How To Do Something Better Than A New Year’s Resolution

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Read On For How To Free Yourself From Physical Pain & Make 2015 The Year To Change Your Future!
How has 2014 treated you? How did this make you feel? Did your resolutions for 2014 pan out the way you planned? Have you had moments of revolutionary changes or did this year drag on without the changes you wanted? Have you experienced life-changing epiphanies or are you still waiting for ways to make things work for you? Do you desire 2015 to be the year to change your life? Are you excited for the changes ahead? Do your new year resolutions feel too far out from your reach? Will you give up after the 3rd week of January? Do you wish for more support, guidance, help and love to get you to your goals?

If you answered any of these questions with a yearning to make 2015 your year to own, read on for ways to fulfil your resolutions, and even better, to begin living a life that creates abundance in your body, mind and spirit; making your resolutions a piece of cake! Because however 2014 was for you, 2015 will be even better!

We’ve all been there, we reflect on the areas of our lives we wish to improve the most and share the following statements: “This year I’m going to…..This year I promise to…My new years resolution is to…”

And what happens? I know there are a lot of blank faces and memories flashing before you right now as you ask this question to yourself. Year in year out, why do we make these resolutions as a force of habit with the best intentions at heart to fulfil them, yet we struggle to carry through any with much success, or at the first challenge we give up?

So just for you, I have found a better way, a solution to this, and it’s based on a simple yet powerful reinforcement. Before you continue reading, I want you to think about your answer to these questions: What happens when we struggle? What do we tell ourselves when we come across challenges? Why do we feel the way we do, when we “fail” at something we long for?

…We fill ourselves with self-doubt, negativity, overwhelming lethargy, “why bother” thoughts and forget to love & encourage ourselves, we forget to be patient with ourselves, we forget we can only try to be our best. And most of all, we don’t put BACK-UP PLANS into place! The plan that will push up t our goal if our initial motivation doesn’t get us there; the plan that underlines all ultimate plans by supporting us with consistent & confident reminders of the choices we can make, and the results we want.

The back-up plans come from training our brain to adapt to a new way of thinking & the deeper, spiritual part of our being, the part where we can manifest skills that lead to practical changes – therefore using the POWER OF INTENTION is one of the most valuable and important skills we can master!

So here are my favourite new-found tips from Deepak Chopra that I want to share with you on how to be consistent for a whole year to give you a greater chance for success, fitting every lifestyle, belief-system & personality to create and live your envisioned dream goals!

The Four Intentions

I want a joyful, energetic body.
I want a loving, compassionate heart.
I want a restful, alert mind.
I want lightness of being.
As you’ll have noticed, these 4 intentions evolve from your body, through your emotions, to your mind and beyond your spirit; connecting all 4, which encompass our feelings, thoughts, sensations and visions. So just as everyone has a natural flow in their life, these 4 intentions, once put into place can replace the struggles, hard-efforts and resistance to create an easier way of living so we can carry through out new year resolutions with ease & grace!

Here’s a great routine to practice and start inhabiting the power of intention by connecting to your body, emotions, mind and spirit as one. Although this seems hard in theory, these steps will make it simple & effective for you to reach your goals.

Step 1: Create & set your day’s agenda – In the morning, take some time to sit quietly before beginning your day’s activities. This is your valuable time for setting the inner agenda for the day ahead, in a calm & quiet focus. If you already meditate or practice quiet mindfulness, you can add these 4 intentions at the end of your session to add more clarity.

Step : Breathe & connect to your heart – When you’re comfortable & your mind is settled, follow your breath, easily and effortlessly, for five minutes, breathing in and out with your natural breath, not forcing anything. At the end, place your attention on your heart and continue breathing at a quiet and peaceful pace.

Step 3: Repeat the 4 intentions – Repeat, taking a pause between each one to let the intention find its place inside you. You may have different thoughts or responses to each intention as you repeat this, and this is okay as our mind-body connection is fluid. Be easy and calm with any response that comes to you, and return your attention to your breath & heart before saying the next intention.

E.g Quietly say the first intention: I want a joyful, energetic body. Wait a moment to let your attention go to any image, feeling, sensation or thought that arises. Simply notice the response, don’t judge or try to change it, however it is; then put your attention back on your heart and silently say the second intention: I want a loving, compassionate heart and repeat this practice.

The purpose here is to get your attention to loosen up, relax, listen to your body & go where the mind naturally wants to go. If you find that any response feels too strong or causes distress, open your eyes, take a few deep breaths until you feel centered again, then go back to the next intention. Don’t force anything.

Step 4: Quiet settling – When you have finished the four intentions, sit quietly in a settled state for a few minutes. Then get up and go about your day and begin your activities.

Following Up

Simply by saying the intentions and adding this to your daily “Quiet Time” routine, these intentions will enter our minds, so we affect far more change than we realise, by enforcing it with WILLPOWER.

Following up with the practice will enhance your intentions and make YOUR RESOLUTIONS EASIER TO ACHIEVE.

1. Reminders: When you’re confused or in a dilemma remind yourself of the intention that is best suited. i.e – If you’re full from a meal and temptation kicks in, where you find yourself staring at a rich, indulgent dessert, repeat to yourself, “I want a joyful, energetic body.” IT’S THAT SIMPLE. And remember, the choice is ours so do as you wish, order dessert or not, without judgment.

When we remind ourselves of our intentions, over time, this highly valuable step aligns us with our highest intention without stress! Which is why it’s perfect and calming to reach resolutions faster & more effectively!

2. Stress: The opposite of flow is stress. If you’re stressed, the first and most productive thing you can do for yourself is to get out of the stressful situation as quickly as you can. Find a quiet place, take some deep breaths, centre yourself, and repeat your intentions, especially “I want lightness of being.” because you are telling your higher and most powerful self that you don’t want to align yourself with stress, and want to align yourself with peace, calmness & serenity. There’s nothing worse than allowing external struggles to effect our goals, so don’t let it!

3. Reinforcement: The best reinforcement is being aware of your daily journey. At the end of your day, write down the positive things that happened during the day in regards to any intention that you feel is starting to come true. It can be something as simple as someone making you smile at work, enjoying a walk, appreciating natural beauty such as the weather, feeling grateful for your children or partner, or being inspired by a poem or scriptural, sacred passage. These are moments where flow replaced struggle, and you overcome negativity, and reinforce wellness, positivity & wisdom. Acknowledge them, be grateful for them and they will increase.

4. Regrouping & Categorising: The days can be very busy, tiring and demanding. After expending all of your energy, going to sleep allows your brain to reset for the coming day, recharges your body with it’s physical wellbeing and nourishes the peaceful part of your being. Before going to sleep, as you lie in bed, in those moments before sleep comes, be aware of the four intentions. Review body, emotions, mind, and spirit. You can repeat the intentions or simply let your attention go to these four areas in a positive, optimistic mood. Saying something as simple as “thank you” is enough to create a positive shift.

These great intentions throughout this simple & effective program is far more efficient than simply making a resolution. These will take you to the next step with clarity, ease, reinforcement because this connection is what we deeply desire; and in doing so, will shift areas of struggle within you and unite your body, mind and spirit, so you can accomplish far more than your yearly resolution!

Send me your thoughts after you have read through! I would love to hear your thoughts and how this has affected your life, new year resolutions & you!

I look forward to seeing you soon and serving you in 2015!

All my Best & wishing you all a safe, healthy, beautiful & very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Manjot 🙂

If what you have read today resonates with your health & wellness vision and you or anyone you know who would love to have a complimentary discovery consultation with Manjot please email:info@mkdosteopathy.com and we will arrange this for you.

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Is Christmas Killing You?!

4 Ways To Stay Pain-Free & Sane Through The Holidays!

Read On For How To Enjoy Your Holidays Pain-Free!

It’s finally here…the holiday season is upon us. This year’s late Black Friday festivities deposited us directly into December, leaving us less time to prepare and cranking up the pressure that much sooner for the remainder of the holiday season.

For some, the adrenalin-pumping go-go-go of the holidays is a fun rush. For others, the stress and overwhelm can be frustrating and cause pain, which becomes all the more isolating during what’s supposed to be a joyous and hospitable time of the year.

And by keeping just a few key commitments to yourself, you can enjoy the pleasures of the season, without the pain, frustration, overwhelm or the dreaded holiday stress!

QUESTION: Besides struggling to stay calm & steer clear of all the tempting foods that increase my pain levels, I’m worried about sticking to my remedial advice & exercises while I’m traveling and staying with family. I’m doing so well – how can I avoid falling off the wagon during the holidays and keep sane whilst surrounded by all of my family?

ANSWER: The holidays can be full of fun festivities, but all the fun and socializing can often lead to holiday burnout. Not to mention managing all the tempting foods and potentially tricky family dynamics. First off – you’re not alone! So many of us go through the same stuff every year: stress because of family tensions, traveling, being away from our routine, etc, and it’s anything but easy. But here’s the good news: You can stick to your health & wellness commitments during the holidays, and I’m going to give you a few tips on how to do it. After all, what’s an adult committed to maintaining their healthy lifestyle to do? Stay committed to 4 principles of sanity to keep yourself balanced and vibrant during the most hectic months of the year.

Here are my top 4 simple strategies to stay sane and pain-free through the holidays.

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Make Your Time Good

Do not try to “make good time” on your ‘next car trip’ or ‘next family get-together’. We can’t improve time by speeding through it. We can only make time good by being present, taking deep breaths, finding the beauty in the voyage and enjoying every moment. Sure, make this convenient and organised for you; leave before peak travel hours, and opt for a less congested route. But if you do get stuck in traffic, surrender. Go with the flow. Choose to make your time good. You will get there either way.

Same goes for your flight – embrace flight delays. Buy yourself a funny, romantic or crazy book in the gift shop and lose yourself in the pages. Avoid mind-altering substances that drain you (coffee, cocktails, in-flight wifi). Treat the plane like a flying spa to avoid the stress and welcome the time: Bring your anti-inflammatory nettle tea bags. Drink ½ liter of water per hour in the air. Spritz your seat with colloidal silver spray and yourself with rescue spray. Hide behind your eye mask and earplugs; just completely zone out. With this mini-detox, you’ll arrive rejuvenated and better able to resist the cakes, chocolates, alcohol and other pain-causing, crazy-inducing carbs waiting for you at all those parties.

When you’re out of town or away from home, DO NOT stop your remedial advice and personalised exercises! Bring everything you need with you when you travel. Whatever it takes – just keep moving! Incorporate the whole family. Get a game of touch football going, play tag with the kids, go cross-country skiing – whatever encourages your family to get outdoors and be healthy together.

This holiday season FOCUS ON FUN. Remember why we have holidays to begin with? Let fun be the focus, and things will instantly lighten up with your family and friends. If an event is becoming crazy stressful, take a step back, take a deep breath and delegate responsibilities to ease your load.

Balance Your Binges

Now, about those parties. Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence once in a while. But your system can only rev so high for so long. Balance every feast with a bit of planned famine. Don’t drink alcohol every day—you’ll inflame your liver, the site of our selfish, angry energy (which can occasionally trigger family spats…). After a big night out or a huge meal, stick to pain-fighting bone broth (its glucosamine and chondroitin soothe arthritis and joint pain), nourishing green veggies (to help strengthen your immune system and cleanse your gut) and anti-inflammatory ginger & turmeric tea (your liver’s best friend) for 12 to 24 hours, to allow your metabolic system reset.
Binge on social time, too: Instead of scheduling a meal or coffee with one friend at a time, plan one big reunion and get everyone together at once. Stay up late, laugh yourself silly, and then set aside some solid downtime the next day.

Strengthen your inner voice to say No. If you’re overwhelmed by party invites and already dreading the string of sugar and alcohol hangovers that lies in the months ahead? Just say no! It’s ok to do things your own way. You don’t need to go to every cocktail hour, and you certainly don’t have to drink and sugar binge at every social gathering. Feel free to use your, “No thanks,” as freely as you feel the need! Don’t binge, but do indulge a tiny bit. You can’t totally deprive yourself or you’ll be miserable. Trying to abstain completely from treats, not only during the holidays but in your everyday life, is a surefire recipe for disaster. However, give yourself limits – have one treat, and work it into your calorie allowance for the day.

Do You and no-one but You! Herd mentality can be strong over the holidays, particularly if you’re spending them with your extended family. The best way to make sure you’re getting the healthy food and exercise you need is to remember that it’s ok to be different. Moreover, you don’t need to intrude on anyone else’s routine, or malign their choices, in order to justify your own. It’s ok to be different! It’s what makes us unique!

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Keep Drinking That Warm Water With Lemon

Seems like such a little thing, doesn’t it? Wake up, head to kitchen, get warm water, squeeze lemon, drink. Little, yes, but mighty. Lemon’s antioxidants bolster your immune system, zapping any viruses picked up at the party. The burst of vitamin C lowers cortisol, increases iron absorption and keeps asthma at bay. The lovely smell increases your alertness and concentration. But most importantly, this daily ritual helps you center and ground yourself in your own life, every single morning, even if you’re standing in your mother’s kitchen. Use that moment to replant your healthy habits’ foothold in your life, even in the most hectic times. Set your intentions to stay true to yourself and steer clear of pain, whether from inflammatory foods or inflammatory emotions.

Relax and take quality personal “Me Time”

When all the socializing gets to be too much, take a moment (or a few hours) to be by yourself in a setting that refills your proverbial bucket. Whether that means taking a walk, taking a nap, doing yoga, or otherwise clearing your mind, remember that it’s ok to take time alone to reassert your sanity. Also, avoid saboteurs – if a particular member of your family always brings you down or ridicules your lifestyle decisions, avoid him or her! Limit your conversation with that person. If friends or relatives can’t be supportive of you and health & wellness goals, don’t share the details of your life with them. Then they won’t be able to berate or criticise you.

Lastly, just relax. Remember that things might fall apart every now and again, and there’s always time to pick up the pieces and start fresh tomorrow. Take a deep breath and know that relaxing in the midst of total mayhem is a great way to gain a different perspective.

No matter how crazy the season, you can stay sane. You can be pain-free. Remember: This is your time. Stay Present & Make it Good.

Send me your thoughts after you read through. I would love to hear your thoughts or questions on how this helps you throughout the holiday season!

Wishing you all a healthy & safe holiday season!

I look forward to seeing you soon.

All My Best,

Manjot 🙂

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Healing, Health & Happiness Through Gratitude

Read On For How To Cultivate A Healthy, Happy & Healed Life With Gratitude

Do you want to know how gratitude can help your health? Are you interested in the ways gratitude can heal you from your pain? Do you want to know how to increase gratitude in your daily life? Are you looking for abundance in your health, love, relationships and life?

If so, read on for this Thanksgiving-inspired newsletter! Dedicated to my wonderful American patients, friends and to all those who are looking to cultivate a healthy and healed life by incorporating gratitude and living in appreciation to delve into a new realm of health from within!

American Thanksgiving is a holiday of gratitude and it’s such an incredible opportunity to turn inward, reflect, and appreciate all the good in life. When you live your life with gratitude, it it much easier to enjoy the spirit of giving; to those around us, to those less fortunate, to those who you can make a difference to the lives and futures of, and of course – to yourself.

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The simple practice of giving thanks each day will help you to create a continuous cycle of positivity, happiness and good health. And when we cultivate being thankful, making it a part of who we are; our mindset shifts, which in turn makes you feel healthier, happier and more connected to the world, yourself and those around you.

So here are my tips on how to cultivate gratitude for your health, this holiday season:

How Does Gratitude Affect Our Health?

Boosts Immunity: Reduces your stress and supports your immune system
Inspires Joy: Erases your worries, turning your frowns into smiles
Increases Energy: Helps you sleep better at night
*Research has shown the above and also that you’ll be able to cope better with daily problems, stress, and improve health behaviours!

How To Be Grateful For Your Health By Practising Self-Care:

Eat Well: Drink more water, eat more plants and reduce processed foods
Sleep: Dim the lights and switch off from all electronic goods before bed & make your bedroom comfortable
Exercise: Choose activities you love and walk more
Be Happy: Prioritise joy, make time for play and think positively
*Also, change the way you converse with yourself. By having a more positive inner conversation, your mood will also be higher!

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How To Be Grateful For Your Relationships By Cherishing Them:

Share Time: Visit your family and spend quality time with them
Call Them: Give your parents or siblings a call – they would be thrilled to hear from you!
Meet Up: Reconnect with dear friends
Express Yourself: Give hugs and tell friends and family that you love them
*When you focus on specific things you love and appreciate about the close people in your life your relationships can improve!

How To Create Abundance By Being Grateful:

Abundant Thinking: Staying open to new and unexpected of prosperity helps you see new opportunities when they show up
Appreciate Work: Thankfulness for work helps you do a better job – turning it into a job you love or attracting a career of your dreams
Celebrate All Wins: Cheering on successes of family, friends, and colleagues helps you recognise and attract your own successes
*When you celebrate the beauty that exists in your life by appreciating the love and support that is here for you, we don’t focus on the love or support you feel is missing. When you focus on what is present, it will increase & intensify. So the way to abundance is to accept and celebrate what is, through awareness that you are worthy & good enough!

How Can You Pay It Forward?

Give: Do something nice for an unassuming stranger. Simple gestures like holding the door, giving up your seat, or letting them pass you in line can brighten up their day
Volunteer: Read to the elderly, clean up local parks, serve food to the homeless, or use another special skill you have. Search for volunteer opportunities in areas that are close to your heart
Mentor: Be a positive role model – help a child by mentoring through a program or show the way to success by mentoring someone starting out in your field
*Giving back is such a beautiful act within itself, when you’re filled with gratitude, it inspires kindness and connection within you; so provides transformational life changes.

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Gratitude Mantras – I Love These!

Repeat these great daily mantras, or craft your own throughout the holiday season and beyond! Remember the conversations we have with ourselves, in our minds are so strong, they have the ultimate power to change our minds and who we are.

– I am thankful for my HEALTH. It’s more valuable than money or any superficial wealth
– I am thankful for my FAMILY & FRIENDS. There support of me is heart-warming and knows no end
– I am thankful for EACH DAY IN TIME. My youth I will cherish, but for it, I will not pine
– I am thankful for the FOOD I eat, whether it’s a big hearty meal or a tiny tiny treat
– I am thankful for my warm bed in MY HOME. It’s the place I rest and dream, and can call my very own

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So here are my holiday season and health challenges for you over the next month; with Christmas around the corner and prospects of a stressful and busy few weeks; I would like you to take time every day to give thanks for 3 things and write them down in a journal. The second challenge is on each of those days, for you to take a moment to give a grateful gift to someone – in the form of a compliment, a smile, a kind gesture, or perhaps a helping hand.

In addition, I want you all to know how incredibly SPECIAL you are! Your unique presence, gifts & love in the world are cherished and valued! And I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to you! Leading women out of pain to live their vision of a healthy, happy & healed life and being given the honourable opportunity to work & serve you makes me feel so blessed and grateful!

So have a wonderful & gratitude-filled weekend ahead and send me your thoughts on my challenges for you over the next month. I would love to hear your thoughts and how this has affected your happiness, health and outlook on life.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

All My Best & Wishing You Good Health,

Manjot 🙂

If what you have read today resonates with your health & wellness vision and you or anyone you know who would love to have a complimentary discovery consultation with Manjot please email: info@mkdosteopathy.com and we will arrange this for you.

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3 Questions People With Pain Really Need To Ask!

How have I been sleeping?

Ask yourself: Why are we full of excuses to miss out on sleep? Why is it that when we push ourselves or are pushed to the limit, where the first thing we do is skimp on the one simple, 100% free remedy that can help us most? As I’ve written about previously and always teach my patients: Sleep is your body’s most important, efficient and effective process to detox and replenish your energy stores, recover and restore your body’s health. However, somehow and very commonly, we seem to easily find many reasons to justify missing out. We don’t give ourselves permission to rest, recuperate, and revive our body, health & lives. Why would we give up this one free, beneficial and resourceful remedy?

Going through that check-list in your mind, finishing that report or that ironing at the expense of just two or three hours of sleep can trigger the release of pro-inflammatory chemicals called cytokines that increase pain-causing inflammation in your entire system and increase cortisol levels with an irregular sleep pattern, pushing your body into adrenal overdrive, causing fatigue, lethargy, poor memory and concentration and a negative feedback of chemicals being released into your body that cause chaos and are detrimental to your health.

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For example, losing this little sleep can increase your blood pressure and blood sugar, both of which can also heighten inflammation, and can increase your risk for metabolic syndrome, even if you show no signs of disease. Studies have shown that missing a few hours a night, a healthy young person’s fat cells are 30% less sensitive to insulin, meaning, you would technically become diabetic. Therefore, sleep is important to regulate your body’s internal systems!

Have you noticed poor sleep habits are making your looked aged? In short, here’s why: researchers summarised that subsequent to lack or poor quality of sleep, metabolically ages you 10 to 20 years. So instead of wasting money on chemical cosmetic products to reduce your fine lines or dark circles, simply look at improving your sleep pattern.

But don’t fear because luckily, this effect can be reversed with an equal number of solid nights of sleep. When it comes to sleep, quantity really is quality. Try to get at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep at night, avoid skimping and give yourself permission to truly rest and heal from your day; and take a 20 to 30 minute nap during the day, if at all possible. Studies have shown this to be beneficial for your organs including your brain, heart and liver!

 Have I been escaping with eating, drinking, drugs, shopping, TV, sex?

How do you spend your day? What are you focused on at work? Where is your attention at home? How much time and energy do spend on you, for you or by yourself? These are questions we should ask ourselves when we’ve spent the whole week catering to other people’s needs because as a result, we often resort to subconsciously escaping to avoid thinking about what’s really causing our physical and emotional pain.

The problem with depriving ourselves of feeling and being aware, is that, while trying to make ourselves feel better, we end up giving ourselves even worse problems with addiction, extra pounds, unsustainable debt, and many others problems that can spiral out of control and become harder to change. It’s these issues that can have a greater impact on your life including work, relationships, love, sex, fulfilment, true satisfaction and passion for life.

Instead, we wrap ourselves in the fogginess of our numbing “go-too” vices and forget that we need to nurture ourselves to move through our pain with love and attentive care, to really figure out what is the root cause of our pain and to compassionately work through this to a stronger and healthier us.

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A recommendation I suggest to my patients is to create a “me-space” at home, an undisturbed, safe and peaceful place, where you can go to be recharged and re-connect with yourself from a stressful or tiring day. I also suggest making a list of self-nurturing activities that you can turn to for support whenever you feel yourself reaching for a drink, a smoke, a chocolate, a meaningless fling or sexual encounter. I find that a 20-minute soak in a hot bath with 2 cups of Epsom salts or Lavender Sea salts, 4-6 drops of black pepper oil or lavender oil, and a cold flannel over the eyes usually works well for a relaxing and calming effect.

 What am I saying to myself?

Have you ever stopped to think about what conversations you’re having with yourself throughout the day? Most people will say no, which can work against us when we’re in physical and emotional overwhelm. Here’s why: When we’re on the go constantly, we sometimes don’t even stop to question the content of our own thoughts, let alone change them. And our self-conversations have tremendous power when it comes to soothing or intensifying our pain. Our thoughts create neurochemical waves in the brain that can directly halt our pain or make it worse. This effect is even more pronounced among those of us with chronic pain. Studies have shown evidence where patients experiencing chronic pain, swapped negative thoughts for positive ones, resulting in significant reduction in pain levels.

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Believe it: We have the power and strength to relieve our pain simply by changing our thoughts and the conversations we have with ourselves.

I strongly advocate personalised positive affirmations to my patients who are struggling with physical, emotional or mindful blocks. A great way to start off the day is by giving thanks with gratitude before the day begins. Then look in the mirror and repeat 3 times: “I believe in myself. Every cell in my body is healthy. I am getting stronger every day. I feel more powerful, more positive, and pain free.” Although it may seem uncomfortable or awkward to begin with, remember that you’re creating new pathways in your brain to resist pain and to invite peace and reduced pain.

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You deserve to spend time nurturing yourself, and making yourself a priority, and you should start with your thoughts. This practice alone could be the most powerful shift you make toward a pain-free and positive life.

If you yourself or anyone you know have been wondering about these questions and experience pain in a way that has become frustrating and destructive to your body, your self-esteem and emotions, your relationships and your life, please contact me at info@mkdosteopathy.com.

I would love to hear from you and learn about your story and struggles; so I can support you to make changes in freeing yourself from pain to regain control and power of your body, and not let pain run you and your life.

I look forward to serving you!

Wishing you good health and all my best,

Manjot 🙂

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Health Over Heels – How To Beat The Effects Of Your Favourite Heels On Your Body!

Ladies, I completely agree that it is your very own prerogative to own and wear a gorgeous pair of heels. On that special occasion, that girly night out or just because they’re beautiful! However…it doesn’t have the best effect on your body, including your back, feet and knees. When I perform gait analysis and examine the way my patients walk, run and move, their feet tell me a lot! Let me tell you why…

Ever had that night out and after a few hours your Beyonce-style dancing turns into an achy aerobic class? Ever wake up the next morning walking around like a cave-woman? Blisters? Achy heels? Achy back?

Here’s how your favourite heels affect different parts of your body, and some reasons to make you put your foot down on wearing wisely.

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Starting with your Feet!

Primarily weight-distributing and spring-loaders, they add shock absorbance to your body by cushioning and protecting your body from high and strong pressure. In a pair of your favourite 4-inchers, your body’s wonderfully designed feet are compromised, as you place a great deal of your weight onto the balls of your feet and the tiny, delicate bones. There’s a much bigger and more damaging impact from high heels and they increase 30-40% of pressure onto the front of your foot.

When I examine my patients walk and look at their natural heel-to-toe transition, it becomes interrupted by the pressure and gravity changes going through their feet. So they’re no longer walking with a beautiful natural stride, but instead have an edgy and incoherent shuffle. This can cause so many problems in the foot including damage to the joints and nerves resulting in things such as bunions! Not comfortable and not pain-free!

Top Tip: After a night out, soak your feet in a tub of warm water filled with epsom salts for 15 minutes to increase lymphatic drainage & soothe the aches away or pre-freeze a bottle off water, when you’re home take it out and roll the middle of your foot over the bottle, this will relieve tension through the feet.

Moving onto your Ankles and Calves!

Ever noticed after a night out your feet swell up, your calves ache and sometimes even cramp? Well guess what, by wearing high heels it forces your ankles to stay in an upward, awkward and unnatural position. This not only restricts circulation in your lower extremity causing varicose veins and fluid retention, it also tightens your calf muscles by stiffening your Achilles tendon; which shortens your muscles and causes more cramps. So over time, your favourite pumps end up being the reason you develop chronic tightness and shortened muscles whereby even walking in flats become tender and painful too!

If this seems familiar to you, and you’ve been slipping your shoes off under the desk at work just to have that relieving “ahhh…” moment as you relax and stretch your feet, it’s because your heels are not healthy for you. Be wise with your footwear!

Top Tip: Stretch your calves regularly throughout the day and make circular motions with your foot to enhance overall joint/muscle fluidity and prevent retention. I always recommend dynamic stretches as the best way to maximise flexibility.

Working up towards your Knees!

Designed as a master pro shock absorber, the knee is transitional hinge joint and takes a lot of pressure between the feet/ankle and the hips! However, high heels can really add extra stress on the knees because of the added weight distribution going through the front. So not only can this predispose you to quicker wear and tear, but this essentially can lead to osteoarthritis, joint damage and other conditions.

Top Tip: Be wary of your posture and keep your knees relaxed, not locked.

Transitioning towards the Hips!

So most women want that long, lean, sexy stance, the one mastered by models and traditionally known by Marylyn Munroe! However, not all of those women know the utmost important and role of the hip joint is to stabilize, transition movement and mobility and provide a secure pelvis. High heels have a bad effect on your hips, as to avoid gravity from throwing you forward, you will be used to pushing your hips forward or staying in a flexed position, arching your back and pushing your chest out. This not only increases a lot of tightness through your leg muscles, it creates tension in your outer hip muscles and tendons, resulting in inflammation, chronic tightness and premature inflexibility and joint damage.

Top Tips: Ensure flexibility through your hips & ITB (Ilio-tibial-band), strengthen your glutei & hip rotator muscles with personalised and well-advised squats & lunges, alongside dynamic posterior/anterior leg stretches.

And if this hasn’t made you decide on a new shoe style, let’s move on to the Back!

Getting an achy or sore back after a night out? Well here’s why – for you to be able to glide in your heels, your lumbar spine has to move in an extremely unnatural way as it adds stress and pressure to the joints, discs, muscles and ligaments: overall classified as not good! Your low back usually takes the brunt from your footwear, activities and lifestyle. Especially if you have wear abdominal tone and core strength, so your lumbar spine becomes much more vulnerable to stress and injuries.

Low back pain is a common and huge phenomena, which you can prevent by starting to make simple choices with better footwear. Alongside a better pair of flats and supportive footwear; some simple things that massively help are frequent stretches, remedies to improve circulation and only wearing high heels to events where you’re primarily sitting.

Top Tip: When you get home after a long night out and the morning after; on a firm but comfortable surface (yoga mat/carpet) lay flat on your back, bring both knees up to your chest and gently hold without pulling for 10 seconds. Release and repeat a few more times. This will gently release the stress in your back from remaining in an arched position, relax the muscles and rest the joints.

Remember a key motto, you’re health comes first. Your physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing is nurtured by the small choices you make and the habits you incorporate daily.

If you’d like any further information on the blog or tips provided please don’t hesitate to contact me or comment below, as all of the tips should be personalised, detailed specifically for you and comfortable to do.

Yours in good health! 🙂 xo

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How To Get The Best Sleep…zzz

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I always ask my patients about their sleep; how many hours a night? Do they wake often? Is their bed/pillow comfortable? And most importantly, do they feel well rested when they wake up in the morning?

Sleep is vital in encouraging and maintaining good functioning of your body, muscles and organs. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) at least 40 million people suffer from over 70 different sleep disorders and 60% report having sleep problems a few nights a week (that’s a lot!). Your rest period is so important in ensuring optimal health and wellbeing so please take care of this.

For women especially, simply being female makes us more likely to suffer from insomnia. The main factors contributing being; anxiety & worrying, hormonal fluctuations of our menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause can also affect sleep, which in turn affects the quality of our health and wellbeing. Which is why it’s super important to get your beauty sleep.

So let me help you out with my tried & tested top 10 tips on how to get the most relaxed and sweetest sleep!

1. Are you one of these people? “I’ll just check my Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / email before bed…”

Rule number 1: Step AWAY from the iPhone/i-Pad/laptop. Avoid the use of any electrical devices 1hr before your bedtime (and definitely not in bed). Light is a powerful guide for your body and being exposed to light from the screen will influence chemistry and waking hormonal behavior, as your brain connects it to the sunlight. So this will only keep you wired to stay awake.

2. Try to go to bed at roughly the same time every night, and get up at the same time each morning.

The body produces melatonin, which is important in controlling your body clock so your sleep-wake cycle is regulated. Your body craves routine so by doing this, you’ll maintain a healthy sleep cycle for your body, it’s natural rhythms, the correct hormonal releases and you will definitely feel a difference by getting the same amount of sleep each night.  Try it for a week.

3. Keep your room quiet, dark, cool & uncluttered.

You bedroom is your sanctuary, the space for you to disconnect from the world; and it should be treated and kept that way.

So use dim lighting towards your bedtime, keep the curtains tightly drawn and open the window a smidge to regulate temperature. I recently discovered the magic behind crisp & cool bedding…Egyptian cotton percale sheets, luxuriously soothing.

4. Relaxing scents have been proven to have a calming effect.

I absolutely love Molton Brown’s “Relaxing Yuan Zhi Ambiente Room Spray”. Made with yuan zhi, vanilla and ylang ylang, it’s perfect to not only de-stress but 2 spritzes in your room or from a height above your bed will calmy sooth you into a restful sleep. Alternatively, unless you’re sensitive to scents, a lightly scented lavender spritz or candle as you get ready for bed is perfect to aid a good night’s sleep.

5. Quit the caffeine.

That’s right, that quick mid-afternoon coffee may have helped you get through the rest of your day, but it definitely won’t do you any favors in getting through the night peacefully, especially when your mind is still racing into over-drive at 1am with restless thoughts and to-do lists. So you may want to reconsider? Obviously you will probably already know your own sensitivity to caffeine, but there’s no harm in switching to a herbal or caffeine-free brew from the mid-afternoon (there’s not much difference in the taste, and you’ll be less agitated and more calm!)

6. And the booze (you knew this was coming!)

It’s the TGIF high; time to celebrate with a glass or two of vino, white wine spritzer or a cocktail right? With a standard drink (one unit) it takes at least 2 hrs to metabolize, so keep your eye on the clock because if you body is still focusing on this when you go to bed, it isn’t focusing on sending you to sleep. Plus, if you’re already achy and tired from your long week and work, with alcohol being an inflammatory product, you’re only increasing the amount of inflammation in your body, with less recovery period, which equals a worse state in the morning. Be drink aware!

7. Make sure that your bed & pillow is comfortable.

Many of my patients come in to see me having “slept funny”…We spend a third of our lives in bed, so a new mattress could be a worthwhile investment. People spend thousands on a new car, which on average gives them a good 5 years; but a mattress is something you will be sleeping on for decades, so it needs to be comfortable, firm, supportive and keep your body well balanced throughout the night; so invest in a good one. Flipping and rotating your current one may work, but my absolute favorite and top recommendation to my patients is a firm latex foam mattress (the ones by Dunlapillo are fab!)

8. The snooze button (every 5mins)…

To all those having to wake at the crack of dawn, we’ve all been there! But whilst snoozing in the morning might feel like an indulgence, you’ll actually wake up feeling groggier and more tired. Just treat yourself to setting the alarm 15-20 minutes later instead. It’ll make such a difference in your mood, so you won’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

9. Remember that we are all different.

I treat so many girls and women, including work or sport-focused women, new mums, working mums & business-mums. So whilst research shows that 7-8 hours is the average for most people, anything between 6-10 is normal. It’s important to have a routine that best works for you and your body, so it stays functioning at its best! As long as you feel well rested and refreshed the next day, it’s absolutely fine.

10. Lastly, do absolutely nothing!

Worrying only pumps up your adrenals, and defeats the purpose of a restful sleep. So, try not to think about about not sleeping, or focus too much on ways & techniques to get yourself to sleep, or you’ll just stay awake. If you haven’t done already, look through my previous blog post on my top tips to de-stress (https://healthwealthandforeverhappiness.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/magical-top-4-stress-relievers-immediate-soothing-effective/) because the art of practicing mindfulness through self-meditation is very powerful and if you’re struggling, is an effective way to address your thoughts, anxiety and emotions to help you drift into a relaxing sleep…zzz

If you found these tips helpful, please post below. Yours in good health xoxo 🙂

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