Most of us are aware that Coffee is hugely addictive, we can feel its stimulating effects in the way that it fires us up with hyped up energy (hence why it is often added to synthetic sports and energy drinks) and promotes a swift and often quite dramatic bowel evacuation (by irritating the gut lining of the bowel). If you are Coffee sensitive you will recognise that jittery feeling, you may notice that your speech speeds up and your thoughts become accelerated perhaps even racy, it is not then hard to see why many students reach for the coffee when cramming for deadlines and exams!

Whilst these effects might not seem a problem at first glance the damage is really been done with long term and regular consumption. Caffeine drives the Sympathetic Nervous System otherwise known as the SNS. This branch of our nervous system is responsible for the Fight/Flight responses, for the activation of our stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol released from the adrenal glands. When the adrenal glands become over stimulated due to stimulants and other external and internal stressors we start to see the first signs of Adrenal Fatigue. Chronic tiredness, poor sleep quality, difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, chronic sugar and bread cravings are some of the initial symptoms. When End Stage adrenal fatigue kicks in we begin to witness chronic hormone imbalance, PMS, loss of the menstrual cycle, anxiety, depression and more.

So if you love your cup of coffee and can’t bear the thought of giving it up what can you do to save guard your health?

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Image supplied by Susanne Nilsson

Our Coffee tips:
1 – Always opt of organic coffee beans; these are at least chemical free.
2 – Buy the beans and grind them fresh each time you want a coffee, purchase a slow grinding coffee machine such as the one pictured here. This will preserve the quality of the beans and tastes much nicer too.
3 – Always store your coffee beans in an air tight stainless steel container, in the cupboard nt the fridge. Coffee is very susceptible to fungal spores. Storing it in this way will minimise the risk to your health.
4 – Add cream, butter or coconut oil to your cup of coffee. this will slow down the rate at which the caffeine hits your blood stream relieving some of the effects on your adrenal glands and nervous system.
5 – Always drink your coffee after a meal; again this will help with the potential blood sugar crash and adrenal stress response.
6 – Avoid drinking your coffee after midday. Coffee stays in the body for many hours after consumption so can easily effect your rest and repair cycles and sleep quality which kick in after 3pm.
7 – Enjoy your coffee as soon as it has been poured, do not let it sit. Any of the beneficial nutrients found in organic coffee will be neutralised within 10 minutes.
8 – If you are looking to cut down on your coffee consumption do so gradually to avoid coffee withdrawals such as headaches, brain fog and mood swings. Chewing on a few organic coffee beans is a great alternative. start with 3 and increase by 3 until you feel no negative symptoms, then begin reducing by 3 until you no longer need any!

 

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Supine Breathing Teacher aka Diaphragmatic Breathing

This exercise will encourage you to return to the natural form of breathing. During times of stress we automatically revert to chest breathing and can easily become locked into this pattern. This style of breathing drives the SNS (Sympathetic Nervous System) responsible for our stress response. Things such as caffeine, sugar, a frenetic lifestyle and stressful job will all push us further into the chest breathing and stress responses which can eventually lead to adrenal fatigue. Diaphragmatic Breathing is hugely relaxing and helps to switch the body back into its PNS (Parasympathetic Nervous System) pathway which is one of rest/repair/digest.

Breathing Teacher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 – Lie on your back with your knees bent.

2 – Place 2 light weight, church candles or tin cans, once over the belly button and one on the chest, support with your hands.

3 – Inhale through the nose, into the stomach allowing the weight over your belly button to rise, then slowly breath into the chest allowing the weight here to rise.

4 – Gently pull the belly button in towards the spine as you exhale through the lips.

5 – Over time slowly allow your legs to straighten out, eventually you will be able to to this on your side, all fours, kneeling and eventually standing.

Have you ever noticed that the stresses of work, life, family and more affect your desire to be intimate with the one you love? Are you feeling old before your time with no drive to fulfil your sexual desires? Or maybe you are feeling guilty, never wanting to commit physically to your partner’s needs? Believe it or not this is incredibly common and has no bearing on gender or age in our clinical experience.

So why does stress have such a huge impact on our sexual desire and function? And what can we do to redress the balance naturally?

It is incredibly important to understand a little about the steroidal hormone pathways in order to truly grasp the concept of what is happening. Think of you steroidal hormone pathway as a family tree; Your tree starts with your Great Granddad, his name is Cholesterol. Cholesterol has to be obtained from saturated fat (eggs, red meat, butter etc). Now cholesterol is needed to run every single hormone pathway whether it is a stress pathway, growth, repair or sex hormone pathway. So if cholesterol is in short supply in the diet due to a low fat or vegetarian diet we will soon have issues producing ALL hormones effectively!

The important thing to know is that when your body perceives a stress; this could be anything from physical pain, emotional bereavement, financial worry, fear, to inappropriate eating patterns (too much, too little, too infrequent) and chemical toxins in your food, water and personal care products. It will drive its energy into producing stress hormones (Adrenaline/Cortisol) to manage the stress. Now the whole time it produces these hormones its attention is directed away from producing growth, repair and SEX hormones!

This can eventually create symptoms such as low libido, infertility, PMS, loss of the menstrual cycle and erectile dysfunction. Along with lethargy, low motivation, low mood and poor immunity (as the adrenal glands become exhausted from constantly producing the stress hormones) which only add to the feeling of disinterest in physical intimacy!

Seven Libido Boosting Tips

1. Plan regular holiday’s or weekend breaks with your partner (if you are in a relationship). This should be away from your home and without anyone else. It is vital to reconnect with each other away from everyday stresses! Don’t set any preconceived notions about HAVING TO have sex. Simply allow yourselves to enjoy each other’s company and act should spontaneity direct you.

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Image supplied by Matthias Ripp

2. Create peace points through your day (they need only be a few minutes long if time is short) to help you manage mental/emotional stressors as they come up. Meditation, music, art and nature are all great ways to release stress. You can get great apps for your phone to prompt you through the day!
3. Focus on Yoga, Tai, Chi, Qi Gong or CHEK Zone exercises to stimulate the sexual organs, sacral chakra / zone 2. This will help to get the internal energy moving again. You can even repeat a positive mantra / affirmation such as “I have strong, balanced sexual desire”, whilst you carry out the movement. Check out our exercise of then month to get you started.

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Image supplied by dMap Travel Guide

4. Create more fun in your life. Build more happiness and carefree time into your week. So many of us focus heavily on achieving at work, supporting the family, being a rock for others that life becomes incredibly serious and un-enjoyable. Find a hobby you really love. Surround yourself by people who lift you up rather than drag you down and find things to make you laugh regularly!
5. Cut down or remove processed sugar, caffeine and alcohol. These stimulants will further drive your stress hormone pathway directing energy away from your SEX hormone pathway and further driving your lacking libido.

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Image supplied by Susanne Nilsson

6. For women step into your YIN feminine power. Career driven, independent women, single Mum’s and high achievers have become overly YANG/masculine. This pushes the men in our lives further into the feminine role. Try using music and dance to bring out your feminine sexuality.
7. For Men step into your YANG masculine power. Many men have become de-masculinised by overtly strong female partners! Get your YANG back by getting into the gym and enjoying weight based work outs (it needn’t be crazy heavy weights!)

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Image supplied by Carlos Varela