The Gut Brain Connection

Do you feel nauseous or uneasy in response to certain situations? Have you ever experienced “butterflies” in your stomach or ever had an experience that you’ve described as “gut-wrenching”?

We use these expressions for a reason! Feelings of irritability, sadness, joy, anxiety and fear can trigger gut symptoms as emotions and the gastrointestinal tract are intimately connected. A person’s stomach or intestinal distress can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress, or depression.

Without question, Mental illness is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. Over 75% of mental health problems occur before the age of 25 and almost half of all Australians are estimated to experience a psychiatric disorder of some kind during their lifetime.

Factors that can contribute towards your gut, body and brain health are determined around conception and include your parents’ genetics and lifestyle, the environment you’re born into and your ongoing exposure to infections or illness.  Our lifestyle has a significant influence on the types of bugs (microbes) that live and thrive in our guts called the microbiome.

Our gut and our brain are connected through several different pathways known as the gut brain axis, with 90% of our serotonin (our “feel good/ happy” hormone) being located in our guts.

The good bacteria influence our mood by releasing serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which is important for keeping us calm.

Studies show that the bacteria is different in someone experiencing low mood, vs someone who is not, and the bacteria can impact areas of the brain that are associated with mental health challenges such as anxiety and depression. Your gut microbiome undergoes multiple changes throughout your life, sometimes within as little as 24 hours.

How to support your Gut-Brain Health.

Drink plenty of water.

Limit/ avoid alcohol and caffeine.

Prioritise an anti-inflammatory diet for improving stress response. Inflammatory foods include processed foods, processed grains and high sugar foods.

Include foods which calm the nervous system such as dark chocolate, bananas, tea and fermented vegetables.

Ensure you are eating quality protein sources.

Enjoy vitamin C rich foods to reduce stress hormone production.

Boost dietary magnesium by eating Green leafy vegetables, Fruit, Nuts and seeds, Legumes, Vegetables, Seafood, Whole grains, Raw cacao, Dark Chocolate, Tofu, Baked beans. Magnesium is known as a nervous system nutrient!

Take B vitamins to support neurotransmitter production.

Get moving! Exercise has been shown to be preventative of some mental disorders and there are many positive effects of exercise for those with depression and anxiety.

If you are suffering with low mood, anxiety, depression or other mental health challenges, discuss how you are feeling with your Doctor alongside a qualified healthcare practitioner like a Naturopath.

Take advantage of a complimentary discovery call with Brooke Crabb, our experienced Naturopath and Nutritionist at Warriewood or email brooke@nbip.com.au to discuss how Naturopathy and Nutrition may support your mood.

Brooke Crabb

Naturopath  | Clinical Nutritionist | Herbalist | Northern Beaches Integrative Practitioners

Managing Fear & Anxiety with Kinesiology

Working as a kinesiologist at our clinic Northern Beaches Integrative Practitioners, I have recently begun to notice a pattern in clinic… an all too familiar pattern of burn out as a result of ongoing stress and fatigue creating a pattern of anxiety, panic and overwhelm.  The result ~ clients often end up feeling this way for an extended period of time and have resigned themselves to the idea that they are just “anxious” or “stressed” people.  

Regardless of the reasons why they are feeling this way they all have one thing in common – they are all seeking help with managing their fear and anxiety, choosing to no longer be ruled by their emotions and they are ready for change.    

Stress and anxiety can present in many different ways and can affect us mentally, emotionally and psycho-spiritually.  Mentally we are continually worried and anxious.  Emotionally we feel ruled by fear, guilt and anger ; and spiritually our relationships are suffering and we seem to constantly be derailed by life’s challenges.   

        

As women are often the primary caregivers in the home, they are often the ones seeking the help in the first place.  Spiritually, mentally and emotionally taxed from the daily juggles and competing demands of family, work and relationships very few of us are managing to eat well or exercise regularly and even fewer of us are managing to get a good nights sleep.  The evidence is becoming all too clear ~ we need nourishment and we need it fast.  That said it is often a requirement, before leaving a session, for clients to come up with some sort of personal home “remedy kit” to use during times of stress. This “remedy kit” is a list of things that you can do to bring yourself back into a state of calm and find a more creative solution for life’s challenges.    

Meditate: 

There is no right or wrong way to meditate.  Studies by Yale have shown that a daily mediation practice can not only increase brain matter and prevent grey matter deterioration but it also decreases the size of the amygdala and increases grey matter density in our prefrontal cortex, the brain area responsible for concentration, decision making, judgement and social interaction.  Another benefit is that regular elicitation of the Relaxation Response through meditation changes the expression of our genes in a way that makes us more resilient to stress and anxiety.    

Breathe:

Don’t forget to breathe.  Having a few simple, deep breathing techniques slows down your heart rate and has a calming effect on your nervous system.  More importantly they can be used as a method to train the body’s reaction to stressful situations and dampen the production of harmful stress hormones.      

Unplug: 

Taking a break from social media can also have some desirable affects.  Previous clients have likened a social media detox to “putting down their phone and picking their life up.”  Whilst social media is not always responsible for creating feelings of anxiety in the first place, it can exacerbate existing feelings resulting in compulsive concern that one might miss out, perpetuating the fear of having made the “wrong decision”.  This is not helpful when you are already feeling anxious and can often lead to worsening existing feelings.  The bottom line is our phones can cause more problems than not.  Limit your screen time and feel the benefits.        

Read to reconnect:  

Read books that not only interest you, but nourish your mind and soul.  “Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” Mason Cooley.  Reading can physically change our brain structure and improve our memory too – so pick up a book and start reading ~ every day.  

Establish connection.  

Make a pact to call someone or reach out during these times of stress and anxiety and return the favour if and when you can.  “Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back.”  @GUSANDLUCY Regardless of what your definition of “successful” is ~ choose to surround yourself with inspirational souls who can hold space for you and cheer you on instead of tear you down.

Book a kinesiology session: 

Suffering from feelings of overwhelm?  Let’s get back to basics and get clear on how you want to feel.  Many of my clients express a feeling of being “lost” or “stuck” and unsure of their purpose in life.  A kinesiology session can really make a difference in answering some of those bigger questions within themselves and understanding what it is that they really want and why.  Understanding why you want something can often make the planning and details fall into place a lot easier and reduce a lot of the stress involved.  

Kim is a qualified kinesiologist and loves working with people who aspire to evolve and find their real magic. “It gives me great joy helping my clients find the answers within.  Finding practical ways to make their lives better ~ on a daily basis.  Relishing and revelling and growing and creating and finding their meaning and their reason for being here.  I can’t wait to work with you in finding what is more important than fear.”  

“Fear is a reaction.  Courage is a decision.” Rumi   

Contact Northern Beaches Integrative Practitioners on 02 8406 0679 or book on line at www.nbip.com.au for an appointment with Kim today.  Mondays, Tuesdays + Saturdays.  

Frequent UTI’s?

Urinary tract infections, known as cystitis, are bladder infections that present with the
following symptoms:
• a burning sensation or pain on urination
• very odorous urine that may be dark orange in colour
• frequent urges to urinate with minimal or no urination passing
• deep pain in the lower abdomen or lower back
• cloudy urine

Cystitis is more common in women than men due to the anatomical structure of the female urinary system and it’s shortened urethra compared to the male anatomy. Bacteria can enter from the vagina or the anus causing a bacterial infection. In infants however, boys are at higher risk of developing a urinary tract infection. Pregnant women, the elderly and diabetics also face an increased risk of developing this condition.

Although the pH of the urine is designed to inhibit the growth of many bacteria and flush
bacteria out of the body, if the urine is too alkaline, it can enable bacteria to survive and
pass upwards through the urethra towards the kidneys.

Other causes of bladder infections may be due to incomplete bladder emptying, interrupted or scanty urine flow, obstruction (structural abnormalities) and impaired immune function.

Natural medicine can be very effective in managing mild to moderate cystitis. Treatment is focused on rebalancing the urinary tract flora, strengthening the immune system, enhancing hygienic practices and stress management. This is managed by modifying the diet to restrict immune-impairing foods including sugar, refined carbohydrates and allergenic foods. Inclusions of specific foods that contain powerful antibacterial and immune modulating activity should be followed as well as foods known to support renal function. These foods include cranberry and blueberry juice, garlic, onions, fermented vegetables, mixed berries, probiotic yoghurt, nettle leaf and chamomile tea. In addition to this increasing hydration to increase urine flow is helpful.

Nutrients including vitamin A and C, zinc, beta-carotene and probiotics are indicated in
cystitis and are often required in higher doses warranting nutritional supplementation.

Herbal medicine is targeted at increasing the flow of the urine, reducing the inflammation, attacking the pathogens (bacteria), toning the bladder and enhancing the immune response. Some herbal medicines act by stopping the bacteria adhering to the lining of the urethra and the walls of the bladder which prevents the infection advancing and enables the body to easily flush the bacteria out of the body.

Renal irritants such as caffeine, alcohol, soft drinks and highly processed foods and meats should be avoided. Identifying any allergens is important and in the case of recurrent cystitis, urinalysis and other investigations should be considered. Further testing and investigations provide identification of the pathogen/s which can assist with targeted treatment and a rapid recovery time.

Maintaining hygienic practices is part of reducing the risk of future infection and includes looking at sexual behaviour, hygiene practices/products, toilet habits, underwear fabrics and body products used.

Recurrent or severe urinary tract infections should be addressed due to the potential
implication of the kidneys. If the infection reaches the kidneys, hospitalisation is usually
required with intravenous antibiotics until the infection has been controlled. If you experience fever, vomiting or lower back pain you should go to the emergency department of your local hospital.

If you or someone you know suffers from cystitis, consider booking an appointment with
our Naturopath, Belle Oneile, who can implement a treatment plan to reduce the risk of
future infection and deliver symptomatic relief. Belle can be reached on 0405 128 213 or at belle@nbip.com.au for bookings.

Managing Fear and Anxiety with Kinesiology

Working as a kinesiologist at our clinic Northern Beaches Integrative Practitioners, I have recently begun to notice a pattern in clinic… an all too familiar pattern of burn out as a result of ongoing stress and fatigue creating a pattern of anxiety, panic and overwhelm.  The result ~ clients often end up feeling this way for an extended period of time and have resigned themselves to the idea that they are just “anxious” or “stressed” people.  

Regardless of the reasons why they are feeling this way they all have one thing in common – they are all seeking help with managing their fear and anxiety, choosing to no longer be ruled by their emotions and they are ready for change.    

Stress and anxiety can present in many different ways and can affect us mentally, emotionally and psycho-spiritually.  Mentally we are continually worried and anxious.  Emotionally we feel ruled by fear, guilt and anger ; and spiritually our relationships are suffering and we seem to constantly be derailed by life’s challenges.   

        

As women are often the primary caregivers in the home, they are often the ones seeking the help in the first place.  Spiritually, mentally and emotionally taxed from the daily juggles and competing demands of family, work and relationships very few of us are managing to eat well or exercise regularly and even fewer of us are managing to get a good nights sleep.  The evidence is becoming all too clear ~ we need nourishment and we need it fast.  That said it is often a requirement, before leaving a session, for clients to come up with some sort of personal home “remedy kit” to use during times of stress. This “remedy kit” is a list of things that you can do to bring yourself back into a state of calm and find a more creative solution for life’s challenges.    

Meditate: 

There is no right or wrong way to meditate.  Studies by Yale have shown that a daily mediation practice can not only increase brain matter and prevent grey matter deterioration but it also decreases the size of the amygdala and increases grey matter density in our prefrontal cortex, the brain area responsible for concentration, decision making, judgement and social interaction.  Another benefit is that regular elicitation of the Relaxation Response through meditation changes the expression of our genes in a way that makes us more resilient to stress and anxiety.    

Breathe:

Don’t forget to breathe.  Having a few simple, deep breathing techniques slows down your heart rate and has a calming effect on your nervous system.  More importantly they can be used as a method to train the body’s reaction to stressful situations and dampen the production of harmful stress hormones.      

Unplug: 

Taking a break from social media can also have some desirable affects.  Previous clients have likened a social media detox to “putting down their phone and picking their life up.”  Whilst social media is not always responsible for creating feelings of anxiety in the first place, it can exacerbate existing feelings resulting in compulsive concern that one might miss out, perpetuating the fear of having made the “wrong decision”.  This is not helpful when you are already feeling anxious and can often lead to worsening existing feelings.  The bottom line is our phones can cause more problems than not.  Limit your screen time and feel the benefits.        

Read to reconnect:  

Read books that not only interest you, but nourish your mind and soul.  “Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” Mason Cooley.  Reading can physically change our brain structure and improve our memory too – so pick up a book and start reading ~ every day.  

Establish connection.  

Make a pact to call someone or reach out during these times of stress and anxiety and return the favour if and when you can.  “Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back.”  @GUSANDLUCY Regardless of what your definition of “successful” is ~ choose to surround yourself with inspirational souls who can hold space for you and cheer you on instead of tear you down.

Book a kinesiology session: 

Suffering from feelings of overwhelm?  Let’s get back to basics and get clear on how you want to feel.  Many of my clients express a feeling of being “lost” or “stuck” and unsure of their purpose in life.  A kinesiology session can really make a difference in answering some of those bigger questions within themselves and understanding what it is that they really want and why.  Understanding why you want something can often make the planning and details fall into place a lot easier and reduce a lot of the stress involved.  

Kim is a qualified kinesiologist and loves working with people who aspire to evolve and find their real magic. “It gives me great joy helping my clients find the answers within.  Finding practical ways to make their lives better ~ on a daily basis.  Relishing and revelling and growing and creating and finding their meaning and their reason for being here.  I can’t wait to work with you in finding what is more important than fear.”  

“Fear is a reaction.  Courage is a decision.” Rumi   

Contact Northern Beaches Integrative Practitioners on 02 8406 0679 or book on line at www.nbip.com.au for an appointment with Kim today.  Mondays, Tuesdays + Saturdays.

Managing Fear and Anxiety with Kinesiology

Working as a kinesiologist at our clinic Northern Beaches Integrative Practitioners, I have recently begun to notice a pattern in clinic… an all too familiar pattern of burn out as a result of ongoing stress and fatigue creating a pattern of anxiety, panic and overwhelm.  The result ~ clients often end up feeling this way for an extended period of time and have resigned themselves to the idea that they are just “anxious” or “stressed” people.  

Regardless of the reasons why they are feeling this way they all have one thing in common – they are all seeking help with managing their fear and anxiety, choosing to no longer be ruled by their emotions and they are ready for change.    

Stress and anxiety can present in many different ways and can affect us mentally, emotionally and psycho-spiritually.  Mentally we are continually worried and anxious.  Emotionally we feel ruled by fear, guilt and anger ; and spiritually our relationships are suffering and we seem to constantly be derailed by life’s challenges.   

        

As women are often the primary caregivers in the home, they are often the ones seeking the help in the first place.  Spiritually, mentally and emotionally taxed from the daily juggles and competing demands of family, work and relationships very few of us are managing to eat well or exercise regularly and even fewer of us are managing to get a good nights sleep.  The evidence is becoming all too clear ~ we need nourishment and we need it fast.  That said it is often a requirement, before leaving a session, for clients to come up with some sort of personal home “remedy kit” to use during times of stress. This “remedy kit” is a list of things that you can do to bring yourself back into a state of calm and find a more creative solution for life’s challenges.    

Meditate: 

There is no right or wrong way to meditate.  Studies by Yale have shown that a daily mediation practice can not only increase brain matter and prevent grey matter deterioration but it also decreases the size of the amygdala and increases grey matter density in our prefrontal cortex, the brain area responsible for concentration, decision making, judgement and social interaction.  Another benefit is that regular elicitation of the Relaxation Response through meditation changes the expression of our genes in a way that makes us more resilient to stress and anxiety.    

Breathe:

Don’t forget to breathe.  Having a few simple, deep breathing techniques slows down your heart rate and has a calming effect on your nervous system.  More importantly they can be used as a method to train the body’s reaction to stressful situations and dampen the production of harmful stress hormones.      

Unplug: 

Taking a break from social media can also have some desirable affects.  Previous clients have likened a social media detox to “putting down their phone and picking their life up.”  Whilst social media is not always responsible for creating feelings of anxiety in the first place, it can exacerbate existing feelings resulting in compulsive concern that one might miss out, perpetuating the fear of having made the “wrong decision”.  This is not helpful when you are already feeling anxious and can often lead to worsening existing feelings.  The bottom line is our phones can cause more problems than not.  Limit your screen time and feel the benefits.        

Read to reconnect:  

Read books that not only interest you, but nourish your mind and soul.  “Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” Mason Cooley.  Reading can physically change our brain structure and improve our memory too – so pick up a book and start reading ~ every day.  

Establish connection.  

Make a pact to call someone or reach out during these times of stress and anxiety and return the favour if and when you can.  “Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back.”  @GUSANDLUCY Regardless of what your definition of “successful” is ~ choose to surround yourself with inspirational souls who can hold space for you and cheer you on instead of tear you down.

Book a kinesiology session: 

Suffering from feelings of overwhelm?  Let’s get back to basics and get clear on how you want to feel.  Many of my clients express a feeling of being “lost” or “stuck” and unsure of their purpose in life.  A kinesiology session can really make a difference in answering some of those bigger questions within themselves and understanding what it is that they really want and why.  Understanding why you want something can often make the planning and details fall into place a lot easier and reduce a lot of the stress involved.  

Kim is a qualified kinesiologist and loves working with people who aspire to evolve and find their real magic. “It gives me great joy helping my clients find the answers within.  Finding practical ways to make their lives better ~ on a daily basis.  Relishing and revelling and growing and creating and finding their meaning and their reason for being here.  I can’t wait to work with you in finding what is more important than fear.”  

“Fear is a reaction.  Courage is a decision.” Rumi   

Contact Northern Beaches Integrative Practitioners on 02 8406 0679 or book on line at www.nbip.com.au for an appointment with Kim today.  Mondays, Tuesdays + Saturdays.

Remedial Massage Therapy – The Ultimate Adjunct.

Gaining an advantage in life is desirable. These moments happen regularly throughout our lifetime, in different degrees of action potential. Advantages can sprout from opportunity. We are told to take our opportunities when they arise. They can lead us down a path, that when you look back into our past, have delivered a content life or created a valuable asset in relationships or material benefit.

An advantage is a moment when the body feels a little lighter, you spring into the day, the surroundings seems a little fresher, and our self esteem may also expand with positive affirmation due to that feeling we are getting ahead, making progress, and simply winning!

Then the tide turns! The inevitable lull period occurs. Our honeymoon stage is over. The reality of life sets in. A tragedy, a stressful moment, an illness disrupts and deflates the pleasant space we were once in. These, in equal amounts and degrees – or more depending on your luck – match the positive or fun periods.

So the stage is set. You understand that there are good and bad times. Enjoy this moment of bliss, because it will not last forever. Do you notice the contrast? Can you see how the nature of life does have organic ebb and flow? This is why the body has built in buffering systems to keep us well.

Our blood, saliva, stomach acids all have buffering systems to counter stress, pathogens (outside microscopic nasties). When one muscle contracts, the opposite lengthens. When we exhale, we will inhale immediately afterwards. When the heart pumps, the blood vessels expand (dilate) then constrict. We function on equal planes of opposite directions.

This is where I champion my business, Remedial Massage. I have come to a stage in my career and through many experiences now realise that the body will perform and gain the ultimate advantage when we respect the buffering systems within us, feel what the ebb is and now how the flow will look, or vice versa. I have chosen a level ground to approach many of life occurrences. If you want to know more, search on You Tube The Story of The Chinese Farmer. This narrates a basic concept of what Im talking about and how I teach or recommend solutions to my clients.

My clients understand that to stay ahead of injuries, or to recover quicker when one does happen, that they book in a Remedial Massage as a adjunct investment to their lifestyle. I have learnt that everyone has various lifestyle challenges. My service is to accompany them in those challenges.

To teach the mind and body to bend not brake. To see the buffering systems in the haze. The opportunity to book and receive a Remedial Massage wherever you are in the world, is your chance to gain an advantage that works with your physiology more than you now.

Please feel welcome to share your insights, or ask more about this with me at the clinic 02 8406 0679 or via sam@nbip.com.au