Friday, January 24, 2014

Real Results

Most of us find time for massage and wellness practices when we are at the point of "crash and burn." Real results, however, will come when we take a more consistent approach to our wellness goals. You may think I just mean visiting for massage sessions more often; but I am painting with a broader brush. Let's take a look at a few things that would really improve our health if we took them seriously.

The first area we could consider for real results would be our water intake. Our bodies cannot function at optimal levels unless we drink plenty of good water. What is good water, and how much of it is enough? Good water is water free of chemicals, pesticides, and other contaminants. Good water is also water that is at least slightly alkaline and that has minerals in it. This good water is readily available and you will see that it has value to your system that is noticeable to a person who is paying attention. The amount of water one should drink can be based on body weight. You might consider drinking half your body weight in ounces each day. If that seems high, start with one quart more than you usually drink and work your way up from there. Being consistent with your water intake is going to make a huge difference in the health of your body.

The second focus we could consider is diet. I am not a nutritionist, so I won't tell you what to eat. I will say, you already know what is making you heavier or more sluggish than you want to be, you are just not yet disciplined enough to make a change. How do I know that? Because I love bread; but when I have it I put on weight, but sometimes I eat it just because it tastes so good. Cow's milk is another product that makes me pack on the pounds, and also too much meat is not good for me. I find it an arduous process to chop vegetables and have them be the majority of my diet, but when they are available and I eat them more frequently I shed weight, gain energy, and feel much better. Am I saying you should be primarily vegetarian? No. I am saying that is what I know my body does best with. You also know a lot about what your body does best with, you are just too programmed not to change. You can change if you want to, so go ahead and try. If you want to lose weight, two areas you might start with are chewing more, and eating less. Slow down between bites, chew and savor your food. This will automatically reduce the size of the portions you will eat. It is just the way it is, and it works. You will thank yourself.

The third concentration could be exercise. We just can't get enough of this stuff, but somehow it is the most complicated thing to do for many of us. Step one; get up. Step two; move. Now you are into it! Keep going! That's right, enjoy it! Now the most important thing your body can do is move a lot. Basic ways you can exercise if you are computer junkie at work is to sit in your best posture. Sit up tall, hold your tummy in, breathe in your upper chest, now hold your muscles in that upright position while you keep breathing. This is exercise believe it or not, and we should all do more of it. Get up and stretch for 30 seconds to a minute a number of times throughout your day. You will be amazed at how that helps you. Walk more, park further from the store, jump rope, take the stairs, do sit ups, get into yoga classes or some sort of strength stretching. If you are not social, go to the library and rent yoga DVDs or P90X and follow along. If you are already getting good cardio exercise and getting plenty of good movement, than keep it up and enjoy how it feels. If not, then it is time to motivate yourself. Don't do it to look good, or to impress someone, do it so you will feel good and have a healthier life.

The fourth is going to be a struggle for many of you. I am going to tell you to actually love yourself. That's right, love yourself and think positively about your life. If you will do this, you will become more aware of your thoughts about yourself that are constantly battling you to protect you from your past. Most of the negative junk that goes through our minds that limits our abilities are old thought patterns that we don't need anymore. If we focus on the good things, be grateful for all the days we have had, even the hard ones, we will begin to heal on the inside. One of the hardest things I have ever had to do was forgive myself and start believing that my life had a purpose. Now that I have done that, I expect great things to come about. You should expect great things too. There are always going to be hard days, but there are always going to be great days too. Which ones are you going to look forward to the most? What are your passions? What do you want to accomplish in life? What is important? How do you want to be treated? There are so many areas in our lives that could be important for us to grow and change, but the mind is one of the key areas where change really happens. When you change your mind, you will change your life.

Now, let's put our mind on the things we really want to accomplish this month and begin with a good attitude, expecting great outcomes and knowing that if we believe in ourselves, and put our minds on being thankful, that we will have good outcomes. Let's challenge ourselves to eat better, to drink more water, to get more movement, to have regular massages, to do things that feel good, to meditate or pray more often, to trust the Creator, to strengthen our minds, and drive our bodies to healthier places. We have the ability, we just have to work at it and be appreciative. You are blessed and you are a blessing to me.

Thanks for reading!
Cheers to your good health!

James Snapp LMT