Take Control of Your Health! 5 tips that are right for you
If you want to just go to a Doctor and get a pill, then skip this article. If you are serious about your health, then read on
I am a Doctor’s daughter and I really dread going to the Doctor. Why? Let me give you a list of reasons.
1) Many doctors treat us like a statistic. If you show certain symptoms then based on the numbers, this treatment should work for you. But you are not a number, you are a unique person with a very unique history and a series of circumstances that might be important to know in your treatment. Unfortunately, managed care and the influence of the pharmaceutical industries has left us out of the equation and limited doctors in their ability to treat the “Root Causes” of our health concerns. They don’t have the time and they are often reluctant to suggest practices that are out of their comfort zone or are not backed by their sponsors (pharmaceutical industries). In many cases, they will be placing a band-aid on what ails you, very often, with side effects that are, at best unpleasant and at worst, serious.
2) The Nocebo Effect — often hearing unwelcome news will worsen your symptoms because of fear. This is known as the Nocebo effect.
3) Many doctors (without meaning to) make their patients feel stupid and powerless.
4) Insurance companies are not willing to cover most of the less invasive, alternative treatments.
For these reasons and more, I have been limiting my doctors visits to super serious things like hernia surgeries or diagnostic testing which will be covered by insurance. I use essential oils to handle most of the smaller daily aches and pains (ear aches, tooth aches, bug bites, headaches, sore muscles, stomachaches). I also work closely with a group of alternative health practitioners including a Chinese Medicine Physician, a Chiropractor, and holistic nurse.(This is where I chose to spend my discretionary income.) I read all the latest research and attend on-line workshops on nutrition, sleep, vitamins, essential oils, and yoga.
Here is my simple list of 5 practices that have helped me the most with health
- Nutrition: Controlling what you eat is the key to optimal health. It is like putting the right fuel into your vehicle. For me, cooking at home using as many organic, local ingredients has made a huge difference in my health. (see post on what I eat) What you cook may be different than what I cook. And that is where you need to have the curiosity to try foods and the mindfulness and observational skills to figure out if these foods are making you feel good or bad. This can be tricky at first because sugar and carbs are very addictive so you might need to learn to discern the difference between cravings and feeling good.
- Exercise: It is not just exercise, but how you exercise. (read on for more on how I customize yoga) It needs to be customized so that it is at an appropriate level for your constitution and life circumstances. For many people, this is challenging because they have not learned to listen to their bodies. Yoga can help you develop the skills to observe dispassionately what is going on inside. Ayurveda can help you figure out your constitution. Life circumstances are always changing– so your exercise routine needs to adapt to your circumstances. Let me give you an example, for 40 plus years I have been a competitive tennis player, but this year my body and mind were telling me it is time to slow down. I am not playing as often because my knees and shoulders were constantly injured. Playing less (twice a week rather than 4-5 times a week) is a better solution for me than getting knee and shoulder surgeries.
- Sleep: Figuring out the appropriate amount of sleep for YOU is important. Understanding your sleep requirements is another example of why it is so important to explore your internal landscape by becoming a dispassionate observer. Questions to ask yourself, “How do I feel when I wake up? Do I feel ready to go or lethargic?” Interestingly, waking up tired could mean too much or too little sleep. Here are a few things to try. Try eating your last meal four hours before going to bed. This gives your digestive organs time to rest. Try establishing a consistent routine for bed. My routine includes essential oils on my skin and diffuser, cleaning my sinuses with the Neti pot, a quick gratefulness prayer and then I am out.
- Play: A part of our brain is hardwired for pleasure. Happiness improves our health. Where is your happy place? Is it in nature, reading a book, playing with your children or pet, intimate time with a lover or creating something beautiful. The stimulus from outside your body affects your physiology. This is not hocus pocus. There is real science on the connection between environment, stress, happiness, and health. If your life keeps throwing negative stresses at you, your mind and body will most likely suffer. This is how it works. When you are under stress, you produce more cortisol which can throw off your hormones, raise your blood sugar levels, lead to inflammation and general wreak havoc on your body. This is what happened to me this year. My step dad died, my house was on the market for nearly a year without one offer, my youngest son left for college, my oldest son announced he was moving to Brazil and getting married, issues continued with my mother’s health. My body and mind were feeling the effect of these changes. Luckily, I put my training into action.
- Clean Living: Reduce toxics from your household and your life. This does require work because there are so many toxic chemicals hidden in everyday items and the list is growing longer every day. For women who wear makeup, this is a big challenge since we are putting it directly on our skin, day in and day out. According to the Environmental Working Group, on average, commercially produced make-up contains more than 168 unregulated toxic chemicals. Here are a few eye-opening statistics, according to Dr. Joseph Mercola:
- More than 84,000 chemicals are put into American food and products each year essentially without safety testing, generating more than $763 billion in profits for the chemical industry
- Strong scientific evidence exists that exposure to these chemicals is contributing to cancer, reproductive abnormalities, early puberty, and a host of endocrine, neurological, and metabolic problems. I have replaced many of my household and personal care products with essential oils. Check this out
How well your body handles the load of toxins is again very individual based on age, genetics, constitution and your general state of physical and mental health. More on that in my next blog post.
I wish you health and joy in your day. Namaste, Andrea
Heaven Lane Creations – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs. Designing individualized doTERRA oil routines for your health. Designing custom made jewelry to fit your style.