Musings: Self-care Tips
Stress is the number one factor depleting our health today. The absorption of toxins poisoning our bodies is a close second. As stress and toxin levels continue to rise daily in our lives, our bodies must find new ways to cope with these chronic health stressors.
In addition to getting adequate exercise and rest, moderating our diets and maintaining good daily hygiene, taking the lead in your own self care is one way to address this modern healthcare crisis.
The advertising we see on TV, in magazines, newspapers, etc., would like us to believe that our best option for self care is to rely on taking pills to heal our aches, pains and illnesses. Yet, note the long list of potential side effects accompanying every advertisement. Taking care of ourselves in a way that potentially damages other parts of our bodies is, at best, a dubious way to maintain good health. What other harmful factors or long term side effects are yet to be discovered and reported from taking these pharmaceutical wonder drugs?
Becoming aware of what hurts the body, as well as what heals it, should be the foundation of any form of medicine or self care. The more you learn about the body, the more you will discover that it is already equipped with many self-healing and regenerative capabilities just waiting to be activated through practice and training, much like any new skill we can learn to develop. Most of these capabilities have been well documented and practiced by millions of ordinary people throughout the world for thousands of years with great success. These holistic forms of self care include tai chi, yoga, qi gong, Reiki, meditation, self-massage and hundreds of others techniques which offer healing and symptom relief with no negative side effects, while also boosting the body’s overall strength and immunity. What all these practices share in common is a reliance on the body’s energy system to treat disease and promote healing, and a belief that good health involves taking care of the body, mind and spirit for total wellbeing.
Trying to maintain health without working directly with the body’s energy system is like living in a house with a heating system, but not turning on the thermostat. Sure, it’s warmer than being outside on a cold, rainy day, and you can always bundle up with layers and blankets to keep warm, but why not just turn on the heat? Your body is already wired and plumbed for life energy to flow efficiently through its numerous channels, connecting all the living organs, bones, cells and tissues with the life energy they need to stay healthy. While science has dissected and recorded many microscopic elements in the body, it is this invisible realm of life energy that lies at the heart of the question that science has yet to answer: “But what makes it tick?”
Just as miracles of healing occur, tumors spontaneously dissolve and people defy incredible odds to “cheat” death, the energy of life is a mystery we will never fully understand because the inner workings of the body are not transparent. But we can benefit from thousands of years of medical research documented outside our scientific culture that recognizes that all physical, mental and emotional symptoms are the result of disturbances in our energy system. The tools to clear away blockages, repair leaks and allow for life energy to flow freely again are available for our use.
Working with your energy system does not require you to be a master to obtain results. Even just a few minutes a day of qi gong, tai chi or Reiki can benefit your overall health, but the more you learn about and work with this system, the better your results will be. Seek out professionals, read good books or articles and talk to others who practice these self healing techniques, then practice everyday. While visualizing your life energy flowing clearly and strongly through its proper channels is a good start, you must also activate the system with your physical movement and effort.
In addition to learning about your self-healing energy system, consider these other important self care tips:
- Drink as much pure, spring water as possible each day unless you are on a fluid restricted diet. 64 ounces per day is a good target. Surprisingly, many disease conditions are the direct result of simple dehydration. Imagine washing your dishes with just a teaspoon of water and you have an idea of how woefully inadequate eight ounces of water per day is for the body.
- Reduce stress. Take a breath when you are stressed. Slow down. Stop! Step back and remember that what appears to be a monumental problem at the moment will most likely dissolve into nothing sooner than you think. Find entertaining pursuits at home to eliminate some of the over scheduling and rushing around we plan into each day. Get more rest. Don’t panic!
- Change your attitude. Kick negative thoughts to the side each time they start to bring you down. They cannot help you in any way. Turn every negative thought into a positive and add it as another rung to your “ladder of success” to uplift you.
- Explore the variety of multi-vitamin/mineral supplements and herbal tonics that can have exceptional results on an individual basis. Check with a professional or try out supplements that you are drawn to intuitively.
Schedule time into each day for self care, even if it’s just five minutes per day. Make it a part of your daily routine now, and you will potentially be saving yourself years in the future. If you have a partner or family, self care also means taking care of each other. Take care of yourself now so you will be around to care for each other for many years to come.
Carol Bedrosian is the publisher and editor of Spirit of Change Magazine.
The following healing poem was submitted by yoga student, poet, photographer and animal lover Lori B. McCray. Thank you Lori!
By Lori B. McCray
Devas of uterus and abdomen. Bowel and bladder.
Forgive me. I have not loved you well enough.
I am too stubborn. Too reckless in my abandon.
Too slow to ask for help. Forgive me my impertinence.
Forced to acknowledge my weaknesses, teach me to
be tender toward this fractious incarnation.
Show me the path to full acceptance, that I might
love what I’ve been given.
Press me to my knees, ‘til I surrender. Grant me
humility, that I might honor my limitations.
When I despair, remind me of my courage.
If there should come a day I cannot rise or stretch
or flit about, let the birds outside my window
remind me of my wings.