It's easy nowadays to find most fixes online. Online coaching, apps, e-courses, distance lab-testing - there are so many options to help support your health journey. And while these can all be incredibly helpful and even life-changing, there is still something to be said about physical touch.
Part of my training includes what's called a functional examination. Used to assess specific nutritional deficiencies, specific points on the body are palpated, each correlated to various organ systems. Organ systems are connected to one another via neuro-vascular or neuro-lymphatic pathways; when a particular organ is stressed - say, liver - the surrounding vascular or lymph networks build up around the organ to deliver nutrients. This results in tenderness, of which, when palpated, is translated to a tenderness score between 0-10.
Based off of the client's score, I determine where the body is being burdened and connect the dots as to why or how it became that way.
After gathering the tenderness scores, I then lingual-neuro test. Lingual-neuro testing is a powerful method of biofeedback that uses the innate abilities of the tongue to help identify deficiencies and choose the bio-individual‐specific nutrients needed to bring a client back into balance. The central-nervous system has near-immediate feedback between the tongue and brain. Once upon a time we were able to detect foods that were good for us, bad for us, poisonous for us, etc., very easily; we still see this in play with animals' instinct, such as a deer nibbling on a hedge, sensing its toxicity, and moving to a different, more suitable bush. Most of us humans have lost this innate wisdom, unfortunately.
I test various nutritional supplements, food, minerals, and even water by placing the item on the client's tongue, and palpating specific test points once again. If the nutrient is what the body needs, the tenderness scores will drop. A point that was extremely sensitive, with the right nutrient, will become tolerable in touch. A point that remains sensitive, or becomes more sensitive, indicates that the nutrient is not necessary.
The benefit of this process is that we can weed out supplements and foods that are not beneficial for the client; oftentimes I will test someone's current supplementation and find that none of them are making much of a difference. Something as simple as water often changes scores dramatically as many people are simply dehydrated. And the client then knows that he or she will not have to gamble on taking a supplement that might, might not work. It's a brilliant way to solidify a nutritional protocol. With regular checkups, we can then watch how the body transforms, and learn when to cease supplementation of a particular nutrient.
The functional examination and lingual-neuro testing may seem out-there to the layman, but has solid evidence in scientific research and neurology. Thanks to years of research by various doctors, chiropractors, and health professionals, dozens of corresponding testing points have been linked to organ systems such as liver & gallbladder, small intestine, pituitary, sinus, uterus, prostate and more.
Again, I fully embrace wellness modalities that have become increasingly easy to access via online and distant connection. Yet I have such passion for time-honored healing traditions that involve touch and ancestral wisdom; we are not yet androids, but human beings that have energetic connection to one another in ways that we cannot underestimate.
To schedule a functional exam with me, check out my services here. Available for those currently local to New Mexico.
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Part of becoming healthy is understanding that the we have been conditioned for a very long time (perhaps our whole lives!) by stereotypes and other people's definitions of wellness and beauty. I am convinced that no health goal - whether it is losing weight, clearing skin, overcoming disease, whatever - is attainable without a fundamental shift in perspective and a "coming to peace" attitude about what health means for you and you alone.
This is no easy thing, however. It takes a TON of mental practice, and a rewiring of the way we dialogue with ourselves. We will fail, often; but as long as the number of times we press on and try again outnumber those fails, we will make progress.
To make matters more difficult, as we age, our bodies and our perspectives change. Just as soon as we think we have overcome our big noses or small chests, ta da! A gray hair! Crows feet! Body parts that seem to be giving over to gravity! The health path is exactly that: a path. It is not one goal, it is not a place where we can arrive, throw our feet up and drink endless margaritas. Oh no - our path intends to take us for a trip until our very last day.
It is absolutely essential, then, to listen to your inner voice. Because what happens when you don't? Little whispers, bells and whistles, some commotion over there, threatening or tempting mirages over here - if you're not centered and paying attention to your path, it is so very easy to derail and become lost.
So tell me: what does Healthy look like to you?
For me, it is mostly mindset. It's about celebrating the present without worrying about the past or future. It's also about having a body with copious energy that is capable of the movement I wish to do - not as a "human doing", but a "human being": playing with my daughter, enjoying projects around my house, gardening, hiking, biking and cooking.
And no matter how many times I look at the jeans in my drawer that I accidentally bought a bit too small, and wish that I was small enough to fit in them comfortably, I try to remember: these jeans are not your definition of health and have no business accompanying you on your path. Make time for the things that aid your journey, always.
The tricky thing about the amount of information we receive nowadays is that it throws off our center. Constant information at our fingertips is a blessing and a curse, but more often than not it skews our intuition. Prior to the information age, people learned slowly, at the pace that was most comfortable to them. Or by experience - again, at a speed by which they could absorb lessons naturally. Having our smartphones is oftentimes a huge relief - where would we be without Google maps? - but it cheapens the learning curve. As a result, our intuition becomes hindered. What was once the large, burning flame that guided us has become a dim ember.
Ask yourself: do you really need to know when the national anthem of Turkey was created? Or lookup a list regarding the best 38 makeup sponges? It has become an automatic knee jerk to go searching for every answer we can find. But I argue that this is mental clutter, clutter that damages our use of intuition. For most of human history, intuition was all we had. We learned which plants we could eat by senses, sensing. We learned to navigate the land without maps, clocks, compasses. As a result, our intuition and self reliance was strong, and one relied on that voice.
When it comes to eating, we have let the intuition drown. From knowing what to eat, to how much to eat, to when to eat - there is so much information out there, and it can become completely overwhelming. Should I eat paleo? Plant based? Vegan? Low carb? Should I do intermittent fasting? Which meal plan is best for me? Do I need to meal plan?
The problem is that those who have laid out these dietary dogmas, or the businessmen that created the protein powders and meal replacement - they do not know you. They do not necessarily care about you. More often than not, they just want your money. And most people are left wondering why a ketogenic diet worked for their best friends, but not for themselves.
The answer is always bio-individuality. Everyone is different. And at the crux of that is your intuition, the only one who knows what's best for you. Think: when was the last time you used and trusted your intuition? Maybe recently, but likely it needed brushing off. We can all use help - the internet really is a godsend for so many things, as are teachers, friends with advice, coaches, mentors, etc. But the purpose of center is always a coming back to one's self. I believe that most people cannot heal nor grow if they ignore their intuition.
Work on listening to your inner voice a bit more this week. Rather than going to your phone or laptop for answers, try to problem solve on your own. Not only will your self-reliance grow, but you'll be building better neuropathways to strengthen your brain (more about that in an upcoming post). Breath, silence the extraneous thoughts, and focus on finding the answer within.