25 Aug

Relieve Upper Back Pain

When we sit for long periods of time, while driving, or working at a desk, we tend to hunch over forward. When doing this, or when participating in the majority of activities that we do as humans, we are using (shortening) our chest muscles.

Regardless of whether we are taking photographs, playing instruments,a piperwoman with red hair taking photos using our cell phones, or brushing our teeth, our arms are out front. The pectoralis or chest muscles are shortening to bring our arms together, and the rhomboids and medial trapezius muscles in our middle and upper backs are lengthening.

How does this relate to Headaches?

The lengthening of the muscles behind us tends to cause pain, tension, and discomfort that crawls up the back of our necks. This tension can move into the back of our heads possibly causing headaches. When we feel this way, what is the first thing we think to do? We want to clasp our hands together out front and stretch out our back muscles. Please don’t do this! I know how good it feels. It can feel absolutely amazing! However, we are only exacerbating the issue as we are stretching muscles that are already too long.

How do we relieve the upper back pain?

Simple. We borrow a tennis ball from our four-legged dog watching tennis balls in the grassfriend,  and roll it around on our chest, under our collarbones, and to the left and right of our sternum. There is no need to roll over top of bones; keep the tennis ball on the muscle tissue. Once we have requested that the chest muscles relax, which may cause some pain, so be gentle at first, then we can clasp our hands together behind us, and stretch our chest muscles. There are many different ways to stretch out our chest muscles. Stay tuned for future posts regarding this topic.

Orange sunset at dusk looking over the water

 

24 Aug

Balancing the Chakras

As a yoga student and teacher, I have become fascinated with the Chakra (pronounced Chuckru) system. The Chakras are described as centres of energy along the mid-line of the body. We have seven major Chakras running along the spine, from the tailbone up to the top of the head.

Where are the Chakras?

Crown (violet): above the top of the headsilhouette of man in lotus pose with 7 coloured chakras

Third Eye (indigo): between the eyebrows

Throat (blue): above the collarbone

Heart (green): centre of the chest

Solar Plexus (yellow): above the belly button

Sacral (orange): centre of the pelvis

Root (red): at the tailbone

When we are suffering from headaches, it is likely that we have too much energy in our heads. Emotionally, we can be stressed, over-thinking, anxious or worried. This can lead to an abundance of activity in the upper body, and a lack of energy in the lower body. By balancing the Chakras, we may be able to alleviate the throbbing sensations in our head by allowing energy to flow more freely.

How do I balance my Chakras?

There are many schools of thought on this. Chakra balancing is something that should be done regularly, not only when we feel head or neck pain. One technique is to picture the Chakras as balanced, glowing balls, of equal size, filled with brilliant coloured light.

  • Sit or lie down comfortably.
  • Imagine a clear glass bulb at the tailbone, glowing with a shimmering red light. See the colour as pure and clean, illuminating the tissues and organs around the tailbone and down the legs. Allow your body to be grounded to this physical planet and know that you are fully supported and cared for here.
  • Move up to the sacrum, in the centre of the pelvis. See a clear glass bulb here. Imagine the bulb glowing with a bright orange light that heals and balances the organs, tissues, and muscles around the pelvis. Allow this light to heal your closest relationships.
  • See a clear glass bulb above your belly button filled with the yellow light of the sun. Gratefully request the light to cleanse and heal the digestive system and other organs in this area. Allow your confidence and personal power to thrive.
  • Picture a clear glass bulb filled with emerald green light at your heart centre. Request that the light expand down the arms and into the hands. Allow the light to expand the love you give to yourself and others.
  • See a clear glass bulb filled with sky blue light at the throat. Ask the light to heal and cleanse the thyroid gland and allow you to always speak your truth.
  • Picture a clear glass bulb filled with dark purple or indigo light in the centre of the forehead. Make sure this bulb is of equal size to all of the other glass bulbs. Allow the light to provide you with any information or guidance you require to live your life on purpose.
  • See a clear glass bulb just above the top of your head. Fill the bulb with a diamond white or violet light. Allow the light from above you to cascade down and surround and heal your entire body.
  • Ask that any pain, discomfort, or negativity in the body be released with ease and replaced with peace, joy, and love.

The light within me honours the light within you. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to share them.

On an old wooden dock looking out over a pink sunset

 

23 Aug

Health Benefits of Liquid Chlorophyll

Most of us are guilty of indulging in foods that are not always healthy for us. We tend to eat sugary sweets, drink caffeinated beverages, and we don’t get all the leafy greens in our diets that we need. This means that we are not always ingesting all of the nutrients required for our physical bodies to thrive.

What is chlorophyll and why is it important?

lettuceLet’s reach back to grade school Science class when we learned about plants. Chlorophyll, if you recall, is what gives plants their green colour. When we eat our leafy green vegetables, we are providing our bodies with a whole list of vitamins and minerals including: Vitamins A, C, E & K, Folic acid, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium & Potassium.

Do we get enough chlorophyll?

If we are eating our leafy greens, and our digestive tracks are working properly, we get what we need from our food. However, with the quality of food changing, with more foods being genetically modified, and with our digestive tracks balking at the food we eat, we may not be absorbing adequate quantities of vitamins and minerals.

Should we supplement our diets with liquid chlorophyll?

Liquid chlorophyll is considered an easy to digest whole food. bottle of Nature's Way liquid chlorophyllSome benefits of adding drops to your water include:

  • decreasing inflammation in the body
  • protecting the body from toxins & removal of heavy metals and germs
  • keeping the body alkaline
  • treating bad breath

Note: Sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and sorbic acid are added to some brands to increase shelf life. Read the non-medicinal ingredients list carefully.

What does this have to do with alleviating headaches?

Chlorophyll is a good source of Magnesium. Those of us who suffer from migraines may be Magnesium deficient. Adding drops of liquid chlorophyll to our water bottles may help. It has almost no flavour, and can be purchased with Spearmint oil for more flavour. Think of it as drinking green Koolaid. It could be a great conversational piece at the office!

Note: I am not a Doctor, Dietitian or Nutritionist. I can not prescribe anything that can be ingested. The text provided above is for informational purposes only. Please speak to a health professional if you have more questions about this supplement.

Now, I prefer to use an essential oil called Digest Zen. It helps with all sorts of digestive issues. Learn more about Essential Oils by joining my FREE Essential Oils Basics eCourse.

Orange sunset at dusk looking over the water

 

21 Aug

Magnesium for Headaches

When we are experiencing headaches, we often have a long list of ‘I should have’s’. I should have had more water this week. I should have gotten more sleep. I should have eaten better this week. The list goes on. Let’s talk about a magical mineral: Magnesium.

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a mineral in our bodies that contains Mg 150mgan electrical charge. It is often referred to as an ‘electrolyte’. Some of the other minerals that also hold a charge in the body include Calcium, Potassium and Sodium. In the periodic table of elements, Magnesium is written as Mg, with a capital M. In terms of dosage, when you see ‘mg’ after a number, it refers to milligrams.

What does Magnesium do for us?

Magnesium does a lot of work in the body. It is important for our cardiovascular, digestive and nervous systems, and it’s also an important mineral for our muscles, kidneys, liver and brain. When we get adequate amounts of Magnesium in our diets, our chances of experiencing insomnia, calf cramps, constipation, and migraine headaches are reduced.

Why is Magnesium recommended for headache sufferers?

It is thought that over 50% of people who experience migraines are Magnesium deficient. The recommended daily amount (minimum) is around 400 mg. The average person consumes less than 300 mg per day. Magnesium is touted for normalizing the diameter of the blood vessels, which can cause headaches if they are too large or too small.

What foods contain Magnesium?

There are many natural sources of Magnesium. Some of these include:Popeye the sailor man

  • dark green leafy vegetables (kale, Popeye’s favorite – spinach & swiss chard)
  • fish (cod, halibut & salmon)
  • liquid chlorophyll*
  • nuts** (almonds, hazel nuts & peanuts)
  • whole grains (buckwheat, oat bran & whole wheat)

*This stuff is so amazing that I created a new post just to explain the benefits of taking liquid chlorophyll. **Nuts may cause headaches for some people.

Can we take a supplement?

Absolutely. When we are specifically trying to alleviate migraines, it is recommended that we take Magnesium by itself, not combined with Calcium, for better absorption. When combined, the Calcium tends to absorb better than the Magnesium. The best types of Magnesium to take are those ending with ‘ate’. My own preference is Magnesium Citrate.

*Learn more about Magnesium, why I recommend Citrate verses other combinations, and what else I recommend for better health in my FREE 5 Days to Better Health eCourse.

How much Magnesium should we take?

That depends on how much Magnesium our intestines bottle of Natural Factors Magnesium Citrateare absorbing from the food that we eat each day. The best way to determine a dose is to start low, and increase if needed. Personally, I take one 150 mg capsule of Magnesium Citrate in the morning, and an additional two capsules approximately four hours before I plan to go to bed. Start with one capsule at bedtime, then increase to two capsules in the evening, if needed. Then increase to one in the morning, and 2 at night, if needed.

Why take Magnesium a few hours before bed?

Magnesium helps with insomnia, by making us feel sleepy within 3-4 hours of consumption. If too much Magnesium is consumed too early, we may feel sleepy at 8 pm, and if it’s taken right before bed, it may cause us to feel drowsy when we awaken. Those who are taking Magnesium specifically for migraine headache relief may want to split the dose up and take one Magnesium pill with each meal.

Can we take too much Magnesium?

Certainly, and it is totally obvious when/if we do, as we end up with the ‘trots’. We find ourselves trotting to the toilet because our bowels are much too loose. If this happens, reduce the dose of Magnesium by one pill per day until bowel movements are normal.

Note: I am not a Doctor, Dietitian or Nutritionist. I can not prescribe vitamins or minerals. The recommendations above are for informational purposes only. If you have heart disease, kidney disease, you are prone to kidney stones, or you are unsure about taking vitamins or minerals, please speak to a medical professional prior to taking any supplements.

If you’re ready for a new opportunity, for a new mindset, for a new life, learn more about a new powerful system to help you leave your headaches behind and start your own journey to greatness.

Blue sky with ocean view walking out along a wooden dock

 

19 Aug

Dehydration Headaches

When we start our day, we often remember to drink a big glass of water before breakfast, but forget to continue drinking water throughout our day. Pay attention to the days that headaches are experienced. Notice if water intake is minimal on the same day, or the day before, the onset of a headache.

Where is your headache pain?

When we have a dehydration headache, we likely experience pain or pressure across the centre of our foreheads. We may also feel tight muscles and tension that climbs up the back of our necks. It’s possible that adding more water throughout our day can help alleviate this pain, or prevent it.

How much water should I drink?Woman drinking from water glass

This is a difficult question to answer. Since the human adult body is approximately 70% water, we certainly need it. We should aim for a minimum of 2 litres (eight 8-ounce glasses) of water per day. If we exercise, are breast feeding, or live in hot or humid climates, we may need to drink 3 litres per day.

Can I drink other fluids instead of water?

Maybe. If we are drinking alcohol, or caffeinated drinks such as pop or coffee, we should have a glass of water for every drink we have. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks are both diuretics, which mean they have dehydrating tendencies, as they try to remove water from the body. To avoid dehydration, and possibly dehydration headaches, we should drink more water. If we are drinking sugary items, such as fruit juices, we may need to drink extra water to keep our sugar and salt levels in balance.

Can I drink too much water?

Silouette of person bent over drinking from a water fountainYes. Too much water in the body is called ‘water intoxication’ and causes the cells to swell. The issue tends to be caused by drinking too much water all at one time. This can happen in babies, if their formula is too watered down, or in marathon runners or outdoor workers who have lost too many electrolytes during excessive sweating and re-hydrate with plain water. To avoid this, electrolytes need to be ingested with water. Try adding a bit of honey and a pinch of sea salt to water.

When should I drink water?

Start with a glass upon awakening. Try to sip water throughout the day. When we experience a sensation of dry or chapped lips or a dry mouth, we may be experiencing early signs of dehydration. Try to drink water 20-minutes before meals, and wait for 30-60 minutes after meals to begin sipping again. Drinking water with meals may dilute digestive enzymes required to break down food. To avoid dehydration, and the possibility of dehydration headaches, consume at least some water each day.

Take a peak at this post for ways to make water even healthier and more inviting. 

If you’re interesting in learning what Essential Oils you can add to water, join this FREE eCourse. If you’re looking for other ways to enhance your health, you can also join the 5 Days to Better Health FREE eCourse.

Your health is important, and so is your life. Take control of it! You create your own freedom, and your own health, by your own thoughts, beliefs, and actions.

On an old wooden dock looking out over a pink sunset