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Posted on 01-25-2017
If you're a mother you're far too familiar with adrenal fatigue.
You may not know how familiar you are but let me just paint a picture… for nine months you carried a baby and your body built it from scratch. You woke several times a night the last few months to go tinkle and get more comfortable over and over again. You woke with thoughts of your little one and how you would handle labor and what it would be like to have a newborn.
Once the baby came you woke over and over and over again to nurse cuddle and soothe your baby. Eventually there came a point in time, for some of us quicker than others, that you literally could not survive without your morning cup of coffee.
And then that baby goes from snuggling, to crawling, to walking which means you go from sitting and rocking and shushing to chasing. Sure you sit down once in a while… To shovel some food in while having most of it eaten by your toddler or cleaning up spills and getting people ketchup and water etc. The husband and you do the best you can to keep your connection real which can sometimes be very hard with little ones. You squeeze in small conversations of finances and to do lists hoping that you stay on the same page and both divide and conquer all the things to accomplish in life.
All of these big & little stresses - no matter how beautifully messy they are - The physical, the emotional, and the mental stresses plus on top of that the stresses of using your favorite caffeine just to get through the day or maybe for you it's food or alcohol - ALL OF THIS ADDS UP TO EQUAL ADRENAL FATIGUE - or what I like to call being a Mommy.
Let's take a quick second to break down the science…
Your adrenals are tiny glands that sit on top of your kidneys and secrete a hormone called cortisol and a few others. You've probably heard of this nasty hormone on TV commercials about how it makes your body hold on to fat around your belly. Cortisol does much more than that.
Cortisol is a very strong stress hormone and it decreases your immune system, decreases your ability to experience healthy sleep patterns, lowers your threshold for dealing with small every day stresses and can bring you to that place that we all call "I can't take this anymore. What's wrong with me? Every little thing is stressing me out. I am not myself anymore."
A lot of us walk around every day not feeling completely exhausted but carrying around this underlying general sense of fatigue. Most of the time people with adrenal fatigue are the doers. They're the ones that take on more than they should or just have a lot on their plate because maybe their husband is out of town for work or they have several kids and a very busy business (me me me) and there's just no time for NOT doing anything.
If you're like me the moment you sit down you feel like your world falls apart around you so you just have to keep going. Long-term increases in cortisol levels ,even small chronic increases of cortisol, can lead to a steady decline in overall health and well-being. It increases the processes of aging, it decreases our bodies ability to metabolize fat appropriately and makes us retain fat not just around the belly but even on our organs. Chronic stress deteriorates our brain, and it basically leads to a cascade and sometimes avalanche of a lot of yucky stuff. The big message today is that some stresses we can control & some we absolutely can't... however, we can find ways to deal with those stresses better, decrease our cortisol response, and move toward restoring our physical, mental, & emotional health.
And believe me, I'm totally preaching to myself on this one.
I would like to share with you some of my new favorite ways to deal with stress!
1. Daily Devotional & Prayer – OK I'm totally not trying to be cheesy about this. But honestly this last month my church started doing a 21 day devotional and fasting. I decided that I could really use a fresh start to the new year, a fresh start to my dedication to the Lord in prayer, and a fresh start to dealing with stress in my life a little bit better.
So I decided to start doing a daily devotional every MORNING, which took about 8 to 10 minutes of my time, as well as fasting my favorite thing in life (of course other than my beautiful children my husband and family) COFFEE.
I fasted coffee for 21 days. Now I know that fasting is not something to brag or complain about. It's a very private thing. The only reason I'm sharing it with you is because I did have a great breakthrough during that time. While fasting COFFEE I found myself several several times thinking "I just cannot get through this day Lord! How can I do it? This is impossible!" And one day while I was passing Starbucks (yeah seriously!) God spoke to me loud and clear. He said "I SUSTAIN YOU." Those words were so bold to me. I had really been relying on coffee to sustain me and how silly is that. Coffee cannot answer my prayers, it cannot be a safe space for me to let my true emotions and worries and fears come out. It is not a place of love, peace, healing, restoration, fellowship or friendship. Prayer and time with the Lord is the only thing that can offer all of those things.
So, if you haven't intentionally dedicated to spending uninterrupted time with the Lord every single day (whether it be three minutes or two minutes or even 10 minutes) I would highly suggest doing that. Now, I didn't always get to sit down with a notebook and peace and quiet but I did make sure that I completed my devotional before taking on the day. I would play it on my phone while showering and getting ready or driving the kids to school. Just making a conscious effort to dedicate time to my spiritual self on a daily basis is helping me so much. I have always tried to make sure I pray every day and of course I talk to God through out the day, but I wasn't starting my day out with Devotional time. Making sure I listen to my Devotional every single morning before I start responding to emails, checking bank accounts, and working on my businesses has made a HUGE impact on how I feel and the peace through out my day.
Check out Gateways Devotional here - http://createdtobe.gatewaydevotions.com
2. Essential Oils – for the past year essential oils have become an essential (no pun intended) part of my everyday life. Why you ask!? Well because honestly they just make life easier! They have allowed me to have easy and natural resources on hand to increase my families immune system on a daily basis, support them through challenges to their immune system such as the common cold, and add a whole new asset to our life.
They actually give me a way to impact hormones and neurology to decrease the nasty stress response that leads to adrenal fatigue and all the other things that come along with that --- mentioned above. Essential oils can cross the blood brain barrier and help the body naturally increase neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, & GABA, as well as support the adrenal glands and decrease cortisol levels.
These neurotransmitters are all necessary in order for someone to even be able to experience the emotions of happiness, joy, and stability. Essential oils can activate pathways in the brain that increase these feelings of happiness, joy and stability and therefore lead to healthier emotional responses.
In addition to essential oil's being able to cross the blood brain barrier and effect neurology they can also affect every other organ in the body because they enter the bloodstream. Because of this you can use certain essential oils to impact certain body systems.
For example I have a few favorite oils that directly impact the health of the adrenal gland's. Those oils are Clove, Nutmeg, and Rosemary. You can combine 3 drops of Clove, 3 drops of Nutmeg, and 7 drops of Rosemary in a 1/4 teaspoon of massage oil and apply as a warm compress over the adrenal gland's which are located at the top of the kidneys. The oils are fat soluble so they quickly absorbed into your skin within seconds and are in your bloodstream within minutes. They reach every cell in your body within 20 minutes. This is remarkable!
One of my other favorite combinations just to positively impact neurology and mood is Frankincense and Sacred Frankincense. Another great one is an essential oil blend Stress Away. I love to diffuse this one when I get home and before my husband gets home - wink, wink, wink!
The fact is there are hundreds of oil's that can impact neurology and emotional well-being in a positive way but these are just some of my favorites that I use on me and my husband and the little ones. Once you start using essential oils you will have your favorites as well.
To get your paws on this recipe you can order your own oils at wholesale using this link (http://tinyurl.com/restoringlifeoilers) or contact our office to find out more information on how we order and use oils for our families health. I would be happy to help you incorporate these into your daily routine.
3. Chiropractic – and of course you know you're not getting out of this blog post without reading a little bit about chiropractic because it is THE GREATEST ASSET TO MY FAMILY & COMMUNITY. Chiropractic is one of the greatest healing arts in the world because it releases the innate healing potential of the human body in a way that nothing else can.
It restores the body's ability to function as it was designed to - running and regulating itself, responding to internal and external stressors with strength & ease. The chiropractic adjustment takes pressure off the spinal cord and nerves exiting the spinal cord that go to every single cell, tissue, and organ of the body allowing the signals from the brain (the computer system) to reach every portion of the body to tell it what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.
Maintaining the integrity of this communication pathway - the nervous system - is 100% necessary to maintaining health & wellness. Many people have interference to their nervous system and don't even know it. They may have no symptoms at all because the body is so great at adapting. They are walking through life unconnected to their full potential and most likely don't even know what walking in the full potential of their body feels like anymore because they haven't felt it since they were a child.
And then some people may have symptoms that SEEM completely unrelated to their nervous system such as anxiety, panic attacks, difficulty sleeping, colic, ear infections, digestive issues etc. In almost all circumstances these things can be traced back to interference in the nervous system at the levels of the spine that are responsible for regulating the organs that control these things.
I have had the privilege and honor of witnessing the incredible miracles that happen in our community on a daily basis for about 9 years now. One of the most common and immediate responses I hear from people (regardless of gender or age) is that they sleep better, feel less stressed, are generally less anxious and coping with life and relationships better and feel more connected to themselves, and more like themselves again. The benefits of chiropractic care are something that I just can't live without and neither should you!
Getting adjusted on a regular basis is one of the greatest blessings in my life. During times that I back off and me & the family miss our adjustments because of the busyness I can absolutely tell the difference. Everyone starts to become a little discombobulated, cranky, not sleeping as well, and then a decrease in immune system function becomes apparent with a cold sweeping through the house one by one. Staying committed beyond convenience to regular chiropractic care for my family helps us all cope with LIFE better.
Take a peek at these three stress reducing and LIFE ENHANCING daily habits and see what part of this puzzle might be the missing link for you. Utilizing these 3 blessings at once has made a major shift in decreasing my stress level & increasing my vitality as a mother, wife, & doctor.
Love you all & Wish you a peaceful motherhood,
Dr. Lauren Alvarado
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