The Keys to Health Recovery

Health Recovery

This Post is specifically for anyone who is in the process of recovery from any long term health condition. I wanted to share my experience and expertise in this particular area to offer some useful insights for those who are on a recovery journey. Having overcome an anxiety condition as a child, and been on the recovery journey from chronic fatigue syndrome I wanted to share some of what I have learnt in this process with you.

The meaning of recovery in this post is not necessarily going back to how you were, but in many ways of becoming more, through a process of learning and change. You can become far more empowered as a person and what you may once have perceived as a really difficult time can turn out to be one of your greatest gifts.

The first key is to remain hopeful from the beginning, without hope you have nothing because you have essentially given up. Whatever prognosis/ outcome you have been told it is important to remain hopeful in your heart. Hopeful of something more and in yourself most of all. Recovery from chronic health conditions is a journey and it can consist of many ups and downs but I firmly believe that as with any challenge in life that there is much you can learn about yourself and life through this experience, If there is any purpose to it at all then it would be that of learning and self reflection.

In the initial stages of being told you have a chronic health condition it is a perfectly normal and understable response to feel anger or frustration at the new limitations that you now feel you have to live with. It is a proccess of change and also of letting go of your previous perceptions and finding new ways to manage as you go through this life transition. The hope you have will then become determination, when you begin to find your way and the lesson in each experience.

‘We never really know what a future outcome will be, but how we live now is what matters most.’

Secondly is that now more than ever your body needs an immunity boost and the the best way to do this is through your diet. Eating wholesome and natural foods is the best way to get the most nutrients out of your diet. A diet high in fruits and vegetables is heaven to your immune system and will also improve your energy levels. As a guide also lower your intake of white refined carbs, sugars and fatty foods. Organic foods are also excellent as they do not have the chemicals and pesticides that are added to other foods. Please research the alkaline diet for a specific example of a high energy and nutrient dense diet to follow.

Thirdly is exercise, exercise regularly but dont overdo it. 3-4 x a week is ideal. Regular exercise will help in many ways physically and also to help you feel stronger and more confident emotionally. Any form of exercise that you enjoy and find physically beneficial is good. It is essential in fact that you do find it enjoyable. If you find yourself very fatigued then yoga is excellent and you will feel much better for it after, swimming is also very good.

Fourth is relaxation and meditation both are equally important. Stress can build up in our lives sometimes without us realising and have significant impacts on our immune system and therefore our ability to cope with any illnesses/ health condition. By learning relaxation and meditation tools we can learn to effectively manage stress and also improve our overall calm and focus. Enabling us to manage our day to day lives far more effectively. These are both valuable life skills to have.

Take time to laugh and feel good , this gets us out of any negative thinking cycle that can often happen when you feel ill or tired. Do something regularly on a daily basis that you know makes you feel good and takes your complete focus, Just getting in to this habit will reinforce habits of positive thinking and help to release more endorphins (feel-good hormones). Taking time to laugh in any and everyway can also help the healing process, Laughter is the best medicine:)

Lastly surround yourself with people who support and encourage you and who also believe in you and your abilities, this will help you to feel to feel stronger and face things easier. If you dont have these people at the moment then find them where you can, places of interest etc. Support groups can sometimes be good also but be careful not to focus on symptoms too much, as this can bring about a negative thinking cycle, it is all about what we focus on. We can have many things going on in our lives but it is what we are focusing on that effects how we ultimately feel. In addition always look after you, as you are most important in this all, never forget your own needs and how much you deserve your own love as well as the love of others.

Chronic Pain Management

chronic pain 2 chronic pain brain

Chronic Pain can be a very frustrating and debilitating condition to manage so I would like to share with you some of the methods I have learnt through personal and professional practice on how best to manage it. It is my hope that anyone who struggles with this may find some of these methods helpful because I know how frustrating this problem can be when it is severe.

Firstly I’d like to identify that there are different types of pain; the type I am referring to here mainly is chronic muscle pain<land fatigue, as I know this can be very difficult to manage and also frustrating when you feel that it is limiting your life.

Although I am referring more to chronic muscle pain and fatigue in this post, much of these methods will also be of help for more short term muscle pain such as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which is experienced after heavy gym sessions. The reason for this is these methods will help to speed up the recovery process. It will also be helpful for some other types of chronic pain.

In terms of pain it is very important to identify the role of our perception. All people have different pain thresholds and so will have different coping degrees. However you can also learn to raise your pain threshold through re-focussing your mind. For example when you are focusing on the pain itself it will feel far more painful than if you direct your focus elsewhere.

Stress can also be a major contributor to the perception of pain; this is another reason to take your focus off the pain. If you know that the pain you experience is chronic then, other than painkillers, much of how you perceive it is under your control. This can either be scary or empowering once you have the necessary tools. Our minds respond to pain as a warning sign as this is what it often signifies in the short–term.

To clarify my point here

– The main thing you can do to help yourself once you know this pain is chronic, is focus your mind on something else. All the following techniques I will give you will be an addition to this.

Coping Methods

First things first, Eat Well, this is so important I cannot emphasise it enough. The main priorities here are that you need a good balance of food to meet all your nutritional requirements ensuring you are getting enough protein (for muscle growthand repair). Wholegrain carbohydrates (for sustained energy release) and a variety of fruit and vegetables(for micronutrient needs). It is also highly important that you eat regularly so that your metabolism runs effectively. Little & often is best if you can – around every 3-4 hours.

Stretching/ Yoga – This is very important and very helpful when you have muscle pain. By stretching properly you will help to release the tension and that has built up in your muscles and is causing you more pain and fatigue. You only need to do a stretching session for 10 – 15minutes to obtain benefits. Yoga and stretching will also help you to relax and take your mind off the pain.

Meditation
Although it can be difficult to re-direct your attention when you are in pain. This is very powerful and will benefit your life in every way by allowing you to focus better on the task at hand and be mindful wherever you are. You do not have to meditate for long, just 5 minutes can be helpful. There are lots of different meditation techniques but essentially what you are doing is directing your focus on to one thing (that is not the pain), such as your breath, and allowing all thoughts and distractions to pass by. This will bring you in to a state of peace which can be very blissful and a welcome relief from any form of pain. If you are unsure of which method to use then please contact me and I will happily help you with this.

Massage/ Heat – As with stretching this method will also help to relax your muscles and release toxins. The added benefit here however is it requires no effort on your part other than getting there. Massages can be wonderfully relaxing & therapeutic and are not just for pampering as some may think. If you make it a regular thing such as once a month I am certain you would notice a difference. By heat I mean either using a sauna or having a hot bath – these methods alone will help to release built up tension and toxins. In addition something I would highly recommend that is natural and extremely effective is Epsom salts – You add these to a hot bath and you will almost instantly feel the tension release.

Other methods
The above methods I would say are the main methods for you to try, However below are some methods that are also useful that you may want to try;

Swimming moderately ( 20-30 minutes is adequate )

Positive thinking and visualisation

Acupuncture

Social support

Laughter (The best medicine as they say:)

Writing/Art – (this helps you to process your thoughts and feelings)

Understanding your limitations and using necessary tools i.e. A Journal, time management.

Qigong / Tai Chi.

Adequate Rest & prescribed exercise.

EFT– Emotional Freedom Technique.

I hope you have found this blog post helpful. If you require any further help or advice then please do not hesitate to contact me via email/phone. Much of the above has come through my knowledge of holistic health and fitness and through personal experience. If you are unsure in anyway of the causes of the chronic pain you are experiencing, then please consult a medical practitioner.

‘Those who have the greatest struggles have the greatest strength.’

Real Energy

Benefits-of-Cardiovascular-Exercise

Today I wanted to discuss energy and our requirements and uses of it. This is not a scientific post at all, but one more based largely on my personal journey of successes and failures on increasing and maintaining energy levels and also from the experiences of others whom I have worked with.

I shall outline what I consider to be of most importance to anyone who struggles with fatigue or would just like to have more natural and real energy.

I hope this post can be of some help for this purpose although it is a brief summary. I am aware that there are many medical conditions and also medications that can induce or increase fatigue levels, so take this in to consideration if this is the case for you, and always be patient with yourself, we all have different capabilities.

Firstly, a little bit about my experience, so you can understand where I am coming from. Having been a fitness fan from a young age, I have always recognised the energising benefits of exercise and loved the feeling of increased energy from training. However I found out the hard way, I think that I began to take these energy levels for granted, as I would consistently and naturally want to feel this way. Being a fitness instructor also requires a certain amount of energy.

However as many have or may find out it is kind of unrealistic to operate at this level all the time, unless you want to reach a point of burnout which is what happened to me. I was later given a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome, This was extremely frustrating because I then couldnt do what I loved to, when I wanted to. It has to be said that before this point I was training 1- 2 times a day minimum.

Some lifestyles and jobs do require us to have a lot of energy and to train everyday, which can be possible for some to, but there are vital factors involved to sustain that level of energy and to be able to recover effectively.

Through personal understanding and research, I have learnt how best to optimize my energy levels, to be most effective but also importantly not to burn myself out again. There are particular factors which can lead to this. So I wanted to share some of what I have learnt with you, in the hope that it may be of help to some.

Anyone who has been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome knows how difficult it can be and that everyones’ experience is unique. I do believe though that these methods can help and also be preventatives of fatigue for anyone who wishes to maintain good energy levels.

When you become fatigued it can be very tempting to reach for quick fixes such as caffiene and sugar. Unfortunately although they provide quick energy they also create a vicious circle of energy drops and highs that can quickly become a habit. This type of habit developed to maintain this type of energy using sugar and caffiene is extremely common and many of us if we admit to ourselves may have fallen prey to this trap in some form or other because of the energy demands upon us.

There are though far better ways to obtain more natural real and sustainable energy, requiring simple but important steps and routines that are often forgotten or not maintained. With a lttle discipline and effort it is possible to achieve optimum, natural and real energy levels.

To outline the simple but perhaps main causes for depleted energy levels particularly within health and fitness training;

Dehydration- can also be caused by over consumption of caffeinated drinks.

Lack of adequate nutrition

Stress

Overworking/ Burnout

Overtraining ( this concept requires another blog post to explain in detail which will follow.)

Lack of adequate sleep.

Although these causes do seem fairly simple or maybe obvious they are in fact very common. They can also be interlinked, one will affect the other, creating a trap of fatigue.

In the short term these causes may do little harm and some perhaps such as stress are even good temporarily. But all these causes if allowed to become prolonged will lead to fatigue in some form, and can also have many other health implications.

The good news is if you apply the following methods for energy, you can achieve real sustainable natural energy levels. Which also will feel so much better than the type of energy you may gain from caffeine or sugar.

Drink water at regular intervals throughout the day (not just when your thirsty).

Eat plenty of natural foods(to obtain optimum nutrition).

Eat at regular intervals – (always have breakfast- very important:)

Regular exercise – (with adequate rest in between sessions)

Take relaxation time regularly- (meditation is also excellent to recharge, help maintain focus and reduce stress).

Reduce or avoid caffeine consumption

Reduce or avoid consumption of refined sugars.

To some the above may seem like strict guidelines to follow, but to obtain optimum real energy levels it is highly worth the effort, you will feel amazing benefits if you follow these guidelines.

One of the main culprits of fatigue can be chronic dehydration which can go unnoticed and lead to further health problems.

I found the following link very helpful and informative. Please check it out for more info on this.

http://nutritioninfo.tripod.com/id19.html

I hope you found this blog post helpful.
Please go to miralahealthandwellness.co.uk
for more info on the services we offer.