The Benefits Of Massage Therapy For Healing & Preventing Pain

The Benefits Of Massage Therapy For Healing & Preventing Pain

Massage therapy is the manual manipulation of the soft tissues of the body.  It helps heal and prevent pain, promote health and enhance well-being. I am a big advocate of massage therapy and always encourage my clients to make it an important part of their self-healing journey.

Not only is massage beneficial in helping heal the body, but also in preventing pain. In today’s busy and stressful world it is not uncommon to experience tight muscles, aches or pains.  Often we only seek the help of a massage therapist when this tightness or pain becomes too much to handle. But regular massage therapy input is also incredibly beneficial for preventing these symptoms occurring in the first place.

There are many types of massage therapy including (but not limited to):

Swedish Massage: One of the primary goals of Swedish massage is to relax the body. It is one of the more gentle forms of massage and uses long strokes in the direction of the blood flow returning to the heart.

Deep Tissue Massage: This is similar to a Swedish Massage but deeper pressure is used. This deeper pressure is beneficial in releasing chronic muscle tension by focusing on the deepest layers of the muscle tissue, tendons and fascia.

Trigger Point Massage: A trigger point is an area of tightness (or a knot) within muscle tissue that causes pain to be felt in another part of the body. For example, a common place to have a trigger point is in the muscle that runs between your neck and shoulder. Two common symptoms that this trigger point can cause is neck pain and tension headaches. You may have also heard this called referred pain.

Hot Stone Massage: This massage promotes deep muscle relaxation by placing smooth, water-heated stones at key points on the body. The deep heat of the stones also helps relax muscles, reduce tension and increase circulation and metabolism.

My advice would be to experiment with these different types to see which gives you the greatest benefit. It is also important that you find a massage therapist you like, trust and who has your best interests at heart. If you aren’t happy with a massage experience you are fully within your right to shop around until you find a therapist, and style of massage therapy, that makes you feel good.

So what are the benefits of massage therapy? Again these are numerous and I have just listed the ones associated with the healing and prevention of physical pain. These include:

  • Increased relaxation by stimulating the release of serotonin and dopamine.
  • Decreased stress by dampening the production of cortisol (the stress hormone).
  • Accelerated healing by increasing blood flow, releasing the hormones that help us repair and increasing nutrition to our injured cells and tissues.
  • Assisting with pain relief by triggering the body’s release of our natural painkillers (endorphins).
  • Improving circulation which nourishes our cells and improves waste elimination from our muscles and skin.
  • Providing relief for tight muscles and increases their flexibility.
  • Alleviating general stiffness.
  • Interrupting the pain cycle by stimulating the large pressure nerves that over-ride the smaller pain nerves.
  • Releasing nerve compression.
  • Decreasing swelling (or oedema).
  • Improving sleep which is essential for restoring, rejuvenating and repairing our body.
  • Increasing energy and a sense of well-being.

If you are someone who experiences stiffness, tight muscles or general aches and pains then I would really encourage you to invest in yourself by seeing a massage therapist regularly. And even if you don’t have any niggles right now, please keep in mind that massage therapy can help prevent these occurring in the future.

It is up to you now to make a commitment to begin looking after your body in the best way possible. I would also love to hear what your favourite type of massage therapy is, so please feel free to share with me in the comments below. And if you have a massage therapist that you highly recommend I would love for you to give them a shout out, as I am always looking for people to refer my coaching clients to.

Yours in Healing & Health,

Nicola

PS. If you’d love to receive blog posts like this one straight to your inbox just click here and share your email details with me.  You will also receive a copy of my eBook, ‘Breathe, Feel & Ask’, for free.

Interview with Carly Hicks from Holistic Life

Interview with Carly Hicks from Holistic Life

When I first came across Carly Hicks and read about the journey she has been on I reached out immediately to see if I could interview her.  Carly’s story about self-healing from chronic illness is exactly what I love to share with you all.

I hope you find her story as inspirational as I do and that it encourages you to continue on your own journey of self-healing.  Carly and I both hope that you enjoy this interview as much as we have loved sharing it with you.

For my readers who may not know you I’d love for you to tell us who you are, what you do and how you are making a big impact in the world right now?

My name is Carly Hicks, or you may know me as Holistic Life.

I created my website Holistic Life in 2014 after I was diagnosed with Autoimmune Gastritis two years prior. It was a space for me to share my journey with chronic illness and I hoped to inspire others to look after their body through food and lifestyle changes. I never thought I would be connecting with people all over the world, sharing their stories with chronic illness and having a space where others could feel supported in such a dark time in their life.

Chronic illness can be hard and I wanted my space to help others to not go through the journey alone. Together we can support each other and help each other rise up above chronic illness.

Can you tell us how your Autoimmune Disorder made you feel physically and emotionally, as well as how it impacted your life?

I lost my grandmother who was the light of my life a week before my 24th birthday and exactly a month later my body shut down. I started experiencing memory loss, was unable to gain weight, extreme chronic fatigue, paralysis to my right side, light sensitivity, and I was only about to digest 4-6 foods without my symptoms intensifying, or being in extreme pain in my stomach. I was bounced around from so many doctors and specialists, all of whom really had no clue what was going on until I finally found an amazing Naturopath who put me through for an endoscopy where they picked up Autoimmune Gastritis, Helico Bactor and B12 deficiency. I was also tested for MTHFR which came back positive, as well as Pyrolle disorder. It was a lot to take in at the time and I really had no clue what it all meant, but I was grateful I had an amazing Naturopath who I worked with to slowly get my health back on track.

I was only 24 at the time and not having the energy to do anything, whilst my friends and partner were leading the life I used to live was hard. I just had to take it day by day. I found that gradually each day would get better and it allowed me to look at my life from a different angle. I was able to become more aligned with myself and let go of certain situations and people who didn’t have my best interest at heart.

The last four years have given me the biggest gift … my self worth. It was a long slow process with regaining my health, but one I wouldn’t trade for a second. My disease brought me closer to myself and I’m forever grateful for that.

You talk a lot about how you were able to heal the damage done to your mind and spirit, and that you were able to halt the symptoms of your Autoimmune Disorder through natural remedies, healthy eating and a lot of self love and self care. Can you tell us a little bit more about what this journey looked like for you?

To start off with it was a low salicylate diet which was only 4-6 foods for approx 12 months. From there I slowly introduced certain herbs to help heal and seal my gut, as well as a lot of vitamin supplementation because I was so deficient in practically everything. Once my body slowly started to allow more foods into my diet I transferred over to the Autoimmune Paleo portocol, and from there I discovered I had a love of cooking and creating new dishes. I found being in the kitchen helped me lower the anxiety and stress associated with my illness, plus my creative side kicked in and I found I had such a passion for it that my passion became my purpose.

I then started to incorporate daily meditation and more time in nature. These then allowed me to practice more mindfulness in my life. It’s amazing once we start to quiet the mind, and come back to ourselves, how much our life starts to flow and we stop resisting what we really desire.

I know that you followed the Autoimmune Protocol Diet during this time. I’d love for you to share more about what this is and how it made a big impact on your health.

I first started on a low salicylate diet for the first 12months of my healing because my gut was so damaged, and my nervous system was reacting to everything. From there I incorporated my healing protocol to the AIP and found that I was making leaps and bounds, because the AIP protocol allows the body to basically reset itself.

The AIP protocol is amazing for anyone with chronic illness, Autoimmune Disorders, Allergies or any form of inflammation in the body.

I’ve had such success with the AIP that I’m in the process of creating my own AIP cookbook and meal plan. It’s in the works as we speak!

What do you believe the ‘key’ to healing is?

The number one tip that worked for me is to always follow your intuition. You know deep down what is going on and the more space you give yourself to tap into that, the quicker you will get to the root cause of the issue and treat it. Our body knows exactly what it needs to heal and the quicker we allow ourselves time to listen, then the quicker we start to heal.

Always listen to that inner voice, your intuition will never steer you wrong.

If you could give those starting out on their own healing journey one piece of advice what would it be?

It’s hard to give just one!

I would say to always follow what lights you up, because when your soul is happy your life will flow with ease and grace.

Never be ashamed to do what makes you feel good no matter what others think. We only have one life to live so live this life for you, and only you.

What truly inspires you in both your life and your work?

I light up when I talk about health, and that’s why I decided to study a Bachelor of Health Science to become a qualified Naturopath. My passion is teaching children and parents the importance of nourishing our bodies from within with quality food, so that future generations won’t have to suffer through the growing rise of chronic illness.

I get a lot of inspiration from my nieces and nephews. They truly teach me that the importance of life is to laugh and not take things so seriously. We can learn a lot from the way children view the world.

And if my readers would love to connect with you and support you in the work you do, where is the best place for them to start?

To follow me on my journey with healing chronic illness you can find me over at http://www.myholisticlife.com.au/

I also share recipes catered to food intolerance, as well including gluten free, dairy free, and grain free meals.

You can also find me over on my Facebook page called Carly Hicks-Holistic Life where I share daily inspiration, facebook live videos and cooking demos, as well as on my Instagram page.

Professional Bio:

Carly Hicks from Holistic LifeBeing diagnosed with an Autoimmune Disorder at 24 helped Carly find her passion for creating healthy recipes, her love of natural remedies to heal the body, and how the importance of living a healthy lifestyle has allowed to heal from within.   She’s a Naturopath in the making and now on a mission to help show others how to take control of their health through healthy food choices and lifestyle changes.  If you suffer from food intolerance’s, looking to get that spark back in your life, or just looking for some tasty nourishing meals, then Carly has you covered.

How Stress Could Be The Cause Of Your Neck Pain & Ways To Decrease Overwhelm In Your Life

How Stress Could Be The Cause Of Your Neck Pain & Ways To Decrease Overwhelm In Your Life

As you begin reading this article I want you to become aware of your shoulders. Are they hunched up around your ears, or are they relaxed? And how do you feel right now? Are you anxious or do you feel calm? If you suffer from regular neck pain then stress may be the reason why.

You can experience neck pain after sleeping awkwardly, working too long at the computer or holding a phone between your ear and shoulder. But neck pain can also be caused by constant stress.

Pain is your body’s way of telling you your life is out of balance. You can only go for so long without taking time out to recharge and repair, before you start to break down. This is your body’s way of sending a message that it’s time to slow down and take better care of yourself.

When you are constantly busy or feeling stressed your muscles automatically become tense. Some people notice this in their back, others in their neck or shoulders. If your neck and shoulder muscles are tense, this causes them to shorten, become tight and pull on the base of your skull. This constant tension and pulling leads to both neck pain and tension headaches.

While seeing a physiotherapist, massage therapist or osteopath might help alleviate your pain, it is likely to return. Why? Because if you don’t address the underlying cause (busyness and stress) the relief will only be temporary. With time the tension in your muscles returns, along with your neck pain.

Which brings us to question, ‘how can we decrease stress’? I’m going to be honest with you and say you’re the only one creating this feeling. You are doing this by saying yes too often or by continually telling yourself that you are overwhelmed. Often it is both!

This is a conversation I have regularly with my clients, and I am going to share with you how we work through decreasing stress and busyness in their life. Here is some practical advice to get you started today.

  • Set boundaries around what you say yes and no to. Only say yes to things that make you feel good. Never say yes because you think you should. You do not have to justify your reason for saying no. No-one needs to know your reason but you.
  • Write down everything you’ve said yes to for the next month. Go through this list and separate them out into two columns. In the first column put everything you are looking forward to. In the second column put everything you are dreading, or you only said yes to because you thought you should.
  • Read back through this second column. Is there anything that you can go back and say no to? If there is I would encourage you to take it off your list. If you can’t, that’s ok. This is about learning how to decrease the stress in your life long-term, not just for the next month.
  • If you find saying no difficult, create some breathing space by saying ‘I will need to check my diary’ when anybody asks you to do something.  This will give you time to reflect on whether it is something you want, or have the time, to do.
  • Now I want you to do a brain dump. Write a list of everything on your to-do list. Then separate these out into four columns. In the first column write everything that needs to be done today. In the second column everything that needs to be done this week. In the third everything that needs to be done this month. And in the last everything that needs to be done within the next three months.
  • But I want you to be honest with yourself here. What actually needs to be done today? Let me give you an example. As I write this I have 20 minutes before jumping on a call with one of my coaching clients. After the call I have a spare hour. Would I like to finish this blog post today? Yes, of course I would. But today is also the last day for paying my dogs council registrations. So, the question then becomes … ‘does this blog post actually need to be finished today’? No it doesn’t. So in my spare hour it is more important today to go into town to pay the registrations (just in case my dogs decide to run off on an adventure – which they love to do!).
  • Try to keep the list of things to do in a day to a minimum. I only have three things on mine at any one time. Three things I know I will be ABLE to get done in the spare time I have available. At the end of the day it feels good to cross them off, and I then add three more things for the following day.
  • Set aside one hour a week for what I call the ‘Power Hour’. This is for all those little jobs you tend to put them off such as booking a car service, answering that invitation or returning a call.
  • And lastly, when you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed I want you to stop, take a deep breath and say to yourself, ‘It’s ok … I have more than enough time to get everything done’. That one breath can change everything.

It’s now up to you to make a commitment to start decreasing the amount of stress in your life. I want you to remember that it’s the small, positive changes you make each day that have the biggest impact on your physical and emotional wellness in the long term. You don’t have to overhaul your life all at once, just one small step at a time is all it takes.

I would love to know if you find any of these practices helpful by leaving me a comment below. And if you’re wondering whether my coaching program could also help you feel better physically, decrease stress and prevent burnout, then please feel free to book a quick chat with me by clicking here.

Yours in Healing & Health,

Nicola

PS. If you know someone who experiences neck pain and you think this article might help, please feel free to share it with them.

The Link Between Posture, Physical Pain & Emotional Wellness

The Link Between Posture, Physical Pain & Emotional Wellness

I want you to stop right now and take note of your posture. Are you sitting up straight? Or are you slouched forward? I also want you to think about how your body feels right now. Do you feel light and flexible? Or is there a part of your body that feels tight or sore? And lastly, I want you to think about how you feel right now. Do you feel energised and confident? Or do you feel tired, insecure or even sad?

If you were slouching I want you to now sit straighter, and if you were sitting tall I want you to slouch forward. Take a minute to become aware of how you feel both physically and emotionally. Did anything change?

We all know that our posture can be a cause of physical pain and discomfort. But did you know that posture and emotional wellness are also closely connected? In this article I am going to explain the links between posture, physical pain and emotional wellness. I’m also going to give you some tips on how to improve your posture for better physical and emotional health.

So what is good posture and why is it so important?

Good posture is simple to explain, or rather demonstrate. I want you to stand up and do the following:

  • Lift your chin and chest up (as if you’re a puppet being pulled by a string from your head).
  • Lower your shoulders and pull your shoulder blades down and back (as if you’re trying to put them into your back pockets).
  • Pull your stomach in.
  • Slightly tuck your tailbone under.
  • Stand with your knees a little bent.
  • Place your feet apart, the same width as your hips.

That is good standing posture. The same can be done in sitting. Good posture is important for a number of reasons. It places your spine in good alignment, which decreases the pressure placed on it. It also means that your lungs have more room to expand when you breathe, which in turn increases the amount of oxygen you breathe in and the amount of blood that circulates around your body. This blood bring with it the cells that are essential for healing and repair.

We all know that poor posture isn’t great for us but I want you to think about the amount of time we actually spend each day with our backs bent, our shoulders forward and our heads down. We sleep, brush our teeth, drive, work, cook, wash dishes and chill out on the couch in this very position. But why is it so bad for us?

While there are a number of reasons, I am only going to share two with you today so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

The first is to do with our shoulders. We have a group of muscles that attach to our shoulder blades called the rotator cuff muscles. Their tendons pass through a small gap between the collar bone and the top of the shoulder where they attach to the long bone in the upper arm. There’s not a lot of room through this gap at the best of times, and when our shoulders are in a forward position there is even less. The problem with this is that every time you lift your arm above your head, or out to the side, these tendons get pinched. Over time it causes them to get inflamed (or swollen) and they start to break down and cause pain.

The second reason is to do with your back (or spine). Sitting is so bad for you that it is now being called the new smoking. Did you know that sitting puts more pressure through the discs (which are essentially like shock absorbers) in your back than running or jumping? I know it’s hard to believe that something so passive could cause so many problems, but it does. Even when we are aware of our sitting posture and sit up straight, within a few minutes we unconsciously start to ‘creep’ into a slouched position. This then increases the pressure on the discs which causes them to start breaking down – or develop wear and tear.

I always describe the discs in your back as looking like onions. Within these ‘onions’, or discs, you have a nucleus which I like to think of as a jelly bean. When you move the nucleus (or jelly bean) moves. So when you bend forward the jelly bean moves to the front of the onion. When you lean backwards the jelly bean moves to the front of the onion. So, if we think about when we are sitting in a slouched position the jelly bean is always perched towards the back. Now if there is a tear in the back of that onion you can imagine what could happen. That jelly bean could pop through the tear … and this is what we call a ‘slipped disc’ or prolapsed disc. We all probably know someone whose back went out when all they did was bend down to pick up the soap from the floor of the shower – this is the reason why!

If you are someone who has either shoulder or back problems then becoming more aware of your posture may just be the key to beginning to heal, but there could also be a little bit more to it. This is where the link between our posture and emotional wellness comes in, so let’s talk about that now.

Imagine going to meet a friend for coffee and when you arrive you see them sitting at the table looking drawn, their shoulders forward and their head down. Chances are you will intuitively realise they are having a bad day, or something is going on in their life right now they want to talk about. Then think about how you might feel by the end of the conversation. You will have probably taken on their emotional energy and, even if you arrived feeling in a great mood, by the end you may be feeling tired and down yourself. I would also guarantee that your posture will have changed to mirror theirs.

Now imagine turning up to that coffee date and you see your friend sitting up straight, shoulders back and looking around them excitedly. My bet is that this is a coffee date you really enjoy and walk away from feeling energised and with a spring in your step.

Embodied Cognition is the idea, or philosophy, that the connection between our mind and body runs both ways. For example, when we are feeling sad or depressed we are more likely to adopt a slumped posture, but sitting this way can also make us feel sad or depressed. Does that make sense?

“The brain has an area that reflects confidence, but once that area is triggered it doesn’t matter exactly how it’s triggered. It can be difficult to distinguish real confidence from confidence that comes from just standing up straighter … these things go both ways just like happiness leads to smiling, but also smiling leads to happiness.”

Richard Petty, Professor of Psychology at Ohio State University.

So now you are a clearer on the links between posture, physical pain and emotional wellness, how can you improve your posture? I believe that becoming more aware of our posture and consciously changing it is really hard to do. Why? Because it’s like a bad habit that is so strongly ingrained that it is difficult to break. But it is possible. It is just one of those things that takes a while to do. There is no quick fix, so you just need to be committed to doing the work.

Firstly you need to take note of the regular activities you do where you’re more likely to be in a poor body position, and then be aware of your posture while you are carrying these out. Such activities include:

  • Sitting for prolonged periods of time at a desk or working on a computer.
  • Talking on the phone.
  • Driving or sitting on a train or bus.
  • Carrying a heavy backpack or handbag.
  • Working repetitively with your arms out in front of you, or above shoulder height.
  • Tasks where you are bending forward ie. vacuuming or working under the bonnet of a car.

Secondly, here are some practical tips that may help improve your posture:

  • Assess your work desk – rearrange it so that you are in a better postural position, or maybe invest in an ergonomic chair or sit-to-stand desk.
  • Get up and move – major physical problems occur due to being in one posture for a prolonged period of time. Taking regular breaks, even just to get up and walk to the toilet or photo copier, can make all the difference.
  • Stretch regularly – if you sit for the majority of your day then you should be doing at least one stretch every two hours. You can find some good work-place stretches on Pinterest, otherwise I have an upcoming eBook of stretches you can do both at home and work (so look out for that in the coming months).
  • Set a regular alarm throughout your day to remind yourself to either move or stretch.
  • Stick a post-it note on your computer or mirror that simply says ‘Posture’. This will remind you to adjust how you are sitting, or standing, whenever you see it.
  • Invest in a lumbar support for your office chair or car.
  • Smile!

If you know your posture is something you need to work on then please know you aren’t alone. I do not know anyone who has perfect posture all the time.

And if you are someone who knows your emotional wellness is impacting on your physical health right now, then I would really encourage you to check out my ‘Heal Your Body’ 1:1 coaching program by clicking here.

I would love for you to share with me any ‘aha’ moments you have had while reading through this post in the comments below. I always love hearing from you.

Yours in Healing & Health,

Nicola

PS. If you know of someone who you think may just need to read this post today then please feel free to share it with them.

Interview with Crystal Kapolitsas from The Healthy Patch

Interview with Crystal Kapolitsas from The Healthy Patch

Today I am super excited to be bringing you this interview with Crystal Kapolitsas from The Healthy Patch.  

Now, those of you that know me well will know that I am not the biggest vegetable fan in the world (although I do love fruit and anything about herbs!); however there is something about the certified organic healthy patches that Crystal, and her husband Anth, produce that has me dying to get my hands on one.

I also love Crystal’s story about how she used organic and natural food and healing practices to go from being grumpy, exhausted, fed-up and constantly sick to being healthy, well, happy and thriving.   I’m honoured that Crystal is sharing that story with us today, and we both hope that you enjoy this interview as much as we have enjoyed bringing it to you.  So let’s dive in …

I’d love for everyone to get to know you a little better. So let’s start by you telling us who you are, what you do and how you are making a big impact on the world right now?

Ahh where do I start? Okay… if I had to put me in a nutshell I would say…I’m obsessed with anything that can help me live a healthier life. I truly believe that food is medicine. I have had a green juice every single day for the last 3 years… and I believe that we can do anything we set our minds to – Including changing the world – It just depends on how much you’re willing to put in!

I’m also Co Creator of The Healthy Patch – The world’s first Certified Organic Veggie Patch Company on a mission to help spread the word on the healing powers of Organics + how to easily grow your own nutritiously rich supercharged edibles!

Creating mineral-packed microbe-rich soil rocks our socks – this is where it all starts – this is how you grow supercharged edibles!

I know that your health was a huge catalyst to starting you on the journey to the life you are living now, and the business you are running. Can you tell us a little bit about what your physical and emotional health was like a few years ago?

Huge catalyst!

From as far back as I could remember I suffered from constant pounding headaches, throat & ear infections & the flu. Yep – a lot of school was missed!

When I got to my early twenties I had no period, awful skin & hair, leaky gut syndrome (not that I knew it at the time) & literally no energy to do anything… ever!

Now lets go to the emotional Super angry – crazily emotional – always crying for no apparent reason & stupidly high stress levels! Life was pretty peachy hahaha

We would love to know the first steps you took towards changing your lifestyle, and what you’ve learnt along the way about health and wellness?

Over the years my symptoms continued to get worse – to the point where I was just freaking miserable!

I practically lived at the doctors who again & again would tell me that nothing’s wrong & I was really at the point where I just didn’t really care about my life anymore – everything was just too exhausting.

Then one night as I was on the internet – I somehow found an article about a girl who was healing her body from an illness with green juices. I ended up doing a bit more digging and found her health blog – The Wellness Warrior. I actually had no idea what a blog even was back then, but I was hooked. I read way into the night & by the next day had booked an appointment with a naturopath – a doctor who I never would have considered seeing had it not been for this girl that spoke so highly of them.

This naturopath blew my mind. In fact to this day he is still one of my greatest teachers.

He bombarded me with information on nutrition, the food we are eating today in the Western World & the affects that conventional produce can have on our body. Everything clicked, everything made sense. And it was like he just let me in on this big secret that could change my life forever.

By the next week we said goodbye to all of our conventional produce, processed foods, & anything that contained sugar, gluten & cows dairy.

We started learning about how to grow our own supercharged, mineral-packed, microbe-rich organic produce so that we could nourish our bodies with nothing but the most nutritiously dense foods out there.

I was DETERMINED to get rid of my symptoms… and I did!

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt from this whole experience is to TRUST!

Trust the process – Trust yourself – Trust your body!

For years I was always so scared of listening to myself… or fu*king up… or making something worse – And I certainly wasn’t in tune with my body… in fact even using the words ‘in tune with my body’ would have made me walk out the door.

I would pop every pill the Dr would give me without thinking twice – I would always discredit myself & I would never give myself space to do what feels right for me.

These days I trust myself more than anyone. If I need answers I will find them!

Can you explain to us a little more about how the food you now choose to eat (and grow!) has impacted your health, and how you feel now?

You know it’s so funny because it’s so normal to just go the the doctors or the chemist & spend a heap of money on pills to fix your symptoms, but all it’s doing is acting like a big bandaid (covering the symptoms up) – not actually fixing the cause.

When we made the switch to organics & then started growing our own extra nutritious organics, symptoms started disappearing & other things (like my period) started returning!

I was absolutely blown away.

Even though I had read about other peoples health journeys – I still wasn’t 100% sure if that could ever happen to me (again…no freaking trust right!).

But I kept at it – And soon I was just a completely different person.

My mood swings were gone. My headaches were gone. My skin – super clear… like no-makeup-needed-at-all-super-clear. ALL of my symptoms, every single one, slowly started to clear up.

My whole life I had been allergic to onion – Now I can eat onion without any issues thanks to my awesomely healed gut! Amazing isn’t it? That’s the power of supercharged wholefoods.

Apart from how you choose to nourish your body, do you have any other practices or rituals you do regularly to ensure your physical and emotional health continues to thrive?

Absolutely!

I do 20 minutes of Meditation every morning. I used to do TM but at the moment I have been leaning more towards Tara Brach’s “The Practice of Vipassana (Mindfulness) meditation – Tara’s awesome!

I also do around 20-30 minutes of Restorative Yoga every morning which focuses on deep breathing to stimulate the Parasympathetic Nervous System.

After that I put some Apple Cider Vinegar into a mug and down the hatch it goes… A nice kick starter for the digestive system before brekky…whoops I’m back to nourishing the body 😉

And lastly, we’d love to know more about what you are up to right now, where we can find you and how we can get ourselves an incredible Healthy Patch?

Sure! We’ve got some seriously exciting things in the pipe line for The Healthy Patch at the moment – I’ve been sworn to secrecy but trust me, it’s going to be AWESOME!

If you’re Melbourne based you can get your hands on a Healthy Patch right now – otherwise – hold tight! Big things are coming!

If you want to find me head on over to our Instagram or Facebook, or get your sweet little self over to TheHealthyPatch.com.au & sign up to the newsletter – Me & Anth send you an email every week with new & exciting organic goodness in it + you get an awesome eBook on all the gorgeous & vibrant herbs you can start growing & their health benefits! Other than that… drop me an email (hello@thehealthypatch.com.au) – I love hearing from you & always try & reply back to every one of them!

______________________________________________________________

Professional Bio:

Anth & Crystal from The Healthy PatchCrystal Kapolitsas – Health Coach, Researcher & Educator, Speaker & Co Creator of The Healthy Patch (along with her nutrition-loving hubby Anth) – is dedicated to educating & improving your life through the healing powers of Organic Wholefoods & growing your own ‘Super-Charged Food’.

Crystal lives by the philosophy that Food Is Medicine & whole heartedly believes that a thriving body starts with thriving food!
The Healthy Patch offers Certified Organic ‘Super-Charged’ veggie patches filled with mineral-packed, microbe-rich soil so that you can have access to the Healthiest Organic Produce right at your finger tips!

For Crystal’s & Anth’s latest Super-Charged recipes, health tips, planting guides + a heap more organic goodness – head on over to TheHealthyPatch.com

P.S – Fan of drool worthy wholefoods + big vibrant clusters of growing edibles? Don’t forget to check them out on their socials below:

Instagram – Instagram.com/TheHealthypatch

Facebook – Facebook.com/TheHealthyPatch

Pinterest – Pinterest.com/TheHealthyPatch

Twitter – Twitter.com/TheHealthyPatch

Are You At Risk Of That Niggle Turning Into Chronic Pain?  Six Signs You Might Be.

Are You At Risk Of That Niggle Turning Into Chronic Pain? Six Signs You Might Be.

Chronic pain is defined as physical pain that lasts beyond the normal healing period (or for longer than three months). For example, if you roll your ankle during a game of netball you can usually expect it to heal within a six to twelve week period – depending on how severe the initial injury is and whether you seek treatment for it. If six months down the track you are still experiencing physical pain and symptoms, your injury has now become chronic. Chronic pain is a lot harder to manage and heal from. So what are the signs that you are at risk of developing chronic pain?

 

Stress as a risk factor for chronic pain

1. You feel stressed, overwhelmed and your life is extremely busy.

Stress causes an increase in heart rate, which in turn makes you breathe faster and causes your muscles to tighten in response.  Chronically tight muscles become painful over time.  Stress also causes you to feel more anxious, which is known to intensify feelings of pain.

Focusing on your pain

2. You spend a lot of time focusing on your pain.

This causes the pain signals that are sent to your brain to fire faster and more often.  In time this lowers your pain threshold so even gentle activities, such as receiving a light massage, become painful.

Poor diet as a risk factor for chronic pain

3.  You have a poor diet consisting largely of sugar, processed foods and the wrong fats.

Your body needs proper fuel to operate efficiently and for optimal healing.  There is a lot of research currently being done around how poor gut health (when related to a poor diet) causes a low grade chronic inflammatory response in the body.

Not listening to your body

4. You ignore the messages your body is sending you.

Your body is constantly sending you messages about what it needs you to do to help it heal.  If your physical pain is connected to your emotional wellness, your body will also intuitively tell you what areas of your life you need to address.  It is your job to listen, but also take action, to help your body free itself from pain.

Living a sedentary lifestyle

5. You live a largely sedentary lifestyle.

Regular exercise helps fight inflammation.  It also releases natural pain-relieving endorphins.  Getting off the couch and moving your body will also not only help you feel better physiologically, but also psychologically.

Not getting enough sleep

6.  You don’t go to bed early or get enough sleep, more nights than you do.

It is while we sleep, and particularly the hours before midnight, that our bodies repair and rejuvenate themselves.  Getting a consistently good night’s sleep is one of the most important keys to healing.

Even if you can relate to a number of these risk factors, it doesn’t mean you will develop chronic pain.  It simply means that you may be more susceptible than someone who is addressing, and working to improve, these different areas in their life.

I know it can feel overwhelming to think you need to address all these different areas of your life all at once.  So if you would love some support then please feel free to read more about how I can support you through my ‘Heal Your Body’ 1:1 coaching program here.

I know this program isn’t going to be for everyone which is why I offer a free 30 minute, no obligation, chat (by Skype or phone) to see if we are a good fit to work together.  And I promise that if I don’t think I can help you I will tell you!

If you are keen for a quick chat then I would love to hear from you.  You just need to click here to choose a time to catch up that suits you.

And even if my coaching program isn’t for you, that’s absolutely fine!  But I bet you can think of someone you know who probably needs to read this post right now..  So please feel free to share it with them.  And, as always, I’d love for you to share any comments you may have with me below.

Yours in Healing and Health,

Nicola