My aim with these Blogs is to pass on simple, easy, tips and hints for improved well-being. I avoid suggesting anything unpleasant or prohibitively expensive as I prefer the bang-for your-buck interventions; the ones that under-promise and over-deliver!
Good Health shouldn’t have to be an expensive or elusive quest. I don’t post too often either as excessive advice is just as annoying as not having enough information; there are only so many hours in a day to get everything done
This blog is probably for the more hardy/stoic wellness aficionado, but has some simple ideas that can be incorporated into our day without much fuss.
Conventionally when we think of health interventions they are, almost invariably, related to diet and exercise; which is so far so good. However there is a third pillar of wellness, and that is the capacity to push ourselves out of our climate-controlled life-styles. Cold-exposure therapy has been around forever; whether its northern Europeans dashing from the sauna into the snow, or the hardy Brighton “iceberger’s”, swimming all year around regardless of temperature – this idea of exposing oneself to a little bit of thermal discomfort is far from new.
What is new, however, is that science is now studying it and providing us with an understanding of what Cold-exposure therapy does to our physiology. For instance, moderate cold exposure stimulates what is known as “brown fat” to be made by our bodies. Brown fat is very metabolically active, unlike the common white fat, and burns white fat off. As such brown fat raises the metabolism and stimulates fat burning…….yay!! Cold therapy has also been linked to reducing inflammation and enhanced immune function.
The most famous protagonist of this approach is a Dutchman called Wim Hof, The Iceman. He has bought these ideas into the modern era and has been a guinea pig for numerous scientific studies. For information about Wim Hof, “The Wim Hof Method” (a combination of cold exposure and breathing exercises) and “Wim Hof Method Cold Shower Challenge’ go to his official site https://www.wimhofmethod.com.
Another interesting resource comes from one of my favourite (itunes) podcasts “The Art Of Manliness” . In podcast #275, Brett Mackay interviews Scott Carney, an American investigative journalist and writer, whose acclaimed book “What doesn’t kill us” explores the linking evolutionary theory and environmental conditioning with the Wim Hof Method. In this podcast Scott discusses what he describes as “the renewing of our lost evolutionary strength” through stepping out of climate-controlled lives for a little while every day. It make for fantastic listening and is extremely informative and inspiring.
Feel free to contact me directly if you have any queries regarding these methods and ideas.
Things I learnt from my recent Yoga retreat in Bali.
The most recurrent theme was truly appreciating the value of conscious use of the breathe. Between the yoga, qi gong, tai chi, and Wim Hof workshops the universal theme was the profound benefits of consciously breathing correctly. I have posted a previous blog (January 8, 2018 post ) on the power of breathing and more to come.
Whilst most coaches and wellness instructors I have met will mention this, very few truly appreciate the massive benefits, both physical and physiological, that can be derived from this. It is really the Dutch Iceman, Wim Hof, who has demonstrated to the world what a powerful tool conscious breathing can be.
The other thing I learnt is that I need to take more holidays!!
Well all good things must end, and having completed my yoga retreat in the beautiful mountain region of Ubud, Bali, it’s time to head back to Australia and work for me!
The lessons learnt during the stay at The Yoga Barn, Ubud, will be incorporated into my daily routine.
Look out for my next post where I will share some of the key insights I learnt during my stay.
be well, be happy
The new year is perfect time to reset health and lifestyle goals and start afresh.
With this in mind, and inspired by Dr. Vranich’s ‘breathing’ pod cast (see ‘just breathe’ post), I have decided to take a little time out to attend a yoga retreat in the picturesque hills of Abud, Bali.
What better way to start the new year!
So while I’m breathing, stretching and posing (yoga) the Clinic will be closed as from Monday 8th January and re-open 9am Wednesday 17th January.
If we had to nominate the most important nutrient for our wellbeing it would uncontestably be oxygen. No other nutrient is anywhere near as indispensable; easily proven by seeing how long you can hold your breath for! Poor breathing patterns are, overwhelming, the rule rather than the exception amongst us. And being poorly oxygenated as a result of this impacts on every part of our wellness, both physical and emotional. Dysfunctional breathing means we are always much more fatigued than we should be, thus everything we do is more labored and tiring.
Looking for a quality instruction manual of correct breathing, I recently came across a book called “Breathe” by Dr. Bresila Vranich (easily found on Book Depository etc.) Dr. Vranich is actually a Psychologist counselling mental health issues. She noticed in her work that poor breathing patterns were a universal feature of her patients presentation, and wondered whether correcting this would result in clinical improvements; it did! Bresila gives a very informative talk on a podcast called “Art of Manliness” (podcast 323) for those who are up on podcasts.
Here’s a link to the podcast https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/the-art-of-manliness/id332516054?mt=2 , its well worth a listen.
From the Osteopathic perspective having a bit of work done to free up the ribs, thoracic spine, and diaphragm is also of great value assisting effective breathing.
Dr. Joshua Brohier