Suzanne Brownell, BS, ACSM, HFS, RYT, HHC, AADP email@example.com
Suzanne shares extensive resources and links with us!!! There is so much GREAT information here!!! Also, many of the videos are done by Suzanne, so you get to see her beautiful, smiling face as she guides you through the exercise....the next best thing to seeing Suzanne at camp!!!
There is a lot more fabulous information located on her website: http://healththyself.com/
Thank you and Namaste Suzanne!!!
Mind-Body Practices to :
BREATH-WORK and MEDITATION
Calming and Stress Reducing Breath-Work
Relaxing Breath: 4-7-8 breath
Brahmari: humming bee breath
Breathing and Relaxation: Dirga Pranayama (Three Part Breath) & Ujjayi Breath
Breath Counting: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00521/three-breathing-exercises.html
Mindful Walking Meditation: Walk carefully, mindfully around the room. Mindful walking can be slow or brisk. The goal is to be fully present with each step as you take it. Bring your attention to the actual sensations of walking. Notice how the heel, then the ball of your foot makes contact with the ﬂoor as you walk. Notice the bend in your knees, the ﬂex in your toes, the shift in your weight with each step you take. When your attention wanders, bring it back to your walking. Center yourself in your body and be present in the moment. Count ten steps, and ten more, and ten more, until you feel calmed.
NURTURING SELF-CARE PRACTICES
Qigong Tapping: Opening the Lung Energy Channel
EFT Technique: (Emotional Freedom Technique)
Self-Massage Stress Buster: http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/kripalu-yoga-break/id387918498
Secrets and Solutions to Sound Sleep
Some of us like to joke about needing more sleep. But many of us don’t get enough simply because we can’t. And this is a big, missed opportunity! While the body appears from the outside to be still and inactive, sleep is a time when the body is quite busy. During the night, we restock our supply of hormones, process toxins, repair damaged tissue, make white blood cells to fight infections and illness, eliminate the effects of stress, and process heavy emotions. Unfortunately we have an epidemic of sleep disorders – from trouble falling asleep to often-interrupted sleep to actual insomnia.
There are, however, several straightforward remedies I want to share that I’ve seen work over and over again.
We fall asleep due to the gifts of the pineal gland, a small ant-sized lobe in our brain that secretes melatonin. This wonderful neurotransmitter suppresses the activity of other chemicals in the brain and helps to calm us (in part by countering the stress hormone cortisol). For ideal sleep, melatonin should rise steadily throughout the evening and hit a high around 2am. But there’s a catch: the pineal gland secretes melatonin largely in response to darkness. And our evening cortisol levels are lowest in environments with low noise.
With our addictions to TV, video games, and email in the evening, however, our choices can interfere with these natural pro-sleep chemical shifts. These devices mostly display full-spectrum light which can confuse the brain about whether it’s night-time or not. We also, unfortunately, tend to watch shows or view email that can be loud and/or stressful (e.g. the evening news, a crime show, work email, or ever-longer to-do lists). Digesting a heavy meal eaten later in the evening can also prevent (or interrupt) sleep.
So the first thing I want to recommend to you is “sleep hygiene”. Yes, these are simple ideas. But they are powerful!
- Instead of using the high-tech toys at night, consider calming, quieter evening activities (e.g. reading a book, taking a warm bath, going for a light stroll outdoors, playing with a pet, folding laundry).
- No email, TV, next-day-planning, or stressful conversations in the full hour prior to bedtime.
- If noise is an issue during the night, consider soft foam ear plugs or the white noise of a fan.
- Make sure your bedroom is not too hot, as this can disrupt sleep.
- Herbal tea (e.g. lavender, chamomile, valerian, passionflower) can help you to relax and set the tone for sleep.
- No food a full two-to-three hours before bed.
- No caffeinated food or drink after 2pm in the afternoon (e.g. tea, coffee, soda, mate).
Once you are in bed: Make relaxation your goal. Remind yourself that although they’re not a replacement for sleep, rest and relaxation still help rejuvenate your body. The following is a restorative routine to follow.
This is “Yummy” self-care! Happy dreaming!
There are many cases, however, where pro-sleep behavior is simply not enough. For some of us, our brains simply aren’t able to make enough melatonin to ensure solid sleep all night long. Or there is a chemical imbalance preventing sufficient relaxation. Here are some solutions that might help. Note: all of the remedies described can be found easily at Whole Foods Markets or your local health food store or online.
If you have trouble falling asleep, I recommend 2-3mg of melatonin taken 30 min. prior to bedtime. This is safe and effective. And melatonin actually helps also to reduce blood pressure during the night, good for those with hypertension.
If you fall asleep fine but awaken in the middle of the night and cannot easily go back to sleep, your problem is likely an insufficient supply of melatonin throughout the night. Taking melatonin before bed probably will not help much. Instead, I recommend 100-200mg of 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) before bed. Note: do not take 5-HTP if you are also currently taking a SSRI or SNRI (or other serotonin- enhancing) antidepressant drug (e.g. Zoloft, Trazadone) without additional guidance.
If you have trouble getting stressful thoughts out of your mind at bedtime or cannot sleep due to pain, it is often because of an imbalance of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain (specifically glutamate and GABA, respectively). You will likely benefit from taking calming herbs one to two hours prior to bedtime. I have explored many blends with clients and find that 500mg of ashwaghanda combined with 1-3 capsules (~300mg each) of valerian works best. Both of these are long-standing herbal remedies.
If you have trouble sleeping when you have had an alcoholic beverage(s) in the evening, this is usually because alcohol interferes with another calming neurotransmitter (an amino acid) called Taurine. Try taking 1000mg of taurine just prior to bedtime to help reduce this interference.
Without restful sleep, it can be challenging for any of us to be at our best. Choose to “Health Thyself” and get a regular, good night’s sleep. You’ll be amazed at how much more positive and energizing your days can become.
Dr. Swezey's Osteo Ball
Balancing exercises build your
bone and stimulate the production of white blood cells. It is as simple
as standing by a wall and try balancing on one foot for a minute. The studies
show even 30 second will build your bone health! You have the wall to put
your hand on at any time. Even though this exercise may seem simple (We
call it complex simplicity) it is challenging and humbling for anyone to
balance for one minute so without judgment, do what you can do and be proud.
Your body will respond and thank you! I also use with many of my
clients and in some of my exercise classes the Osteo Ball. Please see link
about this awesome ball developed by Dr. Swezey.
Many Thanks to our AWESOME Fitness and Wellness Director Suzanne!!! Your energy, kindness and aura of healing and sunshine helped us SO much!!!