Find your center!
The holidays can mean so many things for different people. This is a time we are called to gather with friends and family and celebrate life with jubilation, yet it isn’t always bubbles and laughter for all. The holidays can also be filled with grief, sadness, loneliness, loss, and stressful social gatherings.
The holidays are also a time where people are focused on food (and sugary treats) and therefore if you are working on regaining or supporting your health, this can be disappointing and even isolating. Adding to the complexities of the holiday season, this global pandemic has fueled much fear and uncertainty, making it difficult to navigate with peace and relaxation. Wherever you land on this spectrum, my advice to you is that It will be much easier to work with all of these layers if you find your center, your place of knowing and intuition with alignment and stability. When we get pulled off our center (by our own doing or from someone else) we start to lose our alignment and we can feel imbalanced in many ways. When we are imbalanced, we can feel anxious, confused, out of control, irritable or sad and can even start to project our own imbalances onto others and become needy or clingy. These emotions can drive people away from us, which ultimately reverses our intent to connect and have intimacy with others. All of these unbalanced ways of being can develop ill health or dis-ease, and as we know, dis-ease drives dysfunction in the mind, body and spirit and it’s not a sustainable way of being or living. Finding your center may look different for different people and it can be a life-long practice, but it is one you can start working on now.
Ideas for Centering and Grounding Energy
Get in nature and ground yourself (ideally without shoes)
Meditation, mindfulness and yoga practices Meditation We can also stimulate our Vagus Nerve (which runs from brainstem to abdomen) and this will increase our Parasympathetic Nervous System, which helps us respond to situations with a more calm and relaxed state of being (and this helps us digest better too-hello Holidays!). There are Vagus Nerve Exercises (see link below) that can be very helpful. It has been studied that even 5 minutes of meditation twice daily can be helpful to balance your energy and calm your mind.
Deep methodical diaphragmatic breathing When we are anxious or angry, we breath more quickly, more shallow and irregular compared to when we feel joy, where breathing is deep and slow. Breath work can help you learn to control impulses, tap into neural networks to regulate emotions and ultimately help us regulate how we respond to situations. Examples; Ujjayi Breath (Breath of Victory) & SKY Breath
Listening to music such as classical or spiritual music with high vibration and resonance
Exercise Find something you love, which could be biking, jump roping, swimming or walking. Simply move your body and find the joy in what you are doing and you will feel more grounded and centered as a result.
Dancing When was the last time you turned up your sound system and danced to your favorite songs?
Singing You don’t have to be a professional to find your centered resonance, so simply sing in the shower, in your car, on your walk etc. Call on your spirit to ring through from your deep center and be free from judgment as well.
Chakra Alignment Despite lacking scientific studies on the existence of chakras, it has been long believed in many traditions that they do exist and when they are not open we can have “blocked” energy, which can disrupt energetic flow and drive dis-ease. I feel it is worth exploring this practice to see if this feels true for you and your body as a way to center and feel more embodied and balanced (see links below).
Global Pandemic Update
The global pandemic has thrown many people off balance and is certainly driving collective anxiety and fear. Therefore, it is more important now than ever before to find your balance and center through it all. I wish I could alleviate your fears but I simply cannot. It is up to each of us to control how we react to the input we receive every day. It is difficult to stay focused when there are so many unknowns and especially when you want to continue your life, your community connections, yet you need to stay safe in the process. It is important to stay informed but also not obsess about watching the news. It is important to protect yourself and your family, but equally to not live in fear. I am trying to get a handle on this new variant “Omicron”, as most of you are as well. I have waited to put out this newsletter in the past few weeks with the hope to help you all gain better insight as to how to navigate this transforming landscape, however we still just don’t have the information we desire yet. The Omicron was discovered in South Africa just a few weeks ago and this new variant has developed with 43 new spike protein variants (compared to 18 for the Delta variant). We simply don’t have enough data to speak to this variant intelligently, therefore there is much speculation around the virus, it’s variants and whether the vaccines will still be beneficial. Possible but not confirmed information about Omicron
Appears to be more contagious than previous strains
Could be less virulent or severe, which is a good thing of course
Likely some protection for the vaccinated but of course there is no protection if you are unvaccinated
COVID PCR and Rapid Antigen tests seem to still be working
Booster shots for all? This is a difficult one to dissect now with this new variant It has been proven that vaccine efficacy is waning in general, and this was before the Omicron variant came to light, however the initial vaccination recommendations still stands because they offer protection to most people against all variants so far and should continue to offer protection to most people. Again, vaccinations are not preventing you from getting SARS-CoV-2, but only from getting severe disease and death. There is a big systematic push for “boosters”, but do studies support this? The idea around a booster shot (5-6 months after first vaccine series) is that it will help the body mount a “secondary immune response” calling in memory cells to activate (more rapidly) antibody production and T-Cell activation to help stop the invading intruder, which is supposed to create another more robust immune defense. Some epidemiologist and vaccine experts worry that numerous booster doses of existing vaccines could make future vaccines less effective. The thought is that variant mutations may be able to dodge some of the immunity provided by vaccinations or natural infection, which is called “original antigenic sin”. Therefore, it may be warranted for those not at high risk of severe disease or high-risk settings to wait to get a booster until a variant-specific option is available. **It is still important to note that most severe illnesses and death are from those unvaccinated individuals whose immune system hasn’t seen this virus yet. Many other epidemiologist believe it’s still best for all over the age of 18 should get a booster considering the Delta variant is still circulating in high numbers and is causing severe disease in the vulnerable populations. Moderna is working on altering their vaccine to protect against this new variant but the anticipated roll out is not until the Spring. I am not clear if it’s best to mix and match the vaccines for optimal protection but there is some evidence this may offer more optimal support. Mix and match https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01359-
Ways to protect yourself against viruses
Stay grounded and centered! Stress will suppress your immune system and this is not the time for that to happen. As mentioned previously, the FLCCC has guidelines for prevention, protection and early “treatment” against the virus. You can check out their website and protocols at https://covid19criticalcare.com/covid-19-protocols/ Don’t forget about the “common cold” and flu this season as well. I have personally had a few viruses infect me already this year, so it’s still very important to protect yourself and others during this season as well.
Continue to eat healthy
Stay away from sugars
Dedicate 7-8 hours of sleep per night
Take your supplements and get your IVs!
IV Therapy Vitamin C 10-20grams weekly can be one of the best ways to protect yourself this winter season! There is no better time to support yourself and your loved ones so consider getting a gift of health for someone you love this holiday season as well. You can even come together and rent the private room for an additional charge where you have your own privacy together. Call if you want IV's for prevention or if you are actively sick, we are here to help you!
Pharmacies and Refills Staffing shortages are concerning nationally and we recently found out they are affecting pharmacies as well! So please prepare accordingly! If the pharmacy says we haven’t filled it, it’s not accurate as we still prioritize refills everyday we are open, however we have been resending many prescriptions in order to keep the flow going for you (of course it’s double the work) but we don’t want you without your medicine. Please prepare and be patient as they work through this massive staffing shortage. With all of these variables in life, the many challenges we are facing, it is important to keep finding your center and alignment. Find your ground and you will maintain a healthy balance this holiday season and beyond. We can do this together! Yours in Health, Carrie Ballas Studies
Breath of Victory https://www.artofliving.org/us-en/10-ways-ujjayi-breath-can-transform-your-yoga-practice Research: Why Breathing is so effective at reducing stress https://hbr.org/2020/09/research-why-breathing-is-so-effective-at-reducing-stress https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07448481.2020.1781867?journalCode=vach20 Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve by Stanley Rosenberg (book or short Youtube link) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbowIy6kONY What are the 7 Chakras and how can you unblock them? https://www.healthline.com/health/what-are-chakras A Scientific Basis of Integrative Medicine ( Aligning Energy Fields for Health ) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1142191/ What evidence is there that chakras exist? https://coacharya.com/blog/what-evidence-is-there-that-chakras-exist/ COVID We don’t need universal booster shots. We need to reach the unvaccinated by Philip Krause, Marion Gruber and Paul Offit https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/11/29/booster-shots-universal-opinion/ Considerations in boosting COVID-10 vaccine immune responses https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)02046-8/fulltext mRNA vaccines induce durable immune memory to SARS-CoV-2 and variants of concern https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abm0829 https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2114255#:~:text=In%20our%20study%2C%20we%20found,years%20of%20age%20or%20older. Covid “long covid” short interview worth listening to https://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/sites/default/files/media/long_covid_nih_study.mp3 Reinfections vs primary infection and severity of disease https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2108120?query=recirc_mostViewed_railB_article