Blog #94 Good Health - Important for a Fulfilling Life
Many people consider good health to be one of our most precious assets, and for good reason. Without good health, we may not have the energy or endurance to work at a job, care for others, enjoy the world around us, and achieve and embody the things that matter most to us.
With the New Year, winter weather, and the flu season here, it is important to take extra good care of ourselves. There are many vital aspects of self-care. These include getting sufficient sleep. Sound and peaceful sleep allows the body to heal and rebuild, helps the mind to stay sharp, supports the various organ systems to function well, and keeps us more emotionally in balance.
Proper nutrition is another factor of self-care. Staying well-hydrated and consuming whole, nutritious, non-processed foods aids in both keeping the body and mind vital and minimizing toxicity. The better nourished and the less toxic we are the more able we will be to delay or counteract the onset of acute infections.
Regular exercise is also important for maintaining good health. Walking, running, Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, stretching and weight lifting, playing at one or more sports you enjoy, such as tennis, canoeing, or biking, as well as doing gardening, housecleaning and repair, and wilderness hiking can all be helpful. Regular exercise can maintain healthy blood and lymphatic circulation, eliminative function and detoxification. Other benefits are improved muscle tone, greater self-confidence and a calmer mind.
Maintaining strong posture and abdominal breathing helps with all aspects of health and vitality, from feeling centered, to keeping the joints aligned and stable, and establishing good balance to prevent missteps and falls.
Also important in maintaining good health are various holistic therapies. Massage helps relax muscles and improve circulation and lymphatic drainage. Chiropractic adjusting also does this and especially helps to teach us to keep musculoskeletal and nervous systems functioning optimally. Acupuncture helps coordinate and balance the body’s electrical and circulatory systems, which can generally support health and well-being. Tonic and medicinal herbs can help strengthen the body, improve resistance to infection and also remedies physiological imbalances.
Now, I want to focus on several herbal remedies that often can prevent colds and flu or shorten their duration. The Chinese herbal formulas Yin Chiao and Gan Mao Ling can help halt the onset of an upper respiratory infection when taken at the very start of symptoms, such as the first hint of a scratchy throat, headache, fatigue or slight warm or chilled feeling. Yin Chiao treats a more heated condition and Gan Mao Ling is helpful with a more chilled condition. Since many infections present as a combination of both hot and cold symptoms, it often is helpful to take one each of these remedies, usually three times a day, for two or three days. Once the infection has fully manifested, these herbs will be of little help. They can be obtained from stores in Chinatown. Better quality versions of these herbs can be obtained through an acupuncturist from companies like Golden Flower Herbs.
Another helpful remedy is a combination of vitamin C and Echinacea. I personally like Standard Process brand Cataplex C and Medi Herb brand Echinacea Premium. You can tell that an Echinacea supplement is potent if it makes your tongue tingle. The stronger the tingle and the longer it lasts, the better the supplement. Usually, taking one each of these morning and night for several days to a few weeks will keep your resistance to colds and flu strong. A combination of vitamin C and Echinacea will also speed up recovery from upper respiratory infections. It is best to purchase these from a holistic practitioner rather than from online companies.
Lastly, Sambucus Elderberry concentrate, preferably in liquid form, is an excellent tonic. Since it is very sweet it is not appropriate for everyone, but most people tolerate it well. Elderberry concentrate can help support you through the flu season. Then, it is best to take a break until the next year’s flu season. Usually one half to one teaspoon one to three times a day will be sufficient. Sambucus Elderberry concentrate can be purchased at Whole Foods or similar stores.
This blog’s offer. Feel free to call me with questions or come in for a consultation and treatment to support your health this year. Resolve to treat yourself with kindness this year.