bodyM

   
The holiday season seems to provide an important economic stimulus and also put a smile on many people's faces who are gifted new gadgets, clothes, and other material possessions.  
 
While I don't advocate becoming a renunciate and giving up all material goods it does seem that Western Culture is often plagued by excess. 
 
What always perplexes me is what is of ultimate value in day-to-day life.
 
People are willing to spend big money on countless and sometimes unnecessary stuff, home projects, care maintenance, and the continual vicious cycle of gadget upgrades, but when it comes down to investing in the health of the their physical home, funds seem to run dry. 
 
It is a tricky situation since the human body does an amazing job of keeping itself in balance without warning signs--at least at first-- even when its not being treated very well.
 
The sad news is that without regular maintenance even our bodies begin to fail, immunity is lowered, and disease has an easier time taking hold, which eventually leads to irreversible damage.
 
Just like we take our cars in for regular service it's important to make time to help the body replenish and renew. The basics are pretty clear; eat clean food, drink ample water, and move your body in some way 30 minutes 4x a week, but what else can you incorporate into your maintenance routine without robbing the bank?
 
  • Body Work: At least a monthly massage is a great way to support your body in lowering blood pressure, improving immunity, releasing held muscle tension, reducing stress hormones, and supporting better sleep. To save money and ensure you actually go buy a package for 3 or 6 massages and book your next massage at the end of a session. If finances are extremely strained find a massage school near you and volunteer to get massaged.  
  • Acupuncture: While at first sight this alternative modality might seem odd and unapproachable more and more research is showing that acupuncture helps reduce pain, alters blood flow to support specific organs, and improves the body's stress response mechanisms. To save money locate a community clinic in your area for sliding scale options. 
  • Restorative Yoga: So many health related problems are related to an overstressed system. While regular yoga classes offer a bit of rest and integration, restorative yoga is a wonderful and potent weekly or bi-monthly maintenance tool. Its a chance to dive even more deeply into the state of parasympathetic healing where the body can repair, rest, and digest. To save buy a 10 class card. 
  • Probiotic: Every 6 months or at least 1x a year take a course of probiotics to replenish the friendly bacteria in your intestines. Besides being responsible for absorption of nutrients and healthy elimination the digestive tract is charged with 90% of your immunity and even mood regulation. To save look for a manufacture coupon like New Chapter Organics or Garden of Life.    
  • Blood Work: It is important to get your blood tested at least 1x a year to check in and see how some of your nutrient levels are doing. While I have great respect for conventional M.D.'s it is important to remember that most are trained in disease management and not preventative healthcare. First thing is to know what to ask for as some nutrients are not standard for general blood work. Ensure you are getting tested for Vitamin D, B vitamins (especially B6, 12, and folate), magnesium, zinc, and selenium. Read page 157 of Dr. Hyman's Companion Guide to help you and your Dr. interpret results from a more holistic mind frame.    

Start small. This new year commit to at least two actions related to the 5 points above.

Don't let another year go by without giving back to the body that supports you in the background, day in and day out.  

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