February is the month remembered for celebrating love and St. Valentine, but showing appreciation for our significant others shouldn’t be reserved for just one day.
The world would be a much better place if everyone expressed gratitude and/or practiced random acts of kindness more often. These actions would also help keep relationships out of trouble — although sometimes it takes a saintly attitude to maintain even the best relation-ships!
History has shown us that ships can sink without any warning on a calm day; so if you don’t want this to happen to your relation-ships, keep reading…
Learning how to listen is usually the most important thing we can do to help or save relationships. The role of a good listener isn’t to judge or provide solutions unless asked. When is the last time you truly listened to your significant other, a family member, or a friend?
As a Wellness Doctor and health coach, I listen to patients to see where they’re coming from in addition to helping them align their mental outlook, which generally leads to greater success in achieving goals. Listening also helps them make sense of their thoughts, often coming up with their own solutions. This works well, as I’ve found that most people are more willing to follow through when it’s their idea rather than being told what to do. (President Ronald Reagan)
While volumes have been written on the art of listening, it’s much simpler than you’d imagine. However, simple doesn’t mean easy. In The Fifth Agreement, don Jose Ruiz explains how to understand the intent behind words and become 100% responsible for the messages we deliver and receive. The Fifth Agreement is “Be Skeptical, But Learn to Listen.” If you’ve read The Four Agreements written by Jose’s father, don Miguel Ruiz, it may be easier to understand and implement the Fifth Agreement into your life.
Now for the chemistry behind relationships: We are hardwired to pursue relationships with others for the survival of our species. We are social creatures. The simple definition of health says that it is physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease and infirmity. This means that one’s state of health is intertwined with and often dependent upon one’s relationships with significant others, family members, and friends.
We are attracted to certain individuals based on primitive survival instincts and patterns. Courtship is the subject of many best-selling romantic novels and movies, but the science behind attraction in relationships is equally fascinating, especially for a science geek like me.
Hormones and pheromones are responsible for the earliest stages of attraction in relationships, and the highest levels of excitement take place in this first stage. This eventually settles down naturally to a more even level in a real relationship. This is the place where many people fall off the tracks and go from one relationship to another because they think that when the non-stop adrenaline high slows down, the relationship has fallen apart. But rather than falling apart, it has matured to the next and more stable, long-term level. (Read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman to learn how to keep your partner’s “love tank” on full for a really great relationship!)
The chemistry of relationships can make you believe with all your heart that things are real, both good and bad, maybe even at the same time. It’s taken me years of both observation and experience to have a better understanding of its power. There are specialized chemicals in our bodies that interact with our nervous system to help create feelings and emotions. These chemicals are called hormones. There are a huge number of them and they are all important.
There are three basic tissues in a woman’s body that produce hormones that are converted into downstream hormones that affect every other part of her body, as well as produce the energy necessary to live and enjoy life. In a man’s body, there is one primary set of tissues that does the same thing.
Why is this important? The excitement you felt the first time you fell in love will always be available to you when your hormones are in balance. The quantities of hormones will be different when you reach a point in your life when you do not need to produce offspring, but the ratios will be the same when you are healthy. The problem is that as we age, estrogen ratios often begin increasing. Even the majority of cancers are estrogen driven. This means that we need to consume foods that inhibit estrogen rather than encouraging it. We also need to consume foods that promote progesterone and testosterone to keep us healthy. (The Anti-Estrogenic Diet, Ori Hofmekler)
A huge problem we’re facing in today’s world is that it’s difficult to avoid synthetic hormones because they’re so prevalent. They are added to our food, they show up in our water and the environment, and we are given prescriptions to intentionally alter the natural hormones in our bodies. Helping to prevent pregnancy, attempting to control depression, and managing hot flashes are just a few examples of how synthetic pharmaceutical hormones are used.
In the majority of cases, I believe we should avoid using hormones that aren’t manufactured by our own body. Hormones are extremely powerful even in small quantities, and even if they’re considered bio-identical, this doesn’t mean they’re safe. The symptoms of too much or too little hormone are often the same, so you can’t judge by how you feel. Few people truly understand hormone receptors, yet many claim to be experts.
Next month I’ll share some exciting new research and more information on the fascinating subject of hormones. Also, remember to mark your calendars for the workshop on March 15th!
Love begins and revolves around healthy hormones that draw us closer to the special people we want in our lives forever. Isn’t that enough motivation to keep your hormones balanced and healthy?
Happy Valentine’s Day! Love, Doc Karl
Dr. William H. Karl, D.C., is a Brimhall Certified Wellness Doctor with over 35 years of experience helping people obtain optimal health. Attend Dr. Karl’s FREE workshops: February 8, “Pressure Point and Essential Exercises” and March 15, “Relationships: The Magical Chemistry.” Visit: www.KarlWellnessCenter.com for more info. Please call 734-425-8220 to register.