|Posted by BGF FitnessSite on December 1, 2017 at 3:20 PM|
What You Need to Know About Adrenal Fatigue and Root Chakra Imbalance
The adrenals are small glands located above the kidneys that control hormones and kidney function. They are responsible for many processes within the body from sex hormone secretion to production of corticosteroids, and the regulation of blood pressure or sleep/wake cycles. They produce over 50 hormones that drive virtually every body function.
In the yogic world, the adrenals are the organ of the root chakra. Thus adrenal fatigue and root chakra imbalance are related. The vast majority of Americans are experiencing some level of adrenal fatigue – it is a side effect of the standard American diet and lifestyle.
One may cause or feed the other; then the cycle continues to flow between energetic and chemical imbalance. The 1st chakra is the energetic "control center" of the adrenals. Both adrenal fatigue and root chakra imbalance can be triggered by…
• emotional stress,
• consumption of white flour and sugar products,
• lack of sleep, gut-irritating foods such as dairy,
• processed foods, and grains, too much or too little exercise,
• poor nutrition,
• financial pressure,
• unplanned unemployment or working at a job you really fu**ing hate,
• use of prescription or nonprescription drugs,
• marital stress or divorce,
• lack of relaxation/decompression,
• Psychological stress.
What are the symptoms?
Adrenal fatigue and root chakra imbalance are also heavily influenced by things you experienced between ages 0-7. The term, “adrenal fatigue” was coined by Dr. James L. Wilson, a naturopath, and chiropractor in 1998. It is not widely accepted as a real and treatable condition in Western medicine, but holistic practitioners do recognize adrenal fatigue as an epidemic here in the United States.
Practical things we can do to stay grounded and heal our adrenals.
1. Reduce Stress - Take a look at your life and decide what people, places, and things 'make' you feel stressed, anxious, or fearful. Stay objective and careful not to let this turn into a pity part about how uncontrollably stressful life is. This is not about what you can't do, but what you can do to reduce stress. Commit to avoiding those environments for a period of time. Here's the tricky part, it's very likely that we've attracted stressors with our own thought process, so a key is not only to avoid those situations physically but also mentally. In other words, don't avoid a person who causes stress and then spend all of your time talking/thinking about them. It's not so much about these people, places, things, but more about creating a space to break our own response.
2. Food - INCREASE intake of nutrient-dense foods – High-quality proteins (organic, grass-fed, non-GMO, antibiotic-free), good fats (avocado, extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, sprouted nuts/seeds, ghee butter), and dark veggies. Add more coconut, olives, cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc.), fatty fish (wild-caught salmon), walnuts and almonds, pumpkin, chia and flax seeds, and kelp or Himalayan pink salt.
3. Food - DECREASE or completely remove gluten, grains, dairy, processed foods, and processed sugar. These foods, especially grains put a massive amount of stress on our bodies energetically and chemically. Gluten-free is often recommended, grain-free/dairy-free is preferred. Look into paleo eating.
4. Herbals - Consider adding adaptogenic herbs which naturally help the body deal with stress. Ashwagandha is THE adaptogen of adaptogens. Supplementation with Magnesium aka the "master mineral" can be highly beneficial as well. Quality is important. Look for organic, living food supplements, bioavailability is key. Fish oil, zinc, and B vitamins may also be helpful. Introduce ONE and see how it feels, don't go overboard.
5. Energetically - Flip your script. Your thought script that is. Affirmations may seem corny, but they are a powerful tool for retraining and transforming our thought process. Our thoughts alone can trigger the fight or flight stress response in our body so that we are outwardly calm and functioning, but inwardly (chemically/emotionally) going crazy and "fighting" for our lives.
For the next 30 days, swap any negative thought that pops into your head with a positive affirmation. For example, I can't afford to eat healthy becomes I have an abundance of healthy food options available to me. I wish I could lose 10 pounds becomes my body is beautiful, healthy, and fu**ing awesome. It may seem corny, but trust me if you DO this instead of thinking about doing it, you'll notice changes.
6. Physically - Move more or less depending on your current level of activity. Are you over training and pushing it to the limit? It may be time to slow down and focus on healing exercises like yoga or long distance nature walks. If you're exercising very little, start with 10-minute walks after every meal and STILL add yoga and nature walks.
For every workout that causes compression of the body (weight lifting, intense cardio, Zumba, running, etc.) you should be actively decompressing (stretching, yoga, resting, meditation, massage, etc.). The American lifestyle is about pressure, stress, and compression so we must consciously CHOOSE not to get consumed. Live life on purpose.
7. Practice Mindfulness - Yes this includes making time to meditate/still your thoughts, but being mindful is not only about meditating. It's also about becoming skilled at calming your mind and body in stressful situations. Have you noticed a tendency to hold your breath or take quick, shallow breaths? Be aware of your breathing pattern and use it to calm your body's fight or flight response.
Logically, if you are not in immediate danger, then it's important to counteract the stress response when it appears. This is where mindfulness practices come in handy. Lucky for us, most gym yoga classes focus on grounding postures, i.e., warrior series, tree, mountain pose, etc. So getting to yoga class on a consistent basis could be a HUGE helper.
Pick a few of these options and DO them consistently, the changes will come - it's up to us to do the work.
Categories: Natural + Preventative Health