How do you define optimal health and natural healing?
In modern times there’s more of a mindset to react to health issues instead of emphasizing prevention and natural healing. There are a lot of general health tips that won’t address some individual’s unique health imbalances. There’s a lot of talk about what to eat but most health issues are rooted in mental-emotional health. Many medications don’t support the body’s natural abilities to healing. Many medications for conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, allergies or digestive issues force symptoms to subside but the underlying root-cause of these conditions are never truly identified or corrected.
The body has the ability to heal naturally. Think of the body like an assembly line. Every worker on that assembly line is important in helping the body to grow and function well. If one worker is not doing their job well the whole line slows down resulting in a lower level of production or body function. Often times, it’s not just one worker or one symptom that patients are experiencing but many. Many workers are not performing optimally.
Problems like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, nausea, low appetite show signs of poor digestive ability. Difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying a sleep, restless sleep, sleep apnea, waking up to urinate at night, waking up tired and struggling to quiet the mind all can work against a good nights sleep. Such problems can cause the whole assembly line to weaken it’s productive output. Poor health results.
Diet is a large focus for prevention but there’s too much of a focus on counting calories and weight management. Eating whole foods that are nutrient-dense in the proper proportions will not only help manage weight but give the body the nutrients it really needs for optimal health and natural healing. Many packaged and processed foods like pasta, bread and cereals are depleted of nutrients and need to be fortified with vitamins. And then you have to question the quality of these so called fortified foods, right?
Knowing what to look for in your personal health is important to stay on a healthy track and support your body’s natural healing abilities. This is what I love about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). I found TCM was able to address my own personal health issues. TCM has helped me define optimal health and natural healing not only for my patients but for my family as well. Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, tai chi, chi kung, massage techniques, aspects of lifestyle and diet offer greater practices in prevention and have all been apart of my families plans for optimal health and natural healing.
Here’s an example of a different dietary practice to identify imbalances and offer corrections for better health based on TCM. A patient walks into the clinic… (this is not a joke :). I do an extensive health history and evaluation. The patient is presenting with excess heat signs and dampness.
I need to explain these TCM diagnostic terms. Diagnosing in TCM is like identifying weather patterns – hot , cold, damp, dry, windy and so on. I know it sounds funny but this is natural medicine for natural healing.
The body is a part of nature and reacts the same way. Cold causes the body to contract, heat causes the body to expand. Dampness can be equated to inflammation in the body, dryness can be experienced in different ways for example, dry skin, dry mouth, dry eyes. A windy condition is a condition to define signs and symptoms that come and go or move around the body in irregular patterns like headaches or patterns of pain that appear in different locations. Good health is about good circulation. All of these conditions can lead to circulatory stagnation and poor body function.
Now if you have been following my diatribe you should be asking, “so what dietary changes could be suggested for excess heat and dampness”? Hey, good question! Excess heat needs to be addressed with cooling foods. More often then not, this means veggies. Diabetes is a condition that can be described as excess damp-heat. Diabetics will feel warmer and may even complain of dry mouth symptoms. Sugar is a major cause of dampness in TCM. It thickens the body fluids and can lead to excess phlegm and mucus which can stagnate circulation and degrade body function. So the dietary plan is to increase veggies and lower the carbs. This suggestion may sound familiar because so many people struggle with this common TCM diagnosis – excess heat and dampness. If there’s weight gain there’s dampness and probably excess heat causing irregularities in body function and impeding healing.
Much of the preventive talk today focuses on eating but most health issues are rooted in mental-emotional imbalances. Thinking and feeling requires energy. So if you think too much you probably will gain weight. Ruminating, worry, over-thinking, pensiveness and also feelings of anxiousness and nervousness are in this same category. The inability to shut the mind off will often lead to poor sleep and over eating.
Thinking requires lighter foods like veggies opposed to heavy carbs like pasta or other starchy foods. Meditative practice and relaxation techniques found in Tai Chi and Chi Kung help organize and calm mental activity which can lead to better weight management.
This is optimal health and natural healing.
If you’re looking for a deeper discussion on emotional imbalances get my free ebook called 7 Emotions. I will be making a guided meditation series on balancing emotions in the near future so stay tuned. If you’re interested in reducing stress check out my programs page for the following programs – Less Stress Now, Mini Stress Reduction Treatment, 4 Seasons Chi Kung.
If you are interesting in a personal health assessment for great preventive self-care tips and natural therapies – all of which can help you identify your personal health needs and put you on a path to optimal health and natural healing contact my office today. I would love to help you create a more natural map to greater health for you and your family too!
Best wishes in health!
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