The Figure_Genie is a London based Personal Trainer & BodyTransformation Specialist #Figure_Genie Coaches in Nutrition & Fitness with a strong holistic health focus • Personal Training & Nutrition Programs for 25-65yr old Women • Online Programs servicing clients in OZ📍LA📍LND📍PARIS➔ IFBB Pro with 23 Championship Titles & 17yrs coaching expertise
I have been trialling Fulhum EarthWater for the past week and as a water goes I have to say I am impressed.
Confession: I never drink enough of the essential H2O stuff, especially in winter. Which in all honesty is just as important to keep hydrated with all the central heating and dehydrating impacts of the cold weather on the body. The first thing I noticed about FULHUM is the colour. Its brown and this is due to the mineral content of the fulvic acid. Unlike tap water which tastes a bit chlorinated and hard, Earthwater is soft and fresh tasting. I normally don’t like tap water and I will confess don’t drink enough water on a daily basis because of this, even bottled water has a taste I am not fond of. But I drank 2x500ml bottles on-the-trot as soon as I got my delivery. Clearly my body has been crying out for the hydration.
Earthwater is 100% natural and free from anything artificial, zero calories and zero carbohydrates. All very big positives in the #Figure_Genie book. With over 70 trace minerals, this water is absorbed across the cell wall quickly and helps to hydrate much faster than standard tap water. Perfect for promoting healing and repair in the body, minimising cellular inflammation and the impact of free radical damage from our environment and daily stressors. With magnesium and iron amongst the minerals this helps to prevent cramping, boosts energy and cleanses toxic matter at a cellular level. That means great things for those who exercise. It also means great things for those concerned about being able to slow the ageing process.
What is fulvic acid, you may well ask?
Fulvic acid is the ultimate “nutrient booster. As an active chemical compound, fulvic acid works in a way that helps us absorb and use other nutrients better — such as microbiota/probiotics, antioxidants, fatty acids and minerals. By improving the ability for our cells to absorb the important aspects of our food it basically improves digestive function and the brains functionality. Reduction in the inflammatory responses from those nasty free radicals we come in contact with daily means thats it helps to manage the onset of chronic health problems and slows cellular ageing. Trace minerals like silica help to improve collagen synthesis and by supporting the health of the gut it also supports the immune system to function effectivley.
A 2011 study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that fulvic acid has several antioxidant, nutraceutical properties with potential activity to protect cognitive impairments, including Alzheimer’s disease. A contributing factor to the development of cognitive disorders is free radical damage and also a type of protein called tau, but studies show that fulvic acid helps lower the length of tau fibrils and their morphology, disassembling their performance and stopping disease progression. The researchers concluded that fulvic acid is likely to provide new insights in the development of potential natural treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.
Studies have found that humic acids have ion-selective electrodes that can be used for attracting heavy metals present in the body that are absorbed in the food we eat, so fluvial acid has a natural chelation process in ridding the body of these toxic nasties.
Now, this product is not cheap (£3.16 per bottle) when compared to other water on the market, however when you look at the multitude of health benefits in the product, I believe the investment in your health will see you saving on Gp visits.
Having a midsection worthy of a Super Hero is about more than just doing 1000 sit-ups a day. There are some key factors often overlooked and we will highlight the Top 5 Mistakes made in getting a rocking midsection.
The saying goes abs are made in the kitchen and that is partly true.
MISTAKE #1 You drink Alcohol Regularly and Eat Rubbish Food SOLUTION: Keep Your Diet Clean & Healthful
What you DONT put in your mouth, and just as important, what you DO put in your mouth is 90% of your success or failure on any program, no matter what your goal. Making sure you eat regularly is important. When we don’t eat our body goes into starvation mode and we retain fluid, fat and toxins. Eating every 3-4 hours will keep your metabolic fire stoked and happy, giving you energy and the ability to stay motivated to keep doing more. Avoid high salt and high fat foods, processed meats and products are usually full of preservatives and additives which promote bloating and sluggish digestion. Keep to high fibre fresh food options, cut sugar out and whey dairy, keep quality protein sources and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and help eliminate toxins.
MISTAKE #2 You Don’t Exercise Consistently For Enjoyment SOLUTION: Move Daily
Moving everyday is something us humans are designed to do. Our lymphatic system, nervous system and digestive processes all benefit from exercise regularly. I always recommend keeping the intensity and type varied and enjoyable, so long as you are actually doing the activity consistently. Aim for 30-50 min daily, some days should be a little more intensive than others. What ever makes your session enjoyable and gets that heart rate up. Ensure you move to get a minimum ‘healthy glow’ session and a maximum ‘looks-like-i-just-had-a-shower-sweat’ session for 30-50 minutes 6 days of the week. This includes a walk, bike session, weights or body weight session, running the stairs at work…all have their merit so long as the time and intensity falls inside these ranges.
MISTAKE #3 You Have Never Had Colonic Irrigation SOLUTION: Embrace the Benefits of Cleaning Your Colon
Many people don’t realize that all the poor food choices, alcohol and stodgy winter foods that have been indulged in can cause some serious intestinal issues. Constipation, bloating, lethargy and headaches can all be signs that your bowls are not functioning effectively. As part of a body management program it is highly recommended that regular colonic irrigation be included in your wellness regimen. The health benefits of assisting the waste elimination process can be quite marked. “The colon or large intestine is the end portion of the human digestive tract. Its primary functions are to eliminate waste, conserve water and re-absorb electrolytes and minerals. Waste material that has remained in the colon for some time (i.e. impacted faeces, dead
cellular tissue, accumulated mucous, parasites, chemical residue, etc.) can pose several health problems. These poisons can re-enter and circulate in the blood stream, making us feel weak, tired, or ill. Also, impacted materials impair the colon’s ability to assimilate minerals and cause the overgrowth of bad bacteria and yeast. A build up of material on the colon wall can also inhibit muscular action, causing sluggish bowel movements, slow transit time, constipation and encourage the negative results of these disorders. Colon hydrotherapy can greatly alleviate this congestion and the build-up of unwanted toxic waste and is a safe, effective method for cleaning out colon waste and ridding the system of this unwanted material, by repeated, gentle flushing of pure filtered warm water. The colon can hold onto as much as 3-5kg of old toxic waste matter (undigested food, impacted fecal material, bad bacteria etc). This junk clogs up our bowel causing bloating, flatulence, pain and discomfort along with non-gut symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, poor energy, low mood and motivation. As people don’t eat enough fibre or drink enough water, this toxic muck is stuck in their bowels.
Colonic hydrotherapy helps to flush out all of this junk with warm water, relieving you of kilograms from a lifetime of poor diet choices. The elimination of this toxic mess improves the condition and tone of your bowel, lessening the incidence of constipation, improves your energy and motivation levels so exercising is not so much of an effort, removes the bloated “pot belly” look, leaving you feeling slimmer and makes you more conscious of what you are putting in your body. ”
MISTAKE #4 You Are A Stress-Head SOLUTION: Stop Sweating The Small Stuff
It is a known fact that stress makes you fat and that the distribution of fat tends to be around the midsection for both men and women. This is due to the increased release of cortisone during the fight or flight response. So as part of an effective body management program the practice of meditation, breath control techniques and regular massages are a great way to restore balance to an over worked body and mind. Digestion and absorption of food has been found to be improved and of course cortisol levels, the stress hormone, drop dramatically.
MISTAKE #5 You Have Never Had An Infra-Red Sauna SOLUTION: Embrace Infra-Red Saunas to Accelerate detoxification & Fat Loss
My final tip for your body management and Ab-Tastic regimen is to get regular infra-red saunas. These are great ‘detox box’s’. Far more pleasant to sit in than the standard sauna, the infra red saunas use infra red waves to heat the body and eliminate toxins from the skin, cellular activity or energy can be increase by up to 60% for over an hour post sauna. Meaning, your metabolic rate and therefore ability to use energy is also elevated for this time. Eliminating toxins and also subcutaneous water will give the appearance of a trimmer tummy and make your skin feel amazing. Some also include colour therapy in the session so mood elevation increases happy hormone release and improved physical and mental wellbeing.
Taking control of chronic pain may well require taking responsibility for the emotional responses you have to the world you experience. When it comes to integrating the complexities of living within the physical system we inhabit, there can be a great deal to consider and navigate. Past, present and future thinking and feeling, seemingly, gets stored within the cells in our body.
In Part 1 of this blog post, I explored the concept of pain within the body and how it is inextricably linked to the emotional pain and false beliefs carried by an individual, sometimes over a lifetime. How the nervous system can become wired toward negative rather than positive sensation depends on our thoughts and emotional responses. Be it o perceptions of our environment, circumstances and to ourselves. These emotional patterns form physiological patterns, that can become chronic in thought and expereince without the awareness and introspective capabilities practiced by the individual; YOU.
In Part 2 we will look at:
The physiological connection between our emotional state and pain.
How different emotional experiences (guilt, fear, resentment) present in the body and where.
In Part 3, we will look at some key ways that self awareness and introspective modalities like meditation can help manage and often eliminate the pain cycle.
Lets take a moment to consider what is actually going on in the brain when we experience strong emotions and all the areas that interrelate:
• The limbic system, the site of our instinctual emotional reactions.
• The hypothalamus, which connects with the endocrine system and the gut organs.
• The amygdala, where we process sensory information into memory and learning.
• The cortex, where we regulate emotion.
Every emotion we experience leaves a trace throughout these areas of the brain. Strong emotions can also be reignited by future experiences; be it in reality (through sensory experience) or in our minds (through memory experience).
“Pain Is Pain”!
We Process Emotional & Physical Pain The Same
The body and brain process both types of pain in absolutely the same way. Psychology Today reported “When people feel emotional pain, the same areas of the brain get activated as when people feel physical pain: in the anterior insula and the anterior cingulate cortex.” Researchers have found that people who endure trauma as children and still have lingering feelings of helplessness or despair have higher levels of inflammation in the body. Our early, unhealed wounds leave us more vulnerable to the many forms of pain.
Without awareness and having the courage to look a little deeper than surface at what could be going on when pain strikes, there is a real chronic danger that we will be hauling our entire personal history around with us in our cells and nervous system, for life. Pills can mask the pain briefly, but it will keep recurring until we ‘deal with it’.
Dr. Candace Pert, a neuropharmacologist who worked at the NIH and Georgetown University Medical Centre famously stated that “Your body is your subconscious mind. Our physical body can be changed by the emotions we experience.” . Dr Pert explains:
“A feeling sparked in our mind-or body-will translate as a peptide being released somewhere. [Organs, tissues, skin, muscle and endocrine glands], they all have peptide receptors on them and can access and store emotional information. This means the emotional memory is stored in many places in the body, not just or even primarily, in the brain. You can access emotional memory anywhere in the peptide/receptor network, in any number of ways. I think unexpressed emotions are literally lodged in the body. The real true emotions that need to be expressed are in the body, trying to move up and be expressed and thereby integrated, made whole, and healed.
Where Pain is Held In The Body & Its Possible Meaning
Common Sites for Deep-Seated Emotional Pain
The subscapularis lies beneath the scapula, filling the subscapular fossa and inserting into the lesser tubercle of the humerus and the front of the capsule of the shoulder-joint (coracoid process). It is thoroughly protected and is often identified as the ‘tickle site’ below the arm pits. Because the subscapularis is well-hidden beneath the scapula, it is the most likely place for neurotransmitters, toxins, and other metabolic waste to be stored in the shoulder area. For instance, chronic depression could result in deep-seated pain being stored in the subscapularis due to subtle postural imbalances from slumped shoulders, a defeated stance, or cowering.
This habitual behavioral pattern will create trigger points, and will usually eventually negatively impact the myofascial connections of the subscapularis, which can lead to problems with the rhomboids, trapezius, pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, and the coracoid process. If given enough time, the shoulders will become immobile thereby creating strain on the levator scapulae, which can further reduce range of motion in the neck. This chain reaction can also alter the curvature of the spine resulting in further pain and discomfort in the lower back, which can spread to the gluteals, and down the legs. Some patients suffering from deep tissue problems in their subscapularis have been misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia because of its similar far-reaching ill-effects that can eventually result in nerve damage and joint pain.
The psoas is the deepest abdominal muscle, originating on the spine near the solar plexus and inserting at the top of the femur. The purpose of the psoas has, until the late nineties, been somewhat of a mystery. Additionally, the common consensus remains that the psoas muscle is one that is out of reach and cannot be directly palpated or massaged. Because the psoas is a deep – and thoroughly protected – muscle, it is a perfect place for the body to store deeply-rooted emotions. There is nothing that can touch the psoas, with the exception of internal organs, so it is therefore the primary resting place for deeply rooted emotional trauma.
Much like any species, people are born with the ability to protect themselves. When faced with a fearful or dangerous situation, the strong psoas muscle is (1) the source of the ‘jolt’ we receive when we’re surprised, (2) the power behind the initial burst of speed when we need to get away, and (3) the primary muscle used when ‘playing dead’ until danger passes. It also causes the reflex of the spine when a person assumes the fotal position. Regardless of the strain placed on the psoas, emotional traumas can constrict the psoas to the point of causing chronic back, leg, hip, and knee pain and can even lead to joint deterioration, bursitis, and other ailments without the presence of any trauma.
The psoas muscle is most central to our fight/flight response. When we don’t respond, these stress hormones go unspent and become stored in the body. This can bring many health problems including insomnia, lowered immune system, anxiety, eating disorders, depression, and living in a constant state of fear or alert.
Chronic Recurring Pain & The Emotional Connection
Guilt can affect us in a variety of ways, because it is a judgement of self, based on your unique experiences. Forgiveness of your judgements or addressing the source of the emotion will help in healing this.
If it is in a personal relationship or in a professional context, a slight snub from a friend or a relationship break-up, rejection, can have a detrimental effect on anyone and make them question their self-worth. Understanding that rejection is a part of life and not a reflection of your personal worth is key to navigating this.
We all experience grief in various forms through our lives. The key is not to bury the emotion and to understand that the 5 stages of grief have time frames, experientially, that are unique to the individual.
Failure or Fear of failure
The pain felt with failure can often be similar to that of rejection, both have the ability to strike a blow to your self esteem and may be tinged with shame. The key with failure is to reframe the experience as a learning opportunity.
Where do you store your emotional pain?
In conclusion, lets not forget that we all have stresses and challenges to navigate, that is what life is about. Training pain has a very unique feel and experience compared to chronic pain. In my experience, both personal and with my clients the connection between the emotional experience and the physical cannot be ignored and I believe that to do so is to a small extent naive and in the extreme, arrogant. We are understanding more and more the positive effects that practices like meditation and yoga have on changing the nervous system and managing stress when engaged on a daily basis. As a preventative measure these self management modalities put responsibility for personal health and wellness squarely back with the individual and the over reliance on pharmacology may, hopefully, finally begin to diminish.
If you are a sufferer of chronic pain, reading through this blog, much of the information if not new, may well be confronting. I hope however that by looking at the emotional link to the pain experienced, insights and greater understanding may follow.
The key is to explore the possibility of being pain free via combined modalities to achieve overall wellbeing. In Part 3 we will look at how Talking Therapy and/or Meditation may be some of the modalities utilised to unlock the emotional triggers to the pain model.
The key is taking an honest and uncensored appraisal of your inner world and the possible physical markers as your road map to guide you through.
It started when I was about 13 and continued until I was 21. That was when I hung up my pointe shoes and turned my back on my dreams of being a ballerina.
Chronic stress fractures in my shins meant that every step and indeed every waking moment was unadulterated agony. Having spent yet another dance class at the London Pineapple Centre in Covent Garden sitting on my ass watching (rather than doing) my mental health was not faring so well. Injuries and depression often go hand in hand. The swelling and pain in both shins had become so bad that even the slightest touch sent me through the roof. To look at the bone through the skin was like looking at corrugated cardboard, I was a mess, so I decided I had to face facts. This ballet lark was simply not good for me.
I was angry, frustrated, ashamed at my ‘weakness’, terrified what the future held and mourning turning my back on a future I had worked for very hard since through my entire childhood. The sense of loss I felt at giving up on my dream of being a ballerina was in truth minimal compared to the gripping fear of what the hell comes next? Added to which I felt like a total failure; I couldn’t ‘hack the pace’, was too weak mentally to be able to ‘gut it out’. I had been working toward this dream since I was 8 years old, later than most to start ballet admittedly, but it was all I had ever really wanted to do. Or so I thought. I did have a fleeting interest in Archeology but the lure of feathers and sequins was much stronger than that of dust on old bones.
It has taken me many years of study and 20 years of self reflection and understanding my clients as a trainer, to realise that the chronic pain in my body was showing me that unconsciously I knew dancing was not the path I was supposed to take. I was just too determined to follow through and too young to be able to admit, dancing was not my true path, to myself or anyone else. So the emotional dis-ease manifested in other ways until I had to take notice. Thankfully I have never ever had any issues with stress fractures or shin pain since; these days I run, have had a successful athletic career and not once has the issue ever resurfaced.
Over time I have seen chronic issues with clients be resolved by looking deeper than just their physiology. Looking closer at the emotions behind certain beliefs and behaviours. After all, in transforming your body you must address the transformation of attitudes, beliefs and behaviours to achieve a ‘stick-able’ outcome. Your emotional state fits squarely into that arena. Sometimes chaotically, but still squarely.
The Neurobiological Connection
There are a number of phenomena that occur in the body and brain during the experience of different emotional states. In a Psychology Today article the neurobiological connection of emotions is outlined; “The brain is massively interconnected with the rest of the body. There are direct neural connections via the brain stem and spinal cord. The circulatory and lymphatic systems also carry neurotransmitters (hormones and immune cells) that find receptor sites in the brain which feedback and modulate the links between brain and body. In this way, every cell in the body – every cell — is linked into the nervous system and as such, can be sensed and felt, whether or not we allow ourselves to be aware of this psychobiological fact.
Russian space scientists were the first to discover in the 1960’s that every thought or feeling triggers the release of tiny chemical proteins called neuropeptides (NP’s). In the late 1990’s American cellular biologist Candace Pert began to explore this phenomenon. She outlined the critical role neuropeptides play in metabolic function. Your cells produce hundreds of different NP’s, each with its own unique function. Hormones, endorphins, cortisol, and adrenaline are some examples. While Candice Pert identified the connection between emotions and neuropeptide (NP) release, further research has demonstrated that every emotional state has its own identifiable frequency. That’s how your body knows which specific NP’s to release. As you experience an emotion, its frequency activates photons within your cells and throughout your neural pathways. Your body releases appropriate NP’s in response. Positive emotions release NP’s such as endorphins or oxytocin. Negative emotions release NP’s like adrenaline and cortisol.
In Part 2 we will look at the physiological connection between our emotional state and pain. How different emotional experiences (guilt, fear, resentment) present in the body and where. Plus look at some key ways that self awareness and introspective modalities like meditation can help manage and often eliminate the pain cycle. Shifting the nervous system into a calm state through awareness is something that can benefit everyone not just the ‘injured’ or the ‘athlete’, but everyone, no matter their age.
Envisioning what we want and turning up to do the work required are only part of the equation in achieving anything of true value in our lives. From raising a family, pursuing a career, accomplishing a marathon or doing 10 stick pull-ups. It is ‘Belief’ and an ‘unwavering emotional commitment’ to the outcome that are, in my view, the most critical pieces of the success puzzle.
In Part 1 of this post I discussed the ways in which fear and our inability to own the discomfort born of this fear causes us to behave in often detrimental ways to ourselves and others. We justify and blame as a way of easing our pain.
In part 2, I would like to explore the Anatomy of Beliefs and how Labels of ourselves and others, when carried without awareness, can greatly distort the world we witness and experience. Lets also consider how we pursue excellence (if at all). Do we pursue excellence with a sense of joy and freedom or operate from a perfectionistic modality with a sense of anxiety and dread?
The Anatomy Of Belief Born From Labels
Race, Class, IQ are all common label topics and something we are ALL guilty of adhering to, negatively or positively, it does not matter. The fact is we all do it. What I want to highlight is that once we bring awareness to the bigger ‘judgments’ we make about our environment and those that occupy it relative to ourselves, we can then begin to bring awareness to the internal chatter we direct to ourselves and which may often spill out to others. So to the labels we hold for ourselves, most often picked up in childhood from siblings, parents, teachers and peers. We carry these into adulthood sometimes to great effect and sometimes to devastating effect.
In a 2010 Article in Psychology Today Adam Alter explained, “Researchers began to study the cognitive effects of labeling in the 1930s, when linguist Benjamin Whorf proposed the linguistic relativity hypothesis. According to his hypothesis, the words we use to describe what we see aren’t just idle placeholders–they actually determine what we see… Labels shape more than our perception of color; they also change how we perceive more complex targets, like people.”
Do you ever pre-empt your own ‘labels’? Ever witnessed a person ‘explain’ the pigeon hole their belief locks them in? “I’m very open/stubborn/determined/down to earth”.
Are the labels you were given as a child and likely repeating as your own ‘belief of self’ into adulthood, damaging your chances of progressing in your life?
Labels and the belief that cements them in place are inextricably linked. I have seen body transformation success of epic proportions and transformations of moderate proportions. The training, nutrition and support were identical. The key difference? The individuals belief around their worthiness, ability and subsequent actions committing to the work required.
We always prove ourselves right no matter what.
Michael J Formica MS, MA, EdM explains “As we filter our experience through these assumptions, expectations and ideas, we create belief systems – our Core Beliefs. Core Beliefs lead us to develop Active Beliefs – how we operate in the world – that consequently drive the Outcomes that recursively support and sustain our Core Truths.
So here’s the whole system –
Core Truth: your finances are a mess. Core Belief: you are irresponsible with money. Active Belief: your finances never seem to work out. Behaviour: ignoring your finances and your financial responsibility. Outcome: your finances are a mess.
Core Truth: your relationships are always chaotic. Core Belief: you do not deserve to be loved and valued in a meaningful way. Active Belief: you never seem to find the right partner. Behaviour: you take what you can get. Outcome: you’re relationships are always chaotic.
What are some of your Core Truths?
“I dont deserve happiness”
“I’m just a big/solid girl/guy”
“I’m not smart”
“I’m not fit enough/co-ordinated enough to exercise”
“Im just lazy”
“My life is so busy”
“I’m too busy to (x,y,z)”
The Difference Between Excellence & Perfectionism
I would like to raise another point and that is of the excellence/ perfectionism argument. They are not the same nor are they driven by the same internal factors. Perfectionism is a fear based trait which presents with procrastination, unfinished projects and performance anxiety leading to a demoralised individual in extreme cases. The pursuit of excellence is a joy based attitude to tasks, ranging from the seemingly mundane to the extreme, taken in stride, in time and with a presence and purpose that is stress free and energising.
They often get confused and often used interchangeably to justify a pattern of (negative) behaviour. Don’t be fooled, perfectionism is suffocating and comes from a place of low self-worth and fear. John Amodeo, PhD states “A steady diet of being shamed for inevitable shortcomings can give rise to a vigilant perfectionism” [over time and through our experiences as we develop]. “When our self-worth is tied to our actions rather than embracing ourselves as we are — a human being with strengths and weaknesses — we set ourselves up for being anxiously preoccupied or depressed. Become mindful of the shame and fear that may be driving the cruel burden of perfectionism, remember this: you don’t need to be perfect to be loved and accepted. As you replace the desire for perfection with the pursuit of excellence, you don’t need to do that perfectly either.”
In conclusion, I invite us all to bring a willingness to witness our own internal dialogue. To observe the active and recurring patterns in topic, language and judgments in our daily lives. This awareness will begin to offer valuable insights into how our beliefs, truths and actions become form. We then have the choice to eliminate the negative and accentuate the positive.
All ones energy; emotionally and physically gets freed up to be directed to the desire, to ‘the dream’ and to achieving profoundly positive outcomes. We can witness our avoidance justifications and explanations, call them what they are: ‘fears’. We can stop blame shifting, using involved justifications for why we are not worthy. We can finally address the fear and move forward to achieve and grow in the experiences.
Embracing the adventures for what they are. Joyous opportunities for personal growth.