If we’re experiencing a daily dose of allostatic overload, run-of-the-mill stress – like a small burn while cooking dinner – can become a stick of dynamite. This in turn, results in responses like flare-ups of chronic pain, autoimmune or digestive disorders.
You’ve heard it before: move your body, manage stress, eat better and hit the sack early. There is a reason exercise, relaxation, good nutrition and sleep are called the Four Pillars of Health. While these essential practices help keep your body running strong, they also do wonders for your emotional well-being.
Did you know that there are four independent brain circuits that influence our lasting well-being? While each circuit contributes beautifully on their own, when joined by the other circuits they create magic – broadening our everyday existence to include a wider and more vibrant range of experience.
This life force is known by many names. The yogis call it prana and activate it through breath and postures. Acupuncturist call it qi and balance its movement through a network of pathways. Martial artists also call it chi and learn to cultivate its mastery through years of disciplined practice.
It’s common for trauma to get caught in body memories. This occurs unconsciously and is what makes survivors jumpy, dysregulated, or numbed out in ways they can’t explain. Mindfulness-based, embodied therapy involves tracking body memories as they reemerge in treatment.
The body conserves energy on an ongoing basis. Habits start out as intentional actions that are practiced enough times that they become automatic. Habituated actions consume very little energy. Whereas consciousness is consumes an extraordinary amount of energy. In other words, it’s metabolically expensive.
When we are disembodied, we live removed from the power and wisdom that comes from the body. Energy stagnates. Joints get sore and muscles turn slack from lack of use. The best to free ourselves from this trap is to engage our body and mind.
Nature balances growth with decay. Though the signals aren’t strong, they are there in our DNA waiting to take action. For the first three to four decades of our life, the growth phase dominates. But somewhere around our late forties and fifties the free ride of youth is over.
The place where the conscious and unconscious meet has no definable boundaries. Needless to say, we humans do not like uncertainty. So we suppress it and override it. But it doesn’t go away because it’s out of sight. This “energy” shows up as troubling behaviors and self-proscribed “treatment plans.”
A woman is told in a million different ways that if she finds herself alone at middle age it means she is unlovable, unattractive, unappealing, unsexy. But what if it means she is independent, self-entertaining, free-spirited, and self-possessed?