As our environments and lifestyle habits have drifted away from the space and habits that shaped our genetics and subsequent physiology, they have become a contributing source to our dis-ease. We work with our patients to strategically change lifestyle habits and modify living environments in creative ways that are supportive of our journey back to thriving and flourishing.
The 8 Elements
We utilize a working framework we call The 8 Elements. There are 8 areas we find fundamental to human flourishing and we believe a life well lived has a bit of each of them in it. The 8 Elements are: Nutrition, Physical Movement, Stress Management, Community/Social Support, Nature/Environment, Sleep, Wisdom/Self Discovery, and Play.
A way of eating should be supportive of one’s lifestyle, goals and recovery. It should be varied in foods, colors, textures, and aroma. We promote an ancestral way of eating containing whole foods: Pastured/Grass-fed Meats, Eggs of all sorts, Leafy Green Vegetables, Starchy Roots Vegetables and Tubers, Nuts and Seeds. Download our Nutrient Dense Food Guidehere.
The way that we move is a huge part of what has made us human. Learn more here. Our ancestors covered 8+ miles a day typically (this is where the whole 10,000 steps a day thing comes from). Adequate movement has no replacement in our framework of thriving. It helps to improve mood, cognition, emotional regulation, sleep, stress levels, and metabolism. 150 minutes of moderate movement a week is a good goal to have.
Stress is an unavoidable part of living, and far too often viewed in a very negative light. Chronic stress definitely has negative health consequences. That is why it is important to learn techniques to manage stress appropriately. These techniques can range from simple and easy, to complicated and difficult. Making time everyday for a little something can go a long way. Some simple techniques are box breathing/deep breathing, meditation (silent and guided), yoga nidra, coloring, journaling, etc. Now these are the easy ones. With a little time they can become a part of your life and you'll wonder how you got along without them. However, some of the difficult and more complicated ones aren't really techniques at all. Rather, there is sometimes a need for an examination of the elements that provide stress in our lives. These could be: Relationships, Jobs, Financial Situations, Childhood Trauma, etc. It is not always easy to address the complexity of our lives, but the examination of such complexity is undoubtedly essential during any healing journey.
It has been shown that perceived isolation is worse for you than smoking. In some studies the strongest correlation for longevity was found to be that of strong communal ties. Surround yourself with people who support your vision, purpose and share your values.
A vital component of our thriving is our connection to the natural world. Currently, many of us live in an environment that is mismatched with our genetics and physiology. We work to help establish a healthy connection with the natural world and incorporate creative strategies to manage our daily environments to be more inline with our physiology.
Sleep is a critical part of our lives. It should be a priority. Sleep deprivation, even slightly, increases appetite, decreasing the sense of fullness, affects our ability to regulate emotions, etc. If you want to find our more read this. Our sleep and circadian rhythm is strongly affected by our lifestyle and dietary choices, as well as our environment, this means we can do a lot to positively impact our sleep. Good sleep hygiene is crucial.
The cultivation of Self Awareness brings many gifts to our lives. It enhances our ability to be right where we are. It provides us with the space to choose instead of react. It allowed us to grow and cultivate resilience. It imbues the ability to let go, surrender and accept. It ultimately leads to Increased meaning making/reframing in challenging situations.. These are just a few of the gifts that deeply inhabiting your humanity can bring forth.
Play is generally thought of as doing something enjoyable just for the joy. That should be enough to sell any of us on more play. It also is a way in which we establish deep personal connections with one another, tap into flow states, practice novel skills, and more. It typically can be an activity that encompasses most of the aforementioned areas of cultivation. Making it perhaps the most valuable.