• Kristyn Emmer

A Half Way Gift of Health

Updated: May 7, 2020

This blog was originally posted on my personal website, but as I was going throught it doing a bit of housekeeping, I realized that this would be more helpful to my Emmer & Earth community. For a quick background, I wrote this about a year ago as I was half way through my health coaching certification. Enjoy!

Today marks the official half way point on my journey to becoming a Certified Functional Medicine Health Coach with the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy. And so to put a stamp on this day, I wanted to share with you a little gift of health with my top 10 things that have been sticking with me lately.

Here we go…

1. For many of us, we’ve been taught our bodies are like a machine and doctors are like mechanics. When a part “breaks,” we need to go to the doctor to fix or replace the part. But actually, we are more like gardens, where under the right conditions and care, the very essence of how we were designed and created thrives.

2. When it comes to engaging with your health and well-being, you are the expert of your own story. Your symptoms and experiences are valid and when believed and utilized actually can provide you with better care than a study might be able to offer you.

3. If you’re confused and overwhelmed about where to start in this wellness stuff, start with sleep. Make it your main priority and protect your sleep routine, space, and needs with everything you’ve got.

4. Our social connections have more power than our genetic connections. Loneliness literally sets off a cellular chain reaction that manifests in all sorts of unhelpful ways. So who you know matters and who you spend the most time with could actually be saving you or drowning you.

5. If there’s one skill I wish everyone was great at, it’s the skill of asking questions. Whenever we ask a question, we generate a new possible version of life. It’s the most simple and profound form of social liberation.

6. If you’re running through your days mostly on adrenaline and stress, do this: breathe. In the car, walking to that meeting, cooking that meal: breathe. In your nose and out of your mouth. Three times. There’s this major caretaker in your body called the vagus nerve, which is basically the commander of your nervous system, and you have access to calm it down and reset your body rhythms right now by simply breathing.

7. I can’t talk enough about the importance of the food we eat. It’s a massive topic, but I’ll echo Michael Pollan here to say, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

8. The most amazing part of our bodies, hands down, is our microbiome. Basically it’s all the bacteria and microbes that find a home mostly in your gut (although it really is all over), and it helps us digest our food, produce vitamins, and activate our immune system among so many other things. And the coolest part is that it can help explain symptoms and manifestations that happen in just about any part of the body, from skin rashes to fatigue to allergies and even depression. If you get your gut right, you get your body right.

9. I’m not sure when our stress levels became a badge of honor, but it’s a badge you must steer clear of. Stress, I can almost bet, is at the root of probably 90% of the health challenges we face today, and I’m also quite sure that 90% of us have a difficult time managing it.

10. It would be a good idea to take a second look at anything that sells convenience – packaged foods, smart phones, a pill for everything, farming practices, plastic packages items. The list goes on. And what else goes on is the research behind how these are they very things are are hurting us despite them selling the ability to make our lives easier.

BONUS: It’s an interesting exercise to take a look at all the ways that we tell our bodies and beings to fit into the world we created instead of creating a world that fits our bodies and beings. And when you think about it, let me know because I’m always amazed by this.Whew! If you’ve made it this far, thanks for taking a few moments of your day to join me. And if you’re this far and actually enjoyed these musings, I’m writing more at Emmer & Earth, and I’d love to see you there!

Originally published on 28 February 2019.

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