Welcome, Let us Start at the Start

61ee6b78c3c55f04d09c34ba76687845a69856d8d33f573d7bc1ae9784bb76f1-qiN3owHi, Thanks for stopping by.

I can’t believe that we are both here.  I have been thinking about us being here together for a while. The truth is …… as much as I was looking forward to meeting you here, I did not want to be seen, to be looked or to be judged.  I was afraid of sounding or acting like a bit of a fool.   But then recently I decided it was time to ‘get over myself’. The reason I decided to push through the self-critical rubbish is – I have tools, resources, knowledge and experience that I think could benefit individuals and organisations.

Speaking of my experiences I have lived with multiple chronic illnesses for well over 20 years.  I live with: Endometriosis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Painful Bladder Syndrome (Interstitial Cystitis), Gastritis, nerve damage from long term pain, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Health Anxiety (is it any wonder) and Panic Attacks.   I am also currently battling; Bursitis (chronic shoulder pain), Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, gut parasites, a leaky gut and adrenal fatigue (still not sure if these last two even exist – I’ll be checking at the science along the way).  Each day is certainly a ‘box of chocolates’ and often for me it’s those hard caramel left overs from last Christmas that no-one wanted.

Ready Set Go

Ready Set Go

Another important set of experiences is my background as a management consultant and Executive Coach. This provided me with an interest in how individuals function at work (and indeed in life), in relation to their mental and physical health (or as is so often the case, lack of health).

Bringing together my experience of living with illness and corporate life got me interested in where the two shall meet. Ultimately culminating in the privilege of receiving a scholarship to undertake a PhD at the fabulous University of Western Australia.  My ‘interdisciplinary background’ enabled me to do the bravest (or dumbest) thing and consider an interdisciplinary topic.   Hence I am looking at the vagus nerve and performance at work.  My research spans organisational behaviour, neuroscience, positive psychology and anatomy & physiology you can read about my research here.

I realise in a way that I have too many interests and too many potential places to take this blog.  Just from my PhD I could provide (research based) posts on:

  • The Vagus Nerve and its role in health and wellbeing (and tips on how to measure it at home etc.)
  • Mindfulness meditations and paced breathing techniques
  • Creativity
  • Happiness at work (and other positive psychology subjects)
  • The role of social support at home and work

From my life as a survivor (slash sufferer or victim) I have:

  • Coping at your lowest points
  • Communication with doctors and other health professionals (importantly when and how to walk away)
  • Managing on a budget
  • Parenting with illness
  • Eating out (or worse not eating out)
  • Communication with friends and family
  • Managing employers
  • The paradox of the continued search for answers alongside the realisation you might never be well
  • Managing feelings of jealousy for those blessed with good health (not to mention anger when they abuse it)
  • Protecting what you value most
  • Living with anxiety and panic attacks
  • Black thoughts about the future
  • Coping (or not) with travel
  • Self-compassion

Using my interdisciplinary research skills, I can also summarise research on current debates raging such as:

  • Red meat, killer or cure
  • The great low carb debate
  • Fats … the good from the bad from the plain evil
  • Fasting …. healthful or unnecessary punishment

Or updates on the likes of:

  • Latest anxiety treatments and their efficacy
  • Complementary therapies updates
  • Managing chronic illness with diet and lifestyle
  • Best weight loss (or weight gain) approaches

There is also providing (non-research) readers with the skills to interpret things they are reading in the news and on the web e.g:

  • Separating fact from fiction
  • A basic introduction to good research methods
  • Lies, dam lies and statistics
  • Project funding and corruption alarm bells

I would like to ask those of you who are still with me (Hi Mum …. I love you) to comment on what topics are of interest to you.  What questions would you like answered?

Start FlagSo there it is … I am out there … in the blogosphere … along with an estimated 25 squillion other bloggers (I would give the true number as at today, but the shocking truth is the experts have given up trying to count).

If I am lucky enough to receive a question below, it will be the focus of next week’s blog.  Unless I meet my very first hater and it will be instead the topic of next week’s therapy with my specialist pain psychologist.

Until we meet again.

Go well in the direct of your dreams.

The Wellbeingatwork(nearly)dr.



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6 Responsesso far.

  1. Anon says:

    Im interested in those vagus nerve stimulation exercises.

    • wellbeingatworkdr says:

      Thanks for that … it is a question I am interested in also. I plan to post about that in the coming weeks.

  2. Heather says:

    Hi rachel, what is the Vagus. Nerve?? Looking forward to more..,,

    • wellbeingatworkdr says:

      Good question thanks for asking 🙂 It is a very large nerve that connects your Brain-stem to many of your organs. Vagus is Latin for Wanderer … as the nerve literally wonders through your body. It affects how happy you feel, how socially connected to feel, how you perform on attention and memory tasks … and much more. I think I might to a “meet the vagus nerve” post. Thanks for stopping by…. come back soon.

  3. Teena says:

    For years I’ve had ibs-D, and two years ago things got drastically worse digestion wise and I finally tested positive for SIBO. Curious to know why the low dose of anitidepressants seems to slow things down and help with the pain. Do you think this could be connected to the vagus nerve?

    • wellbeingatworkdr says:

      Hi Teena, I am sorry for your challenges, its is no fun going through all that. I found amitriptyline did a similar thing to the low does antidepressants. I note what such things do seems to be very different by person. I have not researched antidepressants. My understanding is they are considered a bit of an old fashioned/out dated IBS treatment. I am not sure what it would do if anything for SIBO also. It’s really hard to know where vagus nerve influence or influence on the vagus nerve stops and starts as the vagus nerve is connected to so much else in terms of physiology. I am planning to unpick what is known about some of this in the coming weeks. I suspect there is still very much unknown … it is exciting times for the vagus nerve lol.

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