By Junelle Lupiani, R.D.

As some readers might know, 2012 was a year of creation for me.  I had my first child in the early days of 2013!  Since then, a lot has changed.  Especially for the better.  That said, physical shifts have certainly occurred and now that my son is close to his 10th month I have decided to concentrate on the health of my gut.  As the dietitian at a world class resort, I can say confidently that I have the knowledge base on what nutritional approaches can be taken to improve the health of my digestive tract so I got to work and applied my knowledge.  But alas, after a full month of concentrating solely on nutritional approaches I continued to struggle.  It was then that I decided to get resourceful!  Instead of concentrating on nutrition alone, I decided to use the integrative approaches that exist here at Miraval.     

I continued to work hard on eating 35 grams of fiber each day.  And for those who do, you know it takes effort.  I continued to drink my 40 ounces of water or tea before noon and 40 more before bed.  I continued to exercise.  I stuck with the supplement regimen I had built.  But what I added was what helped make the difference…I used the recommendations given to me by my dear friend and colleague Alysa Volpe.  In her breath class she reminds us that stress can interfere with relaxation of the gut.  Remember, the gut is a muscle and stress will just add tension to the entire muscle.  If proper gut function is achieved through proper function of the muscle then we need to relax to allow it to work properly.  So I began a daily practice using breath techniques Alysa provided.  I also kept in mind another thing Alysa recommends, and that is do what you can when you can.  Like I mentioned, I have 10 month old.  So I aimed for a 10 minute practice each day.  The point was relaxation of the muscle so stressing out about finding the time for a 30 minute practice was going to only defeat the purpose.  Some days turned out to be 3 minute days and others more like 10, but I made the time to practice.    

Further, I went and saw Lolita for a Chi Nei Tsang.  Initially, I imagined an abdominal massage, she would massage the entire muscle and this would allow proper gut function.  However Lolita concentrated not only on the physical muscles but also the emotional stress and tension that I was holding.  Here I was a person concentrating so much on the physiological that I completely overlooked the emotional binds I was under.  It was pretty remarkable.    

And it was then that I was reminded of the whole body approach.  Health is not achieved when focusing on one issue, we must consider and contemplate all areas of who we are.  And Miraval helps us do that.  So thanks Miraval!  Today I celebrate my 6th year here at the resort and I continue to learn from you!       

Learn more about Junelle and her offerings at Miraval >

Learn more about Alysa Volpe and Miraval's Yoga & Meditation Team >

Learn more about Chi Nei Tsang >

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