As a practitioner with 17 years of bodywork and massage experience, I have observed that there are basic tenants to a healthy and healing body. There are also keys to stimulate deep healing that are commonly missed in the world of western medicine. Don't let me make you think that I oppose western medicine; on the contrary. Western medicine practices have revolutionized acute care (which is the care one receives immediately following an accident or life threatening situation.)
When it comes to healing your body, however, you have no better healer than the one between your ears. Yes, you are the best healer that you can trust! The secret is that you have to use the tools that are available to you. You may already know this but have just not realized the simple power of these basic daily choices which promote a healthy life and longevity.
To give credit where credit is due, I will use the concept that Dr Darren Weissman lays out in his method known as The LifeLine Technique, which he calls "The Five Basics to Optimal Health." I will also differentiate from his concept and integrate my own ideas into what the "Five Basics" may look like for you and how you can achieve great results in your daily life by implementing these steps.
Dr. Darren, as he is commonly referred to, shows that Water, Food, Rest, Exercise, and Owning your power are the keys to a healthy life. Let's look at each building block.
Water - We often take water for granted. Thinking that we had coffee or tea, a soda, and some orange juice along with an 8 ounce glass of water is sufficient is causing many people to be sick and dehydrated. In my practice, I often ask, "are you drinking enough water?" The answer is always, "Yes." When I ask how much, I am always surprised at the range of answers. Some of us really believe that a glass of water in the morning is plenty. Let me assure you it is not. Even the Mayo Clinic suggests the 8 and 8 rule, which states to drink at least 8 ounce of water 8 times a day for a healthy functioning body. Do you agree that if the Mayo clinic is telling you this that it might be a good idea? Well, I suggest to take your water intake a step further. Most people have not heard that you should drink half your body weight in ounces. This is a simple rule to remember. Dr Darren, however, suggests that a person drink 1 quart for every 50 pounds of body weight and round up to the next quart for any weight exceeding that. So, if you weigh 157, you should be drinking 4 quarts of pure and healthy water each day. Oh. My. Goodness. Really? Yes! What makes healthy water? See how to have the best yummy water that is alkalized and accessible to you everyday by clicking here. I use the Nikken Pi-Mag Sport Bottle to have portable, clean, alkalized, and structured water when ever I want it. More to come on that in the future.
Food - Another simple change to make is your food intake. Dr Darren often is talking about Protein when he shares this concept but he does take it further as well. I agree that protein throughout the day is vital for a healthy body and mind, as well as a happy gut that is providing you with muscle, brain, and body building potential. When you eat food, you are providing your body with what it needs. I am not a nutritionist, nor do I give any specific nutritional information to my clients, but it should be common knowledge that if your gut is not working properly (if you are constipated) you may need to address this issue with a change in your diet, and consider a natural form of detoxification. One of the most natural ways you can do this is by drinking more water, increase plant proteins, decrease animal proteins, and eat more fruits and vegetables. Juicing is a super powerful tool for beginning to get some movement in the bowels also. If you are not having a bowel movement every day, then you should really make a change in your diet. To consult with someone who is licensed to advise you on diet and nutrition, click this link. All in all, eating little meals throughout the day and making sure to get plenty of fruits, veggies, and protein frequently throughout the day will help you. As with any dietary changes, always speak to your healthcare practitioner to make an educated decision for your own health. Each person is individual, and one cookie cutter solution will not work for everyone.
Rest - This is highly misunderstood in my opinion. Rest isn't just about a good night's sleep, but is a huge imperative. Though many suffer from sleeplessness, it can also be seen that relaxing in general is a valuable tool to help the body heal and recover. Studies that were documented by the National Institute of Health (NIH) show that there were heightened cortisol levels in those who were classified "insomniac" as opposed to those who were normal healthy. This signifies that those who are not sleeping well through the night have an increased sympathetic response, which is also known as "fight or flight." When our body is in a sympathetic state, it is in a heightened protective state. The body is not healing when it is in a heightened protective state and therefore is imbalanced. Real rest stimulates a para-sympathetic state, in which rapid and increased healing can, and does, occur immediately. Sleep, rest, meditation, prayer, reflection/contemplation, down time, clearing the mind, peace and quiet, intentional rest and relaxation, should all stimulate this form of para sympathetic healing in one's body. If you feel the need for a nap, take one; it will do you good. I asked a brilliant expert in clearing the mind once,"What do you do when you feel wiped out and fatigued?" His brilliant response? "Take a nap." shocking isn't it? Give it a try. At our center we use far infrared technologies and ultra soothing environments to trigger deep para-sympathetic rest. Here is a wellness package that will help you recoup quickly and kick start a healing process that may have been unable to begin without some assistance.
Exercise - Ah yes, the dreaded exercise. Well, some people love it, and then there is life. Life seems to get in the way of good exercise if we are really busy, at the office often, or raising a family. It is significant to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day and even up to an hour or more. Good exercise would consist of cardiovascular activities which are movements such as walking, hiking, bicycling, kayaking, you name it. You just need to get your body moving. Can't do that? Try jumping jacks, push ups, sit ups. Can't do that? Try moving your arms in small circles, big circles, walking in place, squatting up an down, go up on your tip toes and back to your heals, march in place, reach for the sky, reach for the ground; there are a million ways to move, so find one that works for you, and do it. It is good to evaluate what is best for you and each person will benefit from a customized exercise program. Just make sure you are getting plenty of exercise. If you have any health concerns or diagnoses, always check with your health professional before beginning or ending any exercise program. The concept is, your body is made to move. The cliche "move it or lose it" comes to mind. If we do not continue moving, we will become sick. Disease is simply the stagnation of tissues, and the dysfunction of health in those tissues. If we begin to move on a regular basis, blood and oxygen in, and blood and toxins out, we will feel better and better every time we move. Don't forget that you always need to increase your water intake when you exercise, also.
Own your power - What is that? Well, this is something that has to be accomplished moment to moment and day to day. We are always in a protective mechanism, and our dreams and ambitions are sometimes halted when we let go of our personal power to have an impact in our own lives. Maybe I have failed a time or two in the past at building relationships. That past failure impacts the way I look at my future ability to build relationships. Because I have failed, I may be less likely to try. Our brains are actually programmed to do the same thing again. To defeat that, we have to work to make new neural pathways. This can be accomplished in many areas of our lives and impacts our health also. Each day you can choose to be happy or sad, to feel good or bad, because it is literally a choice. We all go through some devastating and complicated circumstances from time to time. When we do, we can loose our focus big time, and it is easy to slip into that downward spiral. When this happens, I always first turn to my faith in God. After I respond to life with prayer, I focus my energy on my responsibility to myself and those around me to be the best that I can be. That takes intentional motivation and real purpose. Sometimes, tools can help us to break into stronger mindsets that will guide our life into a different direction. Our lives are a journey and along the way there are road signs. To understand those signs, sometimes we need a map to see where we came from and to choose where we want to go. Dr Darren's LifeLine Technique is a wonderful road map to help us see more clearly and help us choose to live with the intentions that are already in our hearts. With LLT, it becomes easier to observe the past for what it is and let it go so that we can move on and be what we were created to be...
I hope you have enjoyed this writing today. Please visit www.snapptherapy.com for more information about our services and how we can help you unlock your full potential.
James Snapp, LMT
For more about The LifeLine Technique and training click here.