Journey to Wellness
7 Steps to Taking Your Health Back!
Good health is not something you end up with, or a place you get to like an end destination, but rather, it is a continuum. It follows a pattern of ebb and flow, never the same, always changing. Once you visualize this concept you can begin to connect with its guidance intuitively, and manage it daily with ease. Regardless of where you are at in the Illness-Wellness Continuum, the goal is to first be aware of where you are at on this scale and then to continuously aim for the furthest right side of neutral. The left side means we should be in some kind of treatment care to repair damage, while the right side places us in maintenance mode. Once we are in maintenance mode we can regain the body’s full strength and move towards our highest level of wellness.
Here are seven primary elements to move you towards high-level wellness
Step 1) Assessment
“Know where you are to know where you are going.” Step one is about being self-responsible for your health. Enlist the help of a Naturopathic doctor alongside your regular medical doctor. Both should be people you connect with and trust. If you can find that special doc who embraces naturopathic medicine you are well ahead of the game. Check yourself in annually for a thorough medical exam and naturopath testing. Get a full rounded assessment of where you are at holistically and then you’ll be empowered to respond intelligently and with more choices.
Step 2) Cleanse
We want to wipe the slate clean. Before beginning any changes it is ideal to orient yourself with the workings of the GI tract and the colon. Most disease starts in the colon. The idea is simple: keep the colon clean and you’ll have an excellent start in preventing disease. Our focus at Grail Springs is to promote a regular detox cleanse. Mother Earth gives us natural substances that are excellent for the detoxification process such as seaweed, salts, clays and moors. These elements in particular are excellent in drawing out toxins from the body, swift yet gentle, and most times give immediate relief from inflammation, bloating, skin rashes and fatigue, all symptoms of an over-abundance of toxins in the body.
- Detox Bathing: One of the simplest ways to integrate a detox cleanse into your weekly schedule is to take a detox bath once a week, like Sunday nights before going back to work. Available at your local health stores you should easily find salt bath crystals such as those from the Dead Sea or Himalayan (best). Fill bath with warm water and relax for 20 to 30 minutes. Light a candle, turn down the lights and try to stop your inner voice for a time. Take a deep breath and relax. Enjoy a restful sleep. A salt bath will raise the alkaline levels in your body and lower the acid levels, act as a gentle detoxifier and decrease inflammation or skin irritations.
- Colonics: Not everybody’s cup of tea, however can provide extraordinary results for people. Consult with your Naturopath, Chiropractor or Physiotherapist to recommend a colon therapy clinic in your area. Colonics is basically an enema performed by a Certified Colon Therapist. The colon therapy lasts about 30 to 45 minutes and gently flushes wash water through your colon removing putrefied fecal matter that has accumulated and encrusted itself to the lining of the colon, causing blockages, constipation and even chronic diarrhoea. Colon hydrotherapy can clear up many ailments within a few treatments like constipation, fatigue, poor eyesight, hearing loss, asthma, prostate trouble, colds, allergies, nagging backache, respiratory disorders, digestive problems and skin irritations just to name a few.
- Drink lots of hot water with lemon daily: Purchase a small thermal carafe, fill it up with hot water and a few slices of lemon. Take it with you to work. You’ll get both the recommended daily water intake and the benefit of a steady detox cleansing with the added lemons. Add a bit of cayenne pepper to also stimulate weight loss. It is also one of the quickest ways to alkalize your body.
Part 3) Nourish
Food is probably the one area where most people will have to make the biggest changes and maybe have the most resistance. The list of the more potentially toxic and acidic foods are in most of our every day diet; red meat, soda including diet pops, refined sugar, white flour, hydrogenated fats and caffeine to name a few. All of these cause your body to be overworked in order to digest them. They cause a pH imbalance, causing congestion in the colon, a leading cause of disease. Disease loves an acidic environment. Disease dislikes an alkaline environment. Your body is happiest in a pH balanced state of 7.0 (0.0 being most acidic and 14.0 being most alkaline). An excess of acidity in a person’s body over a long period of time would show up as inflammation, contraction, stiffness, tissue degeneration, water retention, itchy skin and more.
Fact: Do you know it take 30 8oz glasses of water to neutralize a can of soda pop?
- Purchase organic foods whenever and wherever possible
- Think Alkaline ~ eat pH balanced alkaline/acid meals
- Cut out the “5 toxic whites”: sugar, flour, rice, table salt and most dairy. And eliminate red meat and soda pop altogether.
- Replace your morning coffee with green tea. It will still give you the caffeine boost you desire in the morning and you will be amazed at how different your facial skin will appear even after just a few days.
- Add blueberries to your grocery list ever week. Leave a bowl of them on your desk and munch on them throughout the day. Best anti-oxidant.
- Taking a weekly bath with salt crystals will also supply your body with some of the necessary minerals it needs.
Part 4) Movement
Let’s cut to the chase. Never mind looking good and feeling toned, the heart must be addressed by all of us. Heart disease is a huge killer in North America. A strong healthy heart can’t ever be replaced but it can be nurtured and cared for by YOU. That’s how you have to think of it. Be good to your own heart. Give it a good daily workout.
- Join that fitness club, rearrange your schedule to get there or make that investment in a treadmill. Remember! Cardio! Cardio! Cardio! Period.
- Find an instructor that inspires you and makes it interesting.
- Take a daily walk outdoors, not just for the exercise but for the connection you regain from the environment each time
Part 5) Breath work
In ancient terms, breath is prana, life, and the fluid of connection. Our breathing is probably the most ‘disconnected’ element. Right breathing will assist your health in many, many ways. In Qi Gong or Yoga, students become aware of the importance of the breath. They learn to reduce and eliminate the unreleased tension of the mind and body. The obstacle to correct breathing is caused by a lack of balanced mobility in the spine. If your spine is restricted from complete forward flexion, then exhalation requires greater effort. The more developed the flexion range of the spine, the further the diaphragm can ascend. Diaphragm ascension (lifting the diaphragm up) is the mechanism for exhalation. The opposite is true for inhalation. Unrestricted extension range of the spine increases the diaphragm's ability to drop or distend, enabling greater ease for inhalation. Ideally, this flexibility can create a state of balance that will enable the individual to move and breathe stress free. This lack of restriction can do wonders for digestion, healing, sleep deprivation, and many more health issues that most people suffer from. We would also caution that you don’t push it or over do it. Right breathing will eventually come naturally.
Guess what else... Short breathing raises the acidic level of the body. Deep breathing alkalizes the body!!!
- While you are sitting at your desk, driving in your car, or standing in a line up and the thought comes to mind, take a few deep breaths.
- Join a Yoga, Qi Gong or Tai Chi in your area. And make sure you like your instructor! Key.
- Another recommendation: Check out Dr. Andrew Weil’s audio CD called ‘Science of Breath Work’.
Part 6) Spirit/Mind
And finally the one thing that makes it all work together: The way you think. Negative thoughts and stress will ultimately destroy, suck up, deplete and negate any positive work that you are doing to achieve better physical health. There are such things as emotional toxins and these are just as deadly to the function of the organs. Most North Americans are becoming moderately aware of meditation as a form of relaxation. Although there are many types of meditation, the simplest form is relaxation. Relaxation comes by way of slowing down the mind chatter. Though not an easy task for some, with practice and determination, the ability to shut down that voice at will eventually does come. Your state of mind directly affects your bio~energy field which is your life-force, your vitality energy.
- Keep a healthy attitude. Be mindful of your moods & that it exudes positive vibes.
- Sign up for a meditation or relaxation class in your local community or at the least, sign up for a yoga class.
- Make a ‘sacred space’ in your own home. A place where you can retreat to for daily quiet time.
- Keep peace with your conscience. If you have peace with your conscience you will more than likely keep peace with others.
- Make a concerted effort to keep a peaceful mind and a peaceful heart. This after all is the final secret revealed in the legendary search for the Grail!
- Final last words: “Back yourself up completely!”
Part 7) Support
- Find your support system. Enlist family and friends to help keep you on track
- Care deeply about you and your life
- Be masterful at everything you do
- Turn your “should do” into “I have done it”!
- Turn your home and work place into a healthy and sacred place
- Connect with Mother Nature and the Universal Life force around you
- Honour and respect all life
- Be well so the planet can be well
- And never stop asking yourself “what else is possible?”