Updated: Sep 5, 2018
Have you seen the 23 and Me commercial that asks you to imagine having only one car for the rest of your life? You would take really good care of it, wouldn’t you? Well, you will likely have more than one car in your lifetime, but you only get one body to live in for the rest of your days. Are you taking care of it as if it’s the only one you’ll ever get?
Taking care of the body means understanding its language similarly to reading the dashboard of your car (get out that manual). Warning signs are just that, warnings. It is said that the symptoms our bodies express are really just the tip of the iceberg. Pain, inflammation, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and food cravings are all messengers from our body telling us that something is out of balance. Our remedy: antibiotics, antidepressants, analgesics, anti-inflammatories, diet pills, alcohol, or your drug of choice (sugar???). Of course, we want the quick fix. Take that Tylenol and get back to your busy day, eat a candy bar for the energy. The quick fix is not a fix. It is only masking the sign. The real cause of the symptom is now like a splinter under a band-aid.
We think we are listening and responding with the “medicine” but in reality, we are suppressing the message. Do we ask what is going on in the body? Are we curious? We usually aren’t initially. It’s often only when we have a chronic issue that we really start wondering why.
Our bodies are doing the best they can to bring balance, but they weren’t made to thrive in the pressure-filled environment that exists today. Processed foods everywhere, toxins everywhere, stressors everywhere and no time for self-care anywhere. So, what do we do? Where do we begin? We slow down. We listen to our body. Really listen. Marie Manuchehri, an intuitive healer, always says “get out of your head and get into your body.” I love this advice. We can use our brain to rationalize our way out of or into anything but it’s not always in alignment with the body. So, listen and then respond. Maybe the response is five minutes of meditation each morning or starting the day with breakfast full of healthy fats to fuel your day. Maybe you need some extra support from a holistic practitioner, some time in nature or an extra yoga class each week. The solution is within us if we are curious and we truly listen.
I am a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, but I recognize that food is only part of the picture. The concept behind wellness is balancing the whole. Your diet, lifestyle, and environment are the factors that impact your health. Keeping them in harmony for the good of your well-being is not always easy but it’s important for the now and for longevity. You only get one body. Use it well.
Strategies for balance:
· Breathwork or meditation- Research shows that meditation may be helpful in reducing blood pressure, pain and psychological disorders. It’s a good way to clean house in the brain and support adrenal function. Try starting with 5 minutes a day. I love using the Insight Timer app.
· Exercise- It can be dance, hiking, weight lifting or what have you. Just make sure you like it, or you won’t keep doing it.
· Find time for play. Yes, play. Research shows that play is important for children and adults. It helps with connection, keeps us sharp and promotes well-being. Have fun, be silly. What’s a life without play?
· Eat a well-balanced whole-food diet. A good macronutrient starting point is 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, 30% fat.
· Eliminate toxins where you can i.e. body care products, cleaning products, household items.
· Hydrate! The most common nutrient deficiency is water. Drink half your body weight in ounces plus more if you drink diuretics (coffee, juice, alcohol). Dehydration can lead to pain, anxiety, and fatigue. Drink that water!
· Get a massage. Relax. Seriously.
· Try CBD oil. While it’s not for everyone it can be a powerful tool for pain relief, insomnia, stress management and more. I use Select CBD.
· Work with a practitioner to find the right supplements and if you need additional support.
Note: A positive change in lifestyle, diet and supplements use can have an effect on prescription medications. Please work with your doctor to manage dosage.
A Nutritional Therapist is not a substitute for your family physician or other appropriate healthcare provider. A Nutritional Therapist is not trained nor licensed to diagnose or treat pathological conditions, illnesses, injuries, or diseases. This information contained in this blog is for informational purposes only.