10 Proven Well-Being Natural Medicines
By Melanie Christian
Originally published as Natural Healing: A Well-Being Recipe under “The Process of Life blog”, April 8, 2016
The marketplace is flooded with so many products, books and services all aimed at helping us achieve healthier, wealthier lives that it can be difficult deciding where to begin. Nature has already sown free, replenishing and complementary resources for us to reap towards our own bon health and living well emotionally, physically and spiritually!
Water is the first medicine; all living creatures are hardwired to survive and are meant to thrive- humans are no exception! Water is vital in assisting digestion, stabilizing moods, maintaining cognitive functioning and skincare (problem skin often being an indicator of internal imbalances). Every cell in our bodies requires H2O. So feed your mind and body- drink plenty of water!
- OXYGEN = BREATH
Just like water our cells require oxygen. Take deep breaths pulling your navel inward until the count of 10 when you are stressed or upset, (angry, anxious, fatigued, sad, panicked and overwhelmed). Practice at work, too. Oftentimes, we don’t even realize we are holding our breath when we are focused or under pressure. It is difficult to think clearly, make sound decisions, problem solve and/or take the space to process our emotions when we are not getting enough oxygen.
- GOOD DIET/ NUTRITION
When you feed yourself well- eating intuitively to satisfy hunger and not eating emotionally, having regular meals so that your body know when next to expect sustenance, and taking care of your uniquely beautiful body you feel better about yourself and the world around you. You will found you are more positive, productive and inspired. Practicing good personal care (including oral health) is a wonderful expression of self-love.
Remember how your mother used to shoe you outside to get sun on your skin and some fresh air? She was onto something. Direct sunrays on your skin increases serotonin levels, uplifting your mood and mental acuity. Sunlight releases serotonin which is later converted to melatonin (a hormone which aids in producing restful sleep) after dark. Skin exposure to sunlight also encourages the development of vitamin D- great for bone health. Sufficient amounts of sun + Plenty of fresh air + Good sleep and strong bones = FEELING GREAT!
Inner reflection such as journaling, meditation, vision quests, sweats, discussion groups and forums is essential to continuous personal growth. Knowing who we are, where we’ve journeyed from, who has played a role in us getting to the “here and now”, what lessons we’ve learned and how we desire to relate to the world around us are essentials to self-awareness and development. Reflection looks inward, ultimately moving us forward with the insights we’ve gleaned. What is it that you want to offer in service? What goals do you have? What resources do you possess in your personal toolbox? Take the time to turn your gaze inward, so that your light can shine outward- it is the best gift you can give to yourself and the world!
It’s not a cliché. Okay, it is. But, laughter truly is one of the best medicines. Laughing and smiling resets our headspace, puts things in perspective, promotes relaxation by releasing pent up stresses, and lifts our mood and the moods of those around us. Remember to laugh at yourself (we are after all such curious and entertaining creatures); smile at yourself, smile at a stranger today- it feels good!
We all know how a good or poor night’s sleep can either positively or negatively impact our moods and overall cognitive functioning, (decision-making, focus and alertness). Sleep well and regularly through establishing a healthy sleep hygiene that works best for your schedule and lifestyle:
- stretching before bed,
- turning off and/or not being active on cell phones and computers 30-60 minutes before bed,
- having a well fitted mattress and pillow,
- not going to bed hungry, and
- waking and going to bed around the same times.
Walk, run, stretch, cycle, dance, swim- the options are endless. Get physical! Regular, healthy movement helps you maintain muscle mobility (we were not built to be stationary for hours on end), it is refocusing (gets your blood flowing and spreading oxygen around to all your cells) and alleviates stress.
- SOCIALIZING = CONNECTING
Spending time with friends and family, joining clubs, taking part in groups, team sports and public events- conferences, concerts, openings are all ways we can stay and become more connected to our communities and world. Humans are social beings needing to not only connect with themselves through reflection, but with others as well- oftentimes through laughter. Coming from all kinds of families and neighbourhoods each one of is part of a community. Yes, there is “unity” in community (social, spiritual, emotional, financial and/or biological connections), but there is also “I” in community; the individual offering and in need of healthy connection. The more we relate with one another the more we all grow lovingly. Create, nurture and enter the families and communities which honour and encourage your truths and growth.
Daydreaming, goal setting, planning, strategizing, journaling and lucid dreaming can serve as aids in actualizing and manifesting your well-being needs. Alongside action and intent visualization is the foundation for turning your goals and aspirations into reality.
So take Nature’s 10 for your health, spiritual wealth and loving yourself!
Sources: Andrew Weil, MD on Breathing Exercises: 4-7-8 Breath, Rachell Nall, RN, BSN, CCRN and Mark R. Laflamme, MD on What Are The Benefits of Sunlight?, Sophie Scott on Why We Laugh?, Matt Vaughan on Using Electronics Before Bed Can Have a Negative Effect on Your Sleep, Dr. Homayun Gharavi on Fascial Stretching Protocol
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide or replace medical advice, diagnosis or treatments.
Melanie Christian is a Certified Well-Being Life Coach, parent and blogger on “The Process of Life”. She is the founder of Forward Muse Solutions Coaching and enjoys tending to her garden, having stimulating exchanges with friends and strangers, dancing whenever and wherever she can and learning, growing and loving with her teenage son. To learn more about Melanie Christian and well-being life coaching (face-to-face and digital) visit Facebook, Twitter@forwardmusesoul, or her website at www.forwardmusesolutions.com.
by Melanie Christian