There is a field of study recognized by traditional medicine called psychoneuroimmunology, which is the "study of the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the human body."
Basically, science has proven that each emotion, thought and expression of belief, has an affect on the nervous system, which in turn has an affect on the body's defense mechanisms. You become what you think, feel and project, so it is just as integral a part of healing to adjust your way of thinking as it is to take medication or modify your diet.
Experts in this field of mind-body healing include Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra and Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, to name a few. In one Ohio State University study Kiecolt-Glaser was part of, they noted a spectrum of diseases "whose onset and course may be influenced by proinflammatory cytokines, from cardiovascular disease to frailty and functional decline; proinflammatory cytokine production can be directly stimulated by negative emotions and stressful experiences and indirectly stimulated by chronic or recurring infections."
Louise Hay is the author of You Can Heal Your Life, an international best seller. After learning firsthand how to heal herself from cancer, she realized that "If we are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed."
As a Holistic Health Practitioner, I offer workshops on mind-body healing which has helped hundreds of people reach an even greater sense of wellness beyond supplemental or dietary therapy. By recognizing that each ailment or injury your body presents reflects subconscious aspects hidden within yourself, you are able to put an end to needless suffering that 'everything else hasn't helped' thus far.
For example, Krista kept stubbing her left big-toe on the bed-frame at least several times per week. While this seems like small suffering in the big picture, she wanted to understand why this keeps happening. After a brief discussion on the women in her life, we concluded that she had a feminine influence in her environment that inhibited her from progress. After regaining her personal power and readjusting her perception on this situation, the toe injuries stopped.
Another client went through treatment of breast cancer and while she came to be for nutritional guidance to create an inhospitable environment for cancer to grow, we also worked with her emotions on motherhood (not being a mother but controlling other people).
One of the most famous characters who perfectly demonstrates healing from the inside out is Dr. Adams. "Patch" Adams is the founder of the Gesundheit! Institute, plus he's an M.D., clown and author. He was made famous by the movie called Patch Adams starring Robin Williams. "The Gesundheit! Institute is a project in holistic medical care based on the belief that one cannot separate the health of the individual from the health of the family, the community, the world, and the health care system itself." He healed people through laughter and by changing the minds of ailing clients to a more positive and healthy outlook rather than sick and diseased.
Write the word "Smile" on a piece of paper and below it, draw a happy, smiling face. Tape this paper to your ceiling or wall beside your bed so that it is the first thing you see when you wake up. BELIEVE yourself happy, healthy and prosperous and you will create this from the inside out. Science says so!
Stephanie Austin, HHP
Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach
Wellness by Mother Nature
Stephanie Austin, H.H.P. now writes a Wellness Column for the Atascadero News so feel free to write in with your questions and she will address them in the blog and/or weekly column. Forward all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or post comments on the blog!
I grew up in your typical Standard American Diet (SAD) home eating some of the best American comfort food and spending my allowance on junk food and sugar. It was tough to get me to eat veggies and I rarely enjoyed fruit. Even though my mother tried to limit my intake, soda was a daily beverage. I was never very active but wasn’t exactly lazy either.
In June 2003 at 23 years old, I was diagnosed with Dermatomyositis, a rare Autoimmune disease. I struggled with reaching my feet and lifting my hands above my head due to severe connective tissue inflammation. My menstrual cycle was so irregular I had even gone 70 days between cycles.
My Journey to Wellness Begins
At 5’7″, I was 175 pounds, a SAD eater and struggling to find the strength to be an active person. I enjoyed dance, hiking and the occasional yoga class but I was far from routine and needed a lifestyle change.
So I quit my corporate job, moved back home with my mom and took my savings to see a Naturopathic Doctor. He put me on several herbal concoctions and an anti-candida diet. I avoided all things packaged and processed and completely stopped ALL sugar intake, including fruit. I was overridden with Candida from the inside out. I began losing weight quickly. I maintained this system steady for 3 months until I couldn’t afford it anymore. I had rid my body of all yeast overgrowth, walked around 20 pounds lighter, and started hiking and doing yoga regularly.
Relapse and Injury Created an Opportunity to Grow
That Christmas I was in a horseback riding accident and broke my back in 4 places. I was bed ridden for several months wearing a lovely designer body brace (insert laugh here) and unable to continue my new found
physical independence. During my recovery, I began reaching for comfort foods again. Due to the lack of physical movement and the foods I began eating, I gained back the pounds and battled with the disease and Candida once more.
After a little more than a year of limited mobility, I moved to Germany and started to incorporate walking and yoga into my lifestyle again. I ate rich German food and comforts of home for the first year until I started school for Holistic Medicine. My first class was a Certificate in Nutrition,
Bodycare, and Herbalism. Then in January 2006, I did a 30 day juice fast and became vegetarian thereafter.
My First Juice Fast
During my fast, I lost more than 25 pounds and achieved a sense of empowerment over eating. Yoga was a daily routine and food became part of nutrition rather than comfort. I went raw vegan in June of that year and have made fasting and high raw eating my lifestyle ever since.
When I sway into less than healthy eating (ie. Kettle chips, cooked foods, gourmet, gluten-free breads, pastas or crackers), my body alerts me straight away. These foods are 100 times healthier than what I used to eat but they are still less than optimal for me. This doesn't mean I don't need knocked over the head with consequences from time to time, because I do occasionally indulge until my body suffers. Thing is, I now KNOW BETTER and tend to live most of my life with few symptoms and even less suffering.
In order for me to feel optimal, I need to eat a high raw, vegan and gluten-free diet and fast routinely. I cleanse every January for between 2 and 6 weeks (depending on how I feel) on fresh pressed juices and I continue juice cleansing or water fasting at smaller increments throughout the year. The longest juice cleanse I've completed lasted 58 days and the longest water fast went for 12 days. I've done as little as one day on juice or water as well.
This January 2013, I embark upon my longest juice cleanse of 60 days and I will be blogging about it here. In addition to my cleanse, I will be coaching the 10-day Juice Cleanse several times each month throughout the year. It's a fully online program - read more about it here.
Need motivation to add juice to your lifestyle? Watch the documentary, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead on Netflicks tonight!
My Uncle went into the hospital early this week after a massive heart attack and stroke. The news from afar sounded grim and the nurse suggested, "If it were my family, I'd be making travel arrangements immediately." Mom and I hopped in the car and drove the six hours to be by his side.
This family's middle name is 'estranged,' to say the least, but in the face of losing the eldest of many siblings, people came from everywhere to see him; from several states away after not seeing my Uncle in over 25 years or more. People called who haven't even talked to him in years, and people who never cry at even the saddest of stories, wept like infants.
My Uncle was a professional wrestler and referee. By the way, it wasn't as 'fake' as you might think it is... WWF and such. Anyhow, he was the biggest, burliest man I've ever seen. He was like a superhero with biceps the size of my head. He kept more fast cars in his garage than tools and he always had a big cigar in his mouth that seemed never to be lit.
My mom was the tom-boy of the bunch; she could out-do, out-bike and out-ride any boy, and she would run with the grace of a gazelle. She was the strongest, most capable woman I've ever known. She could fix cars, change a light bulb with just her mind, and build you a dresser from scratch!
My aunt was the fancy, tidy one who lived in big homes and smelled of something so beautifully familiar, I am constantly reminded of her if I smell it on a passersby. She was the mint julep, derby type fancy that I thought frilly girls grew up to be.
I even met an uncle I had never met before (and I'm 32 years old) and saw cousins I rarely see. More different a group of people couldn't be hand selected to come together into one family as is with this one - a group of like a dozen folks. Yet they came together for my Uncle - but why only now? Why did it take this to bring people together?
Regret is one of the most bitter of tastes and the most avoidable. Whether you believe in many lives, as I do, or that this is the only one incarnate you have, you should still make the most of EVERY moment you have with the people you love, have loved, might love if you knew them, and should love just because they inhabit the Earth with you.
I tend to live much of my life in my head, in Science, in study, and safely tucked away from the heart-strings that go sharp and flat too easily. I wasn't always this way though... But now I find myself less creative, less expressive and less attached to suffering. While this has it's place, for sure, I connected with a lost part of myself through this experience and I'd like to hold onto it.
I see my own mother's mortality and how important she is to me. I realized the importance of connections, whether blood related or chosen relatives such as dearest friends. I realized where to let go of things in life and when something is actually not as important as you make yourself believe. I realized I want to spend every single moment making the most of my life because things will constantly change. Acknowledge the sweetness of this delicate life and stop waiting for 'something' in order to do or be something now.
When I'm struck with emotion, I tend to express myself through writing music or poetry. My brain instantly shifts from logical to creative and I damn near speak in rhymes and think in 3/4 time. Here is what came up while at the hospital...
The seed will become a tree,
it will live forever free.
Deep rooted, strong and wise,
what could ever be its demise?
I grew up beneath the shadow of this tree,
fast cars, big cigars, left for us to grieve.
Big oak, giant shadow,
reduced again to seed.
Dear Uncle, I've come to see thee.
Can you hear me, do you see me?
I see you, or at least i.c.u., for now.
Laying in bed, tonight's quiet close.
The hospital sleeps, tomorrow we'll know.
Your love is like a drought,
bone dry until I'm down and out.
Without your care, like you're unaware,
until I'm in Intensive Care.
Maybe we learned to take better care,
forced aware with each pump of air.
My body is tired, my life is strained,
but at least we're all being trained.
You can't live your life,
creating daily strife.
Value your own life with intensive care,
life is too short to be so unfair.
I make water kefir using either coconut water or sweetened filtered water. Instructions say don't leave it longer than 72 hours with a suggested 24-28 hours but I'm doing an experiment and leaving it longer.
It smells a lot like alcohol or sourdough starter smells and I tasted it after nearly twice as long as recommended and it reminds me of alcohol, spritzers or kombucha. Anyone have experience consuming their kefir past 72 hours? Sauerkraut in Germany is left to ferment for years and sourdough starter is always good. It's just health bacteria for the colon but when is too long I wonder?
This blog is on the many avenues that interest Coach Stephanie. Subjects are a vast array of hobbies, career, desires, coaching and lifestyle.
"I am here for support, guidance, education and as an example of what works for ME. What works for me may work for you or at least provide you with a starting point from which to explore. I am discovering what works for me at every moment. I don’t have it all figured out, but I do feel I have a teaching and healing nature with which I am here to share. In this blog, I offer you a view into my practice of being that which makes my experience - MINE."
Certified Holistic Health and Nutrition Practitioner, Stephanie Austin, was guided into holistic living in 2002 when she was diagnosed with Dermatomyositis, an uncommon autoimmune disease affecting the skin and muscle.
Opting for education rather than medication, Austin enrolled in a Holistic Health Practitioner program in 2004 after realizing she'd been gifted with disease so that she may learn to heal herself and later teach others to do the same.
Since her education, Austin has released over 60 pounds and conquered years of junk food addiction through holistic healing and nutrition techniques that she now passes onto others through her business, Wellness by Mother Nature.
Austin has been the Director of Education and Board Member for the nonprofit organization, The Wellness Kitchen. She is the recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Graduate Award from www.ACHS.edu.
Austin is an author, coach and speaker who empowers people on the healing value of nutrition and the innate self-healing abilities of a body in balance.
She has helped hundreds of people achieve balance through methods such as meditation, herbs, movement, supplements, aromatherapy, homeopathy, nutrition, mind-body connection, energy healing and by closely listening to the needs of her clients.
It is awareness that brings change, not your effort. Why does it happen through awareness? - because the awareness changes you. And when you are different, the world is different. It is not a question of creating a different world, it is only a question of creating a different you. You are your world; so if you change, the world changes.
My Other Blogs
I've used several websites over the years to journal my juice cleanses. Since there are many years worth of journals, I am slowly moving them all to this one. Meanwhile, you can view my First Juice Fast blog here and a few others here and here.
If you're looking for program specific blogs (ie. Juice Cleanse or Gluten Free) visit the Classes and Programs here for their respective blogs, which are password assessable to clients only.
The Traveling Homesteader has an entirely separate blog here.
Otherwise, I write everything else here at www.StephanieAustin.com.