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  • Dr. Blackburn

Simple Ways to help with grief



I had a dream. The dream was of one of my patients. In the dream she was in a wheel chair with her family. The sun was shining and she was talking to me. I cannot remember what she was saying, but I remember feeling comfort during the talk. This dream was 3 nights ago. This morning I looked into why I may have had this dream by searching her name. The first headline was her obituary. She passed away after losing her battle to cancer. The last time I saw her was a month prior. She was positive, strong, and determined to beat this cancer that came on extremely fast. We had not heard from her except for a voicemail saying she was in the hospital. I knew the cancer was aggressive, but she always came in with a smile on her face, grateful to be with us. I guess in my heart I didn't want to see that her time may be soon.

My heart breaks for her family as they have lost one of the sweetest women I have ever met. She was so strong. This is a struggle for so many of us, losing someone we love and cherish. I may not have known her for long, but her impact she made on us was huge.

Personally, I have had a lot of loss in my life with the passing of my father a few years ago and multiple family members passing from some form of Cancer. How do you handle the grief of this? Although someone may not be close to you, the impact of losing them can be great, as I have learned. Unfortunately, this is an all too familiar for a lot of us. Grief comes in all forms and a can cause health issues if not addressed appropriately. What may causes you grief and what may cause me grief can be very different and how we handle with it as well.

Some steps can help with grief and the stress of it. I have done all of these and will continue to do so. They may seem small but the smallest efforts can make the largest impact on you and your health.

1. Seeking a Grief counselor. They are specifically trained to help you manage the stress of losing someone close to you. They can give you strategies for helping you cope. The key is to finding someone you trust. It is okay to do multiple consultations to see who may be best equipped to help you. Take this time as "self care."

2. Support system. If you have lost someone extremely close to you, reach out to those who have also lost that person. It may be a family member or a friend. Confide in them, share stories, and honestly just have them close to you. You could also attend group sessions with people going through the same type of grief, such as losing a loved one to cancer. Cry. Cry as much as you need to. Get it all out of your system. Not letting your emotions release will cause significant chronic issues in the future


3. Get adjusted. Seeking gentle, specific Chiropractic care will help your nervous system. It can help balance your parasympathetic (rest and digest)and sympathetic (fight or flight) systems. Most people are in a constant state of Fight or flight. Chiropractic care can also boost your "feel good" hormones like Serotonin and Dopamine.

4. Stay active. Getting out of bed or off the couch when you feel your intuition telling you to do so is your cue your body needs some love. Start with a short walk around your block if that is all you can do. Yoga and riding a bike are other low impact exercises. Exercise will increase your "happy hormones" helping you push through the stressor of grief. Remember, anything is better than nothing.

5. Drink your water. With stress, our body loses a lot of water. Recommendation is 1/2 your body weight in ounces. If you are 120lbs you need at least 60 ounces of water a day. With stagnation and dehydration, it can lead to Kidney problems (Kidney Stones), increased or poor appetite, and sleeping problems to name a few. You are going through major stressors which dehydrate your cells. You body is dealing with a lot and the simple act of drinking fluids can help your body flush toxins being built up in your system because of the affects of grief.

6. Keep the light one. Keep the light on in your heart. Don't go dark on the people who care about you. Allow them to help. Try your hardest not to shut them out or pretend it isn't happening. It is okay and almost vital to reach out and ask for help. Find those around you that you trust and are able to communicate with. For the most part, many of us can relate and talking about it and taking action is an AMAZING first step!


7. Proper Supplementation. L-Theanine and 5-HTP are my GO-TO's when I am dealing with stress,grief, anxiety, depression. I also recommend these to patients. 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is an amino acid that plays an important role in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter known to be associated with the feeling of well-being. In addition to supporting a healthy mental outlook and mood, studies have also Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon. shown serotonin to encourage deeper sleep and to support healthy appetite regulation. L-Theanine is an amino acid shown to be the constituent responsible for the calming properties of green tea. L-Theanine can cross the blood-brain barrier and enhances healthy alpha brain-wave activity, which is associated with a relaxed, but alert state. At the same time, L-Theanine helps to support the health of brain cells exposed to typical stimulation from excitatory neurotransmitters.


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