Too often health and fitness programmes focus on addressing symptoms or achieving a specific weight loss goal. However, what these programmes fail to recognise is if your body is experiencing chronic levels of stress, it has physiologically adapted to help you merely survive. This makes sense when we reflect on human evolution - stress was a survival response whereby we would "fight or flight" when experiencing acute stress. In these times we needed every resource our body had to ensure we survived so blood was redirected away from our organs and to our muscles; after all, a body doesn't need to think about digesting your last meal or reproduction when you may not survive!
Fast-forward to modern day and this mechanism is still present within us. When our bodies are experiencing stress it doesn't want to let go of vital resources or nutrients (i.e. fat) in preparation to "fight or flight"; this requires energy and therefore our bodies are in 'fat storing' rather than 'fat-burning' mode. The problem with this evolutionary survival mechanism is nowadays we are often experiencing chronic levels of stress and our autonomic nervous system is becoming 'stuck' in a sympathetic state. This inevitably leads to common lifestyle diseases including weight gain, sleep difficulties, fatigue, gut problems, hormone imbalances and many more.
The good news is we can change this through a simple but effective 3-step approach.
Initially we reflect on your health journey with you and identify your body's stressors. At first this might seem simple... work, relationship, finances are all common psychological stressors reported by clients. As we work together you'll soon realise there are many other forms of stress your body experiences. Your body may be able to cope with each of these stressors in isolation, however as your stress-load increases your body can struggle and things get too much. Think of this like a thermometer slowly getting hotter. As your body's stress increases, it can start to show physical symptoms indicating that it is not coping.
Each programme at Rebalance Health Coaching is designed to educate you on different stressors and help you identify yours. This is a really empowering moment and the first step in taking back control of your health as part of your personalised 'lifestyle' plan.
Once we have an understanding of what stressors are impacting you we will explore the physiological affect this is having on your body, expressed through symptoms you may be experiencing. The vagus nerve is often responsible for these symptoms as it is the communication highway between the brain and many essential organs. The vagus nerve also controls whether your body is in either a sympathetic state ("fight or flight") or parasympathetic state ("rest and digest"). When we uncover this we can start to make simple, but powerful changes to daily habits that help flip the switch into a parasympathetic state and reduce the stress-load on your body.
Have you ever been told to 'think positively' and got more annoyed? We totally get it! Having a positive mindset is an important step towards engaging your parasympathetic nervous system, but this can be extremely difficult if physiologically your body is stuck in a sympathetic state. This is why our suggestions are personalised depending on your lifestyle and habits; there are 25+ different ways to engage your parasympathetic nervous system and therefore something for everyone to try!
We are now ready to concentrate on your physical health and wellness goals. You may have already found through the 'reset' phase that you are naturally starting to lose weight, sleep better, and have more energy. In the final stage, 'rebalance', we focus in on your health goals, review your 'lifestyle plan' and set new mini aims to set you up for long-term success! Now your body has reset and is spending the majority of its time in a parasympathetic state (one study has suggested 80% of our time should be in 'rest and digest' mode) it will be more receptive to the positive changes you want to make to improve your quality of life, achieve your wellness goals, and live your best possible life.
Just like everyone's health journey is different, we recognise the way to support each client differs too. We have therefore devised a range of programmes to suit every need, whether you prefer the accountability of being in group sessions or would benefit from a programme uniquely tailormade for you.