FINDING GRATITUDE AND WHY IT MATTERS

July 17, 2018

Gratitude is an emotion we typically don’t pay much attention to in our busy lives. We’re vaguely pleased or feel lucky when things work out well, but that’s about it. Turns out that’s a big mistake. We’re missing out on something really important; and it’s free.  Research shows that being consciously mindful of gratitude makes people feel better in every way; physically, mentally and emotionally.

Each time we experience gratitude, it reduces stress and inflammation in our entire being, while promoting healthier mind states and immune responses. Why is this so important?  The U.S. Center for Disease Control, estimates stress plays a significant role in 90% of all health issues.

Our daily lives and memories are filled with scenery of all types. Some attractive, some not so much.  Imagine standing on a hill with two choices. We can watch the sun rise or turn the other way and take in the local dump. Either way, we’re standing in the same place, but the views and our reactions to them are very different. The emotion of gratitude changes what we notice about our lives and surroundings. In fact, recent research in major depression has shown just the act of looking for something to be grateful for has positive benefits; even if patients couldn’t find anything at that moment. Just the attempt, helped change the focus.

Try this fascinating little experiment today. For the biggest impact, share the results each day with someone close to you; a partner, friend, family, co-worker. For two weeks, commit yourself to recording at least three things you’ve noticed you’re grateful for each and every day.  It doesn’t matter how big or small the experiences they are, as long as you become aware of some feelings of gratitude each time. Nerds like myself can even track the changes in their moods and sense of wellbeing; physically, mentally and emotionally.  Simple to use tracking tools will be sent at no charge on request.

Sometimes we need something more substantial. Tools such as Emotional Freedom Techniques that act like a marriage counsellor between our conscious and subconscious minds are hugely useful.  Please don’t hesitate to contact the author to explore these and other effective tools and resources available to you.

Yours in good mental/emotional health.

The above is for information purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.

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Author: David E P Gilbert. David is a highly experienced Integrative Therapist specializing in anxiety/depression, stress, burnout, grief, trauma, Post Concussion Syndrome and self-sabotage. He’s based at Whole Therapy and ECOSYS Wellness Center in Ottawa ON. Canada. Being trained in a number of modalities including Emotional Freedom Techniques and PTT (Picture Tapping Techniques), he works with clients both in-office and via phone or video cam across North America. Work so powerful it’s guaranteed

Posted in Uncategorized by Pat Moore
July 11, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do we experience trauma in pregnancy, and more specifically, birth? To every person trauma is seen differently. Our past experiences may influence how we perceive certain situations. Every woman who goes through pregnancy gives birth in one form or another. On paper, two people can have had the exact same experience, the same outcome, yet they walk away feeling very, very different. One may feel encouraged and completely satisfied with the birth while the other may walk away from the experience with feelings of abandonment, fear, or simply discontent.

When we talk to new moms, we often ask how the baby is doing, however, I often ask how the birth was. It is important to ask both questions, but we have to truly listen to what they are saying (and they may skirt the birth part of the question). We need to change our language and ask not how the birth was but rather how they felt the birth went? Two questions that on the surface mean the same thing, but people will answer completely differently.

If we ask the first question, how was the birth, it gives the new mom an out. Similar to when we ask “how are you?” Almost automatically our response is “Good! Thanks!” While at the same time we are running through the list in our heads of all the things that are wrong. We think of these questions as pleasantries and as if people don’t actually want the real answer, as if we can’t burden them with the truth.

Asking how someone felt about something – that’s different. We immediately are asking the person to unload. We are trying to create a small modicum of safe space. Now, when you ask this question, you have to be prepared for the answer. It may not be pretty.

Personally, I felt like I had a great birth with Henry (2 years ago). During and after I felt I was supported and heard. I attempted to keep my mind open and to let things progress naturally (this is usually a huge struggle for me). Did I have the “perfect” birth? No, there was some pretty scary moments that could have severely changed the outcome, but I had great people who trusted what I was telling them and whom I trusted. However, my experience was mine. I know of other women who could have had the same situation and afterwards felt like they had been violated (maybe emotionally or even physically). A lot of how someone perceives their labour and birth is based on their previous experiences. These experiences change how we live our lives day to day, so why would they not also change how we view birth?

If a woman had gone through sexual abuse as a child, could the birth of her own child not seem like another abuse to a region of her body that has already been sensitized?

If a woman was taught that vaginal birth was the only true form of birth, but being forced into an emergency cesarean, would she not feel like she missed something valuable?

Someone may be traumatized by tearing or later finding out they have a prolapse.

Trauma comes in all forms. It can be physical, mental, or emotional. It can happen during pregnancy, labour, delivery, or postpartum. Awareness of postpartum depression is slowly increasing, but not as to why it may occur. The points listed above are just a small sample of what someone may go through or what may have been a trigger for her.

While I cannot personally help you through your trauma, I can be a sounding board, a shoulder to lean on, or someone who can help you find someone to talk to. Please reach out. You are not alone.

July 10, 2018

Lower back pain. Every branch of medicine seems to have a different take on what to recommend. A new study published in the May 18th edition of JAMA Network Open sheds light on the subject with a direct comparison between usual non-chiropractic care, and usual care with chiropractic.

Dr Christine Guertz DC, PhD and colleagues enrolled 750 American active duty military service members with lower back pain from three different military bases. 375 members receive medical care as usual from their physicians. The remaining 375, received up to 12 chiropractic treatments of the lower back and surrounding areas along with usual care. Chiropractic care sometimes involved the use of the additional tools and techniques often utilized by chiropractors in their practice.

Analysis of the data showed that the addition of chiropractic lead to significantly greater benefit than standard medical care alone. This new data reinforces the recent recommendations put forth by the American College of Physicians. They now recommend inclusion of spinal manipulation along with other non-drug treatments often used by chiropractors as first-line therapy for both acute and chronic lower back pain.

If still considering whether to try chiropractic, Dr Rory Turner, Dr Damien Marion, and Dr George Surko of Whole Therapy are all highly skilled and experienced chiropractors who would be happy to answer your questions.

Yours in good health
David Gilbert – Integrative Therapist.

 

Author: David E P Gilbert. David is a highly experienced Integrative Therapist specializing in anxiety/depression, stress, burnout, grief, trauma, Post Concussion Syndrome and self-sabotage. He’s based at Whole Therapy and ECOSYS Wellness Center in Ottawa ON. Canada. Being trained in a number of modalities including Emotional Freedom Techniques and PTT (Picture Tapping Techniques), he works with clients both in-office and via phone or video cam across North America. Work so powerful it’s guaranteed
June 19, 2018

Molly helped me run the hills today (in her snowflake jammies)

I’m training for a spartan race in July. It’s a bigger one than I’ve done in the past – 15 kms instead of 5. The race takes the participants up and down Calabogie Peaks, winding through 25 strategically placed obstacles along the way.

I will have to scale walls, crawl through mud, carry sandbags, throw spears, and climb ropes in my quest for the finish line.

This race will mark my return back into the realm of Being Strong, as it’s the first true test of my endurance and overall fitness since having my daughter, Finley last year. I was sedentary most of the pregnancy due to an SI joint injury, and my postpartum recovery was long and tedious as a result. There were many times over the last year when I worried I’d never be able to feel strong again. I heard a lot of “Well, you HAVE had a baby…” and “Your body really isn’t ever the same”, and “You ARE 36 now, that’s quite a few years since the last baby…”

Despite the naysaying (from others AND from myself) I pushed on with my training, stubborn in my resolve to feel capable like I once did. I looked to Trainer Jamie for help with strategic strengthening. I relied on my workout partners Bailey, Ana, and Yvette to set the bar high and motivate me with their own fitness levels. And I used my colleagues at Whole Therapy and their various chiropractic, physiotherapy and massage skills along the way when I inevitably needed my joints and muscles worked on.

And here I am, at 7am on a Saturday, 6 weeks from Race Day, with my running shoes on and my water pack on my back, looking up Mooney’s Bay hill. I’m “sprinting” (read: sloooowly running) up the hill ten times, which will likely make me want to barf. But I’ll do it anyway. Because so far, even with the obstacles of having a baby, being injured and out of shape, and being older, being strong is so much more important than giving up.

Most journeys feel metaphorically like they’re an uphill battle. This one literally is. But with a lot of training, and a little luck, I can use my success with this upcoming race to prove to myself that not only am I physically Strong Again, but I’m also mentally able to bounce back from a weak mental state to a strong, confident one.

Wish me luck.

 

About the Author: Jen Wright is an RMT and the owner of Whole Therapy. She is an avid gym-goer and loves to lift heavy stuff.  She sees clients of all ages and stages, especially those who are engaged in bettering themselves.  She believes that pain-free is possible.  For more about Jen, click here.

June 5, 2018

Today I’m sharing with you what I believe to be one of the world’s most perfect and essential foods: coconut oil. Although referred to as “oil”, coconut oil is actually a white solid at room temperature. You won’t find this in the grocery store aisle with olive and canola oils – look for it in the organic section. It’s sold in tubs (glass is best), not bottles.

This is miraculous stuff! Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, a known antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal agent. And don’t get confused with the fact that it’s a “saturated” fat. Coconut oil DOES NOT share the same concerns as butter or margarine. Rather, coconut oil can INCREASE the GOOD HDL cholesterol in the blood and will help improve the overall cholesterol ratio. It also has a positive effect on hormones for thyroid and blood sugar control.

So where do you use it? EVERYWHERE! Use it to cook instead of oil or butter: for frying, as a spread on toast, for baking (think Christmas cookies!), or for a treat added to your smoothies.

But you’re not limited to just eating it. Try coconut oil as a moisturizer – it’s loaded with vitamin E. Works as a lip moisturizer, for dry cuticles, on infants after a bath or as a scalp & hair mask. I know summer is coming but on those cold and snowy winter dog walks, try coconut oil as a protective balm for your furry friend’s paws to prevent snow clumping and keep pads from cracking.

Posted in Uncategorized by Carole Woodstock
May 24, 2018

Empathy.  The common assumption is that the more we have, the better a person we are.  As with so many things in life, an “element of truth” is a very different thing than ‘the whole truth.  As an Integrative Therapist I get to see the results of this unexamined belief.  There’s a common theme I see in clients from care giving roles; including those caring for high needs family members, therapists, social workers and counselors. They’ve never been taught the difference between empathy and compassion.

Empathy is “entering” the person’s pain with them. Compassion is caring about the person and their pain.  The outcomes of these two perspectives are drastically different when it comes to caregiver stress, burnout and long-term effectiveness.  Someone once said “it’s hard to be objective if you’re up to your ass in alligators”.  When we allow ourselves to get sucked into the emotional pool with dependants or clients, we’re no longer seeing them through clear eyes.  We become far less capable caregivers or practitioners; as well as setting ourselves up for burnout.  A touch of empathy helps inform compassion.  Too much empathy becomes toxic to ourselves and degrades our ability to effectively function in our roles.

integrative therapy

Too much empathy makes the non-swimmer jump in to save the drowning person; forgetting they can’t swim.  Compassion leads them without panic, to quickly look for safe effective ways to help; without “tunnel vision”.

Intellectually understanding these critical differences may not change the underlying programming in the subconscious. We can intellectualize all we want, but the subconscious has tremendous influence. It will repeatedly take us back to our default assumptions; particularly when stressed. For most of us, these assumptions have been laid down from very early ages.   Long before we had the ability to question what we took in as truths about how we should be and function in the world.

This is where EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) and related modalities shine. Over 400 published studies including brain imaging studies have shown the power of these tools. By using these techniques, we allow the conscious and subconscious minds to safely and effectively collaborate in bringing subconscious programming into the light of day, one piece at a time. Re-examining in the here and now, the whole truth, then reconsolidating these new perceptions and understandings.

Yours in good emotional health.

 

Author: David E P Gilbert. David is a highly experienced Integrative Therapist specializing in anxiety/depression, stress, burnout, grief, trauma and self-sabotage. He’s based at Whole Therapy and ECOSYS Wellness Center in Ottawa ON. Canada. Being trained in a number of modalities including Emotional Freedom Techniques and PTT (Picture Tapping Techniques), he works with clients both in-office and via phone or video cam across North America. Work so powerful it’s guaranteed
May 17, 2018

Stay energized throughout the day by feeding your ‘fire’.

Ever go camping and wait until the fire is nearly out before putting on another log? Ridiculous. It just smolders and smokes a whole lot, but doesn’t catch fire. You sit there, frustrated, wishing you had not waited so long. Your body is the same: waiting until you’re really hungry and going hours without food, will cause your metabolism to extinguish rather than keep your fire burning with a constant glow. Instead, keep your flame burning bright with healthy snacks! You will avoid the lows and curb the temptation to binge on those irresistible, high-sugar, high-fat holiday treats.

 

Apple slices with almond butter? Yes please!

Here are some easy snack ideas to get you going:

  • Apple slices dipped in almond butter or sprinkled with cinnamon and chia seeds
  • Nut and seed mix (almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds)
  • Dates stuffed with crunchy raw almonds (take out each pit and replace with an almond or almond butter & cinnamon)
  • Hard-boiled egg with raw veggies
  • Avocado with sunflower seeds & sea salt (remove pit and replace with seeds & dash of sea salt)
  • Celery sticks with natural peanut butter

Happy snacking!

May 10, 2018

Hits to the head may seem like no big deal at the time. The problem is that the symptom(s) don’t always show their face right away. What happens is that any significant force to head or torso can cause:

  • Joint restrictions in the neckcranial adjustment
  • Blood and nerve supply problems to and from the brain.
  • Brain stem compression
  • Headaches
  • Cognitive changes in the brain

Cranial adjusting is the new method of treating head injuries and concussions. The approach focuses on the areas of the head and neck that have been knocked out of place. Research has shown that the plates of the skull are not fused and that a very small space exists to allow for slight movement of those plates. Therefore, when a high amplitude force hits the head, the placement of the bones can shift. This shifting can change the pressure within the skull affecting the function of different parts of the brain.

By applying a constant pressure on the areas of the skull with cranial adjusting, this can relieve the stress caused by hits to the head and restores the proper functioning of the brain.

Say “Goodbye” to headaches, brain fog, uncontrolled emotions, poor concentration and lack of energy.

May 10, 2018

During well over a decade of using Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT or Tapping) in my practice, I’ve worked with many individuals suffering various stages of loss.  We all face grief or loss at some point in our lives. For most it’s a painful but appropriate honoring and recognition of that which is gone; followed by the usual stages of recovery.  Too often however, I see clients who are stuck. They just can’t let go of the pain; even if it’s been years.

 

In each case to date, it’s been subconscious beliefs which have held them hostage to the pain. Robbing them of access to happy memories and preventing them from being free to heal and once again live satisfying lives.  With EFT, we’ve started with the smallest pieces or aspects at the top of the pile of thoughts or feelings. Then step by step we’ve moved further as each of these small aspects lost their power to cause distress. By moving at a pace the subconscious felt safe with, most have found they’ve been quite painlessly and rapidly able to access the root harmful beliefs. Letting the conscious and subconscious mind collaborate in bringing them into the  light where they can be rewritten to fit their current reality.

 

These subconscious beliefs are most commonly:

  • My feelings of grief and/or loss are all I have left of that person or relationship. If I let go of them it will be the final loss. I’ll be left totally bereft and that’s too hard; or even unimaginable.
  • If I let go of the pain it will mean I didn’t care enough. What kind of person would I be? Recovery would be a betrayal.
  • Guilt; even when the conscious mind knows the guilt is not reasonable. “I don’t deserve to let go or be happy again”.
  • It’s my identity. If I let go of the pain and grief I won’t know who I am.
  • It’s too late for me. Life has already passed me by and there’s no point in trying.

 

In some cases clients haven’t realized they’ve been stuck.  Believing the painful feelings were useless, they stuffed them in a hole and clamped the lid down hard. Unfortunately these locked away feelings didn’t just evaporate.  The process left them emotionally disconnected; both from themselves and others. Depending on family history, culture and life experiences, anyone can find themselves victims of this invisible emotional prison.

Once freed from these subconscious “traps” clients report a wealth of memories of happier times flooding in.  Instead of being frozen in the moment of loss, that brief period of time becomes one slim volume in the entire library of their years of experience with that person.  The same applies where instead it’s been the loss of a beloved pet or valued position.

For some, just the understanding of what’s been keeping them locked in such a painful place can be enough to allow them to recover.  Others may benefit most from a few sessions with a qualified and experienced EFT practitioner.

 

To your good life.

 

 

Author: David E P Gilbert. David is a highly experienced Integrative Therapist with particular focus on feelings of anxiety/depression, stress, burnout, grief, trauma, post-concussion syndrome and self-sabotage. He’s based at Whole Therapy and ECOSYS Wellness Center in Ottawa ON. Canada. Being trained in a number of modalities including Emotional Freedom Techniques, PTT (Picture Tapping Techniques) and Somatic Oscillation, he works with clients both in-office and via phone or video cam across North America. For most situations and care options he provides clients with a money back guarantee.

 

The above is not intended as medical advice. As always, consult with your physician before making changes.

Posted in Integrative Therapy, Wellness by David Gilbert
May 7, 2018
Dietary Reference Intake for Calcium
(Source: Health Canada)
  Age Mg / Day
Infants 0-6 months 200
  7-12 months 260
Children 1-3 700
  4-8 1000
  9-18 1300
Females/Males 19-50 1000
Males 51-70 1000
Females 51-70 1200
Females/Males 71+ 1200

 

“To err is human, to moo, bovine”

 

Many people come to me worried that they have to give up milk because of an intolerance to cow-dairy. But, where will I get my calcium from? My answer is: Don’t worry! There are many ways to ensure you will get enough calcium both from eating non-dairy sources of calcium and taking care to ensure that you hold on to the calcium your body already has.

 

Calcium myths:

 

  1. Everyone needs to drink (cow’s) milk

Not true. The most common allergy is to milk and cow-dairy products. You can be intolerant to either the lactose (sugar) or any of the 25 different proteins in milk which is why lactose-free milk is not always the answer. Most of us actually develop lactose intolerance in early adolescence but don’t realize it and keep drinking milk even though we experience gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and any other number of symptoms. If you are intolerant to cow-dairy, your body is unable to digest the dairy and absorb the calcium. As well, you can lose calcium from your body because the undigested lactase will ferment in your intestines and create lactic acid. Calcium is then leached from your bones to counteract the acidity.

  1. Dairy products will help prevent osteoporosis

Pasteurized milk contains 50% less calcium than non-pasteurized milk. Low fat milk makes it more difficult to absorb the calcium that’s left because fat is necessary to transport and absorb calcium. Research shows that countries with the highest dairy consumption often have the highest rates of osteoporosis.

 

Getting enough is just as important as avoiding losing what you already have:

In addition to getting enough dairy from your diet, here are some ways you can help your body to hold on to the calcium it’s got:

 

  • Reduce intake of coffee, tea, soda, salt, and chocolate (caffeine intake causes calcium loss via urine)
  • Reduce or avoid refined sugar (reduces absorption rate of calcium in the intestines)
  • Reduce phosphorus intake:  Meats, grains and sodas are very high in phosphorus which binds with calcium. If too much phosphorus is in your blood it will pull calcium from your bones. Consuming too much phosphorus is the same as not consuming enough dairy.
  • Consume calcium with vitamin D (eggs, liver, mushrooms, the sun!)

 

Best diet to prevent calcium loss

  • Not too much protein
  • Includes good fats but not bad fats (trans fats, hydrogenated oils)
  • High in complex carbs (fresh vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts/seeds, fruit in moderation)

 

Cow-Dairy Sources of Calcium:

 

Food Serving Size Calcium mg/serving
Milk 1 cup 315 mg
Cheese 1 oz 130-200 mg
Cottage cheese 4 oz 100 mg
Plain yogourt ½  cup 200g

 

Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium

 

Food Serving Size Calcium mg/serving
Orange juice, calcium fortified 1 cup 300-350 mg
Rice milk, fortified 1 cup 300 mg
Almonds ½ cup 300 mg
Sesame seeds 1/8 cup 275 mg
Sardines, canned with bones 6 medium 275 mg
Tofu 1 cup 258 mg
Salmon, sockeye, canned with bones ½ can 245 mg
Soybeans ½ cup 230 mg
Almond butter 3 oz 225 mg
White beans, cooked 1 cup 170 mg
Baked beans 1 cup 163 mg
Blackstrap molasses 1 tbsp 137 mg
Home-made almond milk (see recipe below) 1 cup 75 mg

 

 Other sources of calcium:

  • Vegetables (artichoke, asparagus, avocado, beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, collard greens, kale, okra, parsley, peas, spinach, swiss chard, turnip greens, watercress)
  • Nut butters (cashew butter, tahini, all-natural peanut butter, sunflower seed butter)
  • Beans and Rice (brown rice, chick peas, kidney beans, navy benas, pinto beans, wild rice)
  • Seaweed (Agar, Irish moss, kelp, wakame)

 

Hidden sources of cow dairy on food labels:

Artificial butter flavour, butter, butterfat, buttermilk, casein, caseinates, curds, custards, half and half, hydrolysates, lactalbumin, lactose, nougat, pudding, rennet casein, sour creams, sour milk solids, whey, yogurt.

 

Make your own almond milk!

Soak ½ cup of raw almonds in water overnight. Rinse and drain. Remove skin (optional). Add to blender with 2 cups of filtered water and blend until smooth. Drain through 3-4 layers of cheese cloth to remove pulp. Store in fridge for 2-3 days; shake or stir if necessary as separation will occur.

 

References:

 

  • Bateson-Koch, Carolee. Allergies: Disease in Disguise. Books Alive, 1994.
  • Case, Shelley. Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. Case Nutrition Consulting, 2002.
  • Shulman, Joey. Winning the Food Fight: Every Parent’s Guide to Raising a Healthy, Happy Child. Wiley, 2003.