Reaching the Invisible Wounds

Posted by on Oct 27, 2015 in Blog, drug-free, PTSD | 0 comments

Everyone knows the cliché about holding emotions in our bodies. The most common one is, “I carry my stress in my shoulders”. What if I told you that emotions tied with a physical, mental, or spiritual trauma can remain in the visceral body? This can be from both acute (that one firefight in Mosul) or chronic (the day in day out life during a deployment with a horrible commander) events. I have noticed with my clients that unless properly addressed and freed, this stuck energy can manifest into a multitude of issues. I am a CranioSacral Therapist (using Upledger techniques). I believe that all bodies can heal as designed. I am also an Army veteran with two combat tours. I cannot tell the stories of my clients, but I can tell you mine. I can tell you why I do what I do now with such passion and hope to improve the lives of those affected by PTSD. TRAUMA AND THE BODY When a trauma or emotional event occurs, it stimulates the release of cortisol, i.e. adrenaline, causing a chain reaction to recruit the fight, flight, or freeze response (in women, it is considered tend & befriend) in our bodies. This surge can be life-saving by enhancing the senses to focus, aim, and fire at the right moment or providing a surge in power to carry a wounded comrade from danger. But, what happens when the fight is over? Wild animals have been observed “shaking it off” after surviving an attack from a predator. Edward Tick, Ph.D, author of War and the Soul: Healing our Nation’s Veterans from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, mentions a soldier’s need to cleanse and purify the body after returning from war. Like recovering equipment upon redeployment, our bodies must be cleaned out or the emotions can remain stuck and build up. During a deployment, our bodies are constantly on guard. This puts tremendous stress on the adrenal glands as they are the main cortisol-producer in the body. Any additional stress from home or simply missing family just compounds the stress hormones. Chronic stress and/or a singular traumatic event can take a huge toll on the body. This can manifest into a variety of symptoms I have witnessed from the psychological (anxiety, depression, hyper-vigilance, irritability), physiological (panic attacks, hormone imbalance, adrenal fatigue, autoimmune diseases, insomnia), and physical (chronic aches & pains, fatigue, reduced libido, headaches, asthma, allergies, and even heartburn) realms. That’s right. That lingering energy can run your body down and affect it for years if left unresolved. According to Peter Levine in his book, Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, “post-traumatic stress symptoms are, fundamentally, incomplete physiological responses suspended in fear.” The body literally needs...

Read More

The Importance of Blood Work

Posted by on May 27, 2014 in Blog, boundaries, brain health, drug-free, Gluten-Free, Graduate School, happiness, Mood Disorder, Nutrition, Paleo, post-partum, progesterone, supplement, Uncategorized | 3 comments

As with all of my blog posts, it is my hope that I can help someone out there by sharing a story from my own journey. Sterling just turned 17-months old, and I am currently working part-time on this company.  I spent his first 5 months of life exclusively with him.  In the spring, I went back to my internship and my final semester of Graduate School at UT-Austin, and graduated in December.  The effort to complete my master’s degree, resume CrossFit training, and balance the baby and family duties was quite taxing to say the least.  This is an excerpt from my journal shortly after graduating. “12/6/13 Finally finished grad school.  I feel like my adrenals have been on over-drive pumping my veins with adrenaline to keep up with everything.  I want to collapse and do NOTHING for at least 3 days…. I am taking a [CrossFit] break to give my [parasympathetic nervous system] a chance to recharge my body.  I finally crossed the finish line and need to collapse and shudder all the excess away. .. Thanksgiving took a lot out of me. … I want to : yoga, meditate, get a massage, watch a movie, sleep uninterrupted, dance, laugh, take a hike, sit, NOTHING.” After a month of family time, I started LCR Wellness.  I thought my short “break” was enough to recharge my body, and I was ready to press on.  (Come on, moms.  We all know that taking time off to be with the baby is hardly a break.)  By March, I was exhausted.  None of my old nutrition or supplement tricks worked.  My energy and motivation had dwindled to a slowing trickle.  All I wanted to do was sleep.  My outlook on most things became quite negative, and I started experiencing intrusive thoughts.  I was well beyond the time frame for post-partum depression, though I presented with similar symptoms.  After all I have been though in two combat deployments and my time in the Army, I felt ashamed.  Here I was, an emerging Wellness Coach, yet I felt that I my own health needed help.  This was not something I could suck up and endure. One evening, we ended up in the ER as my hands started to tingle and go numb.  The ER doctor recommended I go on anti-depressants based on my symptoms.  It saddens me to think of how many women have been in a similar circumstance and decided to take the advice of doctors such as this.  How unfortunate that our societal norm is for professionals with over a decade of medical training to hand out pharmaceuticals without hesitation.  Seriously, this needs to stop.  Instead of popping a pill, I knew my...

Read More

The 7-Hour Tabata: A Story of Natural Childbirth

Posted by on Jan 5, 2013 in Blog, CrossFit Mom, drug-free, natural childbirth | 1 comment

*Disclaimer* This is my personal account of the natural birth of my son.  The thoughts and opinions within this testimony are my own.  All pregnancies and birth experiences are exclusive to the individuals involved.  I respect the necessity of particular birthing options within the realm modern medicine when applicable.      It is easier to understand my personal stance on childbirth by my upbringing.  My mother gave vaginal birth to 6 children.  I was number 3.  My two youngest brothers were home births, and I always considered all-natural childbirth as the way to go.  It is my hope that this story can provide both information and inspiration for any woman considering a natural, drug-free childbirth. Baby Sterling, 9 hours old, and ready to go home!      At 8:45pm on Christmas Day 2012, my water broke while my husband, AJ, I watched Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.  I called my doula from The Mothering Way, Ryka George, and the attending midwife at the Austin AreaBirthing Center-South, Vicki Meinhardt, to share the news.  We spent the next hour finishing the movie and resting up for the upcoming birth time.  By 10pm, I had experienced a few contractions, or as we like to call them, birth waves.  To me, they felt like muscle spasms in my hip flexors and round ligaments surrounding my uterus.  From 11pm- 12am, the contractions came in increasingly regular intervals of 7-4 minutes apart.  Since my water had already broken, more fluid was expelled with each pulse, and I spent most of that hour sitting backwards on the toilet.  They increased in intensity to a point where I no longer felt I could talk to my doula or midwife on the phone.  We had learned in our birth class that this was a physical sign post of Active Labor, and it was time to head to the Birthing Center a few miles from our home.      We arrived at the Birth Center at 12:30am, and were immediately greeted by Vicki and ushered into the Folklife Room.  Of the three birth rooms at the Birth Center, the Folklife Room has the warmest feel to it with low lights, hill country décor, and soft colored walls that give a womb-like feel.  All rooms there are fully equipped with a huge walk-in shower with a built-in bench, large bath tubs, a queen sized bed, and individually decorated with a hip theme.   I headed straight to the bed to keep myself relaxed and started my birthing music playlist.  Vicki checked my progress and I was at the same point of progression from my last belly check a few days prior; 95-100% effaced, 2-3 cm dialated, and my cervix had moved posterior.  She...

Read More