What if…childhood trauma and adult health issues are connected?

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study) is a research study of over 17,000 people conducted in the US by Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Participants were recruited between 1995 and 1997 and have been followed to see what happened to their health over the years since then.

This study has come up frequently in recent health seminars because it demonstrates an association of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) with health and social problems in adulthood.

Here is Dr. Vincent Felitti, one of the principal investigators on this study, to tell you more about how childhood trauma can lead to serious illness later in life.

Dr. Gabor Maté, medical doctor and author of several books, has come to understand and appreciate the impact of early experiences on adult behaviour and health. He has worked primarily with people who have experienced severe trauma. His view is that the event is not the trauma. The trauma is our disconnection from ourselves as a result of that event. You may want to go back to my previous post Responsible…but not to blame.

We don’t magically get over the effects of major childhood traumas as we grow older. The ACE study shows that traumatic events can create chronic major unrelieved stress that affects us physically. This is due to the release of pro-inflammatory chemicals as well as suppression of the immune system. These two conditions are at the root of many chronic diseases, as I discussed in this blog.

What to do?

As Dr. Felitti points out, we must ask questions about prevention. How do we become more conscious in our parenting and grand-parenting? What do we need to do so these things don’t happen to our children any more?

There are also important questions to be asked by we adults on our own behalf. Most of us are carrying around unresolved traumas that are making us sick or holding us back in various other ways. That was my experience, and I’m not exceptional in this. Where I’m different is in my motivation to uncover and release the effects of troubling events and limiting beliefs. That’s the subject of blogs in this section.

Questions you might ask yourself to get the ball rolling:

  • Are there things going on in my life now that don’t make sense to me?
  • Am I willing to explore this?
  • If I’m not, what does that tell me?

This is important. It’s not as scary as it sounds to put these things to rest and live more fully. I’ll be posting about various modalities in the future, but in the meantime feel free to ask me any questions that arise.

And if you’re curious about the questionnaire used in the study, you’ll find it at the NPR Science Desk along with an article that offers perspective on its application.

What if…money can buy us happiness?

My overall theme is living consciously so we can thrive, not just survive. My first book was about conscious spending. Recently I’ve been writing about conscious health.

Health and spending money don’t seem to be related. But actually they are, because happiness is a contributor to our overall health.

In this short TED talk, based on research at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, Michael Norton explains that relationship. Continue reading

The party’s over. Now what?

It depends on what we set in motion.

This new year I was surprised to find myself more aware of it than usual. When I heard that 2017 is the beginning of a multi-year cycle, my heightened interest made sense. Each new year is a time for new beginnings, but the first year of a new cycle sets the tone for the next decade or so. Worth paying attention to, I’m thinking!

Another view of the significance of this time of year has to do with nature’s seasonal cycles. We have just passed the winter solstice, the time when we have the least amount of daylight and the days are cold in my part of the world. In terms of nature and growth, the harvest is completed and there’s a tendency toward rest and hibernation.

The stage is set.

Continue reading

Partying With Health-Conscious Friends

Hosting a party can be complicated these days. Here’s a musical description of the dilemma…then some of my practical suggestions for coping.

First, a quick primer…

Continue reading

Making Marshmallows? Yes!

Homemade marshmallows

So there you have it. I decided in favour of tradition. I got out my recipe card and the 1950s candy thermometer that my aunt passed on to me. I went back to making marshmallows for Christmas.

Not without some thought, as you might have guessed. Last week I said I’d be thinking about it, considering that sugar is a primary ingredient in homemade marshmallows. So this post is about how my thinking got me from there to here. If you want the recipe, you’ll find it here. Continue reading

Using Less Sugar in Holiday Sweets

It’s not surprising that we over-use sugar in this culture. As I discussed last week, the sugar industry long ago  manipulated public perception to believe that fat is really bad for our health and there is no need to be concerned about sugar. That isn’t actually true.

You can find lots of information about why to avoid sugar. Google it and you’ll see discussions of insulin resistance, inflammation, triglycerides, hypertension, fatty liver and, of course, diabetes.

And then this came from Dr. Alan Christianson in a mailing about not getting sick during the holidays. White blood cells are part of the immune system and when they are weakened, we are more likely to come down with a cold or the flu. Continue reading

Food matters.

Three years ago, I decided to educate myself as part of a self-designed program of recovery from complete thyroid impairment and endometrial cancer. I wanted to know what would give me the best shot at repairing the physical devastation I’d experienced.

It was my good luck that this decision occurred just when on-line health summits hit the Internet. I watched. I listened. I took notes.
Continue reading

What to eat !??

My recent posts have covered a lot about the mental-emotional aspects of becoming well. But without doubt, the food we eat plays an equally important role. That will be my focus for the next few weeks.

What to eat…and why?

That’s not a simple question. It depends on your individual constitution and condition. And even if you’ve got a handle on that, you’ll find conflicting opinions among practitioners. Continue reading

Stress: An Uncommon View

The usual view of stress:

Stress is the enemy—to be avoided  if possible, and managed when unavoidable.

But what if…

stress-is-call-to-action

Believe it or not, we need stress.

Continue reading

Process or Goals?

Last week I wrote about the inch-by-inch principle. This is the viewpoint that regaining health is a process rather than a goal. After reading that post, you may have thought I’m a proponent of aimless wandering  through life. Not at all!

Why can’t it be both a process and a goal?

I’ve always been intrigued by the notion of having my cake and eating it too. Why not a process with direction instead of one  or the other? Continue reading