Extremes are rarely healthy, and too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing. It’s very important to exercise, eat a healthy diet, get adequate sleep and have fulfilling professional, personal, and spiritual relationships.
Lack of sleep is one of the quickest ways to get one’s entire life out of balance. Without sleep, our immune system becomes compromised. This sets the stage for us to become less resistant to viruses, infections and stress. Without adequate rest, our minds are not as sharp and our bodies become more fatigued. Our skin looks fatigued and sallow. We tend to live in the very unnatural state of being plugged in 24/7. Most of us have very poor sleep hygiene. It is very important for the bedroom to be device-free to get quality, uninterrupted sleep. This means no television, computer, tablet or cell phones.
Inflammation is at the root of most all disease in the body. The typical American diet is chock full of food that causes a lot of it. Gluten, most particularly in wheat, often causes bloating, puffiness, constipation, headaches and fatigue. Sugar and foods high in sugar content, such as corn, also cause inflammation. Alcohol causes inflammation, especially wine and cocktails mixed with sweet liquors and sugary concoctions. If we consume alcohol, it is best to drink clear alcohol (gin, vodka, tequila) without mixers.
Acne is often the result of eating an inflammatory diet. Try cutting out all wheat, sugar and dairy for two weeks before going with a pharmaceutical solution. This usually does the trick. People are “peeling away their youth”, so to speak. This is definitely a category where the less is more philosophy applies. Be wary of med spas and doctor’s offices that push frequent peeling of the skin. Because our skin is a protective barrier, it doesn’t make sense to be constantly compromising it with aggressive peels and excess exfoliation.
The skin thins as we age, so constant peeling makes no sense. We want to build up the dermal barrier, not tear it down. Microneedling is a great procedure for this. A mild peel has its place every once in a while, but definitely not frequently. Regular use of quality skin care products containing vitamin A will increase cellular turnover, and the skin will slough naturally when it is ready.
We constantly hear that we need drink more water, yet many of us don’t. Additionally, caffeine and alcohol are very dehydrating and interfere with our anti-diuretic hormone. Consumption of meat also depletes hydration in the body, as it takes more water to digest. Some people just don’t like plain water, but we can drink lots of water during the day by giving it a little boost of antioxidants and flavor with fruit lemonades. In a blender, put two cups of watermelon, the juice of four lemons or limes, a pinch of cayenne pepper and one quart of water. Then, blend and strain. If it needs additional sweetening, use a little stevia. Keep this in the refrigerator and further dilute it when drinking it. It tastes great with peaches, nectarines, pineapple or strawberries.
In Western medicine, the lymphatic system is almost totally overlooked, yet it is one of the most important systems in our body. All toxins are eliminated through our lymphatic system. There is twice as much lymph the body as there is blood, yet the lymphatic system has no pump, like the heart. Furthermore 70 percent of lymph is in the gut, which is why most people accumulate weight and bloating in their abdomen.
We are bombarded with commercials for probiotics and products to improve digestive health. Stagnant lifestyle results in stagnant lymph, which results in poor digestion, inflammation and constipation. The only way to move lymph is through exercise, deep core breathing and weight training. So hit the gym, take the stairs, walk the dog, and get moving. Dry skin brushing stimulates lymph and there are lymphatic treatments and lymphatic massage offered in a small number of spas.
For more stories like this read Natural Awakenings Dallas-Ft Worth Metroplex magazine at NADallas.com