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Eat Yourself Healthy

How do you balance your nervous system?

How do you balance your nervous system?

This year’s been a pretty hectic one for me at work, I have been toiling away on some pretty big projects, which has meant upping the anti as far as long days, lots of jumping on and off planes and missing many a week end, in order to get my projects off the ground.  But having suffered and recovered from two Auto Immune diseases – Lupus and Hashimoto’s, that were ultimately triggered by stress,  I am very strict about setting boundaries and respecting my body.  I guess this decision for me comes easily now, after losing my health for so many years along with the freedom to do what I wanted, but this doesn’t  mean I can  always control the demands and stresses in my life.  So when life demands more from me, as it has these past 9 mths, I ensure I make plenty of extra ‘deposits’ when it comes to nourishing and protecting my body from the effects of making excess’ withdrawals’.

I use the term ‘withdrawals’ to describe anything that takes away from my health and ‘deposits’ to define anything that puts back into my body.  It’s a simple, yet effective analogy that can enable anyone to gain insight into how they are treating their body.  I often ask my patients to write down the list of  things that are  ‘withdrawing’ or taking away from their health, and a list of activities or choices that act as ‘deposits’ towards their health.  Many are amazed to see the vast difference between the two, the column for withdrawals usually outweighing the column for deposits!  So in times of excess stress, whether it be working longer hours, or just having ‘too many balls in the air’, I include  ‘things’ in my life that will prevent my health falling into a deficit state.  This is particularly important for anyone who suffers an auto immune condition or any chronic health problem for that matter.  Considering I already eat well, get plenty of sleep, support my body with certain nutritional supplements and exercise, including restorative forms such as yoga, I use things such as regular remedial massage and acupuncture to up the tempo when I need it.

I recently tried out something known as craniosacrel technique after curiosity got the better of me.  Sensing that I had probably wound my nervous system into overdrive having to juggle so much at work, the idea of trying something to help balance the flow of my nervous system was very appealing. Now before some of you roll your eyes at what has been dubbed by sceptics as ‘pseudo science’, I’d like  to express my view when it comes to health and complementary therapies. I approach things from a scientific perspective just as much as I observe the effect on a person’s (or my own) ‘functionality’.  I formed this view as a result of both my personal and professional experiences with health and treating illness and disease.  All too often I would hear patients tell me, ‘my doctor says my pathology results are ‘normal’, but I don’t feel ‘normal’, far from it in fact’.  This was also  my story in the early days of suffering Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Hashimoto’s.

On the flip side I would see cases where a person would be functioning far too well considering their pathology results. A case of mind over matter ?  Perhaps, but I think the reality is a our threshold for registering / tolerating pain, discomfort and the effects of stress, varies from person to person, depending how connected or attuned they are to their body and their attitude to their health.  I recall the time I had viral meningitis, thinking I was just fighting a bad flu, so I pushed on thinking my work was more important than feeling sick ( this was back in the days when I had a far from smart attitude to my health I might add), until I actually passed out and was taken to hospital.  But getting back to my discussion on the things we can do to support and nurture our nervous system in times of excess stress, we need to be mindful of doing so, because the nervous system, like the digestive system, directly influences the function and health of all the other body organs and systems. If the nervous system is sent into over drive for long periods of time, it will eventually ‘short circuit’ so to speak and leave us open to developing a chronic health condition, even disease, resulting from chronic stress or too many excess ‘withdrawals’.

So whether you choose massage, acupuncture, osteopathy, meditation, craniosacrel technique, or whatever your preferred modality or technique for supporting your nervous system as a way to prevent or treat the effects of stress, nothing can replace getting enough sleep each night, eating a healthy diet made up of whole , unprocessed,  non GMO food’s, getting plenty of exercise ( the type that does not ‘withdraw’ from your body I might add) and staying well hydrated with filtered water or herbal tea and drinking minimal coffee and alcohol.

Supplementing with certain vitamins, minerals and herbs such as a quality multi B complex, B12 and B6 magnesium vitamin C and a herbal nervous system tonic  are forms of ‘deposits’ the nervous system requires to function optimally especially when under excess stress.

What do you do to support your body in times of excess stress?  Do you wait until the wheels start to fall off?  Or do you take preventative action before stress takes a hold?  I’d love to hear your personal techniques and views on this.

Til my next post, eat well and feel good everyday.

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8 Comments
  1. Thanks Jo, all is going well, but I am sure glad I took some time before I left to recharge my nervous system as all the travel and time zone changes certainly acts as a BIG withdrawal. Im always sure to never sacrifice on healthy food, lots of sleep and exercise and do yoga as often as I can and I find this really prevents the scales from tipping too far one way 🙂 Well done on your efforts to nurture your nervous system 🙂 x

  2. Thanks Jo, all is going well, but I am sure glad I took some time before I left to recharge my nervous system as all the travel and time zone changes certainly acts as a BIG withdrawal. Im always sure to never sacrifice on healthy food, lots of sleep and exercise and do yoga as often as I can and I find this really prevents the scales from tipping too far one way 🙂 Well done on your efforts to nurture your nervous system 🙂 x

  3. Thankyou for sharing your story with us…I love the deposit /withdrawal analogy. I do my best to have balance in my life…eating well, yoga, walking, being in nature, being with my wonderful girlfriends, TCM, osteo and bodywork which I would love to have every week but often occurs only when my body desperately needs it! It’s taken me a long time to see how important all these things are, these things are
    important self care practices. Have a wonderful trip…exciting 🙂 Jo

  4. Thankyou for sharing your story with us…I love the deposit /withdrawal analogy. I do my best to have balance in my life…eating well, yoga, walking, being in nature, being with my wonderful girlfriends, TCM, osteo and bodywork which I would love to have every week but often occurs only when my body desperately needs it! It’s taken me a long time to see how important all these things are, these things are
    important self care practices. Have a wonderful trip…exciting 🙂 Jo

  5. A well timed article for me. Thanks Sal

  6. A well timed article for me. Thanks Sal

  7. What a great topic, Sally. Historically, I’ve been someone who waited until the stretcher came to acknowledge that was any kind of health issue. These days, I’m tee total and vegetarian, and have made a conscious choice to work a lower pressure job after suffering a year of debilitating thyroid under-activity. And yes, my tests came back “normal” for a time, too. I’m in need of extra support right now, and am taking vitamins D and B12, magnesium and vegan DHA and EPA. I have many nights in at home eating healthful food, drink heaps of water, see movies I love and friends whose energy is a “deposit” for me. I get a massage and meditate more often. I say “no” a lot to invitations, even if I get protests (“But it’ll be fun!”). I enjoy battening down the hatches and treating myself kindly. Thanks for the topic.

  8. What a great topic, Sally. Historically, I’ve been someone who waited until the stretcher came to acknowledge that was any kind of health issue. These days, I’m tee total and vegetarian, and have made a conscious choice to work a lower pressure job after suffering a year of debilitating thyroid under-activity. And yes, my tests came back “normal” for a time, too. I’m in need of extra support right now, and am taking vitamins D and B12, magnesium and vegan DHA and EPA. I have many nights in at home eating healthful food, drink heaps of water, see movies I love and friends whose energy is a “deposit” for me. I get a massage and meditate more often. I say “no” a lot to invitations, even if I get protests (“But it’ll be fun!”). I enjoy battening down the hatches and treating myself kindly. Thanks for the topic.

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