So, what is the connection between nutrition, communication and good health?
First, let’s talk basic physiology. Whenever you experience any kind of fear, either real or imagined, your body goes into an automatic stress response. It immediately shuts down all functions that are not crucial, with the exception of those needed to high tail it away from whatever the real or imagined source of fear is. Your heart rate increases, blood rushes to your extremities, you get a shot of adrenaline, and you are momentarily infused with superhero capabilities. Furthermore, your digestion shuts down and sometimes the bowels can even eliminate. Yes, it’s true, you can actually be scared shitless.
The human body is miraculous and can do just about anything to either fight, or take flight, from whatever is posing a threat. The problem is our body doesn’t know the difference between being chased down by a lion, the anxiety that comes up on a first date, or an unrecognizable piece of synthetic science lab food that’s found it’s way into the blood stream. It’s all stressful, and all of it engages the stress response.
Many people eat when they’re stressed. However, when we have a stress response, our digestive system shuts down and usually there is still food in our system. In fact, if you eat standing up, in a car, or while you are rushed and frantic, you are putting food into your body while the digestive system is stressed.
So what’s the big deal?
The deal is this: when food is not properly digested it does not break down sufficiently, so it enters into the blood stream as a foreign substance. For example, a properly digested protein would normally be broken down into amino acids, but instead enters the blood stream as a complete protein. When this happens our immune system response is triggered because it looks like a foreign invasion. The body will respond to it as though it’s a virus and will trigger an inflammatory response, which can range from being a mild headache, gas, eczema, allergies, or chronic fatigue (this is a big topic that is much too big to tackle in a blog post, and it’s something I will talk about over many sessions, and from many angles, or over many blog posts).
The assumption of holistic nutrition is that everything in the body is connected. When you experience stress on a regular basis you compromise your digestion and deplete your adrenals, which affects your hormonal balance, which affects your nervous system, which affects your mood and energy levels, which affects your weight… you get the picture I hope. It’s like a snowball effect.
The problem is that we have been raised to think that stress is normal and are rarely taught how to manage it in healthy ways. So when you think about this compounding situation, is it any wonder that many of your friends, and maybe even you, are on some form of medication to balance your mood?
So basically what I do is this: I teach you how to nourish your body with pure whole foods, and sometimes supplementation, to reduce your body’s confusion and over-reactive stress response. This will also fortify your adrenals, so when a real stress does come along you have the physical capacity to handle it, rather than collapsing.
This isn’t enough though. There’s another crucial component: communication.
The biggest stress all of my clients bring to me usually boils down to this: their needs are not being met and they feel powerless to do anything about it. This is what keeps them up at night, makes them over eat, makes them feel sick about going to school or work, makes them pick fights with their loved ones, and makes them smoke and drink just to find some relief.
So this is where it all comes together.
In order to disrupt the stress cycle, I believe we need to address it physiologically, emotionally and spiritually. The work of empowered communication (also called NVC, non-violent communication, or collaborative communication) is a transformational tool that will allow you to actually do something about any situation that is stimulating fear and anxiety. It’s a very practical method you can apply to any form of stress or conflict and even within yourself. The beauty of it is that rather than avoiding a stressful situation, now you can dive in and transform it into a juicy opportunity to get more connection with yourself and others.
Though it might not be apparent right away, I am convinced that holistic nutrition and communication skills do work together. They both offer us the opportunity to take responsibility for the health of our body and our mind, and to peacefully engage the world with power, strength and clarity.
I’ve been practicing NVC since 2005, and in 2007 I went to New Mexico to participate in an International Intensive Training with Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, the founder of this method. Since that time, NVC has become the backbone of my life – both emotionally and spiritually. It gave me the skills to connect more deeply with myself, others and the planet. It has been so life changing for me that I feel compelled to share it with anyone who is interested.
Begin to experience this for yourself. Apply for one of my mentorship programs and get your body and mind singing in harmony.
Meet you there,