10 natural ways to look after yourself as spring begins
I am a firm believer of looking after myself with as many natural ways as possible and although I am fairly good at it, I am always looking to improve my tool kit! Western medicine has become a hot bed of pills and antibiotics and injections, and so more and more people are turning back to the old ways, back to what our ancestors once ‘knew’ and lived by.
Whether that was the ‘wise woman’ of the village or a known ‘cure’ that ran through the family. However the knowledge was gained, it was lost over time and television as people turned to advertised western medicine that offered a quick fix for any ailment; whilst our ancestors would have balked at the idea, knowing and understanding that our ‘health’ must always begin with us.
We cannot consume McDonalds and take-away, drink foul sugary drinks and consume our weight in chocolate and expect our health to be in tip-top condition! When you look back at our ancestors who lived with the land, eating unprocessed foods and drank watered down ale and wine, they did not have weight issues or high blood pressure or diabetes among many other fairly new ailments. These were caused by western medicines and food and drink consumption.
Okay, high blood pressure may have affected many during a plague or war or famine, but let’s focus on some natural ways to stay healthy
- The ancient Chinese believed it was beneficial to walk at least 100 steps after every meal, believing that it aided digestion and thus helping you to live longer. If we adjust it to our calorie intake, it could be said that 1000 steps after every meal might benefit more?
- Body brushing every morning is a fabulous way of kick starting your metabolism and stimulating your circulation. This can be done using a firm body brush or rough mittens (found in many health & beauty retailers). Using salt, sand or oats in an old sock can work well. It is advised to do around 2-3 minutes, working from your feet upwards, taking extra time around your lymph nodes area (Under arms and inner thighs) as you stimulate this area to help move toxins out of your body.
- Eat more…variety! It is believed that those who live longer eat a more varied diet, with fresh ingredients. As we introduce a variety of foods, we introduce more bacteria into our immune system, which inevitably responds by helping us become immune. This in turn helps our immune system become stronger. So, try something new. Add an extra vegetable to your shopping. Try that new recipe. Your gut will thank you.
- Got a cold, or flu symptoms? Try laughing! We know that having a good laugh decreases your stress levels, and elevates your immune system. When you laugh, you raise your energy level, and your levels of dopamine increase, thus balancing your blood pressure and your immune system kicks in stronger. Colds and flu are your best friends. They are your body’s way of ridding it of toxins that you have overwhelmed it with. Thank your body, even if it feels miserable and sit back and watch your favourite comedy or have a friend round who can cheer you up!
- Spring may be coming and the weather warming up, but it can still feel chilly and people can be hit with colds during this time as said in previous, your body is ready to release old toxins. Remember, you cannot ‘catch a cold’!!! That was mere fear advertising. It can seem that way because someone detoxing, can stimulate your own body to detox. For that, they are your best friend. Use spices in your cooking to help elevate your energy and various ones can support your system to alleviate symptoms. I’ll name a few, but there are so many it’s worth researching:
Ginger has been used for centuries to help with colds and flu symptoms, as well as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. It reduces pain and swelling due to its anti-inflammatory gingerols.
Cinnamon used for colds, arthritis and poor circulation issues. It has also been found to help balance blood sugar levels.
Cayenne Pepper is a great source of Vit A and beto-carotene. Apply chillies to the skin to deaden pain because it reduces the ‘substance P’ that transmits pain sensation. Great for circulation and digestion.
6. Movement. Okay, may seems obvious, but we have become a nation of bum sitters! Then we wonder why this aches, or that hurts. Our bodies were meant to move. They are designed perfectly to move in all directions and for long periods of time. Try and get up of your backside every hour or so and move around. Dance. Stretch. Do half an hour of yoga/Pilates/walk/run/jump/hoola hooping! Whatever it is that takes your fancy, do it, your body will thank you, so will your mind as moving elevates our mood, so emotional and mentally we feel good as well.
7. Whizz up a smoothie! Now, I know our ancestors wouldn’t have had access to a smoothie maker, but they knew how to whizz ingredients together to create a stew or soup and smoothies had to come from somewhere, so someone thought of them…Right? Grab some 0% yogurt, some berries, carrots, spinach, add some ginger perhaps, add water and whizz. Perfect, fat free, bursting with vitamins and minerals drink to sip throughout the morning.
8. Fancy a fruity facial? Well grab some strawberries or any fruit that grabs your attention and in season, mix it in with 2tsp of oats and mash together. Add a little honey or water if necessary. Massage into your face and leave for ten minutes (If you don’t lick it off first!) The oats balance your skins PH levels as well as scrubbing away dead skin cells and stimulating the skin. The strawberries nourish your skin leaving it soft and smelling delicious! The honey adds extra zing with its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Perfect for oily/acne skin.
9. I miss my bath! But if you have one and want to use something other than soap that can dry the skin, add porridge oats to a muslin bag or old thin cotton sock. Hang it from the bath tap as you fill your bath so the water runs through it. Your bath water should look ‘milky’. Just get in and relax. The oaty water is washing you. Great for itchy skin as the water is soothing.
10. Cry. Yes, have a good blub and release all that negative stress and tension from your body. Crying reduces the stress hormone as tears carry them out of the body. Crying has shown to help with gastrointestinal problems like colic, colitis and ulcers. Those who hold in their emotions often find they have ‘unexplained’ aches and pains. This is your body reacting to the emotion. New German Medicine https://learninggnm.com helps explain what could be happening in your life when you look at your pains in your body. Worth looking up index. I found it very interesting when I compared my own ailments past and present to what is/was happening in my life.
I should make some kind of disclosure here that I am a therapist, but am not a doctor and these are suggestions for alternative thinking that can work with you and your body but not instead of any medications you may be taking. I do most of these and many more, but there is still a place for western medicine…For now.