love

Shyt, Shower, Shave

The man in my bed waking up next to me this morning AKA My Port Drinker AKA my husband, let out a big sigh as he rolled over to turn off his alarm.

And then I sighed.

I sighed because he sighed.

I don't like it when he sighs.

It's like a trigger that goes off inside me when I hear a hint of a grumble from him.

"What?" I said.

"Gotta go to work."

Yup.

Waking up and breathing is work.

Arising from a night's sleep, and then all the bombardment of thoughts in your head - that's a lotta work too.

A few weeks ago, we bought a new car.

Actually, it's not new at all.

It's a really old car.

But new for us.

And it works fine.

Part of the risk of buying a used car is that you don't actually know how well it runs.

Until you drive it a couple days, and then discover that it has enough problems that causes it not to pass its MOT.

(insert eye-rolling emoji here)

So, after a whole lotta car drama (long story), it's been in the car garage for the last 72 hours.

I am without a car.

I know. 

I'm spoiled.

But that's not the point here.

Not having a car when you are very used to and dependent on having one in this corner of the world in Southwest Nappy-Valley London (is that what they call it in this region?), forces you to step off the hamster wheel and start engaging your brain differently.

When we're on that hamster wheel, like goes like this:

Open eyes.

Wake up.

What's the first thing you think about?

You gotta pee.

Toilet!

While on the toilet, mums are probably hearing their kids yelling and screaming, and your body starts groaning and twitching because your mind is racing more and more with all the things that you have to do that day.

What's next?

Your brain thinks, "Shower."

"Food."

"Kids need food."

"What's today?"

"Kids need to get dressed. Did I wash their uniform yesterday?"

Kiss hubby goodbye.

"Oh god, what time is it?"

"School drop-off."

And your brain just goes 'round and 'round the hamster wheel.

Day in, day out.

But wait - what happens when your car breaks down?

Something pushes you off that hamster wheel.

You actually have to engage your brain differently and make other plans.

Change your thoughts, change your actions, change your brain.


Take your morning route for example.

Just changing your journey causes you to think differently. 

You’re off the hamster wheel because you went a different way to work. 

Think about it - you see different people, make changes in your scenery, and shift your point of view.

You’re not on zombie auto-pilot, which is how most people look every day doing the same thing over and over again.

So even though I’ve been without a car these last couple days and it’s a bit annoying, I’m actually noticing new things about my daily routine.

New refreshing thoughts have popped in my mind.

I even went to eat at a lovely cafe and I sat there to people watch for a few minutes. 

That was fun!

So, give it a go - activate your brain to create new connections, new synapses, and more growth.

It keeps your brain younger and lets your body experience new surges of hormones, emotions, and thoughts.

If you haven’t been adjusted for a while, make that a change in your routine!

A chiropractic adjustment is good for your brain and body in so many ways!

See you soon!

— Dr MaryAnne

The attitude of a 12-year-old

In the parenting world, I'm in what you could call the 'Sweet Spot'.

No nappies.

No more breastfeeding.

No more naps.

They can feed themselves.

They're all in school.

The Sweet Spot.

But, it's not gonna last for long.

My eldest is 12.

And there are more and more moments that reveal themselves to tell me that I'm slowly (not slow enough) coming out of that Sweet Spot.

Teenage attitude has peaked its head out.

And it hits you like, "WHAT WAS THAT?"

And then you go into this denial.

"Oh no no no," you're thinking.

That wasn't really attitude. That was an 'accident'.

But then it happens again.

And again.

Three months of this attitude that pops up more and more makes you, 

FORCES YOU

to get a grip and realise that the hormones have taken control.

Am I doomed?

Am I no longer in that Sweet Spot?

Those hormones are just crazy.

Not only does my daughter talk smack,

she knows how to negotiate, argue a good point, challenge my logic, and persist until I say yes.

I admit, she's good.

(She didn't get those skills from me. My husband's the negotiator. Among other things.)

The other thing about hormones is that I've noticed how much her body is changing.

Mostly for the good, but sometimes it's not fun for her.

And I can blame some of it from all the screen/mobile/device usage:

She's been complaining about spinal pain and headaches more frequently.

Before these changes started, I can't even remember her complaining about those things before.

And since her body has entered into that inevitable phase of puberty, she's come to me saying,

"Mom, can you give me an adjustment. My head is hurting a little."

And this week over half-term, she's had a different schedule, doing different things and activities including a lot of travel, and she's been complaining about feeling discomfort in her back.

And tonight I gave her her 3rd adjustment.

Each time she has laid down on the adjusting bench, I've noticed how her body is going through a big growth spurt.

There's so much development going on.

And I can see some things that are new and different too.

So, like I do for everyone else I adjust, I ask things.

This week I asked my daughter, "Are you excited or nervous about going back to school next week?"

Predictably, she answered, "What? Uhhhh, nope. Um I don't know."

She didn't know.

She's not aware enough.

Also, she's a little stubborn about sharing her feelings or insecurities with me.

But that's another issue I'm working on.

Teenagers go through incredible changes, and it's very important to help support their bodies go through them as best as possible.

The wonderful thing about my daughter's changes is that she's aware enough to know that she needs an adjustment.

There are some weeks where I don't adjust her at all.

And then like this past week, she gets three.

Sometimes our children need those boosts.

We as parents, especially as mums, know when our babies are not at 100%.

It's like the light in their eyes is dimmed.

Or they smell different.

Or, they sound differently when they talk to us.

We know.

That's when they need an adjustment the most.

Keeping their nervous systems and bodies in alignment and balance is so helpful in allowing them grow into their fullest potential.

To help them continually be their best.

So, if you sense that your child is going through a growth spurt, or some big change, or for any reason, bring them in for an adjustment.

One adjustment for a child goes a looong way.

See you at your next adjustment!

— Dr MaryAnne

 

Sometimes you just gotta boogie down, baby

Yesterday's email was all good and heartfelt.

Actually, I felt a little vulnerable there, to be totally honest with you.

A lot of my friends commented on my blog post about being broody by saying,

"Go for it. Have another baby!"

No way.

Anyway, that wasn't the point of the message.

I want to put more energy into my family.

My fun and crazy kids.

My husband.

And all the stress, joy, chaos, and spontaneity about it all!

Time to embrace it more!

I know that in about 30 years I'll be exhaling in joy, so proud and happy that I took this time to be fully present with my brood.

I know it'll all be worth it.

When I first became a mother 11.5 years ago, I had a really hard time going through the change from being such a career-driven woman, in New York City, always thinking about me, me, me, into being a new mother and experiencing such a new reality with a tiny human being.

It was hard.

And really uncomfortable.

I didn't like it.

But I knew in my heart this is what I wanted to do.

Now, I'm overwhelmed with the same drive, the same motivation to make some changes.

Change.

Some very physical and concrete: a huge house renovation, which will require us to move out temporarily so the builders can get in there and get it done.

We'll be living in a small flat during this time.

The five of us.

What could go wrong?

Five very big and loud people who like to demand space and their presence to be known.

I find myself stepping into a familiar feeling of discomfort.

I'm really uncomfortable.

And I'm not liking it.

Thoughts of doubt are creeping in. 

Thinking of the unknown.

How am I going to get through this?

The feeling of instability is very scary.

It's like a huge stretch and I don't think I can bend anymore.

Still, I'm standing my ground, remembering my purpose, my love for my kids, and how this time will bring me to a new place of freedom and joy in my life because I know it's what I want.

And that's the key. 

I WANT so many things in life, and sometimes to get there, to be that person, well, it takes a little instability and stretching along the way.

So I stick to what I know works best for me.

Eating well.

Sleeping well.

Exercising regularly.

Getting adjusted every week.

Creating my structure and sticking to it.

Choosing to do things that make me happy, and not feel guilty about it.

And, for me, it also doesn't hurt to have a nice glass of red wine every now and then.

Today, I've spent a big chunk of time doing things for my practice (like writing this to you guys).

Admin.

Organising notes.

And in between my thoughts I've been pausing to blast some good tunes, get up, and dance for 10 minutes just to get the blood to flow.

It feels good.

Gotta keep following my heart and passion. Stay on the path!

See you soon at your next adjustment!

Stay on YOUR path!

— Dr MaryAnne




 

I am broody

Many friends of mine tell me that I should have a fourth.

Baby, that is.

Another one?

Nope.

I'm done.

In fact, when I was preggers with my third child (who just turned six, by the way), I had a very direct and concrete feeling that I did NOT want to have another.

I was crystal clear DONE at three.

BUT.

There's an ongoing problem.

In my line of work, seeing many newborns regularly, holding them, adjusting them - it really messes with my head. 

And heart.

And my ovaries.

But again, when I think about having another newborn, I quickly snap out of it (most of the time) and land back on the ground.

Reality.

This really tested me though over the summer holidays.

I took a lot of time off to be with my family, driving out to France, frolicking on the beach and ocean in the Atlantic, drinking lots of wine, and eating lots of cheese and French baguettes. 

What more could a girl want?

Yum.

Anyway, my last trip wasn't REALLY a holiday. Well, it was, but the main purpose was to help my sister.

I was her birth partner.

For those of you who have had a baby, you know that the last couple weeks of pregnancy, especially if you have a two-year-old running around, it's so exhausting. 

Just take my word for it.

So I was there to help out my sister at the end of her pregnancy while we waited for her to go into labour.

And just as I predicated, she went into labour in the middle of my stay with her. 

Very convenient.

And she went into labour at a very sensible hour right after we all woke up in the morning.

Labour was quick, easy-peasy, and she gave birth to healthy hefty baby boy.

Then I finally got to hold him.

After all that time waiting!

And then the broodiness kicked in.

Oh boy.

He was so delicious to hold and snuggle with. 

Newborns are magical.

One of the most common things we think about when holding a brand new baby, just a couple hours old, is trying to comprehend that this baby was JUST inside another human being living and growing.

That never ceases to amaze me.

And these newborns hold so much purity and potential inside of them.  

That's what they smell like!

I had about nine more days with my sister to help her with her new baby, and I really savoured every minute with them.

(Her husband threatened to kidnap me because I was such a huge help in keeping the baby from crying.)

As the days went by being around my sister's family that went from three to four, I also missed my crazy gang back home.

My kids are much older than my sister's and it's like a whole other stage that I'm in with them.

Yet, it's bittersweet.

Each time I held my sister's baby (or played with her two-year-old), a new feeling came over me stronger and stronger, realising something.

It's the concept that we parents get told by our elders all the time:

"They grow too fast."

Of course, conceptually, it's easy to understand.

And I see it before my eyes with my own children.

But it never hit me the way it did while being away from my kids for over two weeks.

I knew that each day my children were growing and changing, just like all kids, and I was missing those moments.

I wasn't there to do all the things that I normally take for granted.

As mothers, we feel like we're running on a hamster wheel just pushing along trying to keep everyone happy, managing schedules, dinner, laundry, friends, our partners, our relationships.

And it goes on and on, every day.

Being away from my children for 16 days, AND being with my sister's family gave me the opportunity to see things from a completely different perspective. One that made me feel nostalgic knowing what my sister was going through with two children and adapting to everything, as well as another perspective making me see how every single minute of our babies' lives are opportunities to make them feel loved, appreciated, and secure.

When I came home last week, I was able to hug my kids with that new perspective, cherishing so much more how grateful I am that I have them, and that they are who they are, happy and healthy.

NOW I get the concept fully in a renewed way, so much so that I've taken more time to be with them, rather than constantly try to find some of my own free time.

One day I'll be 85, and I definitely don't want to find myself sitting there alone, in my favourite comfortable chair feeling regret about my children, wishing that I had spent more time with them.

I'll never get these days back.

Even now my memory is skittish, not remembering certain moments of my children's lives. Those little detailed things I did like how I potty trained my daughter, or when did they first sleep through the night.

Now I know that I don't want to miss anything.

My eyes have opened.

Which is why I've changed my time and schedule in my practice to fewer hours in order to put my family fully as a priority.

(Don't worry, I'm still adjusting and I can't wait to adjust you all!)

I know at times when the kids are driving me crazy I'll think, "What was I thinking?" I'll want to get away and escape.

But, the difference is that I'll realise that this moment, right now, I get to hug my children more and anytime I want when I spend more time with them.

And when I'm 85, I'll think back and say to myself, "It was alllll worth it."

(Be sure to keep checking my schedule to book yourself in for your next adjustment.)

— Dr MaryAnne

Get naked.

You know how children love running around naked when it's sunny outside?

Actually, if allowed, kids would simply rather be naked anywhere. 

They just don't have that filter set in by social standards.

Even my 11-year-old seems not to have this filter fully set in yet.

There comes a time eventually that we lose the art of loving nudity, loving our bodies.

Stay with me here.

The other day walking through Brixton (a very busy area in London) I saw a woman who looked totally depressed, angry, and miserable.

Her posture was horrible, she looked like she hadn't showered in a few days, and her body was out of shape by about 30 kilos (66 pounds)

I suddenly got all existentialist and thought,

"What happened to this woman? Why is she like this? What in her life lead her to this point?"

And then strangely, I thought about what her spine looked like and how it directly reflected what her life is like.

It's like I had x-ray vision.

Sometimes I feel like I have x-ray vision.

Yes, that's my secret.

I can see through your clothes.

I can see your naked body.

Like Superman and Supergirl.

(Why is she not called Superwoman?)

They have x-ray vision.

I think I do too.

Seriously though, when was the last time you took a good hard look at your naked body and felt carefree about it, just like when you were a little kid?

I wonder, when was the last time that miserable woman inspected her naked body?

Her posture?

Her health?

It saddens me to know that people can get to this state, to neglect their health and their bodies.

Because when you neglect your body, you're definitely not going to look at yourself naked in the mirror.

Are you?

And you're just not gonna care about your health.

My theory is that if you just start paying attention to your body, your naked body, by standing in front of a full length mirror and inspecting your posture, the way you stand, the way your shoulders slouch and the way your butt sags and tucks in, you're gonna notice some things that need changing.

If you pay attention and become more aware of your posture, especially when you're naked, you're more likely to do something about it.

Right?

Listen, I'm not saying you need to get into ship-shape, and look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Cindy Crawford.

I'm not even expecting you to like what you see in the mirror. 

We all have flaws.

Nobody's perfect.

Not even Cindy Crawford.

But you have to start somewhere.

Pay attention to your body.

Get naked.

And then do a dance.

Shake that naked booty!

Start taking care of it too!

See you at your next adjustment.

— Dr MaryAnne

They think you're stupid

They think you're stupid

No one can decide who you are and what you should do and who you can be. Only you can.

I wanna be a movie star and an astronaut

When I ask my son what he wants to be when he grows up, he usually says,

"I wanna be a YouTuber star, like a movie star. And definitely an astronaut."

Good goals, son.

Easy-peasy, right?

When did that question stop being fun to answer?

For me, it doesn't stop. 

Ever.

Because, actually, thinking like a child, being in the moment, with little or no sense of time, is really the way to view this tough world.

It is rough out there, and sometimes I wish I can literally push the pause button on the clock.

When I was a teenager, there was this American TV show where this girl was half-alien, and she had this one power:

She would touch her two index fingers together and time would just freeze.

Everyone around her would stand still.

Time would stop.

But she wouldn't. 

She could walk around people, tickle them, fart in their face, or whatever.

Time was paused.

Wouldn't that be so cool?

Well, it's highly disappointing, but that power just won't happen.

Instead, I'm thinking about my own way of time travel into the future.

It helps me get through my days now.

You know that sometimes annoying question, "Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?"

I know what my answer is, but I think for lots of people, it's not easy to answer.

For me, it's easier to imagine myself two years out.

Basically I imagine how I want my life to be and look like, and then I scale it backwards and visualise what I'd be doing to achieve that.

For example, one of my goals in my career is to start teaching other chiropractors paediatric adjusting. I have to train more for that and it'll take time to organise.

Also, we've always had plans to renovate our house. I have many desires for my beautiful newly renovated kitchen, and as many Londoners know, getting a house worked on is no joke.

There are so many steps to take with that!

These are just two clear examples, and there are many more, but you get my drift.

I'm very certain about how I want my life to look like in two years, and for me to have that in place, I know what I need to work on, plan, and get into action with.

One constant regular action step that's always there is getting adjusted.

How about you?

Gotta take care of your health, always.

See you at your next adjustment!

— Dr MaryAnne

People are wondering what the heck is happening to them

Here are examples of changes that some of my practice members experience:

  • A woman starts going to the gym for the first time in eight years and loses 35lbs (16kg). (She looks 10 years younger!)
  • A woman who was miserable, yet very dependent, in her job quits to find something she wants to do. (She also got rid of the boring relationship she felt stuck in.)
  • After being mostly bed-ridden from pain and fatigue on and off for 10 years, a woman has not only started exercising, and lifting weights, she's traveling, has her own business, and is enjoying life.
  • A woman who was trying to get pregnant for years, experienced failed IVFs and miscarriages, gets pregnant and has her first baby.
  • A young man, who finds his job dull and boring but doesn't really know what else he can do has found inspiration and insight in possibly going to chiropractic school. He's discovering a new passion that gets him hopeful and excited.
  • For the first time in 10 years, a woman who is scared to go to the gym, starts a program and goes to the gym regularly!

These are just a few of the examples of the changes that happen with regular NSA chiropractic care. 

Anything is possible, and it's up to the individual for these things to happen.

How does it happen?

Well, let's just say that your body, brain, and system are one river, with lots of flowing water. Over the years rocks and sticks, debris, and mud accumulate into the river which causes the water not to flow easily.

The chiropractic adjustments are like getting rid of those rocks and debris stuck in the river.

Helps the water clear up.

The water flows faster and better.

Also, sometimes, the chiropractic adjustments shift the rocks, moving them around to change the flow of the water. 

It creates a different flow.

A better flow.

The river is constantly changing and growing.

It has to adapt.

It makes sense that moving the rocks around will create change.

Anything is possible for that river.

I've said this before and I'll say it again: it's not just about the pain in your back, folks.

The pain will eventually reduce and go away, but only if you make changes in your life.

Chiropractic adjustments help your body function better.

Change is inevitable in the way you feel, think, and move.

That will have an impact on your life for sure.

And it's almost always a welcomed positive impact.

See you at your next adjustment!

— Dr MaryAnne