If you’ve been struggling with chronic stress, poor immunity, chronic fatigue, chronic pain or chronic illness, it may likely be connected to the health of your adrenals, and ultimately to deeper underlying trauma.
Here’s why: If we are stuck in a state of chronic stress/fight or flight because of past trauma or chronic stress, it takes a toll on our adrenals.
This go-go-go of chronic stress is supported by a society that values achievement over connection and well-being.
This ultimately causes a very deep state of imbalance – in our bodies and on the planet.
If you want to skip to the exercise I recommend you do daily, scroll to the bottom of this post. If you’re interested in more theory, keep reading.
We are entering the season of Winter up here in the Northern Hemisphere and in 5 Elements Theory (Chinese Medicine) this is considered to be “adrenal time.” Which means it is a wonderful time to bring some restorative energy into your adrenals.
The adrenals are intimately connected with your nervous system, your immune system, your digestive system, your resilience in times of stress and difficulty, and so many other aspects of health and well-being.
And you can learn to talk to them. Seriously. I’m going to teach you to be an “adrenal whisperer”…ready?
But first – a quick introduction:
“Ad” “Renal” actually means on top of the kidneys (renals) and that is just where these little beauties are located.
From the Traditional Chinese medicine perspective the adrenals and kidneys are energetically the same organ system and they represent the ‘roots’ of our body.
“A person with healthy, vital kidneys (kidney-adrenal) is active yet calm, courageous but gentle, accomplishes a great deal without stress, and balances assertive action with nurture.” Paul Pitchford
Your adrenals are connected with strength, life force, survival, managing impulses, setting rhythms.
When we are holding trauma in the body and are stuck in chronic fight, flight or freeze mode, the adrenals never really rest ~ at least not until they are totally exhausted. It becomes an all or nothing kind of scenario. So we go, go, go until we crash. Sound familiar?
Most people don’t even recognize when they are in the beginning phases of adrenal dysregulation, because their energy levels are high.
One of the hallmark signs of this first stage is that we rarely feel deeply and totally relaxed, and we may be struggling with other hormonal imbalances causing symptoms like persistent belly fat or acne.
Once our adrenals are starting to get low, we may feel ‘tired and wired’ or just exhausted.
You CAN change this relationship with your adrenals and with chronic stress ~ and you can start this change now.
HOW TO RESTORE YOUR ADRENALS IN 5 MINUTES/DAY:
Lay on your back with your butt against the wall and your legs extended up the wall.
You can also just lay flat on your back, and eventually you can even do this standing or sitting.
It’s great to practice laying down first though, and legs up the wall (as with any kind of inversion) is very nourishing for the whole endocrine system.
Place your hands under your back, so the heels of your hands are just below the ribcage and your fingers extend down to your hipbones.
You are now cradling your adrenals in the palms of your hands. Now imagine your adrenals are small little animals curled up inside you there. Perhaps they are bunnies.
If this feels uncomfortable because of restrictions in the arms or shoulders etc, you can also just place your hands on the belly just below the ribcage and connect with the adrenals from above.
Now notice how your adrenals are feeling. Are they relaxed or are they wound up tight and holding?
Just notice without judging them. Listen to how they are feeling and then give them some reassurance.
“It’s okay little adrenals…”
You can also imagine inviting in the “energy” of safety, support and love.
You can ask for the colour of safety, and when a colour comes into your mind’s eye imagine that colour filling ALL the cells of your adrenals and surrounding them in this colour also.
Like a colour bath for your adrenals.
Take a few minutes and just let them unwind into your hands, bringing the breath into them and imagining breathing in more of the colour of safety.
Another thing I love to add to this exercise is putting a hot water bottle under the mid/lower back. The adrenals LOVE this and it is very soothing for them.
Please post any questions or feedback for this exercise below! I love to hear from you.