Author Archives: wellnesswinz

About wellnesswinz

I'm Maggie Winzeler. I've been a fitness professional for 15 years. My experience has taught me that tough workouts are great, but wellness is even better. Wellness transforms our bodies and hearts.

The Importance of Spiritual Wellness for People from all Faith Backgrounds

People use the phrase “mind, body, spirit” all the time. We acknowledge that an equilibrium of these three dimensions is foundational for our thriving and wellness, and yet we give very little attention to the spirit. Our energies are poured into exercise, nutrition, mindfulness, meditation, and even therapy, but tending to the spirit feels unfamiliar and intangible, especially in the many hours spent living beyond the walls of religious institutions.

The idea that spiritual wellness is tied exclusively to places and rituals of formal religious groups is a notion that keeps many people afraid of diving deeper into spiritual exploration. There are an overwhelming number of people who have experienced some form of church abuse or disillusionment, and who cast aside their spiritual needs thinking that if they are unchurched or unsure of their religious affiliations that spiritual wellness is something unattainable or irrelevant, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

 

 

I’m one of the lucky ones. I was raised in a healthy religious community by parents who gave me a stable foundation but also allowed me the freedom to think critically and explore my own beliefs. For this reason, I’ve felt comfortable contemplating what spiritual wellness means to me within the context of my own faith while also considering its importance and application to people from diverse backgrounds.

These are some questions I’ve sat with over the years and that have guided my journey for clearer answers:

Is spiritual wellness the same for people from different spiritual belief systems?

Does spiritual wellness require identifying with a specific religion or is a person still able to pursue it if they’re temporarily (or permanently) disaffiliated from a formal place of worship?

Is spiritual wellness attained by adhering to specific daily practices or is there flexibility to engage in different aspects of spirituality depending on the circumstances?

Is spiritual wellness best achieved alone or in community? In quiet meditation or group worship and prayer?

How and why is spiritual wellness relevant for atheists and non-religious individuals?

The answers I have found are not elitist or exclusive. They come from many years spent studying wellness and striving to better understand and educate others about it. In the simple diagram below you will see the various main components of spiritual wellness including morals & values, prayer, community, compassion, beliefs, meditation, private contemplation, and service.

 

 

Each of these eight aspects of spiritual wellness are important for a person’s well-being; however, each person will find that they gravitate towards certain expressions of spiritual wellness more than others. For example, an atheist might be more drawn to compassion or service over prayer. A Christian might pour more energy into prayer and community than meditation. A Buddhist might practice meditation and private contemplation more than community. A Hindu devoted to practicing Ashtanga is potentially and uniquely engaged in all of the components of spiritual wellness, or is at least encouraged to pursue them.

It’s okay to spend more energy in one area of spiritual wellness over another, and what we focus on or need is likely to ebb and flow throughout life. The important thing is to recognize that ALL of these eight components are fulfilling to humans and aid us in spiritual meaning and growth. Also, despite some beliefs to the contrary, each of these components is applicable across religious and non-religious belief systems.

 

 

There are some Christians who believe meditation is sinful because it allows the mind to wander and be tempted by “the evil one,” but meditation can be practiced in a Christ-honoring way, focusing the mind on the Cosmic Christ’s love, peace and light within. Similarly, atheists might feel that prayer is ridiculous because they don’t believe in a higher power, but prayer can come in the form of communicating with creation (“Dear Universe”), privately and intentionally confessing one’s overwhelm or needs, or saying a prayer directed towards expressing love and learning from one’s ancestors or hope and healing for future generations. In this way, you begin to see how each component is important even if a bit unfamiliar or uncomfortable.

I want you to consider how the components of spiritual wellness work within your own life. I invite you to ponder which areas could use more growth, which ones intimidate you (and why), and which ones feel most organic for how you desire to live with purpose.

Lastly, I encourage you to lean gently in the direction of what puts you out of your comfort zone. I believe wholeheartedly this is where we are invited to grow the most in unexpected and beautiful ways that foster greater spiritual wellness and mind/body/spirit health.

 

 

I hope that putting spiritual wellness into a tangible framework and terms helps you focus on it in more meaningful and holistic ways. All of our souls are thirsty, but they can be quenched and live life to the fullest.

The world is in dire need of more people who recognize and recommit to living a spiritual life. Will you be one of them?

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

 

 

 

What the Transition Phase of Exercise Can Teach Us About the Body and Life

In my 15+ years spent working with people’s bodies, I have yet to see a single person willingly slow down during the “transition phase” of an exercise. The body’s tendency is to rush through it, but this is unquestionably the most important part of every exercise movement. The transition phase is where we experience the greatest challenge and reap the most benefit.

So, what is the transition phase and what can it teach us about how to optimize our workouts? Better yet, what can it teach us about living a life of wellness?

 

 

What’s the Transition Phase? Why is it Important?

Simply put, the transition phase is the hardest part of any given exercise movement when the muscle(s) goes from a shortening action to a lengthening one, or vice versa. In weightlifting terminology these actions are called concentric (shortening/contracting) and eccentric (lengthening/elongating). Every single active exercise involves muscular transition phases including running, walking, lifting, dancing, team sports, and more. Static exercises that involve holding a posture or position are the only ones that don’t (ex: a plank hold or staying in down dog) .

Transition phases typically happen at the top or bottom of an exercise movement. For example, the bottom of a squat is a transition phase and the top of a shoulder press is a transition phase. Both of these examples are when the direction of the movement is changing and the muscles have to work harder, especially when lengthening and becoming less stable. This is when many people begin to feel fatigued and rush through the movement. For example, a person a doing squats will pop back up to standing as quickly as they can or will avoid going as low as earlier reps. A person doing the shoulder press might also rush, limit range of motion by not fully extending in the elbows, or forget to breathe.

As long as a person isn’t risking injury, it’s best to slow down during the transition phase instead of hurry up. While this leads to greater discomfort in the short term, it yields far greater returns in strength, stamina, and flexibility.

Not all reps are made equal.

People can rush through the transition phase for 12 reps of a shoulder press and have so-so gains in strength or they can take their time and work with their breath to slowly move through those same 12 reps and yield far greater muscle breakdown from the workout. As you probably already know, muscle breakdown is what leads to soreness. Recovering from soreness is part of the necessary equation for muscle and strength gains.

Slow Transition Phase = More Muscle Breakdown = Sore Muscles =

*Greater Strength

(*after recovery)

We humans have a fondness for physical comfort but ironically, that’s not what propels us forward the most.

 

 

Approach the Transition Phase with Wisdom

I’m not one to preach “go hard or go home” about anything, especially fitness. I used to be gung-ho about working out and putting myself through the gauntlet but that’s no longer my approach. I’ve matured over time and now see how harmful that mentality can be – for my own health and for my clients’ well-being. Pushing hard even when our bodies scream to stop or slow down is a really good way to risk injury.

With this in mind, it’s crucial that we approach the transition phase of each exercise rep with wisdom. Listening to our bodies is crucial to avoid injury and burnout. There are times when working hard helps us grow and other times when it can have quite the opposite effect. If we’re sick, run down physically, emotionally depleted, overcome with stress, or under-rested then we serve our bodies best by choosing to recover. At the very least we must learn to balance our strenuous exercises with meditation, stretching, and relaxation to calm our nervous systems.

In summary: You must be judicious about how much and when you push hard through each movement. Never ignore warning signs from your body such as dizziness, sharp pain, joint discomfort, lightheadedness, nausea, the sensation that you might drop the weight at any moment, etc. It’s important that you know when to stop.

 

 

Life Lessons from the Transition Phase

Change takes time

We’ve all heard the old adage “change takes time” and that’s true with more than exercise. Certain things take time even when we would prefer them not to – like pregnancy, education, wine making, you name it. The real life examples are endless and there are tangible consequences for shortchanging seasons of transition and growth.

I used to be the kind of person who wanted to get everything done in a hurry. When I had my first child a full month early for no clear reason I wondered how much of my innate desire to control and rush through life had harmed things. Although my son turned out to be healthy, the experience compelled me to approach my following four pregnancies quite differently. I allowed myself a lot more rest and took things slower than I might have otherwise done. The need to be patient and calm as my body changed was crucial during the major physical and emotional transitions of each pregnancy.

Breathe through stress

Learning to breathe is crucial during the transition phase in exercise. Inhaling gives us the necessary oxygen for exercise and exhaling gives us a burst of force (and a tighter core) to get through the hard part of a rep. The same goes for life. We must learn to breathe deeply for optimal health and nervous system regulation. Shallow breathing results in staying in a fight-or-flight mode with high stress hormones that wreak havoc on our health. Breathwork can help us physically and emotionally regulate our bodies during overwhelming transitions like moving homes, starting a new job, preparing to get married, trying to conceive, etc.

 

 

Spiritual Transition Phases

Transition phases can happen physically, emotionally and spiritually. The world is more interconnected digitally than ever before and this exposure to new ways of thinking and living has the potential to change people’s worldview and beliefs. I personally believe we are collectively moving away from religious exclusivism and elitism but that this slow-moving evolution (i.e. transition phase) comes with growth pains and pushback, especially from fundamentalist groups. I will be curious to see if humanity can find new and healing ways to come together spiritually. If we can, I believe the health of both humanity and the earth will improve. Women’s individual and collective wellness will benefit too.

 

 

Wellness is Defined by the Transitions

Wellness will always be inclusive of the things in life that push us through discomfort and challenge us to grow. Wellness is more of a holistic approach to living than it is a static state of unchanging good health.

The next time we find ourselves in a “transition phase,” be it mid-workout or mid-workday, I hope we can slow down, lean into the discomfort, breathe deeply, stay patient, and grow.

 

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

 

 

My Plan to Reduce Toxic Masculinity and Improve Women’s Health

I turned to my husband one evening recently in tears. It wasn’t about any one thing in particular. Rather, I was crying about ALL the things afflicting women over the last few years. To name a few:

      • increased rates of domestic violence
      • declining rates of women in the workplace following the pandemic combined with overall lower pay
      • the formula shortage and lack of support for women to breastfeed at work
      • the overturning of Roe v. Wade and all the ramifications that ruling has for women’s reproductive health at large, and more.

The overwhelm of it all combined with my postpartum fatigue to push me past my limit.

Tears began to flow as anxiety and fear for my infant daughter’s future reached a peak.  I remember saying to my husband something along the lines of “It’s not right! None of this is okay! I’m SO sick of this – not just for me but for every woman out there, especially the ones who aren’t even aware that these issues WILL touch their lives at some point.”

After I spoke the words out loud it dawned on me that all of these issues are connected to unfair gender stereotypes, female oppression, and toxic masculinity. Toxic masculinity is defined as “cultural norms associated with men that are harmful to society and to men themselves.”

The traits of toxic masculinity include:

      • mental and physical toughness
      • aggression
      • stoicism, or not displaying emotion
      • discrimination against people who aren’t heterosexual
      • self-sufficiency
      • emotional insensitivity

Please allow me to share my experiences and explain why toxic masculinity affects each of the aforementioned issues that harm women’s wellness…

 

 

Domestic Violence

I first learned about domestic violence at the beginning of high school through a program that educated youth about which peer-to-peer actions fall under sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. The group performed a series of short skits to demonstrate real life scenarios and how to handle them from both a male and female perspective. The education was of the utmost importance and, unfortunately, it was already delivered too late.

Throughout middle school I can recall countless instances of being between 11-13 years old and verbally harassed or physically assaulted through unwelcome and inappropriate touches from ignorant boys my own age and grown men. Back in the 1990s when toxic masculinity was arguably at its peak (later leading to the #metoo movement), I was convinced that such actions were uncomfortable forms of flattery and used them to boost my body image confidence. This was an incredibly sad and unhealthy coping mechanism because I didn’t know what else to do.

Shortly after watching the program in high school I signed up to join the group of teens advocating for awareness and action to prevent sexual violence of all kinds. Alongside a few other teens who happened to share my comfort with public speaking, we petitioned the school board to have a modified version of education about sexual violence presented in middle schools. I’m pleased to say that the motion passed.

Unfortunately, programs like the one I was exposed to are few and far between. Leaders I’ve worked with in Washington, DC continue to be swamped with women coming to their non-profits looking for help to escape violent and dangerous situations. These unhealthy relationships create power dynamics and abuse that affect women’s individual and collective wellness, and the future mental and physical health of any children involved.

Trauma is generational and women who suffer abuse under toxic masculinity are more stressed during pregnancy when abuse typically heightens and are at increased risk for poor health outcomes for the fetus. These women are sometimes less able to offer healthy emotional attachment patterns for babies in the first 18 months of life to no fault of their own, leading to long-term mental health and self-image repercussions into adulthood for those children.

One of the keys to getting women out from under the control of abusive partners is to help promote their financial independence so that they can afford to step away from the situation. Despairingly, women’s workforce participation has taken a dramatic downturn due to the pandemic. Coupled with the abysmal gender wage gap, this is a health and wellness crisis that many women are suffering through as we speak.

 

 

Lower Workforce Participation and Wages

Women have been leaving the workplace in scores since the beginning of the pandemic due to increased workload on the job combined with family demands. The pressure on women to perform in both the work and home sectors but with minimal support, lower wages than men, and gender discrimination is abominable.

A lack of work-life balance has resulted in a depressing four in five women reporting that their employers don’t help them create clear boundaries between work and personal time, especially amid the unusual circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic. Not surprisingly, less than half of women in the workforce are happy about their job situation.

What does toxic masculinity have to do with women in the work force? Just about everything…

Not only does gender discrimination result in lower wages but according to survey data from Deloitte, the majority of working women have experienced “non-inclusive behaviors in work situations over the past year—everything from unwanted physical contact and disparaging remarks about their gender to questions about their judgment.”

I can’t think of anything as toxic as a workplace that suffocates the positive attributes and unique needs that come with being a woman. Men who are domineering seem to forget where the debt of gratitude is owed and whose body shaped their own for nine months. Unfortunately, this lack of respect for all that women do results in poor workplace support for maternity leave, childcare needs, flexible scheduling, breastfeeding/pumping while being a working mother, and more.

 

 

The Formula Shortage and Breastfeeding Hurdles

It pained me to see the effects of toxic masculinity affecting women in the initial days and weeks following the overturning of Roe v. Wade. All the heated debates about women’s bodies and potential future children have been happening parallel to a formula shortage crisis. The women who can least afford to move forward with unplanned pregnancies are also in a position to struggle to pay for nutrition for their babies if they are unable to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding itself is a full-time job and many working mothers understandably struggle to manage its demands alongside their jobs. I understand this firsthand because I gave up some career pursuits years ago when I realized I couldn’t breastfeed and start a business I had planned. It was simply too much for me. I was in a place of privilege where I could afford to step away from the workplace to be with my baby. Many moms can’t afford to lose their income or wouldn’t wish to step away from their careers for a period of time. For these moms, supportive workplaces that allow flexibility and space for nursing/pumping are essential.

The injustice hit me when not only Roe v. Wade was overturned but also a law to protect the breastfeeding/pumping needs of 9 million working moms was shot down by Senate. Did they not get the memo that there is a formula shortage? Do they not know how biology works for nourishing offspring? Do they really think failing to pass a helpful law will enhance women’s workplace commitment and productivity?

I’m left shaking my head.

I’m a breastfeeding mom and woman who has experienced two pregnancy losses and five pregnancies. I can’t help but feel like women just like me are under direct attack by our leaders – and for what? For going through the trials of doing our best to bring healthy little people into this world. It’s absolutely dumbfounding.

The emotional insensitivity and use of power to harm women and children’s health outcomes without question falls under the umbrella of toxic masculinity. The reality of life is that women and children need social support in a myriad of ways that the toxic masculinity mindset of rugged individualism and self-sufficiency fails to meet.

 

 

Women’s Reproductive Health

I learned firsthand what happens when you think you know how your life will play out and usually, reality goes a different way. I was pregnant with my third son when I got a poor prenatal diagnosis at the inception of the pandemic. I openly confess that I was unsure whether I should continue or end my pregnancy.

At the time I had two beautiful sons and had experienced an early pregnancy loss too. I never imagined considering a pregnancy termination but it weighed heavily on me before I lost my child. I wanted to do anything possible to protect my child from pain and suffering. I loved (and still love) the son I lost with all my heart.

With Roe v. Wade overturned I’m horror stricken over the pregnancies that will be forced to term despite being incompatible with life or a myriad of other complications that will result in suffering for the baby and a heightened risk of medical complications for the mom.

As many news sources have cited, the overturning of Roe v. Wade will affect training for medical professionals for both abortions and routine pregnancy losses, enhancing the risk of poor outcomes for women to come. I also lament this reality because during my late pregnancy loss removal I unexpectedly hemorrhaged and was minutes away from my uterus being removed to save my life. If I had been anywhere but a hospital then I likely would have died but instead, I have a four-inch scar on my stomach and a beautiful baby girl.

My story is hard and complicated but it sheds light on the many ways that reproductive choices and care are delicate and nuanced. Most importantly, they are best left between a woman, her medical team, and her faith.

I can’t help but see the ways that Christian nationalism and the rise of toxic masculinity within it has shaped a movement that has its jaws deeply embedded in our messed up, increasingly polarized political and legal systems. Toxic masculinity is behind the cherry picking of biblical texts used out of context to force women into submission, sexual abuse, and inferior roles, and it’s behind the inflexible thinking about reproductive rights that opts for power, control and force instead of compassion, assistance, and mercy.

There are “Godly men” out there saying that women who end their pregnancies should be sentenced to death. I’ve watched the videos of these men defiantly and angrily saying such things. They don’t care that their words alone do great damage to women’s wellness.

These men haven’t sat with an open heart and listened to the complicated stories from women who have endured hardships during years of TTC, being pregnant, enduring loss, and more. These men haven’t seen my tears, heard my sobs, or understood my torment. And they don’t care.

Theirs is a world to be conquered and women to be tamed.

 

 

My Plan to Reduce Toxic Masculinity

My feelings of helplessness kept increasing this summer as one assault after the next against women’s health took its turn. I can’t personally reduce unwanted pregnancies through violent rapes or end domestic violence from behind closed doors. I can’t reach into millions of women’s homes and help them navigate the early days of breastfeeding that are so crucial. I can’t afford to buy formula to help each and every mom in need of her next can. There are so many things I want to do on a grand scale and yet only small steps that I can reasonably take like listening with compassion to women’s abortion stories or donating modest amounts of money to help feed children in need. These small things matter but still leave me yearning for something more that I can do.

Until recently, it didn’t occur to me that there is in fact one HUGE thing I can do…

I can raise my sons well.

I can focus my energy on raising sons who are allowed to be sensitive and who are in touch with their emotions. Sons that grow into men who demonstrate compassion and respect for women as equals. Men who know their own strength but never use it to harm or intimidate others. Men who treat their partners with care. Who approach society and bettering the world with a collective mindset. If these attributes are increasingly displayed through more and more men in the future then they have the power to dismantle oppressive hierarchies and give birth to redemptive healing.

The future of women’s wellness rests on the innocent shoulders of one small boy at a time. It relies on them having safe caregiver attachment relationships. It depends on how they are treated and nurtured through the choppy waters of their emotions and learning how to cope with them. It hinges on them having a healthy sense of worth without arrogance. It needs them to accept and embrace the diverse world we live in and to humbly pause when they feel offended that others don’t agree with their perspectives.

My two sweet sons rely on my patience, energy and effort as their mother. I’m far from perfect but I believe that if I stay mindful and raise them well then those two sets of dark brown eyes looking up at me for guidance will some day look out into a world that is better for their mother, sister, wives, daughters, and friends. That world will undoubtedly be better for men too.

If you believe in collective prayer then I ask you to pray for this future with me.

 

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

 

Leaning into Limitations: A New Era of Wellness

When I initially sat down to write this first article following maternity leave, my infant decided to wake up wailing after no less than five minutes. Eventually, I was able to get through writing the first half. The second day I expected to carve out some time to write was the same day as my youngest’s 6-month check up, which turned into a sick visit because my toddler’s classroom had a Covid exposure. The day got turned upside down from there, masking to grab groceries in the event of a quarantine, picking up test-to-stay kits from my child’s school, and so on. Such is the nature of the season that I’m in as a parent with limited childcare for the summer. This state seems to mirror the pandemic-era world of canceled events, last minute changes in plans, and constant iterations for how we live. All of it leaves me (and I assume many of us) feeling limited.

 

 

No one likes feeling limited, least of all Americans. We are so completely entrenched in our own ideas and plans going exactly as expected that the fast moving trains we set in motion are bound to run off track. But when they do, we fuss and complain. We dig our heels in harder and claim that grit and perseverance are our best assets. The ones that will win us the race, earn us the promotion, get our waistline back, buy us the house, and fill us with full satisfaction. Limitlessness is the dream and beyond the sky is the destination, but we remain forever bound by skin, neediness, hunger, sleep, and a desire for connection.

I’ve worked with not hundreds but thousands of individuals, some in depth and some more surface level. I’ve witnessed nearly every one of them (and myself) pine for achievement, a sense of completion, and – most noteworthy – the ability to do more. The opposite of living limited. The bedrock of Western culture in a word is MORE. Consumerism is defined by more, as is the fitness industry in which I have spent many years of my professional career. More reps. More sets. More weights. More distance. More speed. More strength.

Even places of worship are tempted into the deliciousness of “more” by trying to gain additional members and achieve greater things in the name of their God. As a woman of faith, I see a great danger emerging as certain Christian denominations and groups threaten America’s collective wellness with their desire for more power and control. The entire crisis of the war in Ukraine has been driven by one individual’s bloodthirsty desire for more – more land, control, power, dominance, and fear. The poison of more even impacts gun violence. Automatic weapons are especially deadly because of the greater potential number of victims in each assault on human life. And so it would seem, this thirst and hunger for more is quite universal but perhaps, when we sit with its reality, we can see how dangerous it is. Not just for dictators and fringe extremists but for all of us.

For the past half year I’ve been tending to the needs of my third child in the first months of her life. I’m constantly feeling the pressure of “more.” I wish I could divide myself into five parts at once – one of me to tend to my oldest child, one for my middle child, another for the breastfeeding babe, one for my work, and another to collapse in a heap of exhaustion and *finally* get that nap that I so desperately need. But I too am bound by my own skin. My own limitations. God, help me to accept them.

 

 

The problem isn’t that we are limited creatures in this existence. The problem is that we resist limitations even when they are a part of our very makeup. Denying them and trying to play the more, more, more game breaks us. Yes, we hear stories about executives who start at the bottom and work 20 hour days to make it big and athletes who train eight hours a day year round to win the Olympics (I just watched the “Untold: Caitlyn Jenner” documentary on Netflix), but let’s face it – none of us can outrun the exhaustion forever. There is always a price to pay either mentally or physically. Sometimes we can recalibrate and reverse the damage and other times, it leaves its mark.

Pushing myself past the limit always follows the same pattern:

Life gets busy yet I pressure myself to do even more during already maxed-out daily schedules. The overwhelm of this traps me in a state of anxiety which only serves to drive me forward harder and faster, more determined to get everything done quickly – and done well. My body enters into sympathetic nervous system overdrive, feeling on edge, hyper and anxious most hours of the day. Eventually, an acute stressor enters the equation such as something traumatic happening in the nation or world or my toddler bringing home a nasty virus. This added mental or physical stress is enough to tip my system past its breaking point and I burn out and crash (usually with a head cold).

Do you have a vicious cycle too? One where you know you’re past your limits but keep pushing anyway?

Time and maturity have helped me identify this harmful pattern of pretending and trying to do more than I can. I’m not perfect at avoiding or fixing it though. It’s a gradual process and I constantly have to remind myself that the rat race and nose-to-the-grindstone mentality are no way to live in true wellness. Both tear down the individual and the collective in very tangible and harmful ways. I find myself in a much healthier place when I openly and lovingly acknowledge my limitations.

 

 

Here are a few things that limit me:

Breastfeeding all three of my children has limited me for the better part of the past decade. It’s time consuming, forces me to slow down, and means that I opt for less help with childcare for the first year of their lives due to the frequency of nursing and sub-optimal pumping output in substitute of direct breastfeeding.

My back limits me. I used to be a marathoner but I was hit by a car while riding my bike in DC and ever since have dealt with ongoing spinal instability. Long mileage doesn’t work with my body anymore and I have to heavily favor foam rolling and strength training despite wishing I could run days upon days in a row without issue.

My scar limits me. It’s from an emergency C-section from a pregnancy loss and then the planned C-section for my third child. The underlying tissue is still healing and I’m actively working to keep the fascia from forming tight adhesions that could some day cause me problems. This whole process sets off the instability in my back. The visual scar challenges me mentally and emotionally in many ways too, although less than it used to.

The list is longer but you get the idea. We all have things that challenge us to slow down or do things differently than we would ideally choose to. Again, that’s okay. This is human. Normal. The thing that’s NOT okay is allowing our limitations to steal our joy or question our worth, and yet so many people fall prey to these fear-based mentalities, as though not being able to do more means our inherent value is less. But that’s a lie.

 

 

I cope best with my limitations when I remind myself that I’m enough as I am – and that I’m not all things. Sometimes, it can help to run through a list in your head or write down all the traits you possess and are proud of while also making note of a few things you’re not the best at but beat yourself up about. If you do this, I would ask you to thoughtfully sit with the things you feel guilt, frustration, anxiety, or sadness about and consider if you might be able and willing to accept them with love or let them go in such a way that they can’t allow you to feel shame anymore.

Living limited can lead to a beautiful and flourishing wellness. When I embrace living this way I’m able to breathe deeply and rest peacefully. My priorities become clearer and I let go of the voices in my head threatening to measure my worth based on productivity and accomplishment. In the next few months I will share with you all what one of those crystal clear priorities is and how it’s taking shape but for now, let’s part ways after repeating these affirmations a few times silently:

 

My limitations are where I can find my strength.

My worth is not based on appearances or output.

I am enough.

I am not all things. And that’s okay.

I can find peace in the moment.

 

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

 

How to Manage Chronic Fatigue with Exercise

I’ve long preached that exercise is a double-edged sword. It can help or hurt our bodies depending on an individual’s health status at the time of exercise combined with the mode and intensity of the workout. We must remain mindful of how and when we workout, especially when battling fatigue. When used improperly, exercise can be EXTREMELY harmful for a person battling chronic fatigue syndrome.

Data shows us that women suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome far more than men. So, let’s explore how to identify if you’re suffering from regular fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome, and then what kind of exercise is appropriate under each circumstance. Every woman is worthy of feeling healthy. Let’s make sure we equip ourselves – and each other – for this worthwhile endeavor.

(Please be patient while the video loads – thanks!)

For more videos and content while I’m on maternity leave, you’re welcome to follow along on Instagram:

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

The Science of Uncertainty and Mental Health

Many of us have sat in the great waiting room of uncertainty. Sometimes we wait on an important medical diagnosis, job contract, fertility outcome, or financial assistance. There are endless situations (including the pandemic) that place enormous stress and anxiety on us due to uncertain outcomes. Today, we’ll dive into how you can manage stress during uncertainty using an evidence-based and accessible strategy. Every woman is worthy of mental/emotional wellness, even in the face of the unknown!

(Please be patient while the video loads – thanks!)

For more videos and content while I’m on maternity leave, you’re welcome to follow along on Instagram!

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

The Healthier My Relationship with Fitness, The Less I Exercise

Confession: I’m a fitness professional who used to ignore her personal boundaries and physical needs. (Yikes.) It’s true though…I used to be oblivious to the ways that I would abuse my body through too much exercise and physical stress while simultaneously coaching clients on how to find balance. These days, I practice what I preach but it has been a journey to get here and find peace. Sharing my story via video below and wishing everyone the best of physical wellness and balance.

(Please be patient while the video loads – thanks!)

For more videos and content while I’m on maternity leave, you’re welcome to follow along on Instagram:

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

My Top Prenatal Care Tips After 5 Pregnancies

Today is my oldest son’s 6th birthday and I’m just weeks away from my third child’s birth. As I prepare to bid farewell to the years spent TTC, being pregnant, coping with loss and medical complications, and recovering from childbirth, it seems appropriate to take a moment to reflect and share a bit of advice about how I’ve found wellness through all the ups and downs.

I’m not a perfect mom. Far from it. I can get impatient, irritable and exhausted just like anyone else. There are days when I feel like I can conquer the world for my children and other times when I surrender to my inability to do it all, no matter how hard I try. Sometimes I can’t stop smothering my little ones with kisses and affection and, at other moments, I firmly step away and demand my personal space and sanity. We’ve all “been there.” Life isn’t just a highlight reel of our best planned playdates, outings, art crafts, and children’s holiday apparel. It’s messy and complicated – and that’s okay!

I share all of this because I want you to know that my attempt to offer up some helpful advice isn’t because I have superior notions of myself as a mother. It’s because I’ve been in the trenches too and want to help other women out.

Over the past 6-7 years my life has consisted of the following:

  • 2 vaginal deliveries, 1 emergency c-section and 1 planned c-section (upcoming)
  • 7 hospital stays due to pregnancy complications, labor/delivery, and children’s health emergencies
  • 3 cumulative years of breastfeeding my 2 sons (no, it wasn’t easy/breezy) and 1 daughter to breastfeed once she’s born
  • 1 early pregnancy loss and 1 late pregnancy loss
  • 1 poor prenatal diagnosis
  • 1 preterm labor
  • 1 fallopian tube removed and 1 uterine artery cauterized

Wow…when I look at that list I’m dumbfounded and also grateful that despite all the trauma, I’ve found ways to advocate for my wellness and care for my body. The prenatal and pregnancy loss care tips that I have included below are what worked for me but I acknowledge that there is no one-size-fits solution or set of advice for each and every women out there. Also, this is *not* medical advice, so if you want to speak to someone about your personal health and fertility then please consult your doctor or OBGYN (…I encourage this communication before posting to Facebook moms groups or forums for advice…please…for your health’s sake…k?).

 

 

Trying to Conceive

  • Focusing on your physical health prior to trying to conceive (preconception) is a really important, often overlooked step in the prenatal process. Experts often recommend focusing on improving health habits for a minimum of 3 months prior to trying for a baby. This is a great time to focus on nutritious foods, taking daily prenatals, limiting alcohol, exercising in moderation, reducing stress and participating in joyful activities. Preconception health is important for BOTH partners and has been shown to reduce preterm birth and low birth weight for babies. I focused intently on preconception health for all of my pregnancies except the one where I had a late pregnancy loss after a poor prenatal diagnosis. Although I was still leading a healther-than-average lifestyle, I will always wonder if there was something I could have done differently. I’m told that none of what happened was my fault and I’ve let go of guilt. Nonetheless, I wish the dawn of the coronavirus pandemic hadn’t derailed my health habits to the extent that it did.

 

  • Dropping expectations and timelines for TTC was critical every step of the way for all 5 of my pregnancies. It’s all too easy to compare your TTC experience to another woman’s but there’s no measuring stick when it comes to starting and growing a family. Stay focused and loving towards yourself and your partner. That’s all that matters.

 

  • In a similar vein, I encourage women to embrace the fact that every couple’s parenting journey is unique. Sometimes you will find yourself envying a friend or acquaintance’s circumstances only to find that a couple years down the line they face something harder than anyone you know. None of this should make aspiring mothers or mothers feel better or less than someone else. Dropping comparison games is one of the first lessons most new parents learn. Doing so is critical for a family’s well-being, and it begins before a baby arrives.

 

  • Try not to get into your head about “advanced” maternal age or prior pregnancy experiences. Preconception health can help many women healthfully conceive babies in time, and the level of reproductive assistance needed may wildly vary from one pregnancy to the next. I know of women who conceived quickly for their first pregnancies only to have long waiting periods for their subsequent ones. Likewise, I know several women who needed IVF to get pregnant the first time and then went on to surprisingly conceive other babies naturally. You may find that every time TTC is different. That’s okay! Just stay focused on your mental/physical well-being, the relationship with your partner, and seeking fertility advice when/where needed be that from an app, ovulation predictor kits, a fertility clinic consultation, a conversation with an OB, etc.

 

  • Speaking of ovulation predictor kits…I know they can be expensive so take this or leave it… but I found that investing in them for periods of time significantly helped me discern which physical symptoms of mine were related to ovulation, as well as get a handle on the timing of it. I understand these sticks can cause some women stress while empowering others with a feeling of control. My advice is that if you can afford to give them a try then it can’t hurt to use them during your preconception period to figure out your cycles and peak fertility days. This might help you learn something about your body while you’re not actively trying for a baby, thus reducing stress over the whole ordeal.

 

First trimester

  • It goes without saying that frequent snacking is crucial for first trimester nausea. I learned this and relearned this many times.

 

  • During the first trimester of my 4th and 5th pregnancies I was stunned by how exhausted I was, especially because my other pregnancies didn’t carry the same weight of fatigue. I took frequent naps, deciding to accept my body’s needs. As a type A person, this was challenging because I always had to sacrifice or cut short something I was trying to get done. My two cents in retrospect – drop the guilt and sleep if you need to.

 

  • Whether due to nausea or fatigue, the first trimester can feel like it drags on forever. Remind yourself that this will be worth it. Stick inspirational notes on your desk or schedule motivational memos to pop up on your phone. Have a weekly check-in with a friend or therapist. Whatever it takes!

 

  • Nausea with my girl pregnancy was a different beast than my many boy pregnancies. Frequent snacking wasn’t helping as much as in the past so I opted for these nausea sea bands. I found that putting them on took the edge off the nausea and that wearing for them for long periods of time seemed to bring it back, so I spent a lot of days slipping them on and off as needed. It was life saving!

 

  • Weight gain is perfectly normal in the first trimester but it’s important for women to remember that the focus on weight gain doesn’t typically come until the second trimester. Unless you’re underweight or directed otherwise by your OB, focus on eating as normally as possible (and to relieve nausea) without going overboard on portions, sweets, and greasy foods. One study found that women who were a healthy weight before getting pregnant were overweight one year after their baby was born. A lot of this can be attributed to the challenges of caring for a baby but for some women gaining more than the recommended amount of weight for their size during pregnancy might contribute to it.

 

  • When possible (ahem, energy permitting) work on building core strength during the first trimester. This is a time when most core exercises are still fair game. Beginning in the second trimester, women will need to modify a number of core exercises so take advantage of building a strong base from the beginning so that you can safely maintain the support your body needs for posture and protection from diastasis recti as the pregnancy progresses. As a fitness professional, core exercises are top priority for my prenatal clients!

 

 

Early Pregnancy Loss

  • If you experience an early pregnancy loss please know that you have my deepest condolences. I’m so sorry this happened to you. I’ve been there and it sucks. Please know that you’re allowed to validate any and all feelings of disappointment, anger, grief, shock, etc. that you may have. Science shows us that denying negative feelings can actually heighten stress in our bodies so take the time you need to face and move through these tough emotions.

 

 

  • If it helps (which it may not), remind yourself that you’re not alone. Other women have struggled through pregnancy loss(es) and are slowly speaking up on social media in particular, in hopes of helping one another. If it’s not triggering, you can check out hashtags such as #iamoneinfour, #pregnancylossawareness, #pregnancylosssupport and #ihadamiscarriage, to name a few.

 

  • Your timeline for trying again (or not) is valid. Do what you need.

 

Second Trimester

  • If possible, tackle house projects and bigger baby projects now while you have some energy. It can be hard to frontload task lists that feel so distant in the future, but it’s worth it. With my first pregnancy, I was relieved to have done this because I had an unexpected family death and a preterm delivery that needed my attention more than folding laundry, prepping the nursery, and finishing house projects.

 

  • Healthy eating while gaining weight is important for the baby’s nutrition and your own, and for reducing the risk of gestational diabetes. My advice is to balance carbs and protein. In other words, be cautious not to sit down and eat tons of breads/muffins/baked goods without incorporating some protein in the same meal setting.

 

  • Our bodies have an intuitive ability to know how much weight we need to gain. Instead of calorie counting, try to listen to your body’s unique prenatal needs. I’ve personally found it fascinating that all three of my pregnancies have resulted in more or less the same weight gain and pacing of weight gain simply by eating what my body seems to be telling me to. During my first pregnancy I weighed myself once a week but in subsequent ones I backed off the scale and found a similar pattern of weight gain nonetheless!

 

  • Some of my favorite prenatal exercises for both myself and clients include: clamshells, single leg balance exercises, modified planks, single arm bench rows, squats, side lunges, and modified v-sits.

 

  • Towards the middle to end of your second trimester you will need to complete a glucose screening to asses your personal risk for gestational diabetes. Most women think they have no option but to go into the OB’s office and drink a highly processed sugary beverage with zero nutritional benefits. But guess what?!? You can speak to your OB about consuming a healthier beverage option at home with the proper grams of sugar (usually approx 50 grams) in five minutes, one hour prior to your blood draw. I’ve done this for two pregnancies and really appreciated that the beverage was both more palatable and nutritious. One time I had acai juice and the next I chose pomegranate juice. After quickly drinking 12 or so ounces it was done, less dramatic feeling, and I was still in the comfort of my home.

 

  • I recommend going to a chiropractor as your body and alignment begin to shift. Chiropractic care is safe for pregnant women, can help your baby achieve an optimal position for birth, and reduces postural stress and aches/pains for the mom.

 

 

Unexpected Medical Complications

  • I sat in this very challenging space following my third son’s poor prenatal diagnosis and was surprised that my gut instinct had been speaking to me the whole pregnancy. It can be hard to quiet the overwhelming news and whirlwind around you amid a poor prenatal diagnosis but if you can, try to sit in silence and listen to what your maternal instinct is telling you.

 

  • Lean into support groups, spiritual counsel, prayer, therapy and/or any other safe outlet for help during this complicated and uncertain time.

 

  • Engage in “flow” activities to help you maintain a semblance of balance and mental health while you’re waiting on uncertain answers from medical screenings/tests, etc. These daily activities have been scientifically proven to help people with the psychological challenges of uncertainty.

 

  • Spend time having heartfelt conversations with your partner. You two are a team and will come out of this together one way or another.

 

  • Whatever happens, you get to create your own meaning from this experience. You also don’t have to seek a “higher purpose” to understand your pain if that feels inappropriate. Do what feels authentic to you and no one else.

 

Late Pregnancy Loss

  • As with early loss (I’ve been through both early and late), this is a child you were expecting and who you need to – and are allowed to – grieve. Please refer to the book recommendations under early pregnancy loss and consider working with a supportive counselor.

 

  • You’re allowed to be upset, angry, confused, disappointed, etc. about losing your baby, coping with a postpartum body, the change of plans you had for your future and more. Take the time you need. There’s no rush or timeline for healing.

 

  • If you feel compelled, I encourage you to consider meaningful ways to honor your baby. Some communities offer free burial or ceremonial options, cremation, or the option to dedicate your baby’s body to science. Choosing something that offers you solace and closure can be helpful. I chose to bury my baby and find comfort in returning to his resting place. I know of other women who light candles for their babies and keep their ashes in their homes. For others, these reminders might feel too painful or not quite right. Whatever honors your needs is what will honor your baby.

 

  • Rituals can help women with healing through the seasons and years that follow loss. Lighting candles, donating to a cause, visiting somewhere sentimental, meditating or praying, etc. are all ways women can foster meaning and remembrance for their babies.

 

  • Some women find they prefer to create meaning through something tangible like symbolic jewelry, journaling or expressive art. I have a small canvas of an angel on my dresser alongside my other children’s framed photos.

 

  • Healing and expressive outlets are important and you might find one of the following useful: therapy, prayer, reiki, community worship, online or in-person support groups, etc. It can be intimidating to open yourself up to these but please remember that there isn’t any stigma to your loss and that you don’t have to carry it alone.

 

 

Third Trimester

  • Sleeping with a body pillow or multiple prop pillows is a must. Since side sleeping is your new BFF try sleeping with a support pillow between your legs and gently tucked under your bump. This will help your hips stay comfortable as muscles stretch and pull. Keeping your room cool at night is another must for better late pregnancy sleep.

 

  • Stabilizing your hips through a combination of exercises and stretching is crucial for comfort. An overwhelming 50-80% of pregnant women struggle with back pain. A lot of back pain originates from hips that aren’t stable and strong. If you have questions or specific needs, this is my area of specialty for prenatal clients. Contact me here or drop a question in the comments.

 

  • Neck tension is also quite common as pregnancies progress. Try to seek relief via massage and stretching. Here are some of my recommendations for alleviating neck tension: Remedies for Neck Pain and Stiffness.

 

  • I was fortunate that I didn’t need a belly band for my pregnancies with my two sons but since my complicated pregnancy loss and emergency c-section last year, my body isn’t quite the same. The scar tissue stretched out fast this time and my stomach doesn’t feel as supported. Instead of investing in an expensive belly band for the last uncomfortable month of pregnancy, I’ve found that using KT tape here and there has been effective and easy! Fellow fitness blogger Sia Cooper, owner of Diary of a Fit Mommy, has done such a comprehensive job covering 8 techniques for KT tape on a pregnant belly that I’m just gonna refer you to her post rather than try to cover the topic myself: Kinesio Taping During Pregnancy.

 

  • Many of my prenatal clients (and friends) accidentally engage their core in a precarious manner during the third trimester of pregnancy. As soon as bumps start to really round out and show, it becomes even more obvious (to me) who is not engaging their transverse abdominus. The TA is like a corset muscle that holds everything in, supports posture, works with the diaphragm, and is critical for preventing diastasis recti injuries during pregnancy. The next time you’re doing core exercises look down at your stomach and make sure you don’t see a “coning out” effect. Your stomach should pull in and “flat” near your belly button when you’re engaging it in a safe and effective manner.

 

  • During the third trimester your immune system is naturally overtaxed. Help your immune health with colorful fruits, vegetables, omega fatty acids (ex: salmon, shrimp, flaxseed, walnuts) and lean proteins.

 

  • Hydration is critical during the entire pregnancy but especially now. Some women need upwards of 100 ounces of water a day during the third trimester. I personally notice that my uterus gets “irritable” and more prone to Braxton hicks contractions when dehydrated – it’s my cue to drink up! Hydration can be made easier if you carry a 30-32 ounce tumbler or water bottle throughout the day and fill it up at least three times. This Yeti tumbler is a personal favorite.

 

  • The third trimester is full of “lovely” changes like extra mucous, nose bleeds and head congestion. I do a daily neti pot rinse while I’m showering to help move congestion and keep breathing clear. Give it a try!

 

  • It can be hard to reduce stress while expecting, especially amid a pandemic. But every so often, I manage to remind myself (and hope to remind you too) to take a few deep belly breaths. Inhale: I’m strong and capable. Exhale: This phase will be over soon. 

 

 

Every woman is worthy of care and support during preconception planning, TTC, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, medical complications, childbirth, postpartum, breastfeeding, childrearing and childcare. I’ll be here if you need me.

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

 

 

Every Woman is Worthy

Out with the old and in with the new!

I’m excited to (verbally) introduce the new slogan for WellnessWinz: Every Woman is Worthy!

In the video below, I dive into why this slogan gets to the core of wellness and the heart of the site’s content over the past seven years. Included in our discussion are the four aspects of wellness covered through long-form content on WellnessWinz – physical wellness, emotional/mental wellness, spiritual wellness, and most recently, social wellness. There are a handful of other dimensions of wellness that are important such as occupational, intellectual, creative, environmental and financial, but I will leave other more qualified experts to dive into those.

So, for now…let’s explore what “Every Woman is Worthy” means, how judgement of the self and others holds us back, and why living this message out is so important for women from diverse backgrounds.

(Ps – An alternative to watching me through the whole video is to start playing it but listen as though it’s a podcast while you cook, clean, exercise, etc.)

(Please be patient while the video loads – thanks!)

I would love to hear what you think every woman is worthy of. Fill in the blank in the comments:

Every woman is worthy of ______.

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

The Great Physician: Spiritual Healing for Unresolved Pain

 

How Is Spirituality Defined?

Spirituality can be loosely defined as the “aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred.” The word spiritual comes from the Latin word “spiritus” which means “breath of life.”

Spiritual healing can happen within religious, faith and spiritual institutions but those are not prerequisites for it. With these definitions and parameters in mind, spiritual healing can be described as connecting to the breath of life in a deeply personal and meaningful way.

The connection to the divine – or breath of life – is something that’s not easily quantifiable or measurable. Due to this, skeptics have a hard time subscribing to the notion that spiritual healing is real and originating from outside of the self. The healing power of spirituality is often attributed to better mental health and nervous system regulation rather than an interpersonal connection with our universe. But, as you will come to see, spirituality opens both channels within the physical body for healing and with an energy that somehow transcends space and time in very real ways through prayer, meditation and distance healing.

 

 

The Link Between Spirituality and Physical Health

More than 1600 studies have been done evaluating the correlation between religious and spiritual practices and health. According to a comprehensive analysis of these studies published by the National Institutes of Health, “the evidence is overwhelming.” The correlation between spiritual and physical health is strong across lines of religion, disease, health status, age, sex, race, and ethnicity.

It turns out that healing is not as simple as previously assumed. A biomedical model of medicine isn’t comprehensive enough. In other words, underlying biological deviations or issues aren’t the sole determinants of an individual’s health, nor do they always arise from physical problems. A biopsychosocial-spiritual model is becoming increasingly accepted and recognizes the role that biological, psychological, social, and spiritual factors play into the presentation, progression and prognosis of disease. This means that a person’s interpersonal relationships, environment, culture, emotions, behaviors, beliefs, and more can impact their health in both negative and positive ways.

In centuries past, the priest of local communities was also the physician. The role of spirituality and physical healing was viewed as intertwined. The scientific revolution pushed apart the spiritual and physical, with an emphasis on the latter, for too long. As mentioned, numerous studies have been done to try to better understand the elusive qualities of spiritual healing and have come to the conclusion that its importance can’t be denied, even in modern clinical settings. For this reason, over 100 medical schools are coaching students to address the importance of spirituality with their patients since it plays a critical role in healing and pain tolerance. Some doctors now encourage their patients to participate in prayer, worship and faith rituals if those offer hope and comfort.

It’s encouraging to see a more holistic return to healing within the context of modern medicine. As a wellness writer and advocate, I see great potential for healing for people of all faith backgrounds with the acceptance of modern science’s limitations and bringing the most powerful healer back into the conversation. “The Great Physician” (i.e. the divine) deserves a place in the doctor’s office, hospitals, and healthcare settings. Spiritual healing is real.

 

 

Healing and Improved Pain Tolerance through Prayer

According to a survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, 62 percent of people use prayer as an alternative medicine. Today we will explore three types of prayer and their potential for healing: contemplative prayer, intercessory prayer, and intercessory prayer for distance healing.

Contemplative prayer or meditation is when a person sits quietly and/or reflects silently on their thoughts. This type of prayer has been shown to lower heart rate and blood pressure, improve mood, and reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol in a person’s body. Intercessory prayer is when people use prayer as a means of communicating with the universe or a divine power.

Both contemplative and intercessory prayer have been found to have benefits. For example, one study found that people suffering from chronic pain had better pain tolerance when engaging in daily prayer. When used in a positive way (ex: seeking strength, comfort or peace), prayer helped chronic pain sufferers with better health outcomes compared to those who used prayer to express anger, resentment and abandonment from their God.

The third type of prayer, intercessory prayer for distance healing, is especially intriguing. The first two types of prayer might easily be attributed to having only mind/body benefits derived from within the individual. Distance healing through prayer proves that self-healing isn’t the only mechanism or energy at play in prayer. There is in fact an intangible, “other” energy involved.

Distance healing through prayer involves one person praying for another person with the intention of positively influencing their physical condition. Six of nine studies focused on compassionate intention from a distance produced statistically significant positive results. The mechanism by which this happens isn’t understood. In other words, the intangible and interpersonal spiritual/energetic realm is involved. For example, a blind study with AIDS patients involved half of the patients receiving standard treatment and the other half receiving standard treatment plus intercessory prayer from a distance. The latter group had statistically significant improvements.

 

 

Practical Ways to Engage in Spiritual Healing

Whether you’re suffering from chronic pain or not, there are benefits to incorporating spiritual healing into your lifestyle and daily routine. A few examples of how this can be done include:

  • Join spiritual support groups
  • Meditate
  • Try different types of prayer and ask for prayer when needed
  • Spend time in nature
  • Read sacred religious texts/scriptures & spiritual or faith-based non-fiction
  • Perform meaningful spiritual/faith/religious rituals
  • Consult or work with a person in clergy, chaplain services, healing therapies, reiki, etc.
  • Participate in movement programs that emphasize mind/body/spirit connection (ex: yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi)
  • Participate in a religious community that is supportive of your theology and values
  • Experiment with healing touch therapy and/or acupuncture
  • Journal and/or do reflective writing exercises
  • Participate in the arts and/or try expressive art therapy
  • Enjoy worship experiences and singing
  • Focus on volunteerism and service for others

All of these activities can help restore balance and energy. Each creates a sacred space for connecting with a higher power and addressing one’s personal and interpersonal spiritual needs. As discussed, spiritual practices can lower pain, facilitate healing, and help a person become more integrated and whole. If you’ve tried pharmaceuticals, herbal remedies, nutritious eating, and exercise but come up short on what you need for health, then perhaps it’s time to pay a visit to The Great Physician? From my point of view, there’s nothing to lose here. Only bountiful potential.

 

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie