|As a naturopathic doctor, I give varying pieces of advice to people on how to
get healthy. Much of that advice is individual or tailored to the
specific needs of the person sitting in front of me. In fact, I feel
individualized treatment plans are a key part of my approach. I don't
just see a person with "health condition A" and give them "treatment A".
Very few "protocols" are used in my office. The primary goal is
always to identify and treat the underlying issues which result in the
symptoms each patient has. In other words, what is crucial for one
patient, may be useless for another. It all depends on what's going on.
That said, there are also certain basic health tips I give to just
about everyone. I have chosen these health tips because,
unlike the specific treatments I recommend to work on individual need,
these tips will help EVERYONE.
Take Daily for Health and Longevity:
- Skin to Skin Contact with the Earth: Based on the responses I have seen in my own practice, along with a growing body of research, I now consider "Earthing" to be the most simple, fundamental and
crucial daily health tip of all. It is so easy to do, and yet so
powerful and so potentially beneficial it's almost hard to believe.
There is no reason why everyone of you cannot start "Earthing" today!
- Real Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants: This simple piece of advice was originally coined by Michael Pollan in his book, "In Defense of Food". The statement
pretty much speaks for itself. No reading between the lines here. Stay
away from all processed, packaged, chemical-laden foods, choosing "real food" instead.. Eat each meal
until you're about 80% full and stop there. Base your menu plans
around a variety of richly colored organic veggies and different types
of pastured, anti-biotic and hormone free animal foods and don't eat
much of much else. You won't regret it! There are a variety of books
on the right side of this page that can go a long way in helping you
accomplish these goals.
- Pure Water til Your Pee is Light Yellow:
Everyone seems to have their own idea about how much water you can
drink. 8 cups a day. Half your body weight in ounces. Only drink when
you're thirsty. So on and so forth. What is clear though is that water consumption is crucial to good health.
I have come up with my own recommendation though, which makes the most
sense to me.This is because , depending on a variety of factors,
especially activity level and
diet, that your body's water needs can vary widely from day to day, so
following some set rule for the amount you need seems illogical. After
all, drinking too
much water isn't good for you either! Give this a try and see how you
- Vigorous Physical Activity: Everyone knows that exercise is important, however most people still don't quite get just how important it is. Some people who surely do are the folks at the Warrior Room, who are partnering with Mayor Jeremy Ferguson of Milwaukie, OR during his "Mayor's Fitness Challenge" to provide him with some high quality, highly effective workouts.
- Regular Outdoor Exposure in Nature: Richard Louv, author of The Nature Principle has researched the benefits of getting out in nature extensively. To me, it's a no brainer. GO OUTSIDE. OFTEN. 'Nuff said.
- Quality Sleep and Frequent Rest:
Unfortunately, this one is much easier said than done. Nonetheless, I
would rank it up there along with Earthing and eating well, in terms of importance. If this
is a challenging area for you, you should know there is a wide variety
of advice available out there on how to get a good night's sleep. Of
course the most obvious advice (Go to Bed!) is also probably the
most difficult for most of us, especially parents, to follow. However,
if you are having real problems in this area, you need the help of a
health professional. If that is the case, I nominate.... ME. Why not? It's my blog posting.
- Positive Social Interactions:
This is another important bit of advice that could take a number of
different forms, depending on the person. Honestly, most anything will
do, as long as it's not directly harmful to the planet or any of its inhabitants (you included). The
biggest problem I see in this category is that people just get stuck in
their day to day life and don't go out and have fun anymore! What's the
best social activity I can think of? Go to a park with your friends or
family, run around barefoot on the grass playing some game or another
that makes you all laugh and breath hard, drink some water, eat some local,
organic food, then take a nap. Bam! You just followed all the advice on this entire post in about two hours!
- Play, Laughter and Good Humor:
Have you ever heard about how it takes way more muscles to frown than
it does to smile? I always loved that bit of trivia. Well, if you're this lame-o, you can take time out of your precious day to disprove the theory, or you can just go with it! Smiling and laughter will make you live longer.
- Meaningful Participation in Your Community:
last but not least, what good is living longer if you are not helping
out the rest of this world? We are all in it together here, and without
all of us doing our part to help each other and this planet out, we
will just not make it much longer.
small if you need to, just start somewhere if you aren't doing do so already. You know, "Reduce, Reuse,
Recycle". Then go from there. If you want a shining example of this important action, check out what,
Mandy Zelinka Anderson of Milwaukierules.com is doing. Or, volunteer. Coach a Little League team.
Open the door for someone. Plant a tree. Pick up the garbage you see
on the ground and throw it away. Choose a job that makes you feel like
you are making a difference.