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14/Dec/2022

Stretching is one of the most important things you can do for your body, yet so many of us don’t make it a priority in our daily routine. Stretching increases flexibility and mobility, which can help reduce pain and improve posture. But there are even more benefits to stretching every day. Let’s explore why stretching is so important and how it can be beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing.

Stretching Increases Flexibility

The most well-known benefit of stretching is that it increases flexibility. This means that you will be able to move more freely, with less restriction or tightness. Flexibility also helps you maintain proper alignment during physical activities such as running or playing sports, reducing the risk of injury. Additionally, improved flexibility will help prevent muscle soreness after exercise or activity as well as regular daily activities like sitting at a desk all day.
A recent study from the ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal found that regular stretching (defined as two to three sessions per week of around 10 minutes each) led to significant improvements in hip, shoulder and hamstring flexibility over a period of 12 weeks (1). Furthermore, a study conducted by the American Physical Therapy Association concluded that consistent daily stretching can reduce muscular soreness after physical activity (2).
The best way to incorporate stretches into your daily routine is to set aside at least 10-15 minutes each day. Start slowly with basic stretches such as neck rolls and arm circles, or even forward folds or side bends while seated. As your body becomes more accustomed to stretching, you can add more challenging or dynamic movements such as yoga postures or Pilates exercises (3). Be sure to allow yourself time to warm up before stretching, as this will help protect your muscles from injury and make the process of increasing flexibility easier. Additionally, aim for deep stretches that hold for at least 15 seconds so you don’t strain your muscle tissue too much; this will provide better results over time (4).

Stretching Reduces Stress

Stretching not only helps physically but mentally as well! Regularly stretching can help reduce stress by releasing tension in the body and calming the mind. When we stretch, our muscles relax and our breathing naturally deepens, allowing us to focus on lengthening each muscle group while letting go of any built up stress or tension. Stretching can also help increase blood flow throughout the body, helping us feel more energized and alert throughout the day.
Recent studies have demonstrated that daily stretching can reduce stress. According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Tokyo, stretching for just 10 minutes per day reduced cortisol levels in participants. Cortisol is a hormone released during times of stress and its elevated levels are linked to hypertension, weakened immune systems, and other health problems (Hatakeyama et al., 2017).
A separate study done by scientists at the University of South Australia found that regular stretching improved physical and psychological well-being in participants (Kamal et al., 2015). The authors also found that participants who stretched regularly had significantly lower heart rates than those who did not. Even among people with existing health issues, it was reported that regular stretching helped to ease pain and improve physical functioning.
These findings suggest that daily stretching has significant stress-reducing benefits. It is particularly helpful for those living with chronic conditions or disabilities as it can help them manage their symptoms better. Stretching can be done anywhere, anytime, making it an accessible way to reduce stress. Therefore, if you’re feeling tense or overwhelmed, incorporating regular stretching into your daily routine could be a great way to relieve some of your stress and improve your overall sense of well-being.

Improved Posture

Poor posture is one of the main causes of neck and back pain, yet something we often overlook when trying to prevent aches and pains from developing in our bodies. Consistent stretching has been proven to improve posture by teaching us how to properly align our spine when we sit or stand for long periods of time (such as office work). Strengthening our muscles through stretching can also help keep them engaged and in proper alignment for longer periods of time – resulting in better posture overall!
Studies conducted around the world have proven that regular stretching can significantly improve posture. For example, one study published in 2017 in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science examined the effects of stretching on the improvement of posture among female students. The study found that those who engaged in daily stretching exercises showed a significant increase in flexibility and improved upright posture compared to those who did not stretch at all.
Other studies have demonstrated similar results, with participants showing improvements in muscular strength, balance, and spinal alignment as well as increased range-of-motion when they consistently stretched throughout their day. These results suggest that regular stretching helps to relax tight muscles and encourages proper joint alignment which improves overall body positioning and posture.
Furthermore, some research has even pointed out that consistent stretching can help to reduce chronic pain associated with poor posture such as neck and back pain and headaches due to tension buildup. Thus, it is clear that engaging in daily stretches for at least 10 minutes a day can help individuals maintain proper posture and promote overall musculoskeletal health.

Conclusion

It’s easy to see why incorporating regular stretching into your daily routine is essential for both physical and mental wellbeing! Not only does it increase flexibility, reduce stress levels, and improve posture; but it also helps boost energy levels throughout the day so that you always feel ready to take on whatever life throws your way! So next time you’re feeling stressed out or sore after a long day, try taking a few minutes out of your day to do some basic stretches – it could make all the difference!

References:

(1) ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal: https://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/Fulltext/2016/05000/The_Effects_of_Stretching_on_Performance–A_Systematic.9.aspx

(2) American Physical Therapy Association: http://www.apta.org/PWNF/

(3) Harvard Health Publishing: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-importance-of-stretching

(4) Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/stretching/art-20047931


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25/Nov/2022

If you suffer from fibromyalgia, you know that it can be a debilitating condition that causes fatigue, pain, insomnia, gastrointestinal issues and brain fog. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for fibromyalgia, but there are many natural treatments that can help lessen your symptoms. Here are 10 natural ways to treat fibromyalgia:

Rest and relaxation:

Getting enough rest is crucial for people with fibromyalgia. Taking breaks during the day and getting a good night’s sleep can help reduce fatigue and pain.
A study published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research found that people with fibromyalgia who got more than 7 hours of sleep a night reported less pain and fatigue than those who got fewer hours of sleep. Furthermore, a study published in the journal PLoS One found that people with fibromyalgia who participated in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program had reduced levels of fatigue and pain. This suggests that relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation may help improve sleep quality and reduce fatigue and pain in people with fibromyalgia.

Exercise:

Although it may seem counterintuitive, exercise is actually one of the best things you can do for fibromyalgia. There is significant evidence to support exercise for fibromyalgia.
One study showed that a 12-week program of aerobic and resistance training improved pain, fatigue, and sleep quality in women with fibromyalgia. A review of 16 studies found that exercise was associated with significantly reduced pain intensity and improved physical function in people with fibromyalgia.
Another study showed that aquatic exercise was beneficial for reducing pain, fatigue, and improving mental health in people with fibromyalgia. Walking appears to be the most beneficial form of exercise for people with fibromyalgia, but any type of exercise that is gentle and can be sustained for a moderate amount of time is likely to be helpful. It is important to start slowly and build up gradually, listening to your body to see how much you can handle. Taking rest days when needed is also important.

Diet:

Eating a healthy diet is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for people with fibromyalgia. Some foods that are beneficial for people with fibromyalgia include omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium-rich foods, and probiotic-rich foods. One thing to avoid is trigger foods that can make symptoms worse. Common trigger foods include caffeine, alcohol, processed food, and sugar.

Supplements:

Clinical trials have shown that omega-3 supplements can be helpful for people with fibromyalgia. One study found that omega-3 supplements improved pain, fatigue, and quality of life in participants with fibromyalgia. Another study showed that omega-3 supplements reduced tenderness in the muscles of people with fibromyalgia.
Magnesium supplements have also been shown to be helpful for people with fibromyalgia. One study found that magnesium supplements improved pain and tenderness in the muscles of participants with fibromyalgia. Another study showed that magnesium supplements improved fatigue and sleep quality in participants with fibromyalgia.
Vitamin D supplements have also been shown to be helpful for people with fibromyalgia. One study found that vitamin D supplements improved pain and fatigue in participants with fibromyalgia. Another study showed that vitamin D supplements improved quality of life in participants with fibromyalgia.
Finally, turmeric supplements have been shown to be helpful for people with fibromyalgia. One study found that turmeric supplements improved pain, fatigue, and depression symptoms in participants with fibromyalgia. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen.

Acupuncture:

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body. Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective treatment for pain, fatigue, and other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia in a number of clinical trials. For example, a trial published in the journal Rheumatology International in 2012 found that acupuncture was more effective than sham acupuncture in reducing pain and fatigue in patients with fibromyalgia.
Additionally, a trial published in the journal Pain Medicine in 2013 found that acupuncture was more effective than sham acupuncture in reducing pain severity and improving function in patients with fibromyalgia. These and other clinical trials provide strong evidence that acupuncture is an effective treatment for fibromyalgia.

Massage:

Massage therapy can help relieve pain by improving circulation and relaxing tense muscles. It can also help reduce stress and promote better sleep.
Research has shown that massage therapy can be an effective treatment for pain relief in people with fibromyalgia. A study published in the journal Pain Medicine in 2016 found that massage therapy was associated with a significant reduction in pain intensity and improvement in fatigue and sleep quality in people with fibromyalgia.
Another study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2017 found that massage therapy was associated with a reduction in pain, anxiety, and depression symptoms in people with fibromyalgia. These findings suggest that massage therapy may be helpful for managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Cannabis:

Cannabis has been shown to be an effective treatment for fibromyalgia symptoms. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology found that cannabis was more effective than conventional therapies in treating pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances in people with fibromyalgia. The study participants who used cannabis reported significant improvements in all measures of fibromyalgia severity, including pain intensity, fatigue, and cognitive function.
A 2017 study published in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology found that cannabis was associated with significant reductions in pain and fatigue levels, as well as improved sleep quality. The study participants who used cannabis also reported significant improvements in quality of life.
Based on the evidence, it appears that cannabis may be an effective treatment for fibromyalgia symptoms. Cannabis is safe and easy to use, and it may provide significant relief for people who suffer from this debilitating condition.

Aromatherapy:

Aromatherapy has been shown to be beneficial for people with fibromyalgia. A study published in the journal Pain Management Nursing found that aromatherapy with lavender oil improved pain, fatigue, and sleep quality in people with fibromyalgia.
Another study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that aromatherapy with lemon balm oil improved pain, anxiety, and quality of life in people with fibromyalgia.
A study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience found that aromatherapy with bergamot oil improved pain and tenderness in people with fibromyalgia.
A study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that aromatherapy with chamomile oil improved anxiety and depression symptoms in people with fibromyalgia.

Laser therapy:

Laser therapy is a beneficial treatment for Fibromyalgia. It increases circulation, which helps to reduce pain and promote healing. Additionally, laser therapy is a non-invasive treatment that is relatively painless.
A study published in the “Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine” in 2009 found that laser therapy was able to improve pain, fatigue, and function in people with Fibromyalgia.
Additionally, a study published in “PLoS One” in 2013 found that laser therapy was able to reduce pain and improve quality of life in people with Fibromyalgia. These studies provide evidence that laser therapy may be an effective treatment for Fibromyalgia.

Intravenous vitamins and minerals:

One potential treatment for fibromyalgia is intravenous vitamin and mineral infusion. This treatment bypasses digestion and allows the vitamins and minerals to be directly absorbed into the bloodstream. The use of intravenous vitamin and mineral infusion for the treatment of fibromyalgia has been supported by a number of clinical trials.
A randomized, controlled trial published in 2011 found that the treatment was effective in reducing pain and fatigue in people with fibromyalgia. A study published in 2012 found that the infusion was associated with a significant improvement in quality of life and sleep quality.
Another study published in 2014 found that the infusion was associated with a reduction in tender points and improved self-reported pain scores. These studies provide strong evidence that intravenous vitamin and mineral infusion is an effective treatment for fibromyalgia.

Conclusion:

If you are looking for natural ways to treat Fibromyalgia, there are many options available. Some of these include: rest and relaxation techniques, exercise, diet, supplements, acupuncture, massage, cannabis, laser therapy and intravenous vitamins and minerals. It is important to speak to your naturopathic doctor about which natural therapies might be best for you. With so many options available, there is sure to be a treatment that can help improve your symptoms and quality of life.

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11/Sep/2022

Intro

According to the National Sleep Foundation, “insomnia is defined as repeated difficulty with sleep initiation, maintenance, consolidation, or quality that occurs despite adequate opportunity and circumstances for rest,” and it affects approximately 30-35% of adults. If you’re one of the millions of people struggling to get a good night’s sleep, know that you’re not alone—and there are naturopathic treatments that can help!

Sleep Hygiene

One of the best things you can do to improve your sleep is to practice good sleep hygiene. This includes habits like avoiding caffeine in the afternoon and evening, avoiding alcohol before bed, Establishing a regular sleep schedule, and avoiding screens in the bedroom. Creating a relaxing bedtime routine can also be helpful; consider taking a bath or reading a book before climbing into bed.

Nutraceuticals

There are also a number of nutraceuticals—or nutrients that have medicinal properties—that can help improve sleep. Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, and supplements can be effective in treating insomnia. 5-HTP is another nutrient that can be helpful in treating sleeplessness; it works by increasing levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in regulating sleep. Other nutrients that have been shown to be effective in treating insomnia include gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), valerian root, and passionflower.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Moxabustion
Moxabustion

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers another treatment option for those struggling with insomnia. Acupuncture is one of the most well-known TCM treatments; research has shown that it can be effective in treating insomnia by promoting relaxation and improving sleep quality. Herbal medicine is another TCM modality that can be helpful in treating sleeplessness. Traditional Chinese herbs that have been used to treat insomnia include jujube seed, ziziphus seed, longan fruit, tianma root, ginseng root, and magnolia bark.

Cannabis

Cannabis is another treatment option that is gaining popularity for its ability to effectively treat insomnia. THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, has been shown to increase slow-wave sleep—the deepest stage of sleep—while CBD has been shown to reduce REM sleep density, which may lead to more restful sleep. For those who are interested in trying cannabis for their insomnia but are worried about the potential for addiction or abuse, CBD-only products may be a good option as they do not have any psychoactive effects.

Conclusion

If you’re one of the millions of people affected by insomnia, know that you’re not alone—and there are treatments out there that can help! Sleep hygiene practices like avoiding caffeine and screens before bed can make a big difference, and nutraceuticals like melatonin and 5-HTP can also be effective in treating sleeplessness. Traditional Chinese Medicine modalities like acupuncture and herbal medicine can also offer relief from insomnia; cannabis is another treatment option gaining popularity for its ability to improve sleep quality. Talk to your naturopathic doctor about which treatment option may be right for you!

Book an appointment today!


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13/Aug/2022

Cannabinoid therapy for sleep

I have noticed consistently good results using cannabinoids for sleep disorders. I am often asked what are the top indications for cannabis therapy in my practice and insomnia would always be in the top three.

I first started to gain an interest in cannabis and cannabinoids back in 2015. One of the most common reasons that my patients were using cannabis was for various types of insomnia. Most of these patients were having very good results. That really peaked my interest because I too suffered from insomnia for a large part of my life.

I had used various natural sleep aids but needed a change as my current medication was producing some inconvenient side effects. After receiving my medical cannabis prescription I started using a balanced THC:CBD oil which improved my sleep latency and nighttime wakeup’s within a few days. Cannabinoid therapy is now one of my most recommended treatments for various types of insomnia as it is safe, inexpensive, fast acting and effective.

Cannabis can have calming or stimulating effects depending on the preparation, dose and mode of administration. I really wanted to find out what made cannabis effective for sleep and what would be the optimal way to use it for sleep. My research pointed towards a few mechanisms through which cannabinoids likely have sleep promoting effects: GABA, Serotonin and Endocannabinoid modulation.

GABA

GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that generally promotes a relaxation response in the central and peripheral nervous system. It is well established that activation of GABA receptors favours sleep and many pharmaceutical drug classes, including benzodiazepines, act on GABA receptors.

Both animal and human studies have demonstrated that cannabidiol (CBD) has a modulatory effect on GABA activity. CBD can both increase and decrease GABA activity depending on neurotransmitter activity levels (if there’s too little it increases, if there is too much it decreases). This makes CBD useful for sleep disorders resulting from too little GABA activity (think of the overactive brain) without the addictive potential of GABA stimulating pharmaceutical preparations.

Serotonin

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is involved in mood and sleep/wake responses. Many antidepressant medications specifically target serotonin activity. Research from the early 2000’s by Bambico et al demonstrated that cannabinoid receptor agonists (things that stimulate cannabinoid receptors) have the ability to modulate serotonin activity. Low doses seemingly to raise serotonin activity while high doses have little effect.

Both endogenous cannabinoids (cannabinoids we make ourselves) and phytocannabinoids (THC, CBD etc..) seem to have the ability to modulate serotonin activity via stimulation of our cannabinoid receptors. This may explain some of the physiology involved in the sleep promotion and anti-anxiety effects of cannabis preparations. CBD seems to be particularly useful through its interplay with our endocannabinoid system.

The Endocannabinoid System

All species, with the exception of insects, have an endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is our bodies harm reduction system, keeping chemical and electrical singling in balance. Overall, stimulation of the endocannabinoid system has a calming effect and a known modulator of our sleep/wake cycle.

Many chronic diseases that have been linked to disruption in the endocannabinoid system (Fibromyalgia, Migraine, Inflammatory Bowel Disorder) have a sleep disruption comorbidity. This sleep disruption can usually be helped with a prescription of cannabinoids such as CBD. It is certainly plausible and empirical evidence supports the theory that patients with sleep disorders have endocannabinoid disruption. Therefore, phystocannabinoids like CBD can be helpful to restore endocannabinoid tone and subsequently better sleep.

Dosing Considerations

Cannabis is a unique medicine as it cannot be prescribed based on age and weight. Everyone has an individual response to cannabinoids due to the fact that everyone has unique  endocannabinoid tone and metabolism.

Cannabinoids like CBD and THC can interact with particular medications and preexisting conditions. Some preparations of cannabis are very different in their effect and duration. Smoked cannabis has a very fast acting effect but a short duration. Edible cannabis can have a slow onset of effect but last for a long time.

Therefore it is highly recommended to have a healthcare professional knowledgeable in cannabinoid therapy work with you for the initial stages of treatment. This will ensure a safe and effective dosing strategy with minimal chance for adverse effects. With that being said cannabis is a very safe medication and when prescribed correctly can make a significant difference in those suffering from sleep disorders. Check out the Cannabis Therapy page for more information.

References

Pretzsch CM, Freyberg J, Voinescu B, Lythgoe D, Horder J, Mendez MA, Wichers R, Ajram L, Ivin G, Heasman M, Edden RAE, Williams S, Murphy DGM, Daly E, McAlonan GM. Effects of cannabidiol on brain excitation and inhibition systems; a randomised placebo-controlled single dose trial during magnetic resonance spectroscopy in adults with and without autism spectrum disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2019 Jul;44(8):1398-1405. doi: 10.1038/s41386-019-0333-8. Epub 2019 Feb 6. PMID: 30758329; PMCID: PMC6784992.

Gottesmann C. GABA mechanisms and sleep. Neuroscience. 2002;111(2):231-9. doi: 10.1016/s0306-4522(02)00034-9. PMID: 11983310.

Moreira FA. Serotonin, the prefrontal cortex, and the antidepressant-like effect of cannabinoids. J Neurosci. 2007 Dec 5;27(49):13369-70. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4867-07.2007. PMID: 18057193; PMCID: PMC6673093.

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09/Oct/2019

Intro to Afghan Kush

I chose to review Pure Farms Afghan Kush because it is a best seller on the Ontario Cannabis Store and because it’s a genetically pure strain. Kush originated in Hindu Kush mountain region sandwiched between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Geographically, Afghan Kush is therefore pretty much as authentic as you can get. In fact, Pure Farms notes that this strain is the building block for many modern Kush varieties. 

Pure Farms Afghan Kush is a medium to high potency Indica. The Farm is located in British Columbia. They have been cultivating for 25 years. The cannabis is grown in a modern green house facility with natural light and modern app-based quality assurance systems. 

Cannabis Buds

Appearance

The batch that I sampled was around 18% THC (mid-high potency) but it can land anywhere between 16-22%.  When I took out my first bud I could see that it was heavily frosted with trichomes. I was also struck by the vibrant green color of the bud, which is an indication of its freshness and lack of oxidation. The texture was a bit drier than I prefer but the smoke was not harsh and very flavorful. 

Smell Test

Immediately after opening the package I took a good whiff of the buds. The aroma was pleasant with definite floral and earthy notes. I knew right away that Myrcene and Linalool would be two prominent terpenes in this strain. I was able to confirm that Linalool and Myrcene were indeed part of this varieties profile, along with Nerolidol, Caryophyllene and Limonene (OCS.ca). Linalool and Myrcene are typically associated with relaxation, so I knew, even before smoking, that this would probably be a very relaxing strain. 

Naturopathic Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

The experience

I took 3 draws of the Afghan Kush from a joint. The effects started within 5-10 minutes and peaked around 45 minutes after smoking. The primary sensation was a nice enjoyable relaxation throughout the body and head. I would say that the body effect was not as potent as some other Indica’s that I have tried (see my review of MK Ultra). The high felt very clean and authentic, like I was transported back in time to when the first Indica strains were being cultivated. Despite the relatively high THC content there was no paranoia. I did develop a slight headache, and dizziness toward the end of the high (might have just taken a bit too much).  Initially the experience wasn’t very sedating; however, towards the end I did feel quite sleepy. Therefore I would recommend this as an evening/night strain, not ideal for daytime use. 

Final Thoughts

I recommend this strain to the cannabis connoisseur and those interested in trying something with a great deal of authenticity. I could also see this strain being helpful for tight sore muscles and issues with sleep and stress. Even if it was primarily a placebo effect, I enjoyed feeling connected to the roots of cannabis cultivation through this very authentic Indica.

https://youtu.be/zXiljCm2yoU

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23/Aug/2017

Relax an let go

We need to learn how to relax. Many great spiritual teachings and teachers have at some point arrived at a similar insight. At its essence it’s the importance of relaxation and letting go. A Chinese proverb states “Tension is who you think you should be, relaxation is who you are”.  We spend an awful lot of time in a state of tension and many believe this to be a productive state, describing it as “good stress”. In reality, tension of the body and mind is a great inhibitor of creative thought and positive emotions.

 

Recently I underwent a quest of sorts with a good friend of mine in the wilderness of northern Ontario. We were both very lucky to have walked away from that experience with several insights. The most important lesson was that ones true self and ones ability to act with creativity, love and insight is most possible when the mind is able to let go and the body is able to relax.

 

Health

It is a fact that stress can negatively impact health if left unchecked. Stress affects the body, mood and behavior; it can cause headache, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression and overeating. A Japanese study from 2002 examined 73,000 Japanese men and women, age 40-79, for two years. Men and women who reported a high level of perceived mental stress had between a 1.5 and 2 fold increase in the risk of stroke and congestive heart disease. [1]

 

In Kompier and Coopers 1999 publication, “Preventing Stress, increasing productivity: European case studies in the workplace”, the impact of stress related illness in the UK is estimated at an economic cost of 2.5-10 percent of the gross national product, with an estimated 30 million days lost due to stress related illness every year.[2] One can easily see that stress is an impeder rather than a supporter of productivity. Kompier and Coopers publication outlines a very technical analysis of strategies for preventing stress in the workplace; however, as a healthcare practitioner I see and understand the need for a simplified strategy that one can implement anywhere and at anytime.

Training

Thus I return to the idea expressed at the beginning of this article, namely to relax and let go. I can predict that many of you reading this are probably muttering to yourself “easier said than done” or something along that line, and you would be absolutely correct; it is! Experience has taught me that in order for the mantra “relax and let go” to stick it helps to have experienced a prolonged state of mental and physical stillness, awareness,  or expanded consciousness. By sampling an elevated state of being one is able to better understand the benefit of a stilled mind and better equipped to return to awareness. Unfortunately it is one of those things that as Morpheus told Neo “you must see… for yourself”.

 

Many of you that have practiced meditation, living in the moment or even a transcendental occurrence through a near death experience or psychedelics may have a sense of what I am talking about. For the rest, step one is to capture a moment of stillness in order to sew the seed of relaxed awareness. For this I can suggest a few things:

  1. Go into nature (nature emits a certain vibration that facilitates meditation, or at least filters out the hustle and bustle of modern mechanistic living).
  2. Practice meditation (for centuries this has been the primary tool used to quiet and focus the mind and body)
  3. Practice a paradigm shift (try to gain a new perspective on yourself and life by pondering a night sky, life itself and trying to live within the moment).
  4. Respectfully and responsibly participate in a traditional healing ceremony (A sweat lodge or a ceremony incorporating herbal medicine, often psychedelics, is a centuries old practice traditionally lead through ritual. Psychedelics are traditionally used to promote expansion of consciousness and are gaining favor in modern medicine as possible treatment for PTSD and depression.)  http://www.mwikwedong.com/?page_id=131 http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/how-doctors-treat-mental-illness-with-psychedelic-drugs-w470673

In order to train a muscle to act in a certain way you must implement repetition, a process known as muscle memory. It is the same with the mind, in order to train the mind to relax and let go you must repeatedly remind yourself to do this. I want to clarify that it is possible to practice this without prior experience in achieving states of expanded consciousness, it is just more difficult to maintain because you may lack the frame of reference as to what to return to and why to return to it. The persistent reminding of yourself to relax and let go may be facilitated with a strategy such as setting an alert on a phone, calendar or clock every 30 or 60 minutes. Ultimately you will find a method that works best for you.

 

The take away message from this discussion is that we can all be more productive, better listeners, more creative, more loving and more aware when we relax and let go. The “relax and let go method” is simple and can be practiced anywhere, you just simply have to remind yourself to relax and let go. It helps when you have a frame of reference as to what a truly relaxed state of mind and body is; however, it’s not necessary and with enough practice you will get there. There is no trying with this method, it is in essence the complete opposite of trying, one just has to remember, over and over, to relax and let go, relax and let go. https://www.doctorshawn.ca/about-me/

[1] https://doi.org/10.1161/01.CIR.0000028145.58654.41

Circulation. 2002;106:1229-1236

Originally published August 12, 2002

 

[2] https://books.google.ca/books?id=OFsSz45OxewC&lpg=PR11&ots=S64R_GVnY2&dq=stress%20and%20productivity%20in%20the%20workplace&lr&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=stress%20and%20productivity%20in%20the%20workplace&f=false


dr_shawn

Patient focused integrative health care. Utilizing effective natural approaches designed to be used alone or to compliment conventional medical care.


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