Healthy aging? Yes please!

September 14th, 2021

I had such a busy and fun weekend! I spent time with my mom and attended the home opener for the Kansas City Chiefs. Football is back! It was so good to be back at Arrowhead and what an exciting game it was. I hope your weekend was as enjoyable.

Last week we discussed the aging process, what it looks like and steps we can take to age more gracefully. This week we will discover additional ways to age in a healthy manner. According to the National Institute on Aging, “exercise and physical activity are good for you.” To me this is a no-brainer, but easier said than done. In my observations, the key to success is to find an activity that you enjoy doing and one that can be done year-round. Bonus points if there is a social aspect to it. For example, golf or walking with friends. These two activities do not have an age restriction, can be done with friends and depending on where you live can be done all year long. The reason I suggest having a social aspect is to add a layer of accountability on days when you need more encouragement to get out of the house. It is important to move your body every day, i.e., the old adage “move it/use it or lose it.” I do not want to lose my ability to walk, jog, bend or stretch, so I am revamping my schedule to include time every day to keep moving.

 Another area the National Institute on Aging suggests reviewing and modifying is your food intake. Your food intake is more than just the amount of food you consume, as it also includes the type of food you put in your body. Think of it this way – if you put watered-down gas in your car, your car is not going to run correctly or efficiently. The same goes for our bodies. Leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, and lean protein are much better for our bodies than fast food, processed foods, and artificial sugars. I enjoy comfort food, which is not the healthiest choice, so I try to balance it out by limiting the amount and frequency I consume these foods. Truth be told, these foods often make me feel sluggish, tired, and bloated after eating. Sorry if that was too much personal information! I just want to be honest and transparent. In my experience, changes in your diet have a greater chance of becoming a lifestyle if they are small and manageable. Also give yourself grace! If you make a mistake, move on and do better at the next meal, as your day, week and month are not a failure.

As always if you have any questions, please contact me to schedule an appointment to take a deeper dive into the subject. Whether this is the first time reading my blog, or you are a loyal subscriber, Thank you! I am so glad you tuned in this week! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

We are all getting older, what exactly does that mean?

September 7th, 2021

The weather was beautiful this weekend. I can’t think of a better way to recharge my battery after a long work week than spending time with my family, enjoying the sunshine, and making memories! How did you spend your last weekend of summer? I like to think of Labor Day as the beginning of football season, instead of focusing on the end of long days and sunshine. This month we will be talking about the aging process and how to age healthy and in a graceful manner.

According to PubMed, the aging process can be defined as, “the progressive accumulation of changes with time that are associated with or responsible for the ever-increasing susceptibility to disease and death which accompanies advancing age.” Sounds a little depressing to me and not exciting at all. There are several contributing factors that can speed up/slow down the rate of aging. I believe that we can prepare and support our bodies today to make the aging process more manageable and more enjoyable. This sounds like a more promising prospect, right?

Aging is a normal process, but the rate can be impacted by several factors including your exposure to free radicals, diet, exercise level and genetics. You may be asking yourself, “What are free radicals?” Free radicals are produced in the body as a byproduct of metabolism (known as oxidation) or by exposure to environmental toxins (tobacco smoke, UV light, etc.).  

Self-care is a great place to begin! It can improve your quality of life as well as your quantity of life. The good news is that antioxidants can reduce the damage free radicals would cause to our bodies. The better new is that many fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, so fill your diet with these to lower your risk of diseases. We can also limit our exposure to synthetic chemicals by changing our hygiene and cleaning products to natural products, using essential oils instead of candles, and eating fewer processed foods. Exercise can slow the aging process by maintaining many body systems, including muscle, bone, and immune systems. We can’t change our genetics, but we can be more aware and proactive in the aging process. This is not an exhaustive list, but it is a good place to begin making small and lasting changes! As always if you have any questions, please contact me to schedule an appointment to take a deeper dive into the subject.

Whether this is the first time reading my blog, or you are a loyal subscriber, Thank you! I am so glad you tuned in this week! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

Develop a plan to manage your pain.

August 31st, 2021

Recharging was my theme this past weekend as I took time to get away from it all and practice a little self-care. I hope you are making time for your own self-care in your schedule, no matter how busy it may be. Let me know how you practice self-care and your go-to self-care practice. I would like to create a list of self-care practices to list on my website as a reference guide for y’all. I know it would be a source of new ideas for me and my hope is that it would be the same for you or a starting point if you do not currently have a self-care routine.

As we wrap up the month of August and our discovery of pain, we will discuss how to create a plan to manage your pain. If you haven’t noticed by now, I like to have a plan in place that way I know how to get to my destination. I will credit it to me being a control freak. Creating a plan when you do not need it can prevent anxiety when pain does happen. Learning to listen to your body should be the very first step in your plan, this will help you to know what type of pain it is, the possible cause/source of pain, what activities aggravate it, what activities relieve it, etc., so that when you reach out to a professional (chiropractor, massage therapist, acupuncturist, medical doctor, surgeon, pain management specialist, etc.) you can provide them with adequate information.

The next step in your plan is to decide what direction you want to go in terms of your healthcare. Do you want to stay Eastern medicine, Western medicine, or a combination of the two? If you want to go more of a Western medicine route this could include over-the-counter pain relievers, visiting your doctor for prescription pain relievers, talking with a surgeon to discuss surgery options for your specific condition/symptoms. The eastern medicine route could include heat or ice, stretching, changing your diet, adding/changing nutritional supplements, seeing a nutritionist, chiropractic care, massages, acupuncture, meditation, using essential oils and/or crystals.  

As I stated before, I tend to go more the eastern medicine route but not always. About 4 years ago I began my journey with Young Living and am now more conscious of what ingredients I am consuming and exposing to my body. I am not prefect and only eating clean today but am a work in progress. I find that making small changes or switching out one item is manageable and gives you a better chance at lasting change and success. Use your resources to create your plan, I am one of those resources for your health and wellness. If you want help in creating a plan to manage your pain, contact me to schedule a time to meet in person or via zoom.

Whether this is the first time reading my blog, or you are a loyal subscriber, Thank you! I am so glad you tuned in this week! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

Pain – how to cope.

August 24th, 2021

It is definitely August in Kansas! It is important to listen to your body when temperatures and heat indexes get this high. Make sure you are staying hydrated and taking breaks in the shade to cool off. This week we will discuss treatment options and coping methods in dealing with pain. As discussed last week, the treatments for pain are as endless as the types of pain, so this list is not exhaustive, but it is a great place to begin.

My personal preference is to begin with the least evasive and most economical options available and appropriate to the situation. I firmly believe in the old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, which is why I regularly stretch and walk. Exercise also helps to keep your body functioning properly. If you experience pain when exercising, I suggest that you work with a personal trainer to get one-on-one help. They will be able to ensure you are doing the exercises correctly and provide modified exercises, if necessary.

I also am working on the nutrition side of my diet. Something interesting that I found in my research on food/nutrition is that there have been studies done showing that food can be the source of inflammation in our bodies, resulting in pain. Sometimes supplements are recommended in addition to diet, because a good source of the vitamin/nutrient is not readily available, or the quantity/quality are lacking in a food source. The quality of your vitamins and supplements is of upmost importance. If you need help in this area, contact me to schedule a wellness consultation.

Have you tried meditation? This may seem very woo-woo to you, but don’t knock it until you at least give it a shot. This can help center your mind, so that you are able to hear and listen better to what your body/mind is telling you. Scheduling downtime during a busy season of your life is a great step in your self-care journey. Scheduling monthly massages can help you mentally cope with pain, as well as possibly providing relief from pain by targeting the source. I also recommend seeing a chiropractor and/or acupuncturist to treat physical pain.

For more severe pain, western medicine may be the only option that helps. Seeing a doctor for pain medicine, muscle relaxers and/or surgery is an option. Every situation is different and there is no shame in asking for help to deal and cope with pain. It is most important to relieve the pain and begin enjoying life again. Pain should never steal your joy of life, long-term. Reach out to me if you need more ideas/direction when it comes to addressing your pain.

Whether this is the first time reading my blog, or you are a loyal subscriber, Thank you! I am so glad you tuned in this week! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

Pain – your treatment options.

August 17th, 2021

The heat has been ridiculous, but thankfully we had a little reprieve from it this past weekend! It seems crazy to me that schools have already begun. Where did the summer go? When my week is slower, as far as massages go, my mind seems to go a hundred miles a minute in a creative direction. I have been busy brainstorming several ways to better serve y’all, my community. I am loving the feedback, so keep it coming! Let me know what you want to learn about or maybe a problem that you are struggling with when it comes to self-care or overall wellness.

Last week we learned how to hear our bodies and this week we will transition to listening to our bodies. Stick with me! Listening to our bodies requires action. We heard last week what our bodies were telling us as far as pain. For example, I had a headache. Listening to my body came when I put on my glasses when I was using the computer, drinking water throughout the day to make sure I was hydrated and using some trigger points to relieve the tight muscles that could have been the source of my pain. This is the protocol that works for me and is the result of many years of listening to my body and trying different techniques to see which one(s) work for me. Sometimes my headaches can be alleviated with caffeine or a trip to my chiropractor, it all depends on the situation. This further illustrates the process of listening to your body.

The treatment options for pain are as numerous as the types of pain. Personally, I begin with the least aggressive treatment options that target the source of pain, versus treatment options that just mask the symptoms. I make sure I’m hydrated. Have I stretched? When was my last massage appointment? When did I last see my chiropractor? Would ice or heat be an appropriate treatment option? Would exercising or going for a walk help? What does your gut tell you? The questions that you ask yourself need to be in line with the amount/type of pain you are experiencing. If you broke your leg, go to the ER because drinking water is not going to help alleviate the pain or start the healing process, as your condition requires medical intervention.

For some this may be a new viewpoint and for others this may be your normal thought process, it all depends on where you are in your wellness journey. Please be patient with yourself as you are learning these new skills, remember this is a process and not a destination. Let me know if any of this is resonating with you. Next week will take a deeper dive into treatment options and coping methods for pain.

Whether this is the first time reading my blog, or you are a loyal subscriber, Thank you! I am so glad you tuned in this week! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

Learn to listen to your body and recognize pain.

August 10thd, 2021

How are y’all doing this week? The heat has returned to the Kansas City metro just in time for the return of concerts and football. I have been in a very creative headspace lately, so make sure you are keeping up to date with me on social media as I will be posting a poll later this week. I want your feedback so that I can better serve my community! Continuing our exploration into pain, today we will learn how to listen to our bodies so we can better recognize pain.

We can feel all types of pain, but do we really feel it and recognize it? Stick with me! Let me explain it this way: we can hear somebody talking but this is different than listening. I can feel the pain of a headache, but if I learn to listen to my body, I can tell you that the pain is like a vice squeezing my head concentrated at both temples, radiating down to both sides of my jaw. Doesn’t this create a more complete picture of the pain? This can be helpful when you seek treatment from a massage therapist, chiropractor, or other wellness professional, because it hints at the origin and type of pain. I strive to teach every one of my clients to learn to listen to their body.

Listening to your body is great in theory, but how do you that? I’m so glad you asked! It is a process, but not an overnight process. I would suggest first setting aside 15 minutes today to do the following:

  • Lay down on the floor, use cushions if needed
  • Make sure electronics are on silent and in a different room, unless you need to set timer
  • Remove any distractions from room
  • Quiet your mind and focus on what you feel: any pain, the texture of the floor, your breath
  • Make mental notes of any discomfort or pain you feel and then explore that pain. Is it a dull ache, stabbing pain, hot fire poker, tightness/tension?

What did you learn about your body? If you need more help with this exercise, reach out to me and I will schedule a time to help you in your journey.

Whether this is the first time reading my blog, or you are a loyal subscriber, Thank you! I am so glad you tuned in this week! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

What is Pain?

August 3rd, 2021

How are y’all doing this week? Can you believe it is already August? This year is flying by quickly, but August means the start of one of my favorite seasons, football! I am a huge football fan and can’t wait to be back at the stadium for tailgating and games. I know for some, August is crazy because you are getting the kids ready to go back to school and start a new routine. I hope this a pain-free process, and everyone is able to transition smoothly into a regular schedule. August is pain awareness month, and I will be exploring what pain is, how to listen to your body, how to deal with pain and how to develop your personal plan when it comes to pain. Needless to say, August is going to be a busy month, but I hope you find the blogs helpful.

What is pain? Merriam-Webster defines pain as “a localized or generalized unpleasant bodily sensation or complex of sensations that causes mild to severe physical discomfort and emotional distress and typically results from bodily disorder (such as injury or disease).” According to the American Nurse Association, pain has seven core aspects: physical, sensory, behavioral, sociocultural, cognitive, affective, and spiritual. Wow, have you learned anything yet? I sure have, I am familiar with physical, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of pain but not with the other characteristics.

Let’s dive into how these characteristics of pain look. Physical is probably the one we are all most familiar with as this refers to current of recent changes in the person’s physical appearance and vital signs. Sensory includes quality and severity of pain, subjective information that only the person experiencing the pain can provide. Behavioral is the patient’s verbal and nonverbal behavior response to pain. Sociocultural refers to how the patient’s social and cultural background effect their perception of and response to pain. Cognitive aspect is the patient’s thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, intentions, and motivations related to pain and its management. The patient’s emotional feelings in response to pain, refers to the affective dimension of pain. The spiritual dimension could affect pain-management planning as this refers to the ultimate meaning and purpose the patient attributes to pain, self, others and the divine.

There are obviously more layers to pain than just the physical signs and what we feel or experience as a result of pain. Did you realize all the factors that go into our pain experience and how much we have trained our mind to listen to or ignore the pain signals? We can experience more intense pain if we have been taught that any pain is unbearable or if we have unresolved or trapped negative emotions. I recently began reading a book, The Emotion Code, that explains what trapped emotions are and how they can negatively affect our overall health. The book doesn’t stop there as it also teaches you how to find and release any trapped emotion that you may have.

I hope I have not overwhelmed you with information this week and that you will join me the rest of this month as we continue to look closer at pain. Whether this is the first time reading my blog, or you are a loyal subscriber, Thank you! I am so glad you tuned in this week! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

Safe alternative to UV rays, without sacrificing the tan!

July 27th, 2021

*Just a warning – this blog post is long but packed with great information! *

How are y’all doing this week?  With summer in full swing, I’m curious as to what your tried-and-true tricks are to surviving the oppressive heat? I am so excited y’all! This is my very first interview for my blog and I am now brainstorming how to launch a second blog, as a result of the good vibes and overall excitement that came from the conversation l had with Heather. When I began my outline for this month’s blogs and knew I would be discussing safe alternatives to UV rays, as far as getting tanned skin, contacting Heather was the only logical option for me. I know Heather via her mom, and I follow her on social media. She is very inspirational, and I hope this blog entry does my interview with her justice.

To begin the interview, I asked Heather to explain her why. Her answer shocked me! She explained that she started going to a tanning salon and using a tanning bed, on a very regular and frequent basis, at the age of 11. This is something she would do with her mom. At the age of 17, she discovered that she had Basil Cell cancer and had it removed twice. This did not deter her tanning habit though, as she continued to go to the tanning beds. Skin cancer is, unfortunately, something she still deals with as recently as last month, due to the lasting damage she has because of her use of tanning beds. She no longer uses tanning beds and has not for several years, because her grandma asked her to stop. Heather also saw the scars that her grandma had from having skin cancer removed and she knew she did not want that to be her future. As a result, at the age of 20, she began spray tanning.

How long has Safely Sunning been in business? Courtney started Safely Sunning 9 years ago. Heather began working there 5 or 6 years ago and she bought the business 3 years ago.

Who gets spray tans? She says literally everyone – ages 4 to 97. Her young clients are pageant competitors or competition dancers and the more mature clientele are retired and she serves every age in between.

Do you offer any other services? She also offers teeth whitening at Safely Sunning. Heather is also a cosmetologist.

What is your rule about self-talk/body image and how did that come about?  I asked this question because she had mentioned it in one of her social media posts. I fell in love with it and had to ask her more about it. Her policy came about as she was tired of negative self-talk by her clients and all of the apologizing for life experiences, not to mention the awkward position that it puts her in and what response did people expect her to give? She decided to get a poster made – “House rules – no self-deprecation, no apologies for flaws or bodily functions.” How amazing is that! This poster automatically puts her clients at ease and keeps Heather away from the awkward position of not knowing how to respond. I think this is a great reminder to love your body and appreciate everything that you have gone through, whether it be childbirth, surgery or just life!

How did you pivot over the past year and a half?

Heather was shut down, along with most of the service industry, for 10 weeks last year at the beginning of the pandemic. Going through it and not knowing when you were going to be able to return or how that was going to look is terrifying!  After a freak out, with blunt encouragement from her husband, Heather came up with the catchy “Quarin-tan” kits. This included retail items that were just sitting in her shop. She offered 3 different kits at 3 different price points and only advertised them on her personal Facebook page. She sold out in 20 minutes! She personally delivered these kits to her customer’s front door. The kits were such a success that Heather reordered product several times from different companies and sold out every time. She decided that if she was going to sell that many products, she should be selling her own. After several trips to Dallas, she finally had her own products that she is still selling in her shop today.

After hearing how passionate Heather is about her business, I had to know what she enjoyed most about it.

Heather loves the day-to-day variety and seeing the transformation of her clients. For her it has always been about the clients. The built-in friendships and support system is a perk that she never expected when she started this journey. Please check out her website and follow her business on social media to be inspired on a regular basis.  

I want to thank Heather for taking time out of her busy schedule to help educate myself and my readers. Whether this is the first time reading my blog, or you are a loyal subscriber, Thank you! I am so glad you tuned in this week! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

The Dangers of UV Rays

July 20th, 2021

How was your week? Last week I had a minor speed bump that caused me to slow down in the form of an injury to my fingertip. I was prepping vegetables, in an attempt to eat healthier lunches, when my knife slipped and nearly cut the end of my fingertip off! With that said, I hope your week went more smoothly than mine. It could have been a lot worse, but it was far from convenient. Through trials we have two choices -adapt/pivot or give up. Y’all should know by now that giving up is not an option for me. I kept busy learning new techniques and helping in the office. Over the past couple of weeks, we have discovered what UV rays are and the valuable benefits they provide, lets dive into the risks associated with UV rays.

First let me say this blog is not meant to be intimidating or sound doomsdayish, but to provide you with information associated with the risks of UV exposure. When we are informed, we can then take steps of precaution and know what risks are associated with that item or activity.

 According to the EPA, the risks of UV exposure include skin cancer, skin damage (i.e., premature aging), eye damage (i.e., cataracts), and immune system suppression. You may be thinking the last one is a contradiction as I just told you last week that UV rays can boost your immune system. It is all about moderation! Our skin is our body’s first line of defense and if that is damaged by overexposure, our immune system can, in fact, be weakened.

Caused by overexposure to UV rays, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US, according to the CDC. How do we protect ourselves from overexposure? Seek out shade in the form of a shade tree, umbrella, or shelter. Our clothing can help as well: long sleeved shirts and long pants, large-brimmed hats, and sunglasses. Sunscreen, when used correctly, provides a great barrier of protection from UV rays as well. You need to reapply according to the instructions and activity type/level.

When I was doing my research for this topic, tanning beds kept popping up in all articles. They are not a safe alternative to sun exposure. This may seem like a no-brainer to some and a complete shock to others. Tanning beds and salons were extremely popular when I was in high school and college, it seemed like everyone was doing it. This is yet another trend I did not follow, and the reasons are endless: lack of time, cost, claustrophobia, inability to be still for any period of time and I am very fair skinned and easily burn. It never appealed to me. I will touch more on this topic next week with my first interview for my blog! It is about an entrepreneur with a personal connection to the dangers of UV rays and a passion to make people feel beautiful and comfortable in their own skin.

Whether this is the first time reading my blog, or you are a loyal subscriber, I am so glad you tuned in this week! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

Benefits of UV Rays

July 13th, 2021

How was your week? Did you enjoy some UV rays over the weekend? I am staying super busy with work but am loving our cooler than usual July temperatures and the sunshine when I can. I do wear my sunscreen, limit my time in the sun and make sure to stay hydrated. Are you ready to hear about the perks of UV rays?

According to www.sciencing.com, UV light does have positive effects on us. The website confirms UVA rays spark our bodies to produce vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential to the health of our bones, muscles, and immune system. How cool is it that just a little safe sun exposure can result in more vitamin D?  Sun exposure also boosts our mood! Ever notice how grouchy people are in the winter or when it is cloudy for 3 days in a row? If you need a free mood booster, spend a little time outside in the sunshine. I find that if I can spend 5 or 10 minutes in the sunshine, I am happier and more energized!

Man-made UV rays are beneficial in disinfection and sterilization, as these rays kill bacteria and viruses. Hospitals, dental offices, and other medical facilities often use UV ray machines to sterilize their medical instruments. I have even seen some nail salons utilize UV rays to disinfect their manicure tools.

In my research for this article, several websites mention that sunlight/uv rays are beneficial in the treatments of certain skin conditions, including psoriasis, and in protection from infections. I can not speak to these individual treatments as I am not a doctor, but if you are curious about possible treatment plans, I encourage you to reach out to your dermatologist or primary care physician for more information.

Sunlight/UV rays are necessary for the growth and survival of plants. Without going into a lot of detail, plants create their own food by turning solar radiation into glucose. Without plants we would eventually starve from lack of food and run out of air to breathe.

Despite the positive effects of sunlight/UV rays, you should take proper precautions when enjoying the sunshine. Please wear appropriate sunblock, hats, sunglasses, and clothing. This was a challenging blog to write because of the precautions you need to observe while enjoying the benefits of the sun. I love warm weather and sunshine, but must remember to experience it responsibly.

Whether this is the first time reading my blog, or you are a loyal subscriber, I am so glad you tuned in this week! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

Life with Lacey

Self-care is not selfish, but very necessary!