!

We have all noticed ourselves do this at times e.g.

  • If I go to the gym I’ll have to pack by bag, drive there, find a parking space, park my car, find a locker, get undressed, get dressed, warm up, then remember what I’m supposed to do, find my locker again, shower…. IT feels exhausting just to read this list!

VS

  • I’m going to work out and then meet a friend for a coffee and catch up.

Which one is more likely to happen?

It’s the same with washing dishes, putting out the rubbish or learning a new skill to advance our career. Make the path simple.

I spoke with someone recently for 90 minutes. They are someone I care about so I was more than willing to invest the time and energy. However, the conversation only needed to take 3 minutes tops. We spent most of the time cutting through the chaff to get to the SIMPLE truth – I want to learn a new skill to advance my advice: psychology. So each week I will spend 2 hours learning this. 30 minutes a day, for 4 days out of 7. I will watch videos online as part of an online course.

VERY simple. Very easy to do. Very possible to do this anywhere thanks to the web. Therefore very like to happen.

Think about something that you want to change or something that MUST change now. Make the change as SIMPLE as possible and tell someone about it so that you are accountable (someone who will not accept excuses is preferable :o) ) and then enjoy the wonderful feeling of progress!

Enjoy yourself becoming more.

Krishan

Emotional freedom

So we’re now into week 2 of our 5th birthday celebrations! The truffles are going down fast, the competition entries are piling in and the workshops are going amazingly well.  

My blogs this month, which culminate in a talk on June 25th, are going to be about the 5 Gifts of the spine – what your spine can do for you. Let’s jump in with gift 2:

How do we create emotional freedom?

What are emotions really for anyway?

And how do we harness this force to create more happiness in our life and that of those we love?

Too many of us are plagued with emotional weight. We feel and think about today things that happened to us in the past and that has a huge impact on who we are and what we feel we are capable of. It’s almost like we never got over the argument, hurt, loss, divorce, stress at school etc etc etc. Put another way, life has moved on but we have not. Our brain and nervous system is still telling us, on some level, to be vigilant about the impending stress…or the stress that just happened.

That is a massive energetic tax. In my humble opinion and clinical experience I notice that people who are ‘bound up’ emotionally, experience much lower levels of energy than their potential. Interesting studies on men with low back pain show a high correlation of ‘emotional stresses such as not feeling enough or being worried about money.

So what do we do about this and how do we experience our full emotional potential?

A couple more points first. Emotions are extremely important, because they have a huge impact on our biological function, genetics and decision making. They literally bring about instant cellular biological change - a change in life force (what we discussed last week https://thrivechiropractic.co.uk/how-strong-is-your-life-force/). This allows us to have a radical and instant change in behaviour. All great marketers and advertisers know this. It’s why a BMW is the “drive of your life”…

We have also all heard people say that it took me “10 years to make that decision, I wish I did it sooner”…or some such. The truth is that it took that individual 10 years to build up enough emotion to make the new behaviour a must… and we can all make this happen much, much, much quicker.

So what and how do we do this:

Every posture you adapt leads to certain emotion – try and bend right forward into a ball and feel happy…or open and extend right back and feel angry… it does not work! If you have difficulty in your life expressing an emotion (or keeping feeling ones you do not like) it is likely that you spine cannot adopt the posture it needs in order to express that emotion. SO:

  1. Decide what emotions you want to experience more of (YES you heard me right, chose your emotions)
  2. If you are a Thriver (a practice member at Thrive :o) ) practice SRI stage 2 and ask for more NSA level 2a (the one where I hold longer and you stretch / life up)
  3. Frequently put your body in the posture of the emotions you want AND
  4. Live congruently with the emotions you want:

If, like me, you want more courage and passion, breathe, move your body and feel energy the way a courageous and passionate person would.

Life’s challenges cause us to need to express a new range of emotion … and a new range of emotion is linked to an increased range of motion of the spine. This is incredibly important. If you think of everytime in your life that you’ve made a change or decided to go for a new job or a new relationship, you will have had a certain degree of emotional leverage. Emotion is the fuel of life that makes us strive and go for the things we really deserve.

So how different would your life be if you experienced different emotions?

Which ones are you going to harvest next?

I’m excited to hear about your progress!

To you harvesting the gifts in your spine!

Krishan

 

When will my pain go away?

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Pain is a universal experience.  

It does not matter who you are, where you’re from or what you do…. It is fairly safe to assume that you will experience pain at some point in your life.

Your relationship to pain however can massively shift the quality and direction of your life.

Let’s be clear, pain is and can be horrible – having had 2 disc herniation, 10 fractured bones and a growth in my neck, I’m no stranger to pain!

Our culture at large assumes that pain is a problem to be stopped, fixed or gotten rid of. It is an unwanted disruption to our life.

For clarity I see pain as a sensation, circumstance or situation to which we associate discomfort.

At Thrive and other centres around the world, we take a revolutionary view of pain. We see pain as feedback, a wake up call meaning: STOP, PAY ATTENTION and make a CHANGE. Simply put we do not separate the life someone is living from the pain they are experiencing.

In other words pain comes along as a necessary and helpful interruption to our life. It tells us “hey don’t keep doing what you’re doing, it’s not working”. Too often, however, the people around us and even people we consult try to help us by getting rid of the pain before we have gained any wisdom from the experience.

Pain is just telling us that we have kept things the same for far too long or that we are undergoing change at a rate that we can not handle. In either case we do not have enough energy to either make change or to handle the changes that are happening.

The irony, simplicity and beauty is that our nervous system binds the energy we need for change within and around the pain. Using NSA and SRI we want to help the individual go towards the painful sensation, situation or circumstance to extract both the energy and wisdom from it. If all we do is try to get rid of the pain then we are literally pulling out the rug from underneath us. In my experience the pain tends to come back and we don’t make progress.

So the next time you’re in pain with a sensation in your body, a situation or circumstance in your life, recognise that it is trying to get your attention. See that it’s job is to interrupt your life as usual so that you pay attention and make changes. And then when you make those changes you get to enjoy a newly organised and greater quality of life.

To your pain as a means towards progress,

Kindly

Krishan

The science of getting a good nights sleep

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A huge thank you to Brian, a Thriver who asked me to look into this – and lots of you who over the years who have talked to me about sleep.   This is going to be a quick yet potent summary of the sleep research that is currently out there AND having tested it myself, I can personally say that it has helped me.   There are 3 main factors with sleep: 1. Our body temperature 2. Light exposure 3. How ready we are for sleep vs how stimulated we are.  

Think about how you might put a child to sleep…. When it approaches bed time do we ask them to play and or do things softly and quietly. We may read a story. We have a warm bath… towel dry… brush teeth…go into a darkened room…tuck them up and get comfy and unless there is some other unforeseen stressor, hey presto sleep happens.

It needs to be similar for adults, meaning: we need a sleep routine and a shutdown, turn off time (SRI is great for this!). An amount of time before we intend to sleep where we allow ourselves to slow down and wind down.

Ideally this should be the same time every day – so that we are in a rhythm of a time to wake up and a time to go to sleep. (I know this won’t be possible for everyone for various reasons, and doing our best to get in the rhythm we can makes a massive difference). The main things to be out of our wind down time are:   • Blue light from screens • Exercise (4 hours before sleep) • Caffeine • Alcohol – (this scientifically reduces the depth and quality of sleep) • Big meals

We need to sleep in a dark and cool room. 150 years ago we had daylight and at night times fire light (which is very mellow). Then shortly after that we had the electric lightbulb…and our DNA did not have a chance to adapt to this now constant source of light. Then 50 or so years ago we got televisions and a chance to have rapidly changing light available night or day. Then in the last 10 years we’ve had mobile smart phones with Las Vegas style neon blue light in our faces day and night. The reason this is harmful and why light affects our sleep is because our skin has ‘light receptors’ – essentially our skin can see in the dark… and light tells us that it’s time to be awake.

  Interestingly, insomniacs have a higher core body temperature, research tells us. Ideally our rooms should be between 18-21 degrees and it’s best not to be dressed like an Artic explorer! Light loose clothing is best – think cool, but not cold.

  Sleep is essential, it is not a luxury. 98% of our DNA is linked to the circadian rhythm of waking in the day and sleeping at night. That’s huge. Scientists suggest that less sleep is correlated with negative thinking and that negative thinking is related to depression. So it’s really important that we all get a handle on this area of our life.

Some great news is that napping works really well. As little as 6 mins can give us a recharge. Ideally nap for 6-20 minutes or 90 minutes. This way we get a full REM cycle and avoid the sleep lag feeling.

I can personally say that this information, again thanks to Brian, has improved the quality of sleep for me and my family. I believe that it is so important for us to notice how well we feel, how productive we are and how we act when we’ve slept well compared to when we have not. Moreover, we can go further and find strong reasons for us to get up early rather than stay up late… and really then commit to and enjoy living a life towards the life we really want.

Sleep well.

Krishan

I LLNESS vs WE LLNESS

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I don’t believe that we were born just for ourselves. I believe that we were born to find, and celebrate and share our unique talents and gifts with the world. I believe that when we are at our best we are focussing on harnessing ourselves to contribute to something beyond ourselves.

Research shows that the more insular our focus, thinking and actions – the more self-obsessed we become, the less well we are – the more depressed and anxious etc.

We observe that at Thrive through people’s posture – which is, in one way, how the external world meets our internal world.

When we don’t have enough energy, or feel like we don’t have enough energy, we collapse – either bending forwards or sideways.

When we have enough energy we are like oak trees in a storm – standing strong and upright.

When we have MORE than enough energy we are upright and heart-lifted; open regardless of the environment.

The more collapsed our posture, the more we tend to focus on us. The more that our exercise, food, meditation, yoga etc. becomes about keeping us well, or helping us get through our day. Please hear me clearly, this is an important part of healthcare. However, if our focus and behaviour does not develop past this point, or stays here for too long, I am suggesting it is problematic.

The more upright our posture the more we tend to focus on how the ‘me’ standing here can impact the world around me – my family, my career and my hobbies.

When we have enough energy and strategies in our spine and nervous system, the heart-lifted posture becomes available. This is when we exercise etc. so that we are ready to serve the world – people we do and do not know – to the best of our ability. Our focus is now on WE rather than just ME.

It is my humble opinion that we all strive to have access to this embodied heart posture so that we can become the best FOR the world and not just the best IN the world. When we do this I believe that we show up in a way that positively affects the people we interact with and even the people we don’t – literally emanating and therefore magnifying a different quality of life all together.

An easy way to start this is to ask: How can I give my gifts? What is it that only I can do? What is life asking of me?

I look forward to witnessing your answers lived.

To you being well, for you and the world,

Krishan

Is it really 'silly' to feel like this?

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Our culture has an interesting approach when we feel upset, weak or like we’re suffering.

As far as I can tell, suffering seems to be a part of the universal spectrum of experiences available to us. In short, at some point, we all feel it to some degree.

I’ve noticed that when we take on more, step up and go for it more in some area of our life that we can experience more suffering. AND I think that this is why many of us live within our comfort zone and or play smaller than we know we can.

I love fairy tales, parables and myths because to me they speak of the ‘hero’s journey’ that all human beings can experience. The ability to live our lives, go for something we want and boldly face the challenges along the way.

Some of my favourites are Beauty and the Beast and David and Goliath. Think about it. Do you believe that Belle was not scared to dance with a monster with big fangs? I think she was very afraid and did it anyway because she knew what his real character was. Likewise, I think that David was afraid of Goliath and faced him anyway and in so doing became an example of courage for us all.

My point is that if we deny our suffering and think it’s weak to feel weak, then we simultaneously deny our opportunity for authentic courage. The willingness to do something or face something even though we feel less than – because we know that there is something inside of us that will emerge and be victorious. (note, and this is a longer point, I don’t agree with the ‘just deal with it’ attitude as it can lack humanity and an ability to be with ourselves and others. In my opinion it seems disassociated).

The distinguished professor of Psychology Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says this, which I LOVE: We all know individuals who can transform hopeless situations into challenges to be overcome, just through the force of their personalities. This ability to persevere despite obstacles and setbacks is the quality people most admire in others, and justly so; it is probably the most important trait not only for succeeding in life, but for enjoying it as well”.

Notice how it does not talk about people feeling silly because they are upset or weak… its talk of people able to transform these situations, and transformation does not happen when we ignore, deny or berate ourselves.

I wish for you all the self-compassion to allow yourselves to discover what is really going on so that you may experience a force of transformation emerging from inside you that will astound you. And I hope to have the privilege to be there to witness that moment for many of you.

To you,

Krishan

Do we have to wait to be sick to start getting well?

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We live in interesting times.

For one of the first times in history most people in the West have their basic needs met for food, shelter and warmth.

It fascinates me then that in these circumstances as a population we are getting ‘sicker’: the big 3 killer diseases are on the rise: cancer, heart disease and diabetes – despite the knowledge that these conditions can be largely influenced by lifestyle.

Anti-depressant use is on the rise, it’s costing us more and yet more people report being depressed.

Moreover, some of the nations (including the UK) that spend the most on their health care systems do not have a population that is the most healthy.

Perhaps most disturbingly is that more and more of us are losing people we care about way too young.

Personally I go further and see the cost of us not being at our best as equally upsetting.

A recent interesting article in the Independent quoted NHS doctors and physiotherapists as saying:

“ We need to treat patients as a whole, not a collection of isolated problems”

And

“ GPs should give patients ‘wellness prescriptions’ “

The same article claimed that we waste £11 billion per year on preventable illnesses.

My point here, and I think it’s a point I share with many in the NHS, is that the system is failing. I believe it is failing because it’s a sick care system not a health care system. (I do not at all think it is failing because of the staff – to the contrary in my experience the NHS staff care a lot about the patients they serve. )

I mean that we wait way too long before we act positively for our health and well-being; we wait till we have a noticeable symptom before we actively take care of ourselves ( a generalisation, of course). It’s a system that seeks to, and I’m paraphrasing, eliminate or get rid of symptoms to return someone to how they were before the symptom occurred. It’s about restoring people; essentially going backwards in time.

I’d like to see the rise of a wellness care system, where people actively seek health care professional’s advice and input to help them optimise their health; seeking coaching and mentoring to take their health and quality of life to the next level for them. This system would be about getting some wisdom and feedback from our symptoms – recognising that the symptom is a call for change, rather than an annoyance to be gotten rid of. It would be a system about helping us move forwards, helping us to re-organise and heal.

This idea of re-organise and healing is being heralded in research as “an approach whose time has come”. I think that it is long overdue and it is what inspires me to create and organise the care we deliver at Thrive the way we do.

Simply put we’re interested in helping people to move forwards and to optimise their health and well-being….regardless of the presence or absence of symptoms.

It is a huge challenge because it means that as a profession and a discipline we need to step up our standards and ensure we have a way of delivering this outcome and measuring it.

My long point here :o) is that I think it’s time that as a culture we carefully examined and changed this idea that if I feel fine there is nothing wrong with me, or that we wait until something is disturbing us before we act.

I believe that we all have untapped health and well-being potential and that the journey to optimising it can begin now for us all.

To your health and well-being, optimised.

Krishan

What does your posture say about you?

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The word posture is like some sort of electric shock that jolts people into an upright position!

I use this in my health talks to my and the audience’s amusement, and to prove a point: we all innately seem to know that ‘good posture’ or upright posture’ is better than ‘bad or slumped posture’.

Posture really is a world unto itself. Meaning:

·      Upright posture helps us make better impressions

·      ‘Humped’ upper backs can lead to more disease and reduce the ability to recover from diseases

·      Poor posture is linked with low confidence, doubting oneself and not speaking up

We could go on.

A great social psychologist called Amy Cuddy found that ‘power posing’ can not only change how others see us, buy also how we see ourselves.

Essentially, our posture is where our inner world, meets the outer world.

My experience has shown me that when we feel that we do not have the inner strength or resourcefulness to meet the outer world, we slump. When we feel strong, confident and even joyous our posture is upright, open and even ‘lifted’.

All of this is controlled by our brain and nervous system.

The great news is that this is done for us, without us having to think about it. It also means that, whether we like it or not, we are reflecting to the world what is going on inside us through our posture.

We have to be astute enough and relaxed enough to pay attention and interpret someone else’s posture (which many people aren’t) however, the information is there and being broadcast regardless.

It all boils down to how our brain interprets stress.

We have one stress mechanism and it is at least 100,000 years old. It basically says FIGHT! Or RUN FOR YOUR LIFE. It’s job is to help us survive and it is a godsend.

The challenge is that this mechanism can be set off by all sorts of things. It can be set off by

·      Physical stresses: Car crash, a fall, banging your head, tripping, sitting too much, overuse injury

·      Chemical stresses: sugar, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine etc.

·      Emotional / social stress: conflict at home or work, worrying about bills, loss of loved one, fear of what others will of us

The issue then becomes how do you fight or run from a conflict at work? Or sitting too much? Or eating or drinking things that are unhealthy? We can’t and so we create a barrage of hormonal release in the body that in short term can be ok but in the long term can be catastrophic for our health.

And this fight or flight response shows up in our posture. Our body puts us in the best position to run or protect ourselves.

The challenge is that when we’re in this mode we are not thinking rationally or clearly. We are in reaction mode. Our blood sugar and cholesterol are elevated. Our immune system gets suppressed. And many many more things that are ok short term but devastating long term.

So our posture can be said to be really showing us how much we are in fight or flight. How much of our life stressed we have stored up / not dealt with and essentially how much capacity we have to operate. It’s my experience that detailed postural analysis and excellent palpation, can reveal how much stress someone is storing.

The less stress we have stored, I believe, the more we can enjoy our physical health, feel better about ourselves and enjoy our work and relationships.

I do a live demonstration of how people in our practice change their posture WITHOUT doing any postural exercises in our regular welcome workshop: details here (link).

Want to take your health into your own hands? Try this free somatic exercise that will help you to relax, process stress and connect to what works in your body (link here).

In changing and improving our posture I believe that we can not only heal past stress, but also deal with and enjoy our lives a great deal more.

Kindly,

Krishan

When is pain a pain and when is pain a pattern?

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Ok this title is a mouthful.

Pain is a simple feedback tool that means STOP, PAY ATTENTION and CHANGE. A bit like when we place our hand on something too hot… ow… look at hand… move it very quickly…

Sometimes we get aches and pains as a regular and normal part of life. If we sleep on our arm, or workout or do something unusually taxing with our body. It can get sore and heal, usually quite quickly (hours to days).

When we keep getting the same ache or pain over a matter of months or years, there is typically a pattern at play. We are doing something with our nervous system, our body and our life that does not work the way we’d like. When this happens, we need to stop what we’re doing, pay attention and decide what needs to be changed.

It might be the ache in our neck that comes and goes for no reason, or the niggling back pain that we never seem to fully resolve. You get the idea, it’s that ache or niggle that seems to recur in the same place…and we can’t seem to find a good reason for why.

This is our bodies call for us to pay attention to it’s signals and to get interested in what is really going on.

Now, none of us like our bodies interrupting our life as usual. It can be really annoying and bothersome to say the least. However, to experience the heights of well-being that are possible to us we must be open to the idea that there is a way to live our life, that we have not thought of, that may work a whole lot better for us and those around us.

To this end, the first port of call when working with yourself or improving your well-being is to connect with your body and discover what does and what does not work for you. We need to recognise that our body does not make mistakes (unless you’re in the very rare minority with a genetic condition). As such our body is always working with us and for us, towards our best health – and sometimes it does not feel like this at all, especially when we are heavily interrupted.

I’ve noticed that our bodies tend to use escalating levels of interruptions: first feathers, then bricks and then trucks (thanks to my friend Dr Dave Hill for teaching me that one :o) and for being there to help me pick up the pieces after some bricks… )

If you have not already, I’d like to offer you these free exercises to help you connect with yourself and to check in to discover what is working and what may need your attention.

It remains my personal and clinical experience (approx.. 50,000 patient visits to date) that heeding what our body is trying to tell us improves our wellbeing and sometimes in ways that we can not imagine.

To your well-being

Krishan

What are our symptoms trying to tell us?

-Begin Transcript

Hi, I’m Krishan Ramyead, the founder and director of Thrive Chiropractic. As you can probably hear in this video I am slightly nasally and congested, and I thought this would be the perfect time, since I am experiencing them, to talk about symptoms, what they really mean and how they can really improve our health and wellbeing.

Now, our current trend, or our current healthcare model says that when we have a symptom success is- let’s treat the symptom, reduce it, eliminate it or get rid of it so that you can go back to life as normal. Now, if that symptom is a heart attack, then that approach is lifesaving. If that symptom is something where you are in a life or death state then it makes complete sense. Reduce the symptom, let your body get back to a state where it can recover so that you can live. When it comes to quality of life, when it comes to headaches, neck pains, back pains, arm pains, colds, just not quite feeling right, feeling like something is off, that approach in our experience doesn’t let people get any wisdom, get any meaning and therefore any fuel to really improve their life.

So at Thrive, my personal and my clinical experience, what we’ve found is that symptoms are really trying to tell us “stop what you are doing!” Now, let me be completely honest with you here, none of us like this, I certainly don’t! I don’t like a symptom coming along interrupting my life, I like my life to go the way I like it to go and I think it’s fair to say a lot of us do. We like knowing we can continue, I can get up I can move around , I can do the things I want to get done  or I feel I need to get done or I should get done today.

So, the first thing symptoms do, is they interrupt us, they say “STOP what you are doing!”, something’s off. As annoying and frustrating as that can be, that really allows us to pay attention to our body, pay attention to our life, our mind, our emotions, what’s going on around us, take an inventory and really start to assess what is working and what isn’t working. The wonderful thing with that is sometimes there is not necessarily a massive change, like you have to change your job or you have to change your relationships. Sometimes we do, but more often than not it’s how you are doing those things, how you are showing up, how you are conducting yourself, where your boundaries are, what you’re allowing to happen, what you are not allowing to happen, how much you’re contributing or not etcetera. More often the not the changes are how we do what we do, not just what we do. Ultimately, once we’ve stopped, paid attention, we can put a change in place. My experiences personally and clinically, and there is some research (I will put some notes under the video if you wold like to read that), that allows us to have a disease of meaning, that researchers call ‘a disease of meaning’, where we can learn something about our health, our life, put a change in place that actually improves our quality of life. So my assertion here, is that if you allow yourself to stop, pay attention, make changes, and of course that can include whatever treatment or diagnosis you think is fair or you think best serves you right now for whatever condition you are in, if you also include the idea that you can pay attention and make some changes, I found that people’s quality of life can improve.

I found that approach is what leads people eventually to say “I’m really glad that symptom happened because it allowed to make xyz changes”.  At the time when those interruptions happened, as I said it’s very rare that someone says “I’m so thrilled this cold is interrupting my life”, but once they’ve put those changes in place, once they have recognised “oh my goodness my body has just given me feedback, it’s saying pay attention!”, a bit like a hand on a hot place, it’s just hurting so that I can notice what I’m doing, change and preserve myself and enjoy my health and life.

Once we get the idea that our bodies isn’t doing anything to us, it’s more trying to communicate with us and for us, then our symptoms really become a vehicle, when we put changes in place, for our health and our quality of life to improve.

As ever, if you have questions or comments please do get in touch with us or post them below. I’ll do my best to get back in touch with you. I hope you have enjoyed this video, share it if you find it useful. I look forward to talking with you again soon.

Bye for now.

 

--End Transcript

Is Stress really that bad for you?

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What I have to say may shock you or surprise others.

We need stress. It is ESSENTIAL.

Stress makes us follow through, meet deadlines and get things done that we would otherwise avoid.

Physical stress done the right way, means our body will build up stronger afterwards.

Emotional / Mental stress can help us develop emotional-fitness and the ability to be with, handle and focus our emotions throughout our lives.

Short term stress can literally help bring out the best in ourselves.

However, too much stress can be really bad. Or adding stress to a person and their nervous system when they are already tense can be harmful.

So I believe our goal, on our path to health, wellbeing and fulfilment, must include dealing with accumulated stress AND building in strategies to take on more.

I think and I see lots of people who are struggling to deal with stress well and in extreme cases may take some form of medication to help them deal with it. Whilst the medications may really help in the short term, many have known harmful side-effects which I’m sure we all want to avoid.

 So in dealing with accumulated stress and to help us take on more, I personally use a few tactics:

  1. Use a journal to write down what is concerning you and what you’re grateful for. It is so simple and a great scientifically supported way to improve your happiness

  2. Exercise regularly

  3. Eat Sensibly (this one I have to work at the most!)

  4. Meditate

  5. Do some SRI – if you’re new to Thrive we have all the exercise videos here free of charge: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLc9HWg7wvCYt7KgTCBPuz-6Mv03LEapTA

  6. I get regular NSA care to both help me deal with accumulated stress and turn that into fuel to push me forward.

We all admire people who can overcome obstacles, stress and impossible seeming situations and turn them into victories. Some psychologists describe this as the most desired and admired human attribute.

To develop it we must allow ourselves to dream and to stretch into boldness. We must reach deep into the pit of ourselves and go beyond the voices of doubt and fear and find that childlike wondrous desire to be more.

Out of that place comes the internal fire to go and live life on our terms both for ourselves and for those we care about. Add enough energy and commitment and you have the surest path to far more than you can dream of.

To you and your stress bringing the best out of you,

Krishan

How feeling anxious calmed me down

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How feeling Anxious calmed me down

Recently I had a strange experience. Out of literally nowhere I felt anxious. It was as if a switch had been flipped and anxiety had been turned on.

This for me is very unusual.

Knowing what I know, I decided to ‘go towards’ this feeling – to let myself feel it rather than do something that made me feel better e.g. eating sweets, drinking coffee or watching something entertaining. (welcome to my old hit list :o) ).

The way I went towards it was to:

1. Admit that I was feeling anxious rather than drive myself into being busy

2. See where in my body the epicentre of the sensation was.

3. Put my hands on that area, breathe into and verbally acknowledge “sometimes I feel anxious”. more on that technique is this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOnWLglPcHk&list=PLc9HWg7wvCYt7KgTCBPuz-6Mv03LEapTA&index=12&t=146s

What really amazed me about this experience is that firstly I calmed down – A LOT. I literally went from feeling shaky, tingling hands and that horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach to feeling calm and ok with myself.

Now I like to keep a track of my heart rate -  I wear a heart rate monitor all the time…yes I am a bit geeky like that. What surprised me was that several days later when I was looking at my heart rate stats for the week, I could see that having felt anxious AND acknowledged it, my heart rate dropped. I literally had less background stress.

More interesting is that in a day or two before I even noticed I had this feeling, my average heart rate was unusually high. I felt ‘fine’, even though I was more stressed. Then when I let myself feel and acknowledge what I now think to be the background anxiety, I calmed down. When I connected with myself, I really was able feel what ‘fine’ feels like.

Its my continual personal and clinical experience that our inner and outer fears only have power of us when they are ‘in the dark’. The moment we shine the light of awareness on these things, their power over us diminishes, we get more energy and take our power back.

Hoping that you find this useful

Krishan

 

Ps we have an SRI workshop on Thursday 16th Feb @ 7pm where I will go through this exercise and others to help you move through your background stress