Category: Self Care

  • Want To Learn To Breathe?

    Want To Learn To Breathe?

    Learning to breathe, meditate, or do biofeedback doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t have to cost money. It doesn’t require you to leave your house. It’s BREATHING and focusing. It’s what people did in cold medieval churches and in Tibetan monestaries. It’s what I learned to do – and got me through – labor! […]

  • Cyles of Five: Another Way To Disrupt Anxiety

    Cyles of Five: Another Way To Disrupt Anxiety

    Cycles of Five is a simple technique to break pain and anxiety cycles.

  • Chronically Ill Teen? Fighting the Dread

    Chronically Ill Teen? Fighting the Dread

    I remember that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach every Sunday afternoon. Sunday at 3:00 was youth orchestra. When my son first developed migraine disease, attacks came like clockwork. Every Sunday around 2:30, he’d begin to yawn. Then the auras would start. I’d see him start wincing from light and then, just as […]

  • Overwhelmed By Socializing?

    Overwhelmed By Socializing?

    Two weeks post-vaccine, it’s been liberating getting out of the house. Even walks in the woods seem freer, less worried about folks strolling by mask-less and much too close. I am excited about chatting with folks at the dog park – still socially distanced and faces obscured. It felt ridiculously friendly to have a face-to-masked […]

  • Keeping What’s Good About This Crazy Year

    Keeping What’s Good About This Crazy Year

    This year of COVID has been a year of loss. Loved ones. First dates and coffee with old friends. Shared worship. Beach parties. From the profound to the trivial. For many who live with complex illnesses or who struggle to get out of the house and make it to school or work, it’s also been […]

  • Is Tyramine Intolerance Triggering Your Brain Fog Headaches & Vomiting?

    Is Tyramine Intolerance Triggering Your Brain Fog Headaches & Vomiting?

    Tyramine is a naturally occurring amino acid present in many common foods. Cheese, sausage, lentils, snow peas, and soy. Deli meats, sauerkraut, nuts, wine, and beer. Yogurt and Cheetos. All have high levels of tyramine. Because tyramine occurs when proteins age, virtually ALL leftovers are high in tyramine. For example, I might cook fresh chicken […]

  • What’s This About Gluten?

    What’s This About Gluten?

    It was my cousin who was laughing on Facebook. “They’ve taken this whole fad way too far! Now they’re selling gluten-free dog food! Idiots!”   Admittedly it looks ridiculous. As far as I know, dogs do not get celiac disease. But the people feeding dogs that handle the dog food do. I should know. Allergies, […]

  • Can Stoicism Make You A Happier Parent?

    Can Stoicism Make You A Happier Parent?

    Confession time I feel guilty. Why? Because there are times I feel I’m failing at my most important job: being a mom. My son hurts all the time – and I can’t protect him. He is having a hard time transitioning gracefully to adulthood. He struggled to make it through high school – it’s tough […]

  • Are migraines caused by an echo in the brain?

    Are migraines caused by an echo in the brain?

    Many types of pain – including migraines, amplified regional pain syndrome, and fibromyalgia – are caused by a failure of the nervous system. A negative spiral Acute pain protects us from tissue damage – we pull back from flames because we feel pain. Unfortunately, this healthy system can backfire. Many chronic pain conditions are caused […]

  • Learning Biofeedback Doesn‘t Have to Be Hard

    Learning Biofeedback Doesn‘t Have to Be Hard

    Biofeedback is a set of techniques that allow you to exert conscious control over what are normally involuntary biological functions. For example, consciously slowing your breathing and heart rate are common forms of biofeedback. With more practice, you can learn to increase circulation in your hands and warm them up. You can become more conscious […]

  • Assemble A Rescue Kit For Your Next Pain Spike

    Assemble A Rescue Kit For Your Next Pain Spike

    I walked into my son’s room this morning – it was immediately obvious it was one of ‘those’ days. Light sensitivity. Migraine spike. Fog. You know the gig. So I asked my usual self-care questions: Did you take your rescues? Water? Salt? Magnesium oil? Daily meds? “Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.” No eye roll (thank […]

  • Biofeedback: A Skill Not A Pill

    Biofeedback: A Skill Not A Pill

    Biofeedback is a skill, not a pill. Unlike medications, it is something that you need to practice between sessions and learn to make it effective. I’ve heard people only try it once or twice and then give up because they got a migraine anyways. It’s not something that works right away. You need to practice […]

  • Get Help To Learn To Help Yourself

    Get Help To Learn To Help Yourself

    Friday, after an appointment with my psychiatrist at Emory, it occurred to me that this month marks 13 years of therapy and treatment. I would almost describe those 13 years as an “After” period, denoting a new phase in my life, because it has been so transformative. Before I finally reached out for help, I […]

  • How can you use biofeedback?

    How can you use biofeedback?

    Biofeedback has many potential applications. Short term, you can embed breathing and conscious relaxation and bodily control into your everyday life. This changes amygdala functioning to reduce pain and can help you foster mindfulness. I combine biofeedback with meditation and sometimes binaural sound to manage my migraines. I can only rarely get rid of them, […]

  • Weighted Blankets: For Better or Worse?

    Weighted Blankets: For Better or Worse?

    Like many people over the last few years, I invested in weighted blankets for members of my family. I’d read they are particular good for improving sleep and reducing anxiety. Because I had always slept markedly better with heavy quilts, that made sense to me. I followed the guidelines for buying them: 5-10% of your […]

  • What is biofeedback?

    What is biofeedback?

    Biofeedback is a technique used to train yourself to control your body’s functions. Examples being your breathing, heart rate and tempurature. It’s really great for handling chronic pain. With practice it can be used to help identify what is causing your pain and I’ve even been using it to help turn off migraines when I […]