Updated: Apr 29, 2020
Sight. Taste. Smell. Sound. Touch. Science shows that tapping in to your 5 senses can lessen you perception of chronic pain and improve your overall wellness!
1. GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE SUN Vitamin D deficiency is in epidemic proportions in Australia at the moment. Getting some sun exposure every day is important for an improvement in our Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is known to support the health of our bones, brain and immune, endocrine and nervous systems promoting overall wellness. But more than that, sunlight promotes the body's natural production of serotonin - one of our happy hormones! Moderately high serotonin levels have been found to create a more positive mood and a calm yet focused mental outlook. One study even showed that after surgery, people exposed to sunlight used 21% less pain medication than patients in sunless rooms. That's huge! And has implications far greater reaching than just post operative pain... think about chronic pain... what if just getting more sun in your day could positively affect your chronic pain??
2. A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS Time and time again, studies show that when we look at pictures of people expressing positive emotions we cannot help but feel happier ourselves. This effect is amplified when the pictures are of people we love. A study published in the Journal of Visual Communication in Medicine found that even critically ill patients have less anxiety when they regularly see pictures of scenes and people they love. So get snap happy - keep happy snaps on your phone to look at when you are feeling low. Try and remember those happier times and bring back the emotion of that moment into your current reality.
3. LAUGHTER REALLY IS THE BEST MEDICINE No joke! When you start to laugh, it doesn't just lighten your emotional load, it can actually influence what happens inside your body... your organs get stimulated and receive more oxygen, endorphins are released by your brain making you feel happier and act as a natural pain reliever, neuropeptides are released which support your immune system to stay healthy, cortisol levels reduce, your circulation improves and muscles relax... this type of evidence is no laughing matter!!
4. AHHH, THE SERENITY Take time out to be quiet. Cortisol, one of our stress hormones, rises with constant noise and irritating sounds. Make the most of those quiet moments by practicing some mindful meditation. Research has shown that practicing mindful meditation can improve many medical and psychological difficulties. In one study, patients with chronic pain who regularly practiced mindful meditation experienced an improvement in their pain of between 57 -90%. Whilst science doesn’t have all the answers yet about the relationship between mindfulness and wellness, it is known mindfulness increases the connectivity between areas in the brain that has to do with attention, visual and auditory processing. The density of the brain also increases in areas that control memory, attentiveness and empathy while decreasing in areas that controls anxiety and nervous tension.
5. SOOTHING SOUNDS Listening to music has been shown to help lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety and stress, ease muscle tension and more. Whilst we all have different taste in music, most people find musical harmonies or chords to be most pleasing and effective at supporting a positive mood and reduction in stress. Music therapy is even used in pain clinics to help manage chronic pain syndromes with some studies showing a 21% reduction in pain and 25% less depression in participants. Once again, science isn’t exactly sure how music does its magic but they do know that listening to music increases the brains production of the happy hormone, dopamine and some studies even suggest that music can interfere with pain signals even before they reach the brain! 6. HANDS ON HEALING A 30 minute massage can lower the body's level of cortisol, that pesky stress hormone that can increase inflammatory responses. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed other benefits as well like a swedish massage just once a week improved the flexibility and range of motion of arthritis sufferers. If you have ever needed an excuse to get a regular massage this is a good one! Remember self care is not self indulgent. It is self respect. 7. HUG SOMEONE According to Dr Tiffany Ford, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine 'the simple act of hugging someone can lower your body's stress hormones and help reduce your risk of getting sick or having arthritis flare ups'. So next time someone offers you their open arms, embrace it!
8. CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL Do you have a favourite food, associated with good memories? Mine would have to be chicken soup, lovingly made for me by my mum whenever I fell ill. That caring act all those years ago when I was a child, continues to heal me years down the track! Dr Marcia Pelchat, a sensory scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Centre in Philadelphia explains that "foods associated with good memories (like soup that your mother would prepare when you were sick) can trigger the release of pleasure inducing brain chemicals such as endorphins, which may facilitate healing. 9. SUGAR, SPICE AND ALL THINGS NICE If chocolate and berries are more your style, then I have good news for you as well! In 2012 the American Chemical Society revealed that chemical compounds that give flavour to chocolate, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and other berries are structurally similar to valproic acid - a common prescription mood stabiliser medication. Finally, proof that chocolate really is good for you! * Please don't stop taking your prescribed meds and binge out on chocolate and berries expecting the same result. 10. LAVENDER LOVE Dozens of studies have shown that the aroma of Lavender reduces stress, in part by lowering those pesky cortisol levels within the body. For best results, sniff a fresh sprig of lavender or a few drops of pure essential oil for 2 - 3 minutes. And peppermint essential oil can be helpful too - ongoing studies have tied peppermint to increased alertness and energy which may be especially helpful for people dealing with chronic fatigue and mental fog. Dr Bryan Raudenbush, explains that "inhalation of peppermint causes an increase in the activity in the part of the brain that puts us to sleep at night and wakes us up in the morning". This may lead to better sleep and more attention and energy on waking! I know from my own personal experience the dramatic effect essential oils can have on emotional and physical healing. 10 drug free ways to feel better... how many can you incorporate into your day?
If you would like to access 100% pure CPtG essential oils please reach out to me as I would love to see you achieve your wellness goals, naturally. You can also learn a little bit more about essential oils here.