One of the biggest symptoms I see time and time again in clinic is clients’ bodies being in a stress-inflamed state. How could it not be? The reason you’re coming into clinic to see me in the first place is because you’ve got symptoms.
Symptoms = stress and inflammation.
When you are under stress or inflamed, your body can’t heal as quickly as you would like, to get the results that you want. The funny part (or not so funny part) is when I ask a client, “Do you feel stressed?” the most common answer is, no.
Truth be told, if stress is your new normal, and it has happened incrementally over time, you aren’t even going to notice it. Take my client, Jack. He came to see me because he wanted me to reduce his blood pressure. He wanted to come off his blood pressure medication. Appointment number one, we changed his diet and upped his water intake so we could get him hydrated. Appointment number two, when he came in, and we took his blood pressure, it had gone down from his first appointment, but I saw his heart rate was really high. When I asked him to do ‘square breathing’ he wasn’t very enthusiastic, because people don’t want to be told to breathe away the inflammation and stress in their bodies. But what motivates clients is when we can track and measure things, whether that means a blood pressure machine when you come into clinic, lab testing, or how you feel in your body. We very much want to test your body and see the results.
Square breathing, as I like to call it, or box breathing as you’ll find it on Google, is good enough for Navy SEAL’s. The Navy SEAL’s do this practice every single day. We know that they are only doing things that are well-researched, well-documented and going to give you results. If they’re doing it, I encourage you to implement this process. But let’s get back, to my client. Let’s finish that story. We found that as he did introduce breathing each day, when he came back in and we redid his blood pressure and his heart rate, it had gone down. There is the power in breathing.
How do you know you’re stressed? You can do simple things like taking your blood pressure, taking your heart rate and measuring that, feeling how you’re feeling in your body. Do you even feel in your body? Do you even know if you are actually present in your body? Another thing I do with all my ALIVE clients before we begin every single Zoom call, is get them to feel their vagus nerve. We talk all about your vagus nerve in clinic, and every single session and every single detox session. Why? Because when you are in a parasympathetic state true healing begins, that’s when digestion happens, that’s when your immune system functions optimally. That’s when you’re going to get into deep sleep. That’s when your body is able to heal.
First of all, we want to stimulate your vagus nerve. If you want something you can measure throughout the day try this … If you feel behind your ear lobes, you will feel pressure points. If you press there, and there’s tenderness or it feels ropey, or it feels like you’ve got a knot, we know your body’s in a stressed state. Now, you know you’re on the right spot if you feel along your jawline, it feels different. Now come back behind your ears. You know that there’s a stress response if you keep massaging here and slowly, there’s a little bit of a reduction in tenderness, or you release some pain.
Another quick way you can stimulate your vagus nerve is how we do it in clinic. We get you to apply Vagal 2.0 oil to your vagus nerve. Now, if you test the pressure points behind your ears, you’ll notice a difference. This is a tool you can use multiple times throughout the day to check in with your body, especially if you don’t think of yourself as a stressed person. The quickest way to do this is keep checking in. I encourage all of my ALIVE clients to be doing this multiple times throughout the day, so you can see how stressed your body is and you can start to track it.
Obviously, we’ve got other ways of testing stress in your body, like the urine pH test – the strips that you can use at home, and a whole heap of other things, but for today, feeling behind your ear lobes for how stressed are you is a great starting point. Measure it, document it and see the difference it makes to your health and your healing journey.
Remember when our bodies are showing up acidic on the pH strips then our bodies are STRESSED. When our bodies are stressed or inflamed that’s when we are more likely to pick up coughs and colds and other diseases.
PAUSE now and do one square breath.
Commit to doing something to measure your stress levels each day :
- Vagus nerve exercise
- Applying vagal 2.0
- Square breathing
- pH strip testing
- Heart rate measurements
- Measuring your blood pressure
- Legs up the wall
Those are just a few things that you can do to switch your nervous system.