Sara Gilman, 62, struggled with chronic fatigue that made her feel foggy, exhausted, and anxious — until she discovered the surprising all-natural solution that turned her life around!
The Tiredness Cure
“Am I boring you, Dr. Gilman?” As a marriage counselor, Sara Gilman was trying to hide her fatigue and not yawn in front of her client. “But he saw my eyes grow heavy and called me out,” she recalls. “I immediately apologized and tried to regain my composure, but the whole exchange was startling. I feel like I’m letting everyone down, I fretted. Why am I always so exhausted?
Foggy and Frazzled
“Lately, I’d been sleeping 14 to 16 hours a night and still didn’t feel rested. Each morning, reaching for a mug of coffee, I braced myself for the day, painfully aware of how hard I’d have to work to stay focused. It felt like I had to lug a boulder around with me. It seemed difficult to accomplish anything: exercising, making decisions, cooking dinner.
“My problems started months earlier, after I’d been in a bike accident and suffered significant whiplash and a concussion. The ER doc told me to go home and get some rest. But a week later, I was still not myself. I was exhausted, but my sleep routine seemed permanently damaged. I couldn’t concentrate. Worse still: No one could guarantee my recovery.
“Naturally, my emotions went haywire. My mind raced with the possibility of being out of work, losing my counseling business, losing my house, never being able to go back to school to finish my doctorate, never being able to function the same again.
“People suggested that taking a prescription like Xanax could help me sleep and soothe my nerves, but I didn’t want to mess with medication. So, I felt stuck. I’d drag myself through the day, then suffer another restless night of sleep, where I’d wake up multiple times with worries, a racing heart, even panic attacks.
Finding a Reason
“Then one day, it dawned on me that the tools I use with my patients dealing with trauma — from first responders to people suffering from PTSD — might help me in the moment. I don’t know why it took so long. As the saying goes, sometimes doctors make the worst patients.
“I turned my attention to a biofeedback tool called HeartMath Inner Balance (Buy on HeartMath, $199) that I’d learned about at a conference. The device used a Bluetooth-enabled earpiece and a smartphone app to track the body’s stress-management response, specifically my heart rate variability (HRV), a measurement of the changes between each new beat of the heart, which is controlled by the body’s nervous system.
“I reached for my phone and started a session. Sure enough, the device told me that I was experiencing an irregular heart-rate pattern. I knew from research that this draining state causes chronic fatigue and anxiety. A better state would be what experts call heart rate coherence, or a steady harmonious pattern between heartbeats.
“As I practiced breathing, the app told me I was getting calmer. I could actually watch a light on my phone screen rise and fall with my breaths, changing from red (low heart-rate coherence) to blue (better) and green (optimal). After using this visual breathing -pacer tool for just 3 minutes, I felt more energized and focused.
“I kept practicing, knowing that consistency is what keeps the heart muscle in good shape. The next time I woke up in a panic, I used the HeartMath technique: I shifted my attention to my heart area and breathed in and out, slower and more fully than usual. I also made a point to think of a positive thought (like how grateful I felt to survive my bike accident, or the kindness of a neighbor).
“Within a few rhythmic breaths, my palpitations calmed and the throbbing disappeared. I was amazed: I stopped the panic attack and flipped my system into a calmer state.
Better Than Coffee!
“Over the next few days, I learned that when I controlled my body this way, I could relax and sleep. After a few weeks, I actually needed less sleep than before. What’s more: The panic attacks ended and my energy, mood and concentration soared. Honestly, this tool worked better for me than coffee!
“When I told my doctor about my results, he was stunned that I didn’t need any pills. In fact, I made a full recovery, finished school and returned to work. I’m amazed this drug-free tool that took 30 seconds to learn to use could make such a big difference in my life.
“Now, I start each day with a 5-minute breathing session as part of my self-care routine. And I fit other sessions into the transitions of my day, like when I’m driving or in between back-to-back phone calls. A few seconds makes such a difference in how I feel all day long. I tell everyone: It’s not just that I have more energy, it’s a better energy!”
Sexy Side Effect of a Healthy Heart Rhythm
Taking steps to enhance heart rate variability (HRV) can lift libido by 47 percent, according to a study conducted at the University of Texas at Austin. Researchers compared women with low, moderate and high HRVs and found that those in the highest group also had the highest levels of sexual arousal. The study authors explain that optimizing HRV helps ensure healthy blood flow to the genitals while activating sympathetic nervous system activity that revs sexual responses.
Are heart-brain disruptions making you tired? If you feel exhausted and regularly experience at least two of the following symptoms, disruptions in healthy heart-brain communication could be the culprit.
- Brain fog
- Mood swings
- Muscle weakness
- Sleep difficulties
- Digestive problems
- Memory impairments
If you believe you are experiencing heart-brain disruptions, contact your doctor. Get the help you need to live a happier, more fulfilling life.
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