If only we learned how our bodies function as part of our early childhood education, it could really save a lot of pain, injury, stress, confusion and heartache as we get older!
As a long-time massage therapist and national board certified health coach, I’ve worked with many people who honestly just don’t really understand how their bodies work, and how they can work with their body to create more ease in their life.
About 3 years ago, I went through the Replenish program, our signature program at TWVC for perimenopausal hormonal balance. One of the principles I learned in the program was one of those illuminating moments where I realized, wow, if only I’d known this years ago!
How the Adrenals Work
You see, our bodies are designed to give us energy. Literally, we have a mechanism designed within our biochemistry that has the capacity to flood our systems with energy over a 24-hour cycle. How many people do you know who are plagued with low energy levels and are always reaching for that mid afternoon pick me up?
The adrenal glands are small, rectangular glands located on top of the kidneys, and they produce hormones in response to signals from the pituitary gland in the brain, which reacts to signaling from the hypothalamus, also located in the brain. This is referred to as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.
The hormones produced by the adrenal glands help regulate your metabolism, blood sugar, hormone balance, immune system, blood pressure, response to stress and other essential functions.
Keeping the adrenal glands healthy is one of the best ways to support all of these systems in your body, and one of the things you should know about these little glands is that they LOVE routine.
Tips for Supporting Adrenal Health
If you want to have energy for your life, consistently, day in and day out, give yourself the luxury of routine. To help the adrenal glands do their job, one thing you can do is to wake up around the same time every single day, and go to bed around the same time every single night! This is part of the Sleep/Wake Rhythm, which is one of the three rhythms that we teach in the Replenish program.
When you wake up in the morning around the same time for a couple of weeks consistently, your adrenal glands begin to adapt and they boost you up out of bed with cortisol – what we call, “good stress”. Another term for this is motivation! Waking up with energy, motivated to start your day is a function of having high cortisol levels in the morning. And then, when you wind down later in the day and get sleepy at night, that’s when your cortisol levels are lower, which helps you get a restorative night of sleep.
When we test people for adrenal fatigue, we often have them do an adrenal saliva test, so we can see what their cortisol levels are doing throughout the day. You may be super stressed with high levels, or burned out with low levels, or if you tend to feel sluggish in the morning but get motivated at night, that may be a function of your cortisol curve being upside down!
If you want to learn more about adrenal health, or how to get your own adrenals tested, join us for our upcoming workshop – From Fatigued to Fired Up!, or check out our Replenish program, where you’ll learn more about the adrenals, and what you can do to honor their capacity to support you to have the best energy of your life!!