Jul 27, 2020
Our guest this week is Rachel Marie, the founder and owner of Thrive Natural Therapy. She’s an incredible Naturopath and is especially talented at bettering women’s health. Today, we’re going to dive into Naturopathy -- what it is and how it can benefit us, and Adrenals -- what they are, how they affect us, and what we can do to maintain a less stressful, more impactful life.
From a young age, Rachel was always a “sick” girl. Growing up, she was put on a prescription of Ritalin to deal with ADHD. Thankfully, her mother took her to a Naturopath where they looked at her diet and offered her supplements and herbs. As an adult, she thought, what if others were experiencing the same thing? Her passion now fuels her drive to help those around her.
There is certainly an abundance of incredible doctors practicing traditional medicine, and there is absolutely a place for it. However, we may be too reliant on pharmaceuticals in situations where they aren’t necessarily needed. The body is capable of healing itself, and our role is to support it. Rachel’s approach is holistic. She treats every aspect of the body, the gut, the nervous system, circulatory systems together to gain a better understanding of the bigger picture of health. The tools Rachel uses is different than that of a general practitioner. Where a doctor my prescribe paracetamol, Rachel would take an approach that would treat the root cause of the issue as opposed to putting a band-aid on.
The primary topic of today’s episode is Adrenals and Adrenal Fatigue. Right now, people could be unconscious of the amount of stress they are under. There is wear and tear on the body that we may not be aware of.
The two types of nervous systems are the Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic. Fight or flight and rest and digest. Stress can be really good -- if our ancestors weren’t stressed, we wouldn’t be here. It’s essential. Stress is usually short-lived.
During a sympathetic nervous response to stress, a hormone called cortisol is released that has a few different effects on the body. It will send blood to your limbs, it increases your heart rate to get more oxygen in your blood, your libido shuts down, and you don’t get hungry. Your body uses glucose to burn this energy, so you’ll crave sugar and store more fat. For many women, it can be difficult to shed weight when they are under incredible amounts of stress on a daily basis.
During a parasympathetic nervous response, you’re able to be proactive about stress. During this time, your blood flows to the gut to allow for better digestion. Short-term memory shuts down, and long-term memory kicks up. Your immune system is more agile and you sleep much better in this system.
Rachel touches on some of the signs for Adrenal Fatigue. One of the biggest identifiers is your energy levels. Cortisol should be very high in the morning, and if you’re waking up tired, your cortisol levels could be flatlining. If your cortisol levels are normally higher than they should be, there is a moment where you feel more awake the moment you get into bed. The next stage of this fatigue is more serious -- vascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and autoimmune conditions are all a result of Adrenal Fatigue.
The most powerful thing you can start doing right now to reduce your cortisol levels is deep-belly breathing. When you’re in a fight or flight mode, you’re breathing shallowly. Breathing deeply changes the oxygen levels in your body and reduces cortisol instantly.
Rachel expands on how sleep impacts our overall adrenal health. If you’re struggling to wind down at the end of the night, Rachel suggests establishing a ritual that includes eliminating screens. Blue light reduces melatonin levels which can lead to restlessness. Supplementing your melatonin levels can help rebalance your adrenals. This is a short-term aid -- longer than that and you begin masking the core issue and cause a shortage of self-made melatonin. In the morning, if you’re struggling with that kick-start, Rachel recommends having a cold shower. Temperature therapy can wake up your system and can help burn fat. It doesn’t have to be a long shower, a minute is fine!
It’s important to remember that what you put in your body impacts every aspect of your health. If you cut out all the packaged foods and increase your fish intake you increase the healthy fat you’re putting in your body. Cut out sugar but listen to the craving -- use it as a sign to look introspectively at what is stressing you out.
Identifying stresses allows you to realign your viewpoint on situations and can allow you to work through it without putting your body under undue pressures. We often create stories about how we feel the world should work, and if it doesn’t pan out, we sometimes start to have animal responses that can take a massive toll on your body. Taking a step back and viewing the situation objectively can help ease that feeling.
Putting in real, physical practices in place to bring your body back to reality -- one where you aren’t getting chased by a bear -- remind your adrenals that you are still in control and will get through whatever it is that has come up. Rachels favorite practice, aside from breathwork, is Kundalini Yoga. This practice is very inwards and centering. It teaches you to put anchors throughout your day -- breath, music, and pauses for meditation are all included.
There are general diet changes that can benefit everyone. There are qualities to look for when you’re trying to incorporate a healthier diet into your lifestyle. Adaptogenic herbs are incredibly helpful. These herbs support you in adapting to stressful situations. Often we are reactive to stress when we should be proactive.
What you’ll learn
On this episode, Rachel Marie breaks down Naturopathy, it’s benefits and uses. She also dives into adrenals and Adrenal fatigue -- what it is, how it affects us, and what we can do about it.