By Mila McManus MD and Nancy Mehlert, MS
Admittedly, there are many balls to keep in the air to get well and stay well, and each aspect is necessary and overlapping with the others. How well are you doing with optimizing these areas? Test yourself here:
Clean Air – Often out of our control, but are you taking control where you can? At home, do you open windows frequently, decorate with real plants, vacuum often with a HEPA filter, eliminate heavily scented fragrances, candles and chemicals in exchange for safe, non-toxic cleaning products, replace ac/heat filters often, consider single room or whole house air filtration systems?
Clean Water – Do you avoid tap water and select high quality filtering systems for the water you drink and, if possible, the water in which you bathe? Do you limit plastic bottle water use? Are you successful at hydrating throughout the day (drinking half your body weight in ounces)?
Clean Food and Supplements – Do you know what is in your food and supplements? Are you an ingredient reader? Are you eating more and more real, whole food? Are you reducing sugar, packaged, fast, and restaurant food? See our article about choosing supplements carefully.
Unobstructed Energy Flow – Have you had surgery? Infections? Injuries? Parasites? Have you experienced the loss of a pet, family member, or job? These are just a few of the stresses that can trip a breaker for energy flow in the body. Energy therapies can restore this flow, promote healing, detoxification, oxygenation, reduction of pain, swelling and inflammation while increasing ATP (i.e. energy) production at the cellular level. These therapies assist the body with releasing emotional trauma stored at the cellular level to reduce emotional stress on the physical body. Read about our energy therapy called ONDAMED.
Quality Sleep – Do you achieve deep sleep? Do you get too much or too little sleep? Most people need 8 to 9 hours a night. Do you follow a consistent schedule for going to bed and waking up? While the number of hours a person may need can vary, the quality of sleep is critical. It is during deep sleep that our bodies balance, regulate and detoxify. Our brains process information from the day and are reset for the next day. This has a dramatic impact on the body’s ability to fight disease, cope with stress, ward off inflammation and illness.
Moderate Exercise – Are you getting exercise every week? Are you exercising too much (yes that is an important question to ask!)? Do you stand more than you sit? Do you get 10,000 steps in a day? Do you increase your heart rate at least 2-3 times a week? Do you get both aerobic and weight bearing exercise? Exercise is critical for reducing stress, improving sleep, and healing from some diseases. Are you trying to exercise your way out of a bad diet, poor lifestyle choices, or emotional stress? Too much exercise can have a dramatic impact on your adrenal health. So can too little.
Balanced Hormones – Are you working with a functional medicine specialist to balance and optimize your hormones? Simply having ‘normal’ lab results doesn’t guarantee that your hormones are working optimally at the cellular level. Test yourself here for hormonal imbalances.
Strong Immune Function – Are you taking care of your microbiota – the probiotics (aka beneficial bacteria) that defend your body from the outside world? Have you identified areas where your white blood cells are not coping well and put in place a proactive plan to restore this strength (ask why you are having recurrent upper respiratory infections, allergic responses, urinary tract infections or skin rashes, for example)? Do you supplement with immune supporting foods and vitamins? Are you prepared with natural anti-bacterials such as essential oils, coconut oil, herbs, vitamins and supplements that can support the immune system without the use of antibiotics?
Healthy Gut/Digestion –Are you consuming real food, avoiding man-made food products and chemicals and supporting your gut health with fermented foods, probiotics, soothing broths, digestive enzymes and moderate portions of food? There is great truth in the statement that “You are what you eat” but there are many external forces continually destroying your gut health. Do you know what they are and are you protecting yourself from them? Here are links to a 3-part series we published in 2014 regarding this subject: http://www.woodlandswellnessmd.com/defending-borders-part.html/ , http://www.woodlandswellnessmd.com/defending-borders-part-ii.html/ , http://www.woodlandswellnessmd.com/defending-borders-part-iii.html/ .
Emotional/Spiritual Wellbeing – Are you attentive to your soul? Do you address emotional aspects of your life that need your care? Did you know that your emotional stress and despair get stored at the cellular level and have direct impact on your physical health? Do you take time every day to get centered emotionally? Have you forgiven? Can you release hate and anger and take in love and joy? Have you dealt with difficulties in a healthy way that allows you to look forward, not backward, with hope and not dread? Can you turn off the sound of life and find a quiet place for your soul?
Countless times we hear people say that “when you have your health, you have everything”. It is with good health that we can share joy, love others fully, give, and stand beside, and with, others. There is truth in that statement. How’s your juggling act coming along?