Managing the managers

It would seem that if you are a manger, the skills that make you a great manger are the skills that make your health suffer.  Your ability to just keep going, your ability to function highly under stress and your ability to put the needs of others first for a desired outcome are great skills as a manager.  Well they are great skills for managing work and business, not so good for managing your health.  If you are a manager, you are likely to thrive on a challenge and excel when the odds are against you.  Your probably even just a little bit stubborn..........or maybe just determined to get things done the way you want them done!

I may as well confess and admit that I was exactly that as a manager......and while I was seemingly keeping it all together on the outside, I was slowly draining out and drying up every last drop of adrenalin and cortisol, and, every last drop of joy (and some would say, sanity!).

Sitting on the other side of adrenal fatigue and mental burnout, it is easy to see the errors of my ways.  However, when I was immersed in the merry go round rat wheel of staff reviews, staff wages, rosters, contractors, balance sheets, time sheets, sick days, bad hair days it was not easy at all to see the warning signs.  

Hence my motivation to put together this health mentoring program.  I’ve previously focused on healing the healers, now it is time to manage the managers!  This program has a whole new section on workplace intelligence, where we complete a virtual or in person assessment of your workstation and your workflow.  Two of the most important ingredients for productivity in the workplace.  We might even get our feng shui on!

I welcome you to check it out and contact me with any enquires.  Please chat with me if you have several people in your workplace who would like to participate, as the program can be packaged slightly differently for you.

In health,

Jac Edser

Ham and cheese meditation

 Last time I wrote, I spoke about my calling to go do the Camino de Santiago in Spain.  After years of procrastinating I finally found the courage to get on that plane and go.  I really didn’t know why I had to go there, and I didn’t know why I had to go alone.  And, the funny thing is, after 21 days straight of sleeping in a different bed, 21 days of cheese and ham for breakfast and step after step after step along the path not talking to anyone.......I still don’t really know!  

When I first came home and people were asking me, “how was your trip”, I kind of didn’t really know what to say.  It was really challenging.  I saw really nice places and met cool people.  Drank lots of nice wine. I knew it was an amazing experience, I knew I felt different and could see things differently, but how do you describe such a profound experience in words.....without sounding like a hippy jillipy!    

Essentially though, I think this is where the true lesson of my pilgrimage was.  I just needed to experience the experience.  I needed to get out of my head and into my body and just feel and see the beauty of life.  It was one long meditative experience that was not always comfortable and had far too much ham and cheese in it, however, it was the experience that I needed.  I now know that the little lessons I learnt along the way, have and will change the way I see and feel things.  My reference point has changed and above all else, it was a lesson in trusting my intuition.  

So I think this is what I can pass on as lessons I learnt from the camino, from my ham and cheese meditation; 

          1.   Experience the experience - get into your body and experience things, big and small.  Eat the ham and cheese....smell it, taste it, feel it, just for the sake of eating it.  Not because it is healthy, not because it is going to give you energy, do it just for the experience.  When we can turn our minds off and experience things through all of our senses, taste, smell, touch, hear, see, we can effect profound change, not only in our bodies, but in our external lives.  If you think about it, this is what meditation is.  Sitting and breathing.  Experiencing your breathe through your body.  (sorry now I’m getting hippy!!)

          2.  Trust your intuition - I really believe that above all else, our own trust in our intuitive selves is where the answers lie to our health and happiness.  Especially given that we are living in a time where money is the driving factor behind our medical care, we need to trust what we think is right for ourselves.  Listen to your instinct.  Your instinct will tell you when to trust the information provided and whether to trust the people providing the information.  Do what your heart is telling you to do.  If you have a nagging feeling to do something.....then do it.  And I am not talking about egocentric extravagant experiences that we feel “called” to do because everyone will think we are amazing and wonderful.  Do what your heart is genuinely yearning to do.  It will be that thing that keeps popping up no matter how many times you ignore it.  It might be something small like paint your toenails......doesn’t matter.   

The cool thing is, when you just experience the experience, that constant blah blah blah blah blah that goes on in your head slowly quietens down and it becomes much easier to hear that inner voice of intuition. 

In health and happiness, 

Jac Edser

Intuitive decisions are not always logical

When I first learnt about intuition I thought it was some amazing skill that was going to help me be a great practitioner and heal people.  I was taught to “tune in” to my intuition so that I could help people figure out their health problems when the “medical” data didn’t give the answers.   Sounded pretty fabulous and cool to me, so I went about doing everything I could to heighten this skill and use it to best serve others. 

Little did I know that developing my intuition would totally change my own life and they way I lived it!  Little did I know that it would sometimes be this really annoying nagging feeling, telling me to do things that I didn’t necessarily want to do.....like having difficult converstaions with loved ones, stopping doing a particular job even though it paid well, leaving relationships, keeping on persisting with a vision even though it consumed my life and running marathons! 

The thing I have noticed about my intuition is that it points me in a direction to do something, and I think, how on earth can that be good for me!!  And yet, time and time and time again, when I follow that inner voice, it ALWAYS works out for the best.  Solutions and opportunities arise that I never even thought were possible.

The more I do this, the more it seems like decisions that are made following your intuition or “following your heart” are not always logical.  

So that is how I have found myself booking flights to Spain to go on a pilgrimage.......all on my own.  I have had this calling to go and walk the Camino de Santiago for many years and have continually put it off because I didnt want to go by myself.  And as much as I kept logically telling myself it was too expensive and I shouldn’t go by myself, my heart has continued to push me to go.  

It is a leap of faith and it is totally and utterly out of my comfort zone.  

When I told one of my girlfriends that I had booked my flight, she said, “Noooo!!!.....you are supposed to go to India to find yourself not Spain!!!”  My reply was, “well maybe I need to go to Spain to find out I need to go to India”.  

That’s the thing with intuition, it is not always logical.  This trip is a lesson in trusting and a lesson in following that inner voice.  I am so excited and I am also so scared.  It is an adventure into the unknown.....and, as recommended by another great friend, all I am doing now is breathing into my belly and schrunching my toes.   And oh yeah, getting very very excited!

So I will be away from the clinic for the month of September and then back on deck in October with lots of stories.  Who knows, I might then be going to India?!?

I would love to hear from you of your own experiences of what happened when you listened to that inner voice?

In health,

 

Jac Edser

Breast Cancer - a sensitive issue

Everyone has a story about health and I love reading them.  We learn so much from hearing about other people’s journey’s in relation to illness and disease.  After hearing so many people’s reaction to Angelina’s decision to have a preventative double mastectomy, I feel like I want to tell my story.  It is not for any other reason than to help people take another look at the same issue.  As it is with many many women in this world, breast cancer is an issue so close to home for me.  Three years ago I nursed my best friend to her death.....she had breast cancer, she had a double mastectomy, she lived another 9 healthy years and then it metastasised into her lungs and bones.  She was a very intelligent, healthy, emotionally connected integrative medicine doctor.  She knew so much about health and it didn’t make any sense that someone who knows everything about alternative medicine, who looked so vibrant and healthy, who was very emotionally and spiritually aware and connected, could number one get the disease, and number two, die from it.  That just didnt make sense to me and it made me question everything.  It also made me realise, there is something about illness and disease that we don’t fully understand.  It is different for every person.  Even though you might be diagnosed with “breast cancer”, it is a different set of things that have caused the disease and that will allow it to either grow or go away.

Last year I got my own personal encounter that was both scary and enlightening.  I had that experience that every woman dreads of finding a lump in their breast.  When I spoke with my doctor, we both agreed that it was not surprising, given I had only just gotten through adrenal fatigue and knew that I had a whole heap of extra estrogen floating around in my body....otherwise known as estrogen dominance.  None of this worried me, I knew it was just a consequence of pushing myself too hard and going through a few years of quite a lot of emotional stress.  I was not scared until I was lying on the table having an ultrasound of my breasts and the very scary, powerful radiologist came in to give me the report on my ultrasound.  Her booming words were that the lump I had found was no issue, however, they found another lump on the other side and it was time to panic please.

What I realise now, is that if it were not for some prior knowledge, some voices of reason and a very skilled and understanding integrative medicince doctor, I would be sitting here now having had either one or two of my breasts cut off.  

I was scared and I was in absolute turmoil about what to do.  I did not want to get into the system.......mammogram, fine needle biopsy, lump removal, etc etc.  I wanted to make some informed choices.  And, I had to make decisions that were right for me with or without the approval of those close to me.  I came to realise that I could make a decision that was right for me and my body, even though others disagreed with it.  A very hard thing to do when all you want is the people around you to agree with you and prop you up.  

So I decided I would give myself 3 months.  I would do some more testing to further understand why I had excess estrogen and why I might have a lump in my breast and how I could best cultivate a healthy body, mind and spirit.  The hardest thing was, during this time I had to try not to stress out about the obvious and I had to somehow get rid of this belief I had.  Without even realising it, I had developed this belief that if I got breast cancer I would die.  Quite extreme, but it’s funny how our minds work based on our experiences.

Part of the tests I had were some genetic testing.....and of course, it showed I was in the 10% of the population who have the progesterone receptor gene that indicates increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.  Hhhhmmmm...what now?

Wtih this information, rather than feel doomed to get breast cancer, I felt empowered to know how to further look after my health.  You see, I do not believe that your genes determine your health, it is just the blueprint for what you have got to work with.  There is such a growing field of science in epigenetics that confirms that it is our internal environment, and the signals we send our genes through our belief systems, that determines our health, not the other way around.  Although I knew, understood and believed this, I felt like I was butting up against a massive system that didn’t agree.  If I was to think this way, I had to get the system to agree?! It is such a new way of thinking, and the recent stories of Angelina Jolie show how we have such a long way to go as a society and as a medical system to integrate this knowledge.  When you think and act like I have, most people think you are a bit whack.  I have even been reluctant to tell this information to people because I don’t want other people believing that I am at high risk of breast cancer because of my genes.  I don’t want that around me.  

Now I realise, it is actually ok for people to know, because I know in my heart what really matters to me.....and if the system doesn’t agree, it actually doesn’t matter.  I know what really really matters to me and therefore, what gives me the absolute best opportunity at maintaining a healthy body.   I know that for me it is about healthy and intimate relationships, time at the beach, engaging work, running in the bush, nourishing food, red wine with friends, camping, travel, wearing nice clothes, time with my niece and nephew, dinners with my girlfriends doin weird things like angel cards and astrology.  And, this combination of “things” is totally unqiue to me and would not work for anyone else.  And that is ok.  I don’t need to explain nor justify it to anyone else.  And no one else needs to explain nor justisy to me what their set of things that really matter are.  

So after three months of turmoil, freaking out, deep soul searching, mediatating, drinking wine, juicing and some funny conversations about whether I should do some coffee enemas, I went and had another ultrasound.  This time my experience was totally different and it was calmy, cleaning and precisely explained to me that the lump identified on my previous ultrasound was a fibroadenoma.....it presented nothing like a cancerous lump and  there was absolutely nothing to worry about.  It had not changed and that was a good thing.  What the?  Why didn't I get that information 3 months ago!!  Obviously, taking a closer look at what mattered to me was the lessons I needed.

 

It is my hope that as individuals and as a society, we are able to see things differently.  That we develop a more whole way of seeing and understanding health, and we don’t blindly follow the system that surrounds us.    

After seeing my friend die, and sharing her journey, I learnt at a very deep level, that you can never ever judge anyone else for their decisions or actions, because you have absolutely no idea what they are going through.  We have absolutely no idea what Angelina has been through and it is not for me to judge or even have an opinion about her decision.  It is however important to see things for what they truly are, and not get sucked into a system that will now have women all over the world having “preventative” mastectomy’s.

 

Jac Edser  

Mystified by magnesium

I attended a seminar on Thursday night that was all about Magnesium. The guru shwami from Germany was here to enlighten us about “the Magnesium” crisis and teach us about the Magnesium Metabolic Types.  Sounded awesome, so I paid my $70 to the “natural health” company that was hosting the event, and drove to Brisbane to attend the 3 hour seminar.  It was the first time I had attended one of these seminars that was put on by one of these companies. Great value and great for my professional development.

WRONG!!!  30 minutes later, I was that really rude person who stands up in the middle of someone’s presentation and leaves the other 150 people to be brainwashed by ridiculously unfunctional, compartmentalised information. 

What I still cannot work out, is how nautral health practitioners have fallen into the hands of these large cmpanies who make products, fund research about their products, then fund people to tell you about the research that proves you must buy their product.  No other magnesium on the earth could do what this one does!  It helps everything from migraines to Alzheimers!  Given that magnesium is an ESSENTIAL mineral, and our main energy source is dependent on it, there is absolutely no surprise what so ever that increasing magnesium intake will help just about every problem in the body, whether is be cardiovacular, musculoskeletal or neurological.  I really didn’t need to sit in a room and see  all the “evidence” to support this!

I haven’t qutie worked out what was so wrong about this whole thing.......but it did not sit right with me.  It has made me lose a lot of faith in our natural therapies world.  Most of the people in the room were Naturopaths, and what astounded me, was that they were all intently listening, absorbing and taking notes on this “world class” information.  It makes me wonder if any of them are going to stop and think.........hang on a minute, I am treating a person here.  If they are using up too much magnesium because of stress, because of alcohol, becuase of excessive exercise, the solution is not to give a higher dose supplement in a different form.  The solution is not to be a scientist and make this chemical reaction change that chemical reaction.  You are not a genius because you figured out that they are magnesium deficient.  

The solution lies in being a listener, a detective and a healer to work out WHY these things are happening.  Sure, support the body short term with a supplement, but that is not the answer.  That is not the solution.  Chances are, if they are magnesium deficient, they are deficient in a whole range of other things as well anyway!  And the answer lies in the WHY.

Even in our ‘natural‘ therapies world, we are compartmentalising the body and forgetting that it operates as a whole.  I’m actually still quite mystified that someone could actually dedicate their life to reseraching one mineral.  

And the other thing.......did they forget that there is something on this planet called food!  Vegetables, nuts, seeds.....loaded with magnesium, and loaded with all the other minerals and nutirents that our bodies need in balance.  Wow......

Jac Edser

 

Depression

Read something today that I thought was worth sharing...."Life can become overwhelming at times.  Circumstances occur that lead us to feel we have no control over our lives.  When we feel resigned to being powerless and therefore helpless to change things, it can create a shut down within us that we call depression.  It is as though the very vitality and exuberance of our spirit has been locked away.  When this happens we we are actually living from the lowest level of our being.  It is a very lonely place to be and also, surprisingly, very sweet.  There is something about depression that we enjoy and feel reluctant to let go of.

We hold on, almost as though it's a raft in a treacherous sea.  Why?  Because it offers a refuge from having to take responsibility for things - a bolt hold to hide in.

Once we can realise that we have created it as an excape from overwhelming obstacles, we then have two choices;

1.  To stay depressed and enjoy it.

2.  To examine a new way to look at things and consider that there may be different and more positive ways of dealing the the obstacles in life"

I think this relates to any not only depression but also to depressed moods, or feelings of flatness, low motivation, feelings of overwhelm and life is too hard.

Interesting way to look at it.  Gives us the choice to be mindful of how we look after ourselves.....what are we eating, what are you doing, who are you hanging out with, where are you going and why?

It is from a book called the Dance between Pain and Joy - Dr Mansukh Patel and Rita Goswami.

Jac

Do you hate your body?

It was not so long ago that I hated my body.  I hated the way I looked, I hated the way I felt and I hated that I couldn't do the things that I wanted to do.  It's like the plumber with the leaky tap.......the health practitioner with a broken body. 

One of the things I learnt while looking for answers was that patterns are created in our body that are a result of patterns in our brains, or neural networks.  And, in very simple terms, these patterns can either create health or illness.

So, in order to change from injury, illness and disease we must break these patterns and create new ones.  For example, if your pattern is to sit in front of your computer all day in a slouched position and with your legs crossed, that will create a pattern that some muscles get shortened and tight and this will pull on joints and cause a disruption in the normal movement of that joint.  This is not obvious to you until you start to feel pain in your lower back or mid back.  

Or, for example, your pattern may be to have a chocolate bar any time you get stressed or bored.  This loads your liver and your gut, continuing to weaken these organs and over time, you put on weight, feel bloated and you cannot sustain your energy.  

We know now from loads of research in neuroscience that your brain has the ability to change at any time.  That means, you have the ability to change those patterns at any time.  


RECOGNISE 

I believe the first step to changing a pattern is first to recognise it.  That means you must tune in to your body.  Just like you tune into a radio frequency specific to a station, tune into the channel that is specific to your body.  Listen to what it is saying.  At first this may take a little extra time and a little extra attention, but like anything, with practice it becomes easier.

IDENTIFY 

The second step to changing a pattern to identify exactly what you need to change.  Is it the environment, eg change the computer set up, or is it something internal, like you need to stretch and move more regularly.  Once you identify exactly what it is you need to change, the solutions will become easy.

In health

Jac

Not your typical doctor.....essential tips to health and happiness

Tomorrow marks the second anniversary of the death of my dear friend Dr Lisa Macdonald.  Lisa was an absolute beam of health and beauty and if you were lucky enough to know her or be a patient of hers, I know you will be smiling reading this and remembering her.  

As a tribute to Lisa, I have written a list of things that I know Lisa believed were essential for good health and happiness.  Lisa was definitely not a typical doctor and her potions, lotions and notions were not your typical remedies.  But everything Lisa did was grounded in science, based on medical evidence and traditional wisdom........and of course, her own life experience.  

These are in no order of priority; 

  1. Love - Lisa knew that the fundamental life force that we all need to live and thrive is love.  We know from studies that children fail to thrive without human interaction and love.  Adults need it too.  A warm hug, a friendly smile a loving gesture.  
  2. Friends - especially girlfriends.  Lisa loved hanging out with her girlfriends and always encouraged others to hang out with their friends and foster friendships that were uplifting and fulfilling.  Be yourself and see who you belong with.  Don’t be someone just to belong to a particular group.  
  3. Good food! - no point eating something unless it is good for you and it tastes good!  Fresh food and good quality food.  Shopping at the markets for local, fresh and organic products was what she encouraged and to eat things that were specifically good for you and your constitution.  
  4. Herbs - if you every visited Lisa’s house you would always leave with a basket of herbs that were not only yummy, they all had their purpose.  Lisa taught me so much about herbs and how to add them into your daily life.  Growing them and eating them is one of life’s simple pleasures.
  5. Outdoors - getting outdoors and enjoying nature.  Cycling, bushwalking, beach and swimming.  She believed that this was essential to good health for many reasons including getting sunshine, exercise and fresh air.
  6. Good quality water - filtered water so that you get rid of all the chemicals in it!  We are made up of over 70% water so it makes sense to drink good quality water.  
  7. Seaweed - Lisa saw many medicinal qualities in seaweed....and she was able to make it taste good!  Cook with it in soups, salads, sushi.  Lisa knew all the tricks about how to make stuff taste fantastic.......I even had one of her spirulina smoothies that tasted good!  If you have had spirulina, you will know that it tastes yuk!
  8. Bathing - one of Lisa’s rituals was to have a bath in bath salts.  Her absolute favourite bath salts were SOUL, from Embody.  She realised the healing benefits of a bath.....a tradition that has been around for centuries. 
  9. Holidays - just about every patient that saw Lisa came away with a prescription for a holiday.  As a business owner, I used to laugh and think “yeah that would be great but.....”.  Life is short.  I now see that holidays are essential for good health and happiness.  Plan one now! 

In loving memory of a wonderful doctor, healer and friend.

Jac

Body Intelligence Health Challenge Week 4

The Challenge - Week 4

Congratulations on making it to week 4.  The skills you have learnt are setting you up for a life of good health.  This week we are focusing on sleep.  Yes - that elusive thing that some of us wish we could get more of and some of us wish we didn’t have to have so much.  So the key to sleep is the quality, not necessarily the quantity.  Most research will tell you that you need about 8 hours of sleep per night, however, I have seen a lot of people who survive and thrive on much less.  So, I think it is an individual thing.  I do know however, the quality of your sleep is really important.  And, if you are waking at night, consistently at a particular time, take note and figure out why.

Tune in

This week it is time to tune in to your sleeping pattern.  Take notice of the quality of your sleep and the how you feel.  We spend a third of our life sleeping, the body heals, repairs and detoxifies during sleep and improving sleep quality combats fatigue and many health conditions. Here’s how;  

  • At night - tune in to how you feel when you go to bed at night.  Are you still feeling ok and just ready to sleep......or are you completely knackered and cannot keep your eyes open.  Are you still feeling in a good frame of mind, or are you moody and irritated.
  • During the night - do you wake up during the night.  If so, what time?  Take particular note of the time as this will give you clues into what part of your body is under stress.
  • In the morning - how do you feel when you wake up?  Is your energy good.  Do you still feel tired.  How long does it take to wake up?  What do you have to do or take to get you going?

Tune up

Your challenge this week is to give yourself some extra assistance to get into a deep and restful sleep.  In an ideal world we would all have a little “ritual” we could do before going to sleep, and if you think about it, there probably are things you already do, like clean your teeth, shower, cup of tea etc.  So your challenge this week is to create a regular sleep ritual including one or more of the following;

  • Establish a regular bedtime routine & regular sleep-wake schedule
  • Best quality of sleep is achieved when going to bed before 11.00pm (10pm even  better)
  • Both deep sleep time & growth hormone release can be maximized by following consistent bedtime
  • Avoid watching TV while in bed
  • Avoid having mobile phones & electrical appliances within one meter of your bed
  • Herbal tea at night - you can obtain “sleep” teas from your health food store
  •  Abdominal Breathing - we learnt this one last week and I believe it is the single easiest thing you can do for helping you rest, relax, rejuvenate and sleep.  Just try it.  When you get into bed, lie on your back and breathe.

Remember - it’s all about the little things that we can do every day that make a big difference to how we feel.

Happy snoozing!

Jac

This document has been prepared for the Body Intelligence 30 Health Challenge by Jacqueline Edser and is to be used in this context only.  The information provided is not meant to substitute professional assessment or medical diagnostics and treatment.

Body Intelligence Health Challenge Week 3

The Challenge - Week 3

So now we are getting the hang of tuning into our bodies.  It really is just like listening to music.  One of the biggest indicators of your health and one of the things that impacts on all other areas of your health is your gut health.  Trust me, this is something I have struggled with for years, and hence, have a fairly good grasp on what works and what doesn’t.  So this week, we are going to talk about the stuff that no one wants to talk about - poo.  What goes in, must come out!

Tune in

This week it is time to tune in to your digestive system.  The digestive system starts with your mouth and hence, digestion starts with your mouth.  The next down the line is your stomach, then small intestine and lastly the large intestine.  So there are several different parts we need to tune in to.  Here’s how;  

  • Mouth - monitor how you eat your food.  A lot of us eat on the run or take huge mouthfuls of food and swallow them before we have even registered what went in.  Focus on what is in your mouth when you are eating and count how many times you chew each mouthful.  The aim is 20 to 30 chews per mouthful.
  • Stomach - how do you feel immediately after eating.  What happens when the food is in your stomach.  Do you get reflux, do you feel bloated do you feel nausea?
  • Small Intestine - how do you feel generally in the gut.  Do you have bloating, do you have flatulence, do you have abdominal pain or cramping?  Take note at different times during the day.
  • Large Intestine - take note of your poo.  Some people think going to the toilet once per week is normal.  We should be having a bowel motion at least once daily, if not two to three times per day.  And, your stools should be well formed and easy to pass.

Tune up

Your challenge this week is to start to look after your gut.  There is no one size fits all, however, there are some things guaranteed to help.  So your challenge this week is to;

    Cut out sugar - sugar is one of those “foods” that we eat so much of and is really not necessary.  Firstly, take out all the added sugar, like in tea and coffee, then move towards choosing foods that have no sugar added.  

The best way to do this is to eat foods that have not been processed.  Think about how much added sugar is in a chicken and brocoli stir fry compared to a pizza.  Think about how much sugar is in a handful of nuts compared to a chocolate bar.  

This is a huge challenge, but I know you are all up for it.  Don’t be drastic, just cut it out when you can stick to the process.  Some people may experience detox like symptoms, so just remember to drink heaps of water.

Remember - tuning in to your body is just like listening to music, and everybody knows how to listen to music.

Have fun!

Jac

 

 

This document has been prepared for the Body Intelligence 30 Health Challenge by Jacqueline Edser and is to be used in this context only.  The information provided is not meant to substitute professional assessment or medical diagnostics and treatment.