Remember back  in the day when doctors actually said stress did not cause harm?  That diet made no difference to health?  It wasn’t that long ago, I remember it.  Thankfully things have changed and most health professionals will agree that stress is a major contributor to many diseases, often aggravating existing conditions, sometimes even triggering new ones.

We know quite a bit about the stress response and how it affects the human physiology, especially mineral changes.  This is not new information, it has been around for quite a while.  It’s just the mainstream, the regulated, the conventional systems are slow to change and accept new ideas.  Very slow, sometimes it doesn’t happen.  Some valuable concepts never see the light of day.

The mineral response to stress

If you physiology is strong and healthy, there are certain, predictable changes that will occur with increased stress.

  1. Sodium increases, rather rapidly – the body absorbs more, and releases less.  This increase in sodium actually supports healthy adrenal function.  As sodium rises, generally potassium rises also because it is the ratio of sodium to potassium that is important to maintain.  With the rise in sodium, there is also a rise in inflammation as sodium is an acid-forming mineral.  
  2. Sodium and potassium are potent solvents (think water softeners), and when higher levels are present in the tissues, they will begin to dissolve some compounds of calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper and other alkaline-forming reserve minerals.  If the stress response continues, these alkaline-forming minerals will need to be replaced or nutritional deficiencies will result.  In particular, magnesium tends to be lost with stress.

The mineral response to prolonged stress
  1. As nutritional deficiencies build, the body will use compatible replacements, often heavy metals to replace the missing vital minerals on binding sites.  Eventually, the body cannot keep up and it starts to slow down.  The sodium begins to fall and the fight/flight response weakens along with the adrenal glands.  
  2. The alarm stage of stress is over and thus begins the exhaustion stage of stress.  
  3. Because sodium and potassium are solvents, the amount of ionic/soluble or bio-available calcium and magnesium falls as well.  
  4. Non-soluble calcium may start to increase in the blood, but because this is so harmful, the body will push it into the tissues.  This is where we start to see calcifications, loss of calcium and magnesium from bones and teeth, and increased losses of magnesium because calcium “calcifies’ the cells, so magnesium cannot enter.  Instead magnesium is lost and the cells do not work as well.  
  5. A vicious cycle will ensue:
    • Lowered energy/vitality;
    • Lowered ability to remove toxins;
    • increased infections;
    • blood sugar, thyroid and hormonal imbalances; and
    • a type of numbness/painlessness so the individual may not realize the severity of the situation.  


Testing your unique physiology

In my opinion, the best way to assess how you respond to stress is a hair mineral analysis.  It’s time-tested, there’s loads of research behind it and the protocols designed from the information gained using the test get results.  

Hair is a tissue directly from the cells – it holds keys to what you are eliminating, how your cells are adapting to stress and what metals may be upsetting the balance.  The nice things about hair is that it assess a period of time – an average, if you will, of the last three months.  

So unlike blood, which has hourly fluctuations in hormones, the hair will show us absolutes for a period of time.  And unlike blood, which cannot deviate from certain parameters, the hair can have high variability in its mineral make-up which betrays what is happening on the tissue level.  

If you would like to see if this type of testing is right for you, feel free to schedule a virtual meet and greet.

Raising my rates.  

“My new rates as of December 1st, 2023:

  • $295 initial
  • $197 one-hour follow-up
  • $115 half-hour follow-up
  • Eventually I would like to change these to reflect ‘sessions’ without a fixed time-length.  That should be happening in the next year or two.  

There are deeper shifts behind the change

I’m not for everyone, I’ve really come to see and accept that.  And for those that do come to see me, you know, that I offer something unique.  People generally don’t come to see more for supplement recommendations.  I don’t ask you to come back weekly or twice weekly.  There’s a level of service I offer.  There’s a depth, a contemplation, there’s behind-the-scenes work.  Some clients come once every several years.  Some come a few times per year.  Some come only once in their life.

You will notice that my visits are spacious, that I take my time, there is no revolving door.  You are it, my entire focus, the clock is secondary.  That feels right and good to me.

What doesn’t feel good to me is people trying to use up their benefits and not being willing to pay outside of their benefits.  I get it, you pay into it, you want to maximize it.  But when I value something or need something, I pay for it – no benefits, I just pay.

My pricing is not determined by the limits set by insurance.  If that’s what you’re looking for, then you’re not looking for my unique skill set and viewpoint.

I also see people telling me they can’t afford certain important things but these same people might get their lashes and nails done regularly, drive a fancy vehicle, go on vacation and pay coaches and ‘psychics’ (which I’m not denying).  People choose and spend on what they value.  And honestly nobody can come close to paying me my true value or worth.  But there is a point when I decide it’s not worth it for me.

I am making a decision not to serve those who want generic support and choose me because of convenience.  I choose to serve those who appreciate a multi-faceted, expansive view and who want something tailored precisely to them.  It’s a bespoke service, there are no protocols here, there is no mass-production.

There is cost for that level of service.  There is a cost to me to provide that level of service.  


Money is not the thing.

My relationship with money has always been rather painful.  Either I couldn’t get my hands on it ~ like when I was a kid; or I couldn’t hold onto it ~ like when I lost my life’s savings to a con.  

And interestingly, I’m still here, I’m not homeless.  I even have central heat, internet and a cell phone; a fridge full of food and tomatoes ripening in boxes.

I realized yesterday after having a chat with my sister that I’ve been pursuing money the way some people pursue weight loss.  I’ve been longing after a number, just out of reach.  

Part of how I create this problem for myself is through comparison.  People online are boasting of consistent $10k months.  Well, that would be nice and I’ve done that – but that’s not enough!  Other’s boast $100K months, well wouldn’t that be even nicer.

I imagine what I would do what $100K all at once:  some new clothes, stock up the pantry, invest some and put the rest away to purchase my property sans mortgage.   And then if I eventually purchased my new home, in a few months?  Well then, perhaps I would buy some alpacas and chickens and a place to put them.  

New, expensive cars make me very uncomfortable.  I despise high heeled shoes and I don’t intend to sling designer bags over my shoulder.  

Here’s the thing – I can purchase some land, right now, without a mortgage.  Just not here. 

I saw, very clearly, that I don’t need very much to live.   That’s lucky, all things considered.  And the solution is simple.

I grow my own food – that’s fairly important to me, not for financial reasons but because I’m committed to the enjoyment of good food.  

Yes, I can anticipate the future – but realistically, I’ll deal with it when it comes.  And I’m not afraid of death, so if financial paucity does end my life….well, I won’t have to waste any more time on taxes. 

So what is the issue?

Getting my teeth fixed?  

Solution: take excellent care of my teeth.

Needing advanced health care?

Solutions: take excellent care of my health.

I’ve got the tools.  I’ve got the means to live exactly as I desire.  And no matter how much money I have, there will always be something out of reach.  


Money is not the thing. 

If we truly examine money, we will see it is a mirage, a fiction, a fantasy – it doesn’t exist.  Money doesn’t exist – not the way you and I exist.  Not the way the Earth, plants and the insects exist.  Money is a concept, a means of trade and it represents something:  the real work of you and I.  We forget that.  

The only thing of value is the real work of you and I.

Yet, we need to navigate and manage this fictional concept.  We might think that older systems of trade – cowrie shells for example are quaint and can be manipulated, but what we have is not better. 

In a competitive money system, those who can manufacture money out of thin air will always ‘win’.  The bankers do this.  We cannot win when there are bankers, willy-nilly creating 90+% of the circulating “money” and giving it the same value as the cash for which we labour.  And when we earn a whopping 4% interest on our hard-earned cash, the banks are making an outrageous 400% ROI.

But if you and I stop working for it, the whole thing collapses.  In fact, it seems to be collapsing now, even though we still work for it.  [Have you heard, the banks are borrowing from the Gov?  Tells me how that works!]

But WE will not collapse because we are not a house of cards, not if we keep working.  Not working for money, but for each other, not for money but out of interest, love and a sense of service.  

Let’s say the financial system collapses and our money is suddenly worth zilch.  That’s a real possibility.  We have at least a couple options: 

  • We go berserk, stealing, looting, lynching;
  • We take care of that which needs to be taken care of ~ ourselves and each other.

Do we still need money?  For now we still use it.  But it’s important that we use money, not the other way around.  Use money but don’t let it use you.  

The adage “the love of money is the root of all evil” – there is truth to that.  What will we do for a little money?  How easily and how cheaply do we sell our integrity and our dreams.  I see this in the government pay-outs.  That’s a purchase.  And it’s not much.  We sell out for very little.  But no amount of a fictional concept can ever be worth the weight of your soul.  


Honouring the Cycles and the Seasons

I feel it is not well-understood why anyone might want to live according the the seasons and the cycles.  We seem to be able to live in well-lit, warm environments year-round.  We can extend our days, working online and from home despite the shorter daylight hours.  We can shop, party and be active during this season of darkness … and we do.

So why would anyone want to slow down, rest more, turn inwards?  Why might it be wise to move in harmony with natures cycles?

There is no factual or scientific basis I can offer for my perspectives on this issue.  I just know that we are, at least in part, from nature.  Even if our genetics have been manipulated and we are the products of some extra terrestrial experiment, nature has also shaped us and imbued us with a particular version of divine intelligence.  

Nature has cycles, as the Earth, the cosmos and certainly wo/man-kind also has cycles.  We are born, full of water, bounce and potential and we die, if all goes well, dry and brittle, with our potential expended.  Once you are in it, there is no known way out of this cycle.  And so it goes with the seasons – spring is moist and laden with the opportunity for new creation, the fruits of labour and rebirth;  while the winter solstice marks the cycle’s completion before it all begins again.

Why harmonize, then?  First off, although we think of ourselves as different and distinct from our animal brethren, we are still mammals.  And it was not so long ago that we lived alongside mammals that supported our very lives.  Mammals that live in the northern hemisphere change their habits during the winter months – they change their coats, their colour, they eat a different diet and often go into hibernation or torpor.  We did the same up until 70 or so years ago.  This current phase, marked by the industrial revolution has been just a blip in our larger existence.  My grandparents, farmers and pioneers, worked long hours during the summer, but rested and played cards in the winter.  

Jill Novak’s workbook: reflect & vision


Yes, we are adaptable, but are we that adaptable?  Can we depart so far from our heritage in so short a time span?  The view that we are completely separate and don’t answer to the laws of nature is very questionable.   We have, literally zero evidence to support the idea that we can live apart from nature and her cycles.  To push this boundary, to me, seems risky at best.

We know Earth has moved through many planetary cycles.  Warming and moistening, drying and cooling.  When there is more sun and more heat, there is more growth, more green, more abundance of food and resources.  Even expansion of our human consciousness is possible during these warming phases.  Apparently the Renaissance was a period of Earth’s warming.  So we are naturally tethered to the planetary cycles and seasonal cycles.

The other reason to harmonize with and honour nature’s cycles has to do with honouring the cycles within ourselves.  Death is imminent for all of us.  Winter, a time when many people die, is reminder of this inevitability.  When we accept nature’s cycles, we must also accept our place in that cycle.  We are born, we live, we die.  And what happens before death?  How do we behave when faced with our mortality?

We consider the life we lived.  We review our life, as we might review our day as we lie in bed.  What did I do with my life?  How did I use my opportunities? Did I live and love the way that I wish I had?  Did I act with integrity?  Can I now be at peace?  

The winter solstice, then, is an opportunity to practice our time of death.  And reckoning with our mortality serves to bring us into closer alignment with our deeper nature.  It is the fleeting quality of living, which makes it precious and presses us to fulfill our potential.   For the life that lives and swells and moves within each of us comes from one source.  That source is the same in the animals, in the Earth and in the intelligent design of cycles.  To fight the rhythms of life, is an exercise in futility.

Tanya Rampersad

Naturopathic Doctor

“The winter solstice, then, is an opportunity to practice our time of death.  And reckoning with our mortality serves to bring us into closer alignment with our deeper nature.”


Giving when the well is dry…

I was having trouble meditating.  I have Buddhist training and my mind, over the years, heard repeatedly about “Generosity”, the first perfection.  In some of the meditation practices there is an offering made, mentally conjuring up the most beautiful, exquisite things to present them as gifts.  I was finding making the offerings draining and strangely exhausting.  I felt like I was trying to throw something up into the air, when there was nothing to throw and no energy to throw it.  It’s supposed to be joyful!  But then again, it’s meditation, you just keep going.
I started to question this “keep going” strategy.  Is it really appropriate to keep plowing ahead when the enthusiasm and vigour is gone?  I certainly wouldn’t promote this in my medical practice, why would I promote it in a meditation practice?
And, as seems to always happen, I received an answer and more – a type of solution.  A turn-life-on-it’s-head solution [even though I cannot promote looking for solutions].  The whole way I’ve been thinking is out of balance!
The focus on giving, giving and more giving, fails to acknowledge the feminine qualities.  When meditation is part of a routine, something you must do and get done in your day, it becomes another doing, a masculine activity.
I stumbled upon a beautiful teaching on honouring the “Divine Feminine” by receiving; not something to which I was accustomed.  Sure, I can sit with emptiness, and quiet the mind,  but that’s not quite the same as embodying the feminine (but its close).  Now, embodying feminine energy is a regular part of my day.  It is replenishing and balancing; even more, it helps me relax into being here, now and in my body.  It is boundless and abundant.  If you are efforting to manifest, this is an essential, often missing ingredient.
Upon going back to my regular Medicine Buddha practice, I saw that the blue diety has two hands – one hand, positioned in the mudra of generosity offers a healing plants; but the other hand, in the position of meditation, supports an alms (begging) bowl.  A begging bowl signifies that receiving happens.  
Whatever is offered is received and accepted graciously.  This acceptance is part of the feminine aspect of the divine mind.  

“Whatever is offered is received and accepted graciously.  This acceptance is part of the feminine aspect of the divine mind.  “

Dr. Tanya Rampersad, ND

Naturopathic Doctor, Writer, Speaker and Empowered Female



If we review our lives, we will soon see, that everything we have ever fought against has stayed with us longer and troubled us more than those things that we embraced or accepted.

The war on drugs, the war in Iraq, the war on infections, germs, bugs and other pests – these have all been losing propositions.  We cannot win, we will never win, because in war, there are no winners.  There is only an endless action-reaction pattern, with mounting arsenals and mounting defenses…and mounting casualties.  We are collectively becoming exhausted from such a war.  We cannot out-smart this virus, we cannot control it, we cannot defeat COVID.  And we never will.

Acceptance is a powerful practice.  It asks us to befriend our discomforts and all parts of our lives, especially those parts of ourselves that we dislike or resist.  But if we can put a little effort in this direction, there is so much support, so much providence, that truly magical changes can happen.  

“And viruses are evolutionary, after all; they literally change our DNA, for life.”

there is something to be gained….

I am speaking from a homeopathic perspective and a (w)holistic one when I say that new obstacles & challenges make us smarter and stronger, more evolved.  Having recovered from COVID, I was surprised by the sequelae and for how long they carried on.  Reactive airways?  Heartburn?  Gastritis? Diarrhea?  Months after the infection had passed, in sequence.  Odd.  

At first I resisted the idea – COVID gave me asthma!  And suppressed my coughs, I didn’t like the tight, niggling sensation in my chest.  This cannot be….

And then one day, I said to myself: “Oh well, if that’s what it is, you’ll deal with it.  You’ll live with it.  So what?”.  And I started allowing myself to cough, nothing crazy and it felt good, just short fits of dry coughing.  It lasted two days and then…poof, it just disappeared.  On top of this, I noticed a change in myself, in my emotional development.  I no longer had to be right, or try to get anyone to see my perspective or to correct poor behaviour.  I could just let things be.

Homeopaths have stated for a long-time now that progressing through and surmounting infections takes us through developmental stages and bring us to greater maturity.  And viruses are evolutionary, after all; they literally change our DNA, for life.  You know: herpes, shingles, the common cold.  They’re with us for good.  We can hate them and fight them and waste our energy in the process.  Or can support ourselves with them.

One thing that homeopathy can be very good at is informing and organizing the immune system.  I’m not supposed to say that homeopathy can treat acute infections or prevent infections.  (Hilarious.)  However, I likely can tell you that homeopathy can help you pass through the many phases of COVID sequelae/recovery more easily and gracefully.

If you are going through COVID sequelae, or if you just want to see if a homeopathic nosode might be appropriate for you (and you are a current client), we can book a brief virtual consult to discuss.  Homeopathics ship easily by letter mail.  


Step into this beautiful season with your body, mind and spirit.

Spring is a very magical time.  It is fresh and new and full of possibilities.  We can align our lives with the seasons to live more harmoniously with the world around us and our own bodies, which come from nature.  This practice invites a natural ease into our lives.  Below are some ways we can do this.

Planting Seeds:

The Spring Equinox is the time for planting seeds.  These are the things you want to grow and cultivate this year.  Seeds might be literal seeds for your flower bed or herb garden, or they might be ideas and skills that you would like to bring to fruition.  Now is a good time to start sorting through these seeds so that you can decide which ones you really want to focus on in the coming year.


Most have us have been indulging in comfort food during the long, cold, dark of winter.  You might notice suddenly that you are really craving some fresh greens.  Go with that.  This is a great time for any kind of detoxification that you feel will serve you.  Maybe you just cut out the sugars and sweeteners, or perhaps you focus on adding more healthful and alive foods into your daily routine.  Fresh herbs, lettuce, and wheat grass are nice additions.


I doubt I need to tell anyone to enjoy time outdoors.   Going for hikes, bike rides, strolls in the park while the sun is shining is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.  You’ll start making more vitamin D and your mood will brighten.  As the sap in the tress starts to flow, it is a good idea to get your fluids moving as well.  All movement aids in lymphatic and blood flow.


Open your windows and let the fresh air in.  Clean the curtains or blinds and wash the winter items before you put them away for the year.  Get rid of broken, worn-out or useless items to make space for new things to enter your life.  These “things” might be material things or they might be new attitudes and perspectives.


Let go and let flow.  Allow you mind to consider different perspectives.  Let go of mental fixations (you need to identify them first) and mundane thought patterns.  You owe no allegiance to beliefs, thoughts or your conditioning.  A person that never changes their mind has likely stopped learning.


Allow yourself to be inspired!  Who inspires you?  And what qualities (think seeds) can you cultivate to manifest similar gifts or graces?  Inspiration can be experienced as a physical sensation.  There are many different sensations that might confuse you, for example, hopefulness (longing) and stimulation (excitement).   Stimulation can burn you out, like a dancing fire that prods you on but does not feed you, rather, you feed it!  Hopefulness, unfortunately contains within it a seed of dissatisfaction with present circumstances.  We want something a little different – Inspiration is light yet motivating, you might even notice that you breath more deeply while inspired.  There are many little clues that will put you on the right path.

Whatever you choose to do, I hope you enjoy this lovely time of year.


Tanya Rampersad, ND

“The Spring Equinox is the time for planting seeds.  These are the things you want to grow and cultivate this year.  Seeds might be literal seeds for your flower bed or herb garden, or they might be ideas and skills that you would like to bring to fruition. “


Innocence in an Evil World

I only recently started using the term “evil” – previously that word was too loaded for me:  I have Buddhist training for goodness sake!  But, perhaps like you, my bubble has been burst.  Which bubble is that?  The innocence bubble.  Let’s explore this.

recorded classes and meditations

The Innocent

The Innocent is an archetype that everybody can relate to because at one time we were all innocent: open, vulnerable and trusting.  Babies are innocents and for this reason, we (hopefully the majority) want to protect them.  There is something profoundly beautiful about the innocent person.  

In the mind of the innocent, the world is essentially good and people are generally honest.  Innocents trust leaders, government and the general public because it is assumed those mentioned have our best interests at heart.  After all, the innocent believes and wishes the best for others, why wouldn’t everybody else?  

When the world is cruel or indifferent, the innocent naively believes they are the problem.

This is the thinking:

  • The world is a good and beautiful place;
  • People are naturally beneficent and wish the best for others;
  • If people aren’t supporting me or are harming me, the problem must be with me.

It occurred to me recently that the people suffering the most right now are likely those that believe the world operates according to natural (vs. contrived) laws.

  • Those who are trusted are trustworthy;
  • People who do good work, do well;
  • Good people are loved and respected.

And when they do not thrive in this truly backwards, evil, nonsensical world, they assume the problem is within themselves:  “There is something wrong with me.”.  This forms the basis of shame, guilt and hiding.  

But what if these assumptions are incorrect?  What if the people who do the best are the most corrupted?  What if those who receive support are those who know how to play the game?  What if admiration and adoration is given to those who best know how to manipulate?

The more I investigate, the more dystopian this world seems.  Our current world (2021) is obviously run or more accurately, manipulated by psychopaths.  Psychopaths are always harmful and to put it bluntly, they are evil (substitute corrupted or malicious if you don’t like the term “evil”).  What’s “evil”? – that which works against life, by my own made-up definition.  I’ve spent some time investigating psychopathy for my own very good reasons.  We collectively have a big problem on our hands because psychopaths love positions of power and will do anything to claim these positions.

That puts innocent people in a very disadvantaged position.  When you assume that politicians and broadcasters and so-called “leaders” speak from the heart when they say “we’re all in this together”,  you might spend your precious time and energy trying to help others feeling that this is a group effort.  Undoubtedly, it will do you good to assist others.  However, when you spend your time helping everybody, but nobody will return the favour, even under difficult circumstances….where does that leave you?  If you are an innocent –  feeling like you are somehow unworthy of the same generosity of which you are capable of sharing.

Moving out of innocence and into “orphanism”, another archetype (the Orphan) happens in its own time, but often after a major betrayal.  Certainly, recognizing that the world is manipulated by sociopaths will help make sense out of the nonsensical. 

The benefit of this transition to orphanism is savviness, wariness,  self-reliance, and group-reliance.  The orphan stops blaming themselves and starts protecting themselves.  Orphans band together, like the little bandits that they must be.  We are going to see a surge of this archetype surfacing in the next little while.  The outcomes will be interesting.

If you are suffering psychically and mentally, if you doubt yourself, if you feel like you don’t belong….

Know that you definitely belong, beyond that, your heart and your integrity are needed in this world, now more than ever.  The fact that your worth is questioned is evidence of the desire to be good and to do good.  Please, stay with us, just reconsider your premises.

I will write more about the Orphan shortly.  Stay tuned.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the link between depression and inflammation.  This links the immune system with the emotions and the mind.  In reality there is nothing that exists in isolation, separated and not affecting other systems within or without, which is why I very conscious about what I use, buy, eat, consume and put on my body.   Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect, I just do my best on most days.  

Inflammation is a normal, necessary, even healthy process instigated by the immune system.  It is going on in some form or another, all over the body, all the time, just in varying levels and degrees.  Inflammation is how we clean up damaged tissues and how we remove invaders.  There are certain white blood cells, proteins (e.g. antibodies) and chemicals (cytokines) that function to get the inflammation rolling.  One thing that often happens with inflammation is degranulation.  Degranulation is when a white blood cell releases its granule (storage) contents into an area.  Degranulation is like throwing napalm but on the cellular level – damage is broad and non-specific.  This chemical assault dissolves bacteria and other invaders along with some of our own cells and tissues.  Obviously, this type of inflammation is important to keep in check. 

Under normal conditions, episodes of acute inflammation are short-lived, e.g. a sprained ankle or a cold or flu.  But most of us are not living under what would be considered normal or healthy conditions in this day and age.  From the food we eat to the air we breath to the cleaning chemicals we use in our homes to the invisible frequencies that surround us – we have a lot of exposure.  The actual effects of all this exposure – that’s a good question, one that remains to be answered because we just do not know.

There are chemicals (cytokines) that signal inflammation and recruit white blood cells.  These chemicals also have an effect on our mood.  Interleukin 8 and 6 for example can cause irritability and depression.  There is even evidence that certain cells in the brain (microglial cells) secrete these chemicals under inflammatory conditions.  The result is inflammation in and around the brain.  These chemicals can certainly affect mood, sleep, appetite and well-being.  

For this reason, when considering the underlying causes of depression, anything known to promote inflammation must be considered.  Some considerations include:  sensitivities, toxicities (e.g. metals and heavy metals) and nutritional imbalances.  Inflammation is just one and certainly not the only cause of depression.

If you would like an assessment, please reach out.

Now, I cannot suggest this scenario is typical or relates to anybody reading this article….but it does seem to be a trend and it is often over-looked.  There aren’t always easy fixes for things in life, but sometimes there are…. This is just one (potentially) easy fix for anxiety.  If you think this might be your situation, look at the list of symptoms at the bottom to see if one or some match your symptoms.

In my world, health and wellness is often simple but not always easy.  Having a healthy, balanced mind is no different.  And let’s be honest, sometimes we’re looking for these really complicated, storied explanations, when the real solution is close at hand.  Here’s what I mean – a physical malposition can create a sense of anxiety.

Hiatal hernias are a very common condition that can create the physical sensation of anxiety, can affect your breathing and also cause heart palpitations.  This is one of the things that I always check during physical exam.  A hiatal hernia occurs when a portion of the stomach goes above the diaphragm.  The stomach does not belong in the chest cavity and when it gets stuck there, it takes up the valuable real estate of the heart and lungs.  This can create a particular type of discomfort, almost like there is not enough room to breath, often interpreted as anxiety.

I’ve treated many hiatal hernias in my career and this fairly straight-forward manipulation can bring a lot of relief.  The other thing that I do when I correct a hiatal hernia is that I ensure the person is breathing in a balanced manner.  Stress and stressful situations will tend to change how we breathe.  This change can actually encourage the formation of a hiatal hernia.   This becomes a self-perpetuating cycle and if not dealt with can recreate the hiatal hernia.

What causes hiatal hernias?  In my opinion the number one cause is stress.  So being aware of  stress and understanding how to manage stressful situations is still necessary and beneficial.  

Common symptoms of hiatal hernias:   

  • sense of difficult breathing
  • heart palpitations
  • easy satiety (can only eat small amounts of food before feeling full)
  • acid reflux or heartburn
  • bloating
  • pain or discomfort at the left upper quadrant of the abdomen or just under the left ribs
  • nausea

Most people with hiatal hernias do not have ALL of these symptoms, but might have one or some of the above.

If you believe this scenario might describe you, I would be happy to investigate and provide my opinion.   You must live in or around Calgary for physical exam, however.  Send me and email or give me a call.