At TMB, we empower our patients to take responsibility for their health. We work with people actively seeking to better their health. Thinking the mind and body are separate and reaching for a passive “quick fix” will never be the long term solution. In order to see actual, long-term changes, you have to ask WHY, take INVENTORY, and put in the WORK. You have to ask yourself with an open mind, “How do I actually feel?” and then DO something about it. And a great place to start is by nurturing simple healthy habits. (more…)
Welcome to the holiday season — the whirlwind time of buying gifts, having too many holiday parties on the calendar, and facing unhealthy food options galore. If you’re more stressed out than usual during this time of year, you’re not alone. But don’t despair! We have good news and tips for how to reduce holiday stress so you can maximize the fun this season!
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
Did you know that there are two different parts of your nervous system? (Yes, you’ve heard us talk about it before!) One is your sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the other is your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).
The SNS is also known as our “fight or flight mode.” It’s what we tap into when we’re stressed, overwhelmed, and our body is just trying to find a way to survive. Back in the day when our ancestors experienced life-threatening situations, like being faced with a saber-toothed tiger, they relied on their SNS. When it fires up, our heart rate and breathing speeds up, stress hormones like cortisol start pumping through our bloodstreams, preparing our body to face a threat.
Our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), on the other hand, helps us thrive. It’s what helps us rest, relax, digest, and reproduce. When the parasympathetic system is dominant, our breathing slows, our heart rate drops, our blood pressure lowers as the blood vessels relax, and our body is put into a state of calm and healing. Acupuncture is a fantastic way to get us into our PNS!
A FUN FACT ABOUT ACUPUNCTURE
Studies show that acupuncture stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone that signals and regulates the parasympathetic nervous system. Acupuncture also addresses the side effects of stress, like high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose levels, and insomnia. At TMB, our clients have coined a term for the physiological effects they experience post-treatment…acu-stoned! Get in touch with us today to book an appointment!
So step one to combat holiday stress, get yourself to an acupuncture appointment to help you relax. No time for an appointment? That’s okay! The good news is that holiday stress is only temporary. We know when it will begin and end, so we can set the intention for how to reduce holiday stress by calling in tools we know will support us.
7 TIPS TO HELP YOU LEARN HOW TO REDUCE HOLIDAY STRESS
Here are some tips you can try to help reduce holiday stress before it begins so that the fun can stay festive and bright!
HOLIDAY TIP 1: Make time for deep breathing
Deep breathing exercises are scientifically proven to have health benefits, some of which include increased clarity, a stronger mind/body connection, better sleep quality, lowered blood pressure, enhanced mood, and reduced stress! Find yourself overwhelmed over the holidays? Take a few deep breaths.
HOLIDAY TIP 2: Prioritize sleep
Along with nutrition and exercise and other important lifestyle factors, sleep is a key pillar for our mental and emotional health. In fact, sleep is when our bodies repair so we can be ready for whatever the following day brings! So while late nights over the holidays may sound like fun and games, a good night’s rest will help you better reduce holiday stress.
HOLIDAY TIP 3: Get out in nature
A walk or hike in nature is a great form of moving meditation and exercise. Being exposed to nature has been shown to increase memory, boost mood, reduce stress, improve productivity and naturally give you a boost of energy! The benefits also include decreasing cortisol levels in the body, naturally boosting your immune system, and helping you tame your sympathetic nervous system.
HOLIDAY TIP 4: Set boundaries for yourself
Believe it or not, we don’t have to say “yes” to every holiday party invitation! It can be down right uncomfortable to enforce our boundaries when we’re with friends or family– after all, we tend to prioritize the comfort of others over our own. However, saying no to a triggering conversation or another helping of food/wine is one way to honour your values and goals first.
HOLIDAY TIP 5: Delegate
Where there’s a will, there’s a way! And there’s always a way to reduce the items on our to-do lists. From ordering your groceries to hiring a cleaning company or organizing catering, empower yourself to lighten your workload and ask for help when you need it.
HOLIDAY TIP 6: Conscious alcohol consumption
The holidays are infamous for overindulgence (another rosé, anyone?) Now, we’re all about enjoying the holiday season and the treats it has to offer, however, in the case of alcohol, overdoing it can be dangerous to our bodies. It’s always important to remember quality over quantity. Create some healthy drinking habits for yourself. You can drink, but drink the good stuff. We recommend opting for an organic/biodynamic wine or a gluten free liquor.
HOLIDAY TIP 7: Supplements
We know you’re busy as ever, but try to keep up with your supplement routine. Stay on top of nourishing your body so you can feel optimal. We recommend Vitamin C and Vitamin D for vitality, our Insomnitol Chewables for a guaranteed restful sleep, and NAC (a fan favourite) for preventing those nasty holiday hangovers!
Have you thought about joining a “detox” but weren’t sure if it was a hoax or the real deal? We totally get it. The term “detox” sometimes gets mixed reviews, because it’s often associated with things like juice cleanses, calorie restrictive diets and quick fixes that promise to help you magically look like a celebrity goddess. The truth is detoxification is one of our body’s most important processes when it comes to maintaining optimal health. In fact there are a lot reasons you need to detox the RIGHT way with scientifically based functional medicine protocols.
First things first: What is detoxification?
Our body is like a factory. True story. It has to take in materials like food, water, sunshine and oxygen to keep our system running. However, there are also extraneous substances that may serve their purpose, but then need to transform into something else so that the body can eliminate them. This is known as detoxification. Detoxification is our body’s natural (and essential!) process of removing toxins and unwanted materials.
What unwanted materials? Heavy metals, pollutants and UV radiation to name a few. There are also endogenous materials that the body produces internally, like hormones and neurotransmitters. All of these materials eventually need to be eliminated from the body by the body’s built in detoxification system. And it’s happening all the time!
That’s right! Natural detoxification actually occurs 24/7, 365 days a year. There are lots of reasons you need to detox to help this natural process, which we’ll get to in a moment.
So how does detoxification work?
The primary detoxification organs are the gut, liver and kidneys. Our bowels and urinary tract are also important, because they help excrete toxins through our bile and urine. Skin helps eliminate toxins through our sweat. In addition, our lungs are important for mainly expelling CO2. In a nutshell, these are the organs involved in our detoxification pathways.
When it comes to detoxification our liver is our body’s primary filtration system. It’s the star of the show. The liver works day after day to cleanse our blood, excrete waste and metabolize nutrients. It also helps us store vitamins, support immune function, produce proteins and remove dietary and environmental threats to avoid toxic accumulation.
With the help of our kidneys, the liver is our detoxification workhorse. Whether it’s one too many cocktails, a non-organic diet or a round of medication, the liver helps filter and detoxify any materials that aren’t supposed to circulate in our body. There are a few steps to this process. The first step involves using enzymes and oxygen to prepare toxins for removal. The second step is when our body actually eliminates them through bile, stool or urine.
The kidneys are equally essential to these processes, as these little bean shaped organs help regulate proper mineral balance, support hormone excretion, flush out urinary bacteria, support a healthy pH and more.
Why is it so important to detox? Are there reasons you need to detox?
While a healthy body uses those organs to naturally detoxify, we live in an increasingly toxic world. As a result, our detoxifying organs aren’t always able to keep up at optimal levels. Let’s put it this way; picture a water filter that is constantly used. Day after day for years and years, this filtration system is running, but it’s never cleaned or maintained. This would lead to blockages and an overabundance of toxic substances. That’s what’s happening to our detox pathways!
5 REASONS YOU NEED TO DETOX
We clean our homes on a regular basis – wiping the counter, sweeping the floors, cleaning the bathrooms and doing the dishes – and we need to be doing the same for our bodies. There’s no quick fix when it comes to our health, but there are things we can do to set ourselves on the right path to upgraded wellness.
Here are 5 reasons why you need to detox, or at least why you should consider a detox:
DETOX BENEFITS #1: Our toxic burden is heavier than ever
The challenge we face today is that the volume of toxic burden is greater than it has ever been. According to the Environmental Working Group, studies show that that the average newborn baby has 287 chemicals in their umbilical cord blood. These are little humans who have picked up a toxic burden without even physically living in the world yet! If this is the case, just imagine how many chemicals we’ve been exposed to in our lifetime that are BIOACCUMULATING. Now imagine the impact that might have on our long-term health. Yuck, right?
DETOX BENEFITS #2: It can set the stage for healthier habits
A worthwhile detox is one that involves implementable habits and actionable tools that you can incorporate easily into your daily life. Sure, you can drink green juice for 3 days, but what happens after that? You likely fall back into old habits. In TMB’S 21-DAY CLEAN GUT DETOX PROGRAM, we include a variety of easy nutritional guidelines, healthy recipes, an extensive grocery list, fascial release exercises, daily workouts and more to help you implement a long-term approach to living a life full of vitality!
DETOX BENEFITS #3: It can help you feel better
Picture a dishwasher in a restaurant. Dirty dishes are loaded in and come out clean on the other side. But when the restaurant gets too busy and there are too many dishes to be cleaned, the dish-washing process will slow down. The same thing happens to our detox pathways when we’re exposed to too many toxins. The result? We can feel moody, sluggish, achy, fatigued, bloated and more. Many of us don’t connect what we eat to how we feel. Detoxing can make a world of a difference when it comes to healing our symptoms and feeling better.
DETOX BENEFITS #4: It can curb cravings
Sugar is addictive. Period. If you experience a daily sweet tooth, you’re not alone. Many say that sugar is the new nicotine. In fact, studies suggest that sugar is even more addictive than cocaine! Although there’s usually a period where you might experience some withdrawal symptoms, a detox can help you unhook yourself from sugar cravings and other hyper-palatable foods. You’ll start to realize just how GOOD you feel replacing inflammatory foods with nutrient-dense options. A GREAT detox will TEACH you important things like what’s contributing to your food cravings and how to recognize true hunger from emotional hunger so you’re better equipped the next time that craving strikes!
DETOX BENEFITS #5: It can help balance your hormones
Our liver helps break down and remove excess hormones, which helps to keep our hormones balanced naturally. If you’ve ever heard the term “estrogen dominance” you know what we’re talking about. When our liver is overburdened, it can contribute to the re-circulating of hormones (that should have left the body) creating imbalances that cause a wide range of symptoms. These symptoms can include hair loss, mood swings and painful periods. Detoxing can give our liver and our hormones the reset that they need!
TMB CAN HELP YOU DETOX EFFECTIVELY AND HAVE FUN!
Ready to take your health to the next level? Join us for TMB’S NEXT 21-DAY CLEAN GUT DETOX PROGRAM! But don’t just read about about — Dr. Shalini Bhat is here to tell you all about our transformative program, what to expect, how it’s different from other detox programs and, most importantly, how it can benefit you!
About The Movement Boutique in Toronto – Pilates, Chiropractic, Functional Medicine
Located on Yonge Street in Toronto, The Movement Boutique serves the areas of Summerhill, Rosedale and Yorkdale with Pilates classes and much more. Our philosophy is centred on a holistic, multimodal approach to health, grounded in the latest therapeutic techniques and clinical research. Our approach: Optimal health cannot be attained through a single therapeutic lens; injuries are often the result of a constellation of lifestyle issues, including dysfunctional movement patterns, trauma, nutritional deficiencies or destructive habits of mind.