MENTAL HEALTH by DESIGN: How to Edit Your Mental Health Equation for Improved Mental Health

Updated September 8, 2020

mentalhealthequation

Every person’s mental health equation, including yours, is uniquely different and yet every person’s mental health equation shares common denominators.

According to Madhuleena Roy Chowdhury‘s Positive Psychology article What is the Mental Health Continuum, “The mental health continuum is a range having mental health and mental illness at the two extreme ends.  The shift between the distinct markers of healthy point, problem point and disorder point are determined by a person’s internal and external faculties.” Below if the image from Madhuleena’s article.  Please visit the link and read.

continuum

I have always been envious of people who appeared to be able to consistently stay at the healthy, happy end of the continuum.  After years of experiencing a range of mental health continuum points for a variety of reasons, and recovering from depression using a variety of strategies, I am able to stay close to the healthy, happy point of the mental health continuum most of the time. It is much easier to be resilient during times of stress when one is healthy and happy. Greater resilience during challenging times is my ongoing quest. To start a return to, and stabilization at the healthy, happy point of the mental health continuum; one needs to look at their mental health equation and the common denominators they share with others.

A common denominator is a commonly shared theme or trait.  You will no doubt have heard people speak about the common denominators for success in business, relationships and people who live to be healthy past 100.  A common denominator is also a common element in a mathematical equation. In math class you learn to rewrite your math equations to change the undesirable answer. When things are not adding up in your life you may be prompted to start subtracting out potential causes; analyzing and rewriting your mental health equation by subtracting out contributing factors and adding in supports, can help you to restore and maintain better mental as well as physical health.

In the midst of the additional uncertainties and stressors added to our lives and the lives of the people around us due to the Covid-19 pandemic, adding in additional supports would be a good place to start to restore and maintain better mental health. These have been really challenging times for all of us, setbacks are not uncommon, especially in the ability to cope with stress and maintain resilience.  According to the Psychology Today article Pandemics and Psychoneuroimmunology, our mental state can be a determining factor in how significantly we are affected by the pandemic.

“Viruses use the same receptors as neuropeptides to enter into a cell, and depending on how much of the natural peptide for a particular receptor is around and available to bind, the virus that fits that receptor will have an easier or harder time getting into the cell. Because the molecules of emotion are involved in the process of a virus entering the cell, it seems logical to assume that the state of our emotions will affect whether or not we succumb to viral infection.” Dr. Candace B. Pert

“COVID-19 reminds us to include a discussion of psychological factors in being able to fight off the virus by maintaining optimal immune functions. Staying positive, remembering to laugh, and maintaining hope and optimism may be crucial to maintaining a strong immunity and our very survival. We must also grieve the tragic loss of so many who have fallen from this deadly virus.” James F. Zender, PhD, The New Normal 

There are many free mental health supports available, depending on where you live. I have listed several supports at the end of this post. Subtracting out some of the mental health challenging factors, like those I highlight below, may have to wait until a later time after isolation, when your regular healthcare provider and other qualified practitioners can guide you. You now have the time to do your research and planning, make diet changes, add in exercise and mind body strategies to help you in your quest to sustain a healthier, happier mental health state and ‘thrive in spite of everything’.

During times of Covid challenges I often think of Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful,  where “a father interprets the world for his young son upon their arrival in the bestial barracks of a Nazi concentration camp. In the horror of a concentration camp, the father’s task is impossible but simple: invent a story that will help him and his son survive”.

During a very dark mental health continuum point in my life, a caring family member suggested I read Man’s Search for Meaning. It seemed like a very depressing pick at the time. “In Man’s Search for Meaning, psychiatrist and neurologist Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) wrote about his ordeal as a concentration camp inmate during the Second World War. Interestingly, he found that those who survived longest in concentration camps were not those who were physically strong, but those who retained a sense of control over their environment.but turned out to be just what I needed.” I am so grateful for the recommendation.

How do you rewrite your mental health equation?  

You can rewrite your mental health equation by subtracting out or cancelling your well-being challenging contributing factors and adding in strategies to help eliminate your depression and other mental challenges. The combined approach strives to ‘right the wrongs’ that may be a part of your depression/mental health equation; allowing your body’s natural healing mechanisms to heal your brain and restore your brain chemistry and function to normal. It took me years of research and trial and error strategies, while also working on my multiple physical health equations to achieve the improved health results I have. This post focuses on the mental health equation factors that I and my clients have addressed to achieve improved mental health.  Obviously brain damage and past trauma are additional factors that will need to be addressed with additional medical and psychological supports. This is a process that will take time. It is not as simple as the equation image below.

lifemath

I suffered from depression at various times in my life.  My understanding and definition of what was possible about being depression free were limited due to everything I was told and read. My father had suffered from depression and I was told once I had two episodes of depression in my life I would probably need to be on medication for the rest of my life for it. I changed my definition of what I believed was possible, I am a bit of a rebel; and then looked for ways to make it happen. I analyzed my depression equation, started researching and then started editing my depression equation, subtracting out potential causes and adding in supports. I am now 100% depression free and have been for many years. I do not take medication or regular supplements for depression. Not only that, I feel upbeat and happy and blessed! I am finally at the envied, happy end of the mental health continuum. My quest now is becoming more resilient using strategies to be better prepared to cope with the unexpected challenges that will come my way, like pandemics.

You may need to rewrite your definition of what is possible in terms of becoming depression free so that your brain and body are on the same page. This may require a paradigm shift. Every person may not be able to stop taking medications, but you may be able to reduce your medications and improve your mental health by editing your mental health equation.

Do not reduce or stop taking your prescribed medications or start editing your depression equation without the supervision of your regular healthcare provider.

“According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way that a bee should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies anyway. Because bees don’t care what humans think is impossible.”[1]

Understanding the Genetics and Environmental Factors of Your Depression Equation

Although you may have a family history of depression or mental illness, it does not mean that you will have or continue to suffer mentally.  Genetic predispositions are inherited but do not always become expressed, allowing for a condition, unless they are turned on by environmental factors. Although you cannot subtract out genetic factors, you can prevent genetic predispositions from activating due to environmental influences, preventing the related health challenge.

Environmental factors or external factors, like your lifestyle, including work and life balance, diet, exercise, pollution and physical, mental, emotional and spiritual stressors can affect your brain chemistry and brain function, mood, resilience, ability to cope and stay positive. You have control over most of these factors and for those out of your control, there are supports that you can add in to cancel out or minimize their negative impact.

Your general health, diet, nurture, supports, medications and habits can affect your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. This is an area where you may have to make some hard and radical decisions, which should only be considered and implemented under the care of qualified health practitioners.

“After completing an enormous study, scientists have dismissed claims that single gene variants, or even a small group of them, can dictate susceptibility to depression. Instead, they suggest that any genetic risk for depression likely arises from very large numbers of variants, each contributing a small effect.”

“In an American Journal of Psychiatry paper, the team concludes that early theories about ‘depression candidate genes’ are wrong and that studies identifying them have likely done no more than produce ‘false positives’.”[2]

“A genetic predisposition (sometimes also called genetic susceptibility) is an increased likelihood of developing a particular disease based on a person’s genetic makeup. A genetic predisposition results from specific genetic variations that are often inherited from a parent. These genetic changes contribute to the development of a disease but do not directly cause it. Some people with a predisposing genetic variation will never get the disease while others will, even within the same family.”[3]

“However, it appears that even with a genetic predisposition to mental illness during birth, resistance to mental illness is possible. Resilience is heightened because of a favorable nurturing environment after birth or perhaps due to exercise. People should create enriched environments where they help and support each other, exercise actively, and gain resistance to stress.”[4]

Environmental pollutants can become a part of your body pollution and mental health equation. As a teenager I pumped leaded gasoline at my father’s gas station. The combination of toxic gas ingredients negatively affected my brain.

Benzene, toluene, and xylene; and the additives ethanol, methanol, and methyl tertiary butyl ether are efficiently absorbed through the lungs so living, working and commuting in polluted environments can add to your toxic load.

Reported in the Meet the Neurotoxins: The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains post “Leading scientists recently identified a dozen chemicals as being responsible for widespread behavioral and cognitive problems. But the scope of the chemical dangers in our environment is likely even greater. Why children and the poor are most susceptible to neurotoxic exposure that may be costing the U.S. billions of dollars and immeasurable peace of mind.”

I started to suffer from depression at that time.  While investigating my depression equation later in life, when I once again suffered from depression after off gassing of a new house, I made the environmental pollution connection and implemented whole body detoxification, a two step detox; through natural strategies to deal with my accumulated body pollution.

From Architectural Digest – What You Need to Know About Off-Gassing: Even after an install, a project’s furnishings and finishes can leach harmful chemicals into the air for years through a process called off-gassing. Here’s how you can combat it.

To fully understand the impact of dangerous off gassing check out Harmful Toxins in Living Environments and their Hazardous Chemical Impact.

“There are nearly 1000 substances which have been identified as having, or possibly having, neurotoxic effects. Exposure to sufficient amounts of these chemicals, either in the work place or elsewhere, can cause neurological and brain problems. Likewise chronic exposure (long term, lower level exposure) can also have damaging effects.” Toxic Exposures – Brain Injury

I knew that my brain had been negatively affected by many toxins, adding to my brain and body pollution, and compromising my brain function. At some point in my exposure history my blood brain barrier became compromised, allowing later toxins to easily enter my brain. Do you know what your body pollution looks like? Read my blog post on body pollution to find out.  A combination of whole body detoxification and BodyFeedback Interview and Therapy treatment for a client, eliminated a disabling 50+ year caterpillar phobia. After understanding that my compromised blood brain barrier allowed toxins to readily enter my brain, nervous system and body I learned the importance of protecting it. Read more at my blog post: NATURAL CURES: Protecting and Repairing Your Blood Brain Barrier to Restore Mental Health. If you are having mental health issues, your blood brain barrier may be allowing toxins to pass through into your brain and affecting your overall health.

According to The Brain’s Way of Healing by Dr. Norman Doidge, reporting on a NASA “self training” technique to prevent epilepsy, “astronauts were getting epilepsy from their exposure to rocket fuel”.

“A cocktail of harmful toxic chemicals has been detected in every person tested in a cross Canada study of pollution in people.”[5]

“In this sample of young adults with low levels of lead exposure, higher blood lead was associated with increased odds of major depression and panic disorder. Exposure to lead at levels generally considered safe could result in adverse mental health outcomes.”[6]

“Lead exposure in childhood appears to have long-lasting negative effects on mental health and personality in adulthood, according to a study of people who grew up in the era of leaded gasoline. The findings reveal that the higher a person’s blood lead levels at age 11, the more likely they are to show signs of mental illness and difficult personality traits by age 38.”[7]

“Vert and colleagues in Barcelona identified significantly increasing rates of depression among those exposed to a range of air pollutants, with doubling odds of depression”

“Emergency department attendance for depressive episodes were significantly higher for particular combinations of air pollutants at certain times”[8]

What we eat effects not only our physical, but also mental health. Although you may not have been advised to look at your diet when presenting at your doctor’s office with symptoms of depression, anxiety or stress; research has shown that diet is a key factor in brain health.  I was eating a fairly healthy but limited diet during my major period of depression due to food allergies.  Study through a Nutritional Consulting course provided me with an in depth knowledge of nutrition, detoxification pathways and health recovery.

“Few people are aware of the connection between nutrition and depression while they easily understand the connection between nutritional deficiencies and physical illness. Depression is more typically thought of as strictly biochemical-based or emotionally-rooted. On the contrary, nutrition can play a key role in the onset as well as severity and duration of depression. Many of the easily noticeable food patterns that precede depression are the same as those that occur during depression. These may include poor appetite, skipping meals, and a dominant desire for sweet foods. Nutritional neuroscience is an emerging discipline shedding light on the fact that nutritional factors are intertwined with human cognition, behavior, and emotions.”[9]

“Studies have compared ‘traditional’ diets, like the Mediterranean diet and the traditional Japanese diet, to a typical ‘Western’ diet and have shown that the risk of depression is 25% to 35% lower in those who eat a traditional diet. Scientists account for this difference because these traditional diets tend to be high in vegetables, fruits, unprocessed grains, and fish and seafood, and to contain only modest amounts of lean meats and dairy. They are also void of processed and refined foods and sugars, which are staples of the ‘Western’ dietary pattern. In addition, many of these unprocessed foods are fermented, and therefore act as natural probiotics.”[10]

In a new study published in the July 15, 2020, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, study author Ka He, M.D., Sc.D., of Columbia University in New York states “Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to fight inflammation and maintain brain structure in aging brains. They have also been found to reduce brain damage caused by neurotoxins like lead and mercury. So we explored if omega-3 fatty acids have a protective effect against another neurotoxin, the fine particulate matter found in air pollution.”  When my brain was extremely challenged after the off gassing of our second new build I searched relentlessly for solutions and found someone (not medical or scientific) who claimed that the Omega 3 resolved their depression so I started taking large doses of non GMO unbleached lecithin and after some time noticed improvement.  I now understand why it helped, having read this research.  I recommend that my clients take Omega 3 daily for improved mental health. For more on the steps I took to depression free read  my how to guide, The Whole Person Well-being Equation.

Dr. Emily Deans, in her Psychology Today article, reports that randomized controlled trials show that the right diet can improve depression.[11]

Stress, stress idling and stress sensitization can be contributing factors to depression, anxiety, compromised coping and resilience; factors in the mental health equation. Achieving a strong resilience and ability to cope with what life presents takes a lot of work, I am still a work in progress. Do not lose hope! These qualities are key to improving your mental health equation. Implementing ongoing stress management strategies throughout your life is important to living depression free and enjoying  good, consistent mental health and ability to cope and roll with life’s challenges. Hopefully stress management will be the first ‘go to’, as well as diet changes and exercise that doctors prescribe to people presenting with anxiety, depression and stress symptoms; not just a suggestion or after thought. You can read more about the impact of stress in my blog post on stress title STRESS IDLING & SENSITIVITY: A Modern Day Health Challenge.

“If the stress is continued or prolonged, it can leave adverse effects on body’s immune, cardiovascular, neuroendocrine and central nervous systems. When chronic stress goes untreated it can result into serious disabilities like insomnia, weakened immune system, high blood pressure, anxiety and muscle pain. It can also play a role in developing major disorders like depression, heart disease and obesity.”[12]

“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go!” – Rumi

Sometimes past stress, trauma, memories and history are unable to release from the brain or body, resulting in ongoing unwanted symptoms or triggering. For one client, a 50+ year debilitating caterpillar phobia was dislodged using a combination of whole body detoxification and energy tapping to break the connection. Body scan visualizations and energy tapping can be combined to encourage the body to dislodge past stressors, traumatic events, memory and history, eliminating symptoms.  Find out how to customize and practice body scan visualizations in my book. Visualization is just one of the body’s amazing abilities.

The human body was created with many amazing abilities, often referred to as ‘the doctor within’. Understanding and utilizing those often misunderstood and mostly forgotten powers is crucial to well-being and eliminating depression. Exploring ways to continually develop and maintain strength of mind and body will enable you to better endure the demands of life with grace and confidence; ultimately allowing you to stay focused on the pursuit of meaningful goals. Change and fortitude often start with a healthy dose of fear. Sometimes fear comes through a ‘wake up call, something is really wrong’, like the debilitating symptoms of depression.

“Mind-body interventions (MBIs) such as meditation, yoga and Tai Chi don’t simply relax us; they can ‘reverse’ the molecular reactions in our DNA which cause ill-health and depression, according to a study by the universities of Coventry and Radboud.”[13]

You can find the summarized strategies that I used to edit my physical and mental health equations to improve my health, eliminating depression, toxicant induced loss of tolerance (TILT), multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), stress sensitization and multiple food allergies; in my book The Whole Person Well-being Equation. You can also find out about the additional supports that I use through my blog posts and social media pages which are listed at the end of this post.

If you are not one of the lucky people who finds themselves at the happy end of the mental health continuum daily, with superior resilience; do not despair. Many people find themselves regularly sliding back and forth to different points on the mental health continuum during challenging times. Set backs happen when it comes to dealing with anxiety, depression, coping with stress and achieving resilience. The goal, obviously, is to stay closer to the healthy, happy end of the continuum all the time.  The strategies, information and resources I have provided can help you with that goal, they have helped my clients reach their mental and physical health goals. Success in an endeavour is about consistent commitment.  Keep putting one foot in front of the other when you feel despair, keep moving forward, even if only by baby steps. You can do this!

There are going to be many hard days in life. I have had many and know life will continue to come with challenges and hard days. Consider creating a mantra to help you on the hard days that feel mentally and hope challenging.  Check out my mantra in my blog post SURVIVAL MANTRA: Words to get you through the hard times

flores-no-ceu-azulpdthriving

Follow my road map to help you edit your mental and physical health equations, restoring your health so that you can get on with your life and the pursuit of meaningful goals and relationships. Find alternate mood protecting and enhancing supports at My Green Medicine Cabinet. Consult your regular healthcare provider before stopping medications or adding in alternative supports. 

Consider escaping to a farmacy, garden, green space or botanical experience

‘for your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual ails’

escapetothefarmacy2

Escaping to, immersing in and eating from nature and botanical experiences brings so many body, mind and spirit benefits!

Using distractions as therapy has been one of my ongoing tools for coping with life’s challenging days. Although I no longer suffer from depression and my brain functions better than it has in year, I still use distraction therapy on days when life’s challenges mount, like those that present from the multiplier effect of having a large family and the present day challenges presented by the pandemic. There are many mind immersing ‘distraction therapy’ tools available. Follow my posts where I share some of my favourites.

These are very difficult times and existing mental health and addiction challenges can be magnified. If you have people in your life who are exhibiting threatening mental health behaviours towards themselves or others, it is important to take action through setting boundaries and incident reporting.  Failure to take note and action could result in serious consequences for you or other people, including your loved ones. The recent events in Nova Scotia highlights the seriousness of radical changes in a person’s mental state that led to the death of so many innocent people. Utilize and recommend the mental health supports that are readily available during the pandemic, through governments and community services. Check out the resource list below.

I started researching for my book and writing while I was recovering. My brain and some of my body are still ‘a work in progress’. There is more editing and healing to do, in terms of my 100% brain function goals. One of my left over quirks/deficiencies from my past chemical brain damage, is that while having a conversation a word will occasionally come out in a sentence that is not the word I intended.  Not sure where that comes from. My brain substitutes an alternate, unrelated word for the word that I intended. People tend to be a bit confused at times, as well as me.  Sometimes adds a bit of humour! It isn’t always easy to laugh at oneself when one malfunctions, physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. You will find many blog posts that I have written throughout my recovery from physical and mental challenges on my blog.  At the very end of this post I have listed several blog posts about brain challenges, so scroll to the bottom of this post to read more.

Wishing you whole person well-being!

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, http://www.mybodycanhealitself.ca/

This blog post contains Amazon affiliate links for qualified product purchases.

My Bookshttp://www.mybodycanhealitself.ca/books.htm

https://www.facebook.com/HealthbyDesignForAHealthierYou/

https://www.facebook.com/LIVE.DEPRESSION.FREE/

https://www.instagram.com/elisabethlhines/

https://www.pinterest.ca/elisabethlhines/health-by-design-for-a-healthier-you/

Must Read Books for mental health recovery:

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[1] http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Bee_Movie

[2] Scientists quash claims about single ‘depression genes’, Medical News Today, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324884

[3] What does it mean to have a genetic predisposition to a disease? US National Library of Medicine, https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/mutationsanddisorders/predisposition

[4] Involvement of Genetic and Environmental Factors in the Onset of Depression, US National Library of Medicine, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3897684/

[5] Pollution in People, Toxic Chemical Profiles of 11 families and 5 adults across Canada, https://environmentaldefence.ca/report/report-pollution-in-people-toxic-chemical-profiles-of-11-adults-and-5-families-across-canada/

[6] Blood lead levels and major depressive disorder, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder in U.S. young adults, US National Library of Medicine, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2917196/

[7] Childhood lead exposure linked to poor adult mental health, Science Daily, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190123112330.htm

[8] Air pollution, mental health, and implications for urban design: a review, Journal of Urban Design and Mental Health, https://www.urbandesignmentalhealth.com/journal-4—air-pollution-and-mental-health.html

[9] Understanding nutrition, depression and mental illnesses, Indian Journal of Psychiatry, US National Library of Medicine, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2738337/

[10] Nutritional psychiatry: Your brain on food. Dr. Eva Selhub, Harvard Health Blog, March 26, 2020, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/nutritional-psychiatry-your-brain-on-food-201511168626

[11] A Dietary Treatment for Depression: A Randomized controlled trial shows the right diet can improve depression. Dr. Emily Deans, Psychology Today, March 17, 2017

[12] Chronic Stress Leads to Anxiety and Depression, Annals of Psychiatry and Mental Health, https://www.jscimedcentral.com/Psychiatry/psychiatry-5-1091.pdf

[13] Meditation and yoga can ‘reverse’ DNA reactions which cause stress, new study suggests, Science Daily, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170615213301.htm

Resources:

Check with your local and national government websites to find supports for your region and country.

Mental Health Commission of Canada – https://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/external-covid-19-resources-general-public

Taking Care of your Mental Health During COVID-19, Government of Canada, https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/mental-health.html

Canadian Mental Health Association – https://cmha.ca/news/covid-19-and-mental-health

Diet quality and depression risk: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studiesJournal of Affective Disorders, January 15, 2018.

Diet and Depression. Dr. Monique Tello, Harvard Health Blog, January 29, 2020.

Dietary patterns and depression risk: A meta-analysis. Psychiatry Research, July 2017.

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More of my blog posts to help you edit your mental health equation:

THE POWER OF MIND BODY HEALING TO BECOME SYMPTOM FREE – http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/the-power-of-mind-body-healing-to-become-symptom-free/

BACK TO ‘BALANCE’: Body, Mind & Spirit Life Balancing Self-Care Strategies – http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/back-to-balance-body-mind-life-balancing-self-care-strategies/

YOUR BODY’S INTERNAL COMMUNICATION SYSTEM: Improving crucial messaging for better health – http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/your-bodys-internal-communication-system-improving-crucial-messaging-for-better-health/

SELF-TALK REPROGRAMMING: How to Change How Your Body & Brain Response ‘for a healthier you’ – http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/self-talk-reprogramming-how-to-change-how-your-body-brain-respond-for-a-healthier-you/

THE GIFT of a Healthy Brain: Strategies to Protect and Restore Optimum Brain Function – http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/the-gift-of-a-healthy-brain-strategies-to-protect-and-restore-optimum-brain-function/

INDOOR AIR QUALITY: A Potential for Compromised Brain, Nervous System and Overall Health – http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/indoor-air-quality-a-potential-for-compromised-brain-nervous-system-and-overall-health/

BRAIN & NERVOUS SYSTEM FUNCTION RECOVERY: More is Possible! – http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/brain-nervous-system-function-recovery-more-is-possible/

HEAVY METALS: Dangerous To Your Brain – http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/heavy-metals-dangerous-to-your-brain/

BRAIN INJURY: Natural Strategies for Recovery – http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/brain-injury-natural-strategies-for-recovery/

SOUP AS THERAPY: Coping With Isolation & Helplessness

 Souptherapy

I started making large batches of ‘soup as therapy’ many years ago during times where I felt helpless in terms of being able to connect with family members living far away, as they were going through challenging times. Family living in other provinces and winter travel added additional hurdles. Spending the hours chopping, brewing and stirring my large soup batches was very therapeutic, a great distraction. I realize it is faster in an instant pot.  I regularly shared small 250 ml jars of my soup with an older friend who adheres to a gluten free diet. As a nutritional consultant who has made the shift to a more plant based diet to promote healthy longevity, my soups all have a ‘plant slant’, with the protein sources coming from a variety of legumes.  The soups I make are packed full of health and immune supporting ingredients. I attach an ingredient list to each bag so recipients can check for allergens. I also indicate that it is gluten free (GF) and vegan.

Now, in the midst of feeling isolated while staying home to do my part to ‘lessen the curve’ and protect others, I am again making ‘soup as therapy’.  A good distraction from the challenging virus news statistics and realities. The focus of my soups has always been maximum nutritional value, now an even more necessary focus. The immune system has many protective and signalling functions which require an adequate availability of micronutrients to maintain a healthy immune response.  Diet deficiencies of many of these necessary micronutrients are often found in the elderly and immune compromised. B vitamins are quickly depleted during times of stress so maintaining a diet high in B vitamins is crucial. Homemade soups with a large variety of quality ingredients are an excellent way to get a diverse array of necessary immune supporting micronutrients.

I like to pour my hot soup over a handful of chopped super greens to provide me with extra nutrition, a creative ‘soup and salad’ combo! This latest batch of sun dried tomato, vegetable, white bean soup brought me comfort during the making process and the end result, sprinkled with some nutritional yeast and dried stinging nettle leaves was delicious.  Nutritional yeast is full of B vitamins, folic acid, protein and fiber, while stinging nettle contains vitamins A, B, C and K, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosporus, potassium, healthy fats, essential amino acids, polyphenols and pigments.

Micronutrients and the Immune System – “To fulfill its many and various protective and signaling functions, the immune system relies on the adequate availability of micronutrients.”

Hope you find making ‘soup as therapy’ helps you during these trying times.  It is a great activity to do with other family members, or if you are alone like I am, it is equally as enjoyable. Homemade soups of immune supporting micronutrients help the body  fight viruses and other pathogens.  I will be delivering several jars to my friend’s apartment building door, who I will ask to distribute some jars to the doors of other seniors in the apartment building. She will then collect the empty jars for me when empty so they can be reused.

After years of soup making, I no longer use a recipe, I just create, each batch is different. If you need some recipe guidance to get started making nutritious, immune supporting soups, click the image below?

soup

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, http://www.mybodycanhealitself.ca/

This post includes paid links:  “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.” 

EMERGENCY & TRAVEL PREPAREDNESS: Naturally Ready for the Unexpected

Emergency Preparedness Hawaii

T’is the season for mingling and the many unwelcome tag along guests that come along for the ride.  Being prepared for health emergencies is always important.  We are all ‘a work in progress’ on our own unique well-being path. A strong immune system and ‘stress free’ state of readiness would be ideal, but is not always possible in our busy lives.  Good nutrition, adequate rest, life balance and quality self care are essential for health emergency preparedness and maintaining good health on a daily basis.  Whenever I am travelling I initiate virus preparedness protocols to be ready for any viruses I encounter at airports and on flights. Scroll down the page to learn how I prepare.

To stay up to date on virus concerns for travelers visit your local public health department and the World Health Organization websites.

Long wait times for appointments and treatments, and drug shortages and unavailability may require some self-help strategies for pain and inflammation management, virus and bacteria solutions, stress management and yet undiagnosed symptoms and conditions.

Besides the usual recommended emergency preparedness items you can add:

  • Self-help strategies and tools found in The Whole Person Well-being Equation
      • Clear and concise information on how to investigate and promote the elimination of your symptoms

      • Detailed strategies for eliminating body pollution, body detoxification aids for specific types of environmental toxins, detoxifying foods and recipes, herbal detoxification bath recipe for full body detoxification using the body’s largest organ – the skin

      • Self-help therapies and tools to improve your health

      • How to use your brain’s operating system for improved health

      • How to redefine your definition of ‘possible’ for improved well-being

      • How to identify and eliminate limiting thinking and beliefs for improved well-being

      • How the mind/body connection and research prove the power of visualization

      • How to use visualization to improve your health

      • 40 general body scan visualizations that can improve your health

      • 18 customized body scan visualizations to fight diseases and cancer

      • How to customize visualizations to fight disease and cancer using a diagnosis, prognosis and information from questions you ask your doctor

      • How to customize visualization equations to eliminate unwanted habits and associations

      • How to customize affirmations for improved well-being

      • How to use specific foods to repair DNA damage

      • How to rejuvenate your body using foods

      • How to rejuvenate your body and stack your well-being odds regardless of your environments

      • How to tap into your body’s natural ‘fountain of youth’

      • Renewed hope that you can become symptom free and regain your health

      • Muscle response testing for health protection instructions – learn the basics to protect you from offending foods and harmful substances (a variety of discreet methods you can use while shopping before you buy). If you are inhaling, absorbing or consuming multiple substances daily that weaken you or cause irritation, inflammation or interference; your immune and other systems can be compromised, interfering with your body’s ability to fight illness and disease.

      • How to focus your body’s natural identification, awareness, understanding, knowledge, belief, responding, healing and protection mechanisms using self-help therapies. These abilities can be compromised in persons with conditions (e.g. MCS), diseases and cancers.

      • Get your copy of The Whole Person Well-being Equation today, a packed DIY self-help guide to wellness and health protection.

Ebook Cover New_1-1

  • Green healthcare supports to help you naturally manage unwelcome and unexpected viruses and bacteria and ride life, holiday and travel roller coaster challenges.

greenhealthcare

balance test

Have you noticed that there are times when you feel sudden weakness or nausea, your balance is altered or one side of your body is weaker than the other side?  Are there times when all of a sudden you feel faint or your brain chemistry has been ‘knocked off’ of its normal balance? Muscle response testing is a form of neuromuscularbiofeedback, an applied kinesiology biofeedback testing method.  It uses feedback from the body and brain (your virtual black box) as information.  Other forms of biofeedback include taking a pulse, taking a blood pressure and listening to the heart with a stethoscope.” In the 1950s, Dr. Arthur Coca identified that his wife’s heart rate would increase if she ate a food that provoked an inappropriate or allergic response. This was, as Dr. Coca put it, ‘accidentally acquired knowledge’ which he then applied to patients as well as his wife. The results were very effective and consistent.”  Similarly muscle response testing provides information about foods and substances ingested, inhaled and applied to the body as well as environmental factors including stressors. Anything can cause disruption to the natural communication and function within your body.  Learning how to read your body’s responses after exposure to suspected causes can provide you with health protection. A daily dose of accumulated ‘balance disruptors’ can seriously interfere with the body’s normal healthy required communication and function, compromising physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.  Learn how to protect your health by paying attention to your body’s responses.

MY EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PACKING: 

My travel ready backpack will include a variety of easy to pack essential oils for emergency readiness, a diffuser, personal inhalers, carrier oil and empty capsules.  I have a ready to spray, non toxic hand sanitizer with a mix of protective oils with me wherever I go:

  • pain and inflammation – frankincense, turmeric, marjoram, lavender (I put a combination of frankincense, turmeric and marjoram in a capsule to manage inflammation and pain. I also apply essential oils to my spine using the SOC neurologic and inflammatory protocols when needed)
  • virus and bacteria readiness – oregano, thyme, cinnamon, eucalyptus, clove, rosemary, tea tree ( I put a combination of protective oils in a capsule before social gatherings and boarding a plane.  I add several drops to the wick in a personal inhaler and a hand sanitizer spray bottle for easy use while travelling.  I also apply essential oils to my spine using the SOC infectious protocol when needed.) Face masks can provide a layer of protection from all viruses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not currently recommend that people in the U.S. wear face masks in public to prevent infection. Proper and regular hand washing and covered coughing are important protection strategies. The CDC has issued guidelines on two different kinds of face masks — surgical masks and N95 respirators — which are commonly worn by health care professionals and those who are already sick.
  • stress management – lavender, marjoram, Siberian fir, wild orange (I use these oils in my diffuser and the lavender and marjoram on my reflexology points, pulse points on the neck, wherever I feel tension and on my inner wrists and ankles. I also apply essential oils to my spine using the SOC emotional protocol when needed)
  • digestive upsets – digestive blend of Anise Seed, Peppermint Plant, Ginger Rhizome/Root, Caraway Seed, Coriander Seed, Tarragon Plant, and Fennel Seed essential oils. ( I use this blend with a carrier oil and massage in clockwise circles on my abdomen for digestive system upsets.  The SOC digestive protocol, applied to the spine provides further relief when needed)

Get started on packing these emergency preparedness essential oils!

A ‘ready for the unexpected’ backpack with a copy of The Whole Person Well-being Equation book and a selection of the oils listed would make a great ‘green gift’ for a loved one!

Adding in more mind body and natural strategies to your emergency and holiday preparedness can help fight climate change, by reducing your environmental footprint!

If you would like help getting started on your natural emergency preparedness contact me at elisabethlhines@gmail.com.

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca

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‘THRIVE’ in Spite of Your Backstory: Don’t just survive!

thrive

Life comes with so many challenges, an expected reality. For many people, like my parents who endured the ravages of WW11 in Holland and Germany, basic survival was a daily goal; surviving starvation, oppression, confinement and the threat of death.

Fast forward to the present, many people are still facing some or all of these and other daily challenges. The opportunity to ‘thrive’ instead of just surviving your backstory is a luxury and a choice. If you have that choice, make the decision that you can do more than just survive your backstory, regardless of whether it’s a physical, mental, emotional or spiritual script. Yes, it will be a bumpy ride, but well worth it. I honour all those that have not only survived their backstory but went on to thrive in their lives, like my parents did!

When I started researching for my book The Whole Person Well-being Equation, I went back to the basics, Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, to get a visual confirmation of the possibility of ‘thriving in spite of just surviving’ my backstory of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual challenges.

maslow

The steps that I took to ‘thrive my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual’ backstory are the bones of my book The Whole Person Well-being Equation and are the holistic protocol (how to guide) that I use to help my clients thrive, not just survive their backstories. You can find additional resources to accompany the book throughout my blog posts.

Wishing you ‘thriving over just surviving your backstory’!

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca

TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR BEAUTIFUL LIFE: Reclaim Your Health!

beautiful life

“Today is the first day of the rest of your beautiful life”! Today is an opportunity to restart or start over in your quest for ‘a healthier you’. You may already tried many conventional and non conventional strategies in your quest for health recovery. Regardless of how many times you have started again, today can be a new opportunity for greater health allowing you to get on with living your beautiful life and the pursuit of meaningful goals.

But where do you start? A holistic approach to well-being requires you to implement a ‘stop, start and change’ agenda. Adding in another strategy may not result in the desired outcome. Whatever strategies you add will take time to see results.

“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.”

― Albert Einstein

How do you know what you need to stop, start or change? The butterfly effect is the belief that small changes over time can create huge life changes.

Butterfly effect

You may be required to change what you believe is possible to reach your well-being goals:

According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way that a bee should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies away anyway. Because bees don’t care what humans think is possible” 1

You can find the ‘stop, start and change’ strategies that helped me in my recovery from toxicant induced loss of tolerance (TILT), multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), chronic fatigue, depression, multiple food allergies and more in my book The Whole Person Well-being Equation. I have shared my holistic strategies with clients with various health challenges over the years and they have also been able to recover. You can read their comments here.

You can find additional ‘must do’ stop, start and change strategies at:

YOUR BODY CAN HEAL ITSELF: Follow My Road Map to Get There

My Green Medicine and Makeup Cabinet.

Plant Slant Fare:  For ‘a healthier you’!

My Books

Regardless of how many times you have started over, do not lose hope. Today is a new opportunity for greater health and a healthy life. Review what you are and are not doing that may require change using the information in the previous links. Make a list of things that you can stop, start or change today that have helped others recover and may help you as well.  Let your intuition (your little voice) guide you.

hopebutterfly

Wishing you health and happiness!  It is within your reach!

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P. Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca

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REBOOTING YOUR HEALTH : Revive Your Body’s Amazing Abilities

reboot

Holistic health strategies, like lifestyle medicine address the root causes of disease and symptoms. The human body came equipped with efficient innate abilities that when working properly, will not only protect you from pathogens and environmental threats, but also fight disease.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

“Everyone has a doctor in him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.” Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, Greek Physician (460BC-377BC)

Like a computer, for optimum operation, the body and brain require ongoing undisrupted surveillance and communication to effectively detect and respond to threats. When your computer stops functioning optimally you can do a ‘reboot’ or ‘system restore’. Holistic health strategies help your body to naturally reboot and system restore; allowing your body to return to functioning as intended in God’s pre-programmed factory default settings.

reboot definition:

  • to start up again after closing or shutting down to boot up again waiting for a computer/program to reboot
  • to start (something) anew to refresh (something) by making a new start or creating a new version 
  • to start anew to make a fresh start 
Daily exposure to toxins in the water we drink, the air we breathe, the food we eat and the products we absorb through our skin, hair and nails results in an ongoing circulation of these disrupting forces as our body attempts to detoxify them. Even if your body has efficient detoxification pathways, this ongoing flood of toxins can disrupt normal communication, surveillance and responses while your body is working hard to detox them. This is an even more of a health challenge for little ones and pregnant moms. The human body was not designed to function with an ongoing level of toxic, disrupting body pollution. Think about how a virus affects the normal operation of your computer.  You need to eliminate the virus for the disruptions to stop and normal computer function to resume.  A steady wash of toxins in your body also causes ongoing disruptions and compromised functioning. Ongoing effective detoxification like that provided with the two step detoxification strategy below allows all of the body’s normal productions (internal pharmacy), functions (immunoresponse) and other amazing abilities to work as originally designed.

 

I recommend a two step detoxification process to limit the ongoing internal disruption caused by toxins, a crucial step to ‘reboot’ your body’s natural, amazing abilities:

 

Step #1 – Stop adding to the body’s detoxification load and body pollution. This can be accomplished by ‘greening’ your environments, diet, personal care products, symptom relief options and cleaning products.

Step #2 – Eliminate your present body/mind pollution by promoting the body’s natural detoxification pathways effectiveness using a variety of body detoxification strategies and aids.

Regardless of what your health challenges are, this two step process if the place to start for health recovery and reboot.  Get started today using holistic health strategies which will naturally reboot your body’s naturally functioning and amazing abilities.  You can find more holistic health strategies and expanded detoxification aids and recipes, including botanical spa therapy in my book The Whole Person Well-being Equation. 

Ebook Cover New_1-1

Wishing you restored health and healthy longevity so that you can fully focus on living your life and the pursuit of meaningful goals!

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P. Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca

Green Your Healthcare, Medicine and Makeup Cabinet: http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/?page_id=2914 

My Books:  http://www.mybodycanhealitself.ca/books.htm

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Art ‘as therapy’: Healing through creative expression

mywisdomfromatree

Exercising our creativity enhances the quality of our lives and nurtures overall well-being.  Creativity is an innate gift that every person has, which for some, may require some mentoring to activate. Creativity takes many forms.  Arts and crafts have long been the go to for art therapy. Any hobby or activity that allows for the creative process can be considered art therapy. Whether you like to paint, draw, craft, sew, woodwork, knit, scrapbook, play music, write, compose, cook or garden; your brain and overall health will reap the rewards of the creative process involved in them.

Studies have shown that art can reduce depression and anxiety, and improve cognitive functions by producing both new neural pathways and thicker, stronger dendrites. Exercising our creativity can ensure that we are less likely to develop cognitive impairment and memory problems as we age. Immersing ourselves in the creative process of art gives us a temporary time out from the body and mind’s focus on life’s stressors, ‘the unexpected’, past trauma and grief. Engaging in some form of ‘art as therapy’ regularly allows us to escape from our feelings of stress and pain; providing our body and minds the time and space we need to promote healing.

For me, other than creating decorative comforts for my own home, art had always been about producing a product to generate income. My family heritage of producing handwork for money has been a strong and compulsive influence throughout my life. In the past I spent many hours producing hand painted folk art pieces and marketing them at shows. These are a few of my handcrafted works. I recently crossed paths with the jug in the first image at an antiques shop.  When I first saw it, it looked familiar, and I wondered where I had seen it before.  Then I realized that it was one of my artistic reproductions which I had painted decades earlier.

birds jug farm animal lampRooster jug

I left the above type of income producing ‘handwork’ behind decades ago when it was no longer a good fit in my life, and went on to study nutrition and natural health to improve my health. My career focus then changed to helping people to improve their health like I had through changes in diet, lifestyle and adding natural strategies.

Recently, after experiencing the loss of a friend to suicide and being thrown back into the grief process while still grieving the passing of my mother, I felt a strong need to return to the creative process to distract my mind’s focus. Accessing the ‘creative side of my brain’ had always helped me in times of stress in the past, and we all know that life’s stressors can add up at times and feel overwhelming. Over the years I had read a lot about how art was therapeutic so I made the decision that I would start painting ‘for therapy’. What I didn’t expect was the huge block I had getting started. In the past the motivation for painting, other than my home décor items, had always been to produce a product to generate income. My mindset had difficulty with the concept of painting for therapy, although I understood the health benefits. My psyche and perfectionist tendencies, influenced by my family heritage, was stuck in my old pattern of ‘produce for income’.  It took me quite some time spent meditating and praying to start letting go of my old mind set, and allow myself to spend time painting without focusing and seeing the end product as a marketable commodity. This was not an easy transition for me. I am still meditating and praying regularly to help reprogram my brain’s previous default setting about producing art solely as an income source.

In the interim, I have put my paint brushes to canvas.  Many years ago I had purchased a poster plaque at a thrift store (image below) with an inspirational message I liked and planned to someday reproduce.  I loved the ‘Advice from a Tree’ message but did not like the artistic presentation.  From an internet search I found that there were many longer versions of the poem, originally written by Ilan Shamir, which I felt tied into my ‘balanced lifestyle’ quest; and would more easily prompt me to make the ‘art as therapy’ transition that my brain needed. When I purchased the thrift store plaque below, the border, now dark brown, was a bright emerald green.

advice from a tree 2

My artistic interpretation of the ‘Advice from a Tree’ poster would be a better fit for my décor and draw more of the ‘wisdoms’ from the alternate versions of the poem I found on the internet. It would also reflect the beautiful tree view that I see daily through my living room window.

mytreeview

The real relevance of my art work version is the creative ‘therapeutic’ process and finished product ‘therapeutic’ messages. The creative process would provide me with the therapy that I needed while making the piece and the end product would provide me with ongoing visual prompts to help me in my quest to maintain a balanced lifestyle, be grateful and mindful.

The image below is my finished version which I decided to title as ‘Wisdom from a Tree’. It is a better decorative compliment to my family room and the messages and reminders of the creative process provide me with comfort, calm, motivation and inspiration. I am grateful for the healing it has brought me.

mywisdomfromatree

standtall rememberyourplace

Feelthewind

A ‘Wisdom from a Tree’ art therapy mindfulness workshop can help you in your quest to manage life’s stressors, process painful emotions like grief and feel more mindful, grateful and grounded. Join me for a therapeutic two day workshop to create your personal ‘Wisdom from a Tree’ unique artwork. I can lead you through the steps that I used to create my version and you can customize your creations by selecting your favourite ‘Advice from a Tree’ poem messages and other creative embellishments. This two day art therapy mindfulness workshop is suitable for beginners as well as providing advanced artists opportunity to further their creative expression. For more information visit my workshops and retreats page and scroll down to Holistic Menu item #12.

Art therapy journaling is a form of therapy that involves a conversation with yourself. It is not about creating an art product, which may present you with a challenging learning curve from your past artistic production endeavors.  I have been using art therapy, along with many other provided and self care strategies, to process grief while unpacking the emotional backpack of my mother’s passing, and to help manage multiple life stressors, including the suicide of a friend. The picture below is the cover of my art therapy journal. It is pretty simple so do not be intimidated if you think you are not artistic. For some of the pages I transfer outlines from images with transfer paper to get me started, then start colouring inside and outside of the lines. Think of it as an adult colouring book meets self-help/self-talk journal, a winning combination. You can also take clippings from magazines and paste them in to get you inspired and started.

artjournalcover

Whatever you are going through in your life, or feeling, consider some form of art ‘as therapy’ or art journaling therapy to help your body and mind to cope and heal. Take time to retreat from your busy life priorities, connections and obligations and give yourself the quality self care you need.

This is my latest ‘art as therapy’ project, initiated due to the corona virus isolation:

INSPIRATION: Some of life’s greatest memories are made gathered around the table. Although gathering around the table with my family has not been possible due to the isolation, I was inspired to paint this sign using some wood I had in the garage. The piece was bigger than I ideally wanted, but I worked with what I had. Framing will be a future task. Art therapy in action!

gathered

For more supports during your grief journey read my post.

Get started in your quest for greater resilience like that of a well rooted tree by reading Rick and Forrest Hanson’s book Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness.

The Create Your Life Book below is a great guide to get started on art therapy journaling for grief, stress management and healing.

                                                       

I love these Tombow Dual Brush Pens which allow me to sit and colour while relaxing without the mess of water and paint brushes.  It is a great transportable product to accompany your art therapy journal on your travels.

Tombow

Below is the mix media water colour sketchbook that I started with. I added a copy of my dutch birth certificate over the cover before adding my art work.

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Enjoy your healing art therapy experience!

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca, elisabethlhines@gmail.com

More help to get started:

The Huffington Post – 10 Art Therapy Techniques https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/art-therapy-techniques_n_6103092?ri18n=true

 

SELF-TALK REPROGRAMMING: How to Change How Your Body & Brain Response ‘for a healthier you’

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Does your brain and body sometimes seem to have a mind of it’s own and you feel like you are in the backseat, in terms of how your body or brain response? I spent years being hijacked by an out of control flight response.  Some people are plagued by an out of control ‘fight’ response. Some of our responses are learned from past experiences and traumas.  In spite of ongoing stress management efforts over the years after years of stress sensitization, there were still triggers.  While a normal emotional response is to be expected in times of challenge and stress, the goal is to eliminate being hijacked mentally or physically. I always envied people over the years who I noticed remained calm in situations that would have initiated a hijack response in me.  I experimented with many strategies to eliminate the ‘hijacks’ and have managed to stay ‘cool, calm and unrocked’ in most situations. You can read about these strategies in my book.

One of my triggers was a fear that if I was ever pulled over by a police man, for speeding or other (roadside check), that I would have a panic attack and not be able to speak.  I had never been pulled over in more than 65 years and yet when I saw a police car, I would take my foot off of the gas pedal, even when not over the speed limit, and have a pang of anxiety, which then sent my mind to my ‘worst case scenario’ response thoughts. I decided I needed to work on that, since there was a likelihood I would at some time be pulled over or stopped for some reason. My mother had recently passed and I could now focus my attention on my needs. So earlier this year I formulated a statement that I repeated every time I saw a police vehicle: “I choose to remain cool, calm and unrocked in the midst of being pulled over by a police officer”.

About six weeks after I started this self-talk regime, I was pulled over by a police officer in Nova Scotia while driving a rental vehicle.  I knew I wasn’t speeding but knew he was pacing me, but unsure for how long. He came to the window and I felt calm, strange!. He asked me if I knew why I had been pulled over and I calmly said no. I felt no familiar ‘hijack’ panic. In the end the reason I was pulled over was that the license plates had expired stickers, a rental agency issue. In the end, I had neutralized that particular ‘hijack’ trigger, reprogramming my brain and body’s response, by repeating my self-talk statement. I recommend that you give it a try.  Work on one trigger at a time, for a period of weeks, repeating at least once daily.

Self-talk statement wording:

“I choose to ___________________________ in the midst of ___________________

                                                                     (conflict, bad news, loss, trauma, disaster).

“I choose to __________________________when (if) __________________________.

For some additional supports to help your ride your wave of emotions as you heal, visit My Green Medicine Cabinet.

Wishing you success in reprogramming your body and mind’s out of control responses.

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner

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YOUR BODY CAN HEAL ITSELF: Follow My Road Map to Get There

Featured

bodymindspiritwpwbhealth-map

UPDATED:  June 22, 2020

Looking for recent blog posts?  You will now find them at https://biturl.top/MBJnqu.

Sometimes I forget how ill I really was. The forgetting is a blessing for sure!

I am revisiting my multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), toxicant induced loss of tolerance (TILT), environmental illness (EI), chronic fatigue (CF), multiple food allergies, irritable bowel, depression, seasonal affected disorder (SAD), stress sensitization and spasmodic dysphonia ‘past diagnoses’ today.  I am often reminded about how severely ill and affected I was by these conditions when I get inquires from all over the world asking for help from those still suffering.

All of the preceding diagnoses (plus more) were given to me in the past. I suffered severely for many years and I now have good health and feel good. I can eat all foods and be safe in previously toxic environments, obviously avoiding those that everyone should where possible. Like all humans, I share their vulnerability to the challenges of microbes, ‘wear and tear’ to body parts and life’s stressors.

On my journey to good health I tried many strategies, always looking for ‘the cure’.  Like many people I read every article about the latest supplement and cures and spent a lot of money on trying them.  From today’s view point it is clear to see that one cannot regain their health by merely supplementing/adding on something; one must start at the very beginning. The holistic health approach to regaining health is a series of natural strategies that help your body and mind to ‘peel back the layers’ of past physical, mental and emotional health challenges to allow healing.

onionlayers

One of the most impactful strategies in my health recovery was a series of herbal baths which I used to detox my body pollution, a major health challenge which most of us have even newborns.

Body Burden:  The Pollution in Newborns 

“Chemicals have replaced bacteria and viruses as the main threat to  health.  The diseases we are beginning to see as the major causes of death in the latter part of (the 1900’s) and into the 21st century are diseases of chemical origin.” 

Dr. Dick Irwin, Toxicologist, Texas A&M University www.lesstoxicguide.ca/index.asp

During my recovery I had tried many detox remedies with minimal results. Through my studies of herbs I learned about the potential detoxification and healing abilities of herbs. I used that information to create a ‘botanical spa therapy’ herbal bath recipe.  My clients have had incredible health improvements, like I have, as a result of taking a series of these baths. I now recommend this as a first step to anyone who asks me for advice.  Whole body detoxification requires a two step detoxification process, stop adding to your body pollution and remove your existing body pollution. You can find the recipe and instructions for botanical spa therapy herbal baths in my book below. Make you botanical spa therapy baths well deserved ‘spa events’, add spa music, an natural scented beeswax candle, and a new book.

botanicalspatherapyebook

Purchase Botanical Spa Therapy

“Search for the cure within the cause,

            the body itself is the best healer”            

Plato C427 -C347 BC

Regaining health requires implementation of a series of  ‘stop, start and change’ strategies. The biggest challenge, in ‘hind sight’ and from the successes of my clients has been knowing ‘what do you stop, start and change‘. That’s where my road map can help you.

As a holistic wellness practitioner I share my variety of holistic strategies with my clients, on my website, in my blog posts and through more detailed guidance in my booke-books and consultations.  The Whole Person Well-being Equation is a holistic ‘how to’ book of easy to follow steps that will guide you to improved health through education, natural strategies, intuition, belief, faith and prayer by promoting body, mind and spirit balance. The easy to read book provides coaching to help you know what you need to stop, start and change to restore your health. Learn how to get to the root cause of your symptoms and eliminate them, so that you can get on with your life and the pursuit of meaningful goals. Join satisfied clients who have used the steps to become symptom free. From one of my readers: “The workbook makes tangible what can be construed as spiritual healing into something that can be followed with your eyes and pencil. This helps in understanding and actually seeing what your body is doing; without only using intangible (potentially spiritual) reflections.” Aamir A., Gatineau, Quebec. More is possible in terms of your health and following the steps in this book will make it possible for you. Get started today on a healthier version of you, you deserve it.

whole person well-being = holistic health 

Ebook Cover New_1-1

The cure for what ails you starts with your personalized ‘stop, start and change’ protocol. Contact me to get you started on your ‘healthier you’. I over a variety of event opportunities and holistic B&B retreats at my location for people who travel from afar seeking health recovery. Regardless of your condition, the first step to recovery is a personalized ‘stop, start and change’ protocol.

The human body comes equipped by the Creator with amazing abilities to heal. Many factors can potentially interfere with these amazing abilities. This is why it is important to determine your ‘stop, start and change’ list. Your body can heal itself with some help and proper navigation – let me help you navigate your well-being journey.

“Everyone has a doctor in him or her; we just have to help it in its work.The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.”

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, Greek Physician (460BC-377BC)

Health by Design, the name of my web and blog pages reflects how I designed my health using a variety of strategies. These are now all a part of my holistic protocol (how to guide) which you can find in my books and blog posts. Good health is an achievable goal. Your body and mind can heal!

Get started on a healthier you today!

Remember – small changes can have a big impact!
Butterfly effect1

Every person’s mental health equation, including yours, is uniquely different and yet every person’s mental health equation shares common denominators. Do you need help determining yours? Visit my blog post MENTAL HEALTH by DESIGN: How to Edit Your Mental Health Equation for Improved Mental Health

mentalhealthequation

While you implement a ‘stop, start and change’ holistic protocol consider adding natural symptom relief strategies to help you ride your wave of symptoms. Visit My Green Medicine and Makeup Cabinet for my natural strategy favourites.

My goals are now focused on achieving healthy longevity and sharing these strategies with clients, so stay tuned. Neuromuscular biofeedback (applied kinesiology) assessments throughout the years on multiple clients has provided a bounty of useful information to promote healthy longevity. Ongoing research provides additional insights. Please check with your regular healthcare practitioner before implementing any changes.  Do not stop taking your medications or stop your treatments without consulting your regular health practitioner.

Consider escaping to the farmacy, gardens, nature

‘for your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual ails’

escapetothefarmacy2

Escaping to, immersing in and eating from nature

dispenses body, mind and spirit benefits!

Escapes are a way of using distractions as body, mind and spirit therapy and have been one of my ongoing tools for coping with life’s challenging days. There are many mind immersing ‘distraction therapy’ tools available to provide you with temporary escapes from your own, sometimes, challenging reality.  Follow my posts where I share some of my favourites.

From the uplifting, mood boosting high that comes from watching peonies burst into full bloom to the comforting embrace of a tree covered shade providing path, escapes to nature, green spaces and gardens should be a ‘prescribed’ recommendation for everyone, one I suggest to all of my clients.

artoretum

In my Escape to the Farmacy posts I share my botanical inspirations and where available, the science behind the many easily acquired benefits gained from escapes to  nature, plants, herbs, green and botanically inspired decor and activities like art. I have always been drawn to trails in the woods, and retreat there as often as possible.  Living in Southwestern Ontario, the many deciduous trees drop their leaves in the fall, leaving the trails more open to the much sought after winter, life giving sunlight. When the weather is too uninviting to coax me outdoors, I retreat to the many botanically inspired art and décor projects that provide me with the embrace of nature that I so desperately desire. Join me as I share my botanically driven ‘escapes to the farmacy’ for an enviable dispensing of body, mind and spirit benefits through my blog posts.

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Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca

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BACK TO ‘BALANCE’: Body, Mind & Spirit Life Balancing Self-Care Strategies

bodymindspiritwpwbStaying balanced despite what our genetics, the environment and our body is challenged by on a daily basis can be daunting.  When we are ‘hyper’ focused on our symptoms or present life stressor or challenge, it can be difficult to zoom out and recognize and address the ‘bigger picture’ contributing factors. Could your hormone imbalance issues, including insulin, be the result of environmental endocrine disruptors absorbed through your skin from your personal care products? Learn how to recognize and address your body, mind and spirit challenges and implement self-help therapies to restore and maintain balance in your body and mind.

Blank Chalkboard

“Everybody’s a work in progress, I’m a work in progress.

We are all on a well-being journey”.

That’s the message I tell my clients. If I had waited until I was 100% ‘fixed’ before sharing my holistic protocol, there would be a lot of people who would have missed out on the well-being gains they have experienced to date. Thanks to my son Andrew for believing in me and encouraging me to share my holistic protocol with a larger audience by publishing it – ultimately helping more people to improve their health. You can read some of my clients’ testimonies on my website at http://www.mybodycanhealitself.ca/what_people_are_saying.htm.

My journey through multiple health and life challenges has taught me that ‘change in believing, thinking and doing’ (paradigm shifts) are necessary components to surviving and conquering what life brings you. While a vision board may provide you with an opportunity to create your life ‘wish list’, a ‘body, mind and spirit’ balance board prompts you to make changes, a requirement for improved health.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”

George Bernard Shaw

“Without change there would be no butterflies”

In my practice as a holistic wellness practitioner I share the strategies that I have found to be most effective on my well-being journey and through counselling my clients; refined through many years of trial and error. After years of working with clients with multiple and varied health challenges, there is a common thread that cannot be ignored.

Life imbalance has a ripple effect on health!

questforbalance

The impact is dependent on degree, intensity, length of time and re-balancing strategy attempts. When clients come to me with their unresolved symptoms and conditions they are often surprised and some irritated that I expect them to look at their ‘life imbalance’ issues as an underlying cause that needs to be addressed in order for their health to improve. Read my post  Life Balance:  The Well-being Root to help you assess your life balance.

Life imbalance is one of the underlying factors that I list on my ‘base of the iceberg analogy’ – see Digging Deeper: For a Healthier You! If you want to permanently relieve your symptoms and conditions you need to dig deeper, while also applying symptom relief solutions.

My well-being journey continues! Requiring daily reviewing of what to hold onto and what to let go of.

“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go!” – Rumi

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BNSBletgo

Busy lives come with many life challenges, potentially ‘rocking your boat’ and leaving you feeling unbalanced. Einstein’s definition for insanity was: “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” Long understood by Olympic athletes; the first step toward achieving greater levels of success is understanding that you need to change your behavior and approaches to attain more. If you are not moving forwards in terms of your well-being, then it’s time to reassess your ‘game plan’.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”

George Bernard Shaw

Just as a car runs more smoothly when the wheels are perfectly inflated and aligned, you perform and feel better when your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self are in balance. When one tire goes flat in a vehicle the vibration throughout is profound and can result in further structural distress. Imbalances in your body (blood sugar, ph, brain chemistry, hormones) and life (stressors) have the potential to impact your whole body and person via a ripple effect.

The Whole Person Well-being ‘body, mind and spirit’ balance workshop discussions, work sheets and self-care balance work board prompt you to take ‘a helicopter view’ of your life to review what areas need your attention, to bring you back into balance. The information provided directs you to select supportive strategies to reach your goals. Regular use of the lessons learned, work sheets and work board (chalkboard so you can change up your strategies) will help you to restore and maintain balance in your body, mind and life. Whole person well-being (optimum health on all levels) is a reflection of your inner and outer balance. My ‘body, mind, spirit’ balance work board is and extension and companion to of my Whole Person Well-being Equation workbook.

“I like the concept of a workbook because I know from my experience to make changes you have to show up for practice.  If you can learn to care for and about yourself the tools available here will enhance your life and body’s potential for healing”

Bernie Siegel, M.D., author of A Book of Miracles and Faith, Hope & Healing’s comment about my book THE WHOLE PERSON WELL-BEING EQUATION.

While a vision board provides you with an opportunity to visualize what you want in life, a ‘body, mind and spirit’ life balance vision board workshop will help you to identify your personal body, mind, spirit and life balance disruptors. The ‘body, mind and spirit’ life balance board (and accompanying instruction booklet) is an assessment tool and working planning chart prompting you to make required changes to achieve and maintain body, mind, spirit and life balance. This body, mind, spirit mindfullness workshop is available in full weekend or mini format as an add on. Please ask for details.

A ‘body, mind, spirit life balance vision board in combination with THE WHOLE PERSON WELL-BEING EQUATION workbook is an effective tool that can ‘enhance your life and body’s potential for healing’ and promote healthy longevity. My holistic ‘stop, start and change’ protocol is your instruction guide for ‘a healthier you’.

Through the life balance mindfullness vision board material discussed and provided, the ‘body, mind, spirit life balance vision board workshop experience equips participants with knowledge about practical techniques and strategies to help assess their balance disruptors and restore and maintain balance in their bodies and lives: balance between work, family, and everything in between – inner and outer balance – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance. Ultimately translating into greater resilience and ability to rock and roll with life’s challenges. Make the choice today to direct your ‘life balance ripple’ to good health!

Participants can start the workshop with a partially completed vision board (everything you see in the first picture in this blog post is done for you in permanent chalk marker – additional fee applies) or start from scratch using the class instructions. You will customize your board (see my second board image below) with self-help strategies you select from the provided material, images and clip art that you bring to the workshop. I added my sample strategies to my board with regular chalk and with images and clipart.  You will be able to use an erasable fine point chalk marker (or regular chalk) on the board giving you lots of room to add and change strategies. There is additional space on the board to add your motivational words or quotes or doodles and designs. Keep your completed board beside your favourite relaxation spot at home or your office wall to help remind you often that you may need to regularly re-evaluate and implement alternate strategies to achieve your goals and maintain balance. Edit your board as needed to keep you on track.

The boards below are two of my personal ‘body, mind, spirit’ life balance vision boards. If you are motivated to make changes in your life for ‘a healthier you’,  can print, write, cut and paste pictures; this workshop if for you.

Board with visionchalkboardBMS

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Experience a life balance vision board workshop experience at a holistic wellness retreat with your women friends. Make it a one day or weekend event by combining it with other workshop options. I will help you design your workshop format.  Accommodation is available at my location for 8 participants. Upcoming workshop on Saturday, March 14, 2020 (This workshop has been postponed due to coronavirus travel concerns. Check back for a new workshop date in the future)

Interested in creating your personal DIY MDF or vinyl (peel and stick) chalkboard at home? The complete ‘body, mind, spirit’ chalkboard creation e-book includes a full size printable transferable pattern, materials list and instructions for how to complete your personal board.

BMSBprinterpattern

The e-book also includes the workshop material and resources to help you identify your ‘body, mind and spirit’ challenging factors and ‘body, mind and spirit’ supporting strategies to help you restore and maintain healthy ongoing balance. The ‘body, mind, spirit’ balance chalkboard is a companion to my Whole Person Well-being Equation workbook.  The e-book and paper copy are for personal use only. The material is copyright protected. If you would like to use the material for a group, please contact me for a group rate.

To purchase the ebook with full size printable pattern click on the Buy Now button below the image.  All sales are final on all ebooks.  By proceeding with this purchase you are agreeing to these terms. There will be no refunds.Email me at elisabethlhines@gmail.com if you have any problems with the transaction.  Do not contact Paypal. If you would prefer a Printed Copy mailed via Canada Post.  Cost is $39.98  which includes shipping.  Click on the second button below for a printed copy and make sure to include your shipping address when checking out.

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$29.98 CAN e-book (with full size printable pattern)

             $29.98


$39.98 CAN paper copy (with full size printed pattern – sent via Canada Post, shipping included)

              $39.98


Get started using essential oil therapy to help you manage stress and anxiety; allowing for a more ‘balanced’ life.

Now available:  Ready to create adhesive vinyl body, mind, spirit balance chalkboard.  Permanent design as seen on the ebook cover, ready for your creative inspiration.  You can also order it with just the balance wheel design so that you can customize the finished product.  Add this partially completed adhesive vinyl chalkboard to your ebook purchase for an extra $45 plus shipping.  Just need a blank adhesive vinyl to complete your DIY vision chalkboard? Get it for an additional $25 plus shipping. Contact me elisabethlhines@gmail.com to determine shipping to your location.

vinylchalkboard

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Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca, elisabethlhines@gmail.com

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