Did you know that breath impacts not only our physical body but also our mind? In my latest blog post I start to explain how every breath impacts not only our physical body in terms of sensation, expansion and contraction, but it also impacts our fight or flight response. In terms of the power of breath for stress or anxiety regulation, this can show the impact it can have. When you experience anxiety many times the breath causes the symptoms we experience. When people experience anxiety sometimes their breathing patterns change, which can cause an abnormal level of carbon dioxide in the blood, this can trigger symptoms of lightheadedness, heart palpitations, sweating and numbness, which confuses the physical body to feel like it may be suffocating.

20 years ago when I studied anthropology and archeology, I remember a professor as well as an assignment that allowed me to connect to a group that helped the homeless in Toronto as well as marginalized people. This connection, as well growing up as a teenager in Toronto with a mother and uncle who worked with the native population opened my eyes to the communities within the city I live in that don’t have access to many of the basic things many of us take for granted. As a parent I have tried to teach my daughter how to give back and show kindness to all. However, the reality of her upbringing is that she is privileged. Even myself growing up with a single mom, with mental illness, who suffered abuse, working two jobs most often I know we also had a privilege, the colour of our skin. Why do I bring this all up? These are the thoughts that keep me awake at night, that trigger me reading the news, and that brings up a fear that is so deep within me. 

When you struggle with mental health, it is not something that goes away; it is not something that vanishes. It is something that can creep back in, slowly or in a straightforward trigger. A recent bout of anxiety that caught me off guard taught me that. One of the lessons in the shadows of that moment was the concept of interoception and exteroception.

Our household pantry can tell us so much about ourselves, like our relationship with food or our habits of shopping. No matter how organized and planned someone is the pantry an area in the home, over time, can tend to look like a junk drawer. In every home just as we would vacuum or clean our house, our pantry also needs to be cleaned out. 

Sunshine on a cold winter day not only does a body good, but it feels fantastic. As a wellness practitioner who looks at the whole body, during the winter months it’s important to focus on many nutrients, but especially on Vitamin D. I decided February would be a great time to discuss the importance of Vitamin D. So let us look at Vitamin D, what it is, how it affects our body, how our body absorbs it and how we can make sure we are getting enough.