As we all are taking time this week to bring 2014 to a close and starting to think about our New Year’s Resolutions, let’s be upfront and honest with ourselves. Making a change is not easy, in fact, your brain is hardwired to your habits for efficiency and ease. However we have the power to rewire ourselves. The new word for this rewiring is called Neuroplasticity which simply means we can reshape the way our nerve cells are networked together.
In Naturopathic Medicine, we know and understand the challenges that are faced with our patients when asked to change a behavior or more importantly putting down that favorite food that you always reach for when you get stressed. But after that window of challenge is over, you find yourself with a new sense of self-control and power to embrace life in a healthy manner.
I call this phenomena, THE RULE OF 3’s. Let’s say, for example, we are going to remove all dairy from the diet. I know this one very well and for those who know me best, I grew up with dairy at every meal.
The first 3 days are not too bad, most people don’t even realize how addicted we are to our favorite foods.
Then there is a period from 3 days to 3 weeks… “the dark ages.” This is when the body goes into a form of withdrawal and the cravings can seemingly overtake you. Neural connections are being rewired, so be patient with yourself. Will power, friends, support teams and tools are very helpful during this period. Remembering that we are doing this to add health to our lives and not as a form of torture or suffering.
The last phase is from 3 weeks to 3 months. This is where we have rewired our brains and made these new connections and more importantly removed the old ones. You can expect this period to be filled with temptation but you will also notice that the urge and emotional connection to that food is no longer there. After 3 months, you won’t even bat an eyelash about giving it up. You are a changed person filled with this new power and skill. You can now reference this point for making other healthy changes in your life. I find it important to not make too many changes all at once. Respect yourself and the process, taking it one step and one breath at a time.
So in summary, this new year can be the year that you can stop saying how sick and tired you are of being sick and tired. Here at the Source of Health, we would be honored to be a part of your health journey. Let us know if you have any questions and when you are ready to get started!
In Peace and Health,
Dr. Steven Sorr, NMD
9755N 90th St. Suite A110
Scottsdale, AZ 85258