A Holistic Approach to Loving our Bodies and Our Lives

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To get a bit of healthy discussion going between our experts, Julia has a follow up post to last weeks Wednesday Wisdom on Body Confidence. (This was on another website, but I have left the mention in so that it makes sense as you read.)

I agree with Star’s 11th July Wednesday Wisdom Blog “Body Confidence”, but of course there are many other things we can love about our bodies than how they look.

I am continuously amazed by how well we are put together, how our bodies work, and the incredible things we can do with them.

I am grateful for the systems that function to keep me alive and well.  Just look at the details – isn’t it incredible?  Aren’t we incredible!

I like to feel strong and fit, and am pleased that I can do physical work sometimes, and feel that different kind of tiredness at the end of a day that is really satisfying, and bodes for a sound night’s sleep that is really renewing.  The more muscles we use the better – it’s not so great to do things that strain some areas and leave others untouched – but we can remedy this by doing other things which do provide more of a balanced form of exercise and make us feel good all over.

I love to dance.  It’s amazing how we can wriggle and shake and twist, bend and spin and kick.  I revel in the feeling of it, and being able to express a response to good music in this way is wonderful.  I make sure to roll my shoulders to release tension, and sway and rotate my hips at least some of the time, to prevent them from stiffening up as I get older.  I often have a good laugh too, by the way.

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Yoga and martial arts are great, not only for the movements that stretch us and keep us supple, but also for the balance we develop.  From the centre of our bodies we can then move our limbs more effectively.

Lots of sports test your abilities and skills.  I tend to prefer individual non-competitive ones such as windsurfing and climbing, but of course there are loads of team sports and things you can do with your friends too.

Swimming is fantastic for overall body exercise and way of keeping fit, and doesn’t put any weight bearing strain on your skeletal frame. Walking is absolutely excellent for you, especially if you can do it in a lovely natural environment which is soft underfoot and beautiful to enjoy.  The steady movement not only exercises us in a balanced way, it also allows stress to seep away, and our breathing to deepen and cleanse us.

Exercise has many added benefits – it boosts good brain chemistry (but don’t overdo it as it can actually become addictive because of this).  It also helps toxins to clear from all areas of our bodies as we move and breathe to stimulate all our systems.

It’s great if you also drink more water to help clear toxins out after exercise, or anytime in fact, rather than go for other drinks all the time.  If we are exercising well, then we also tend to go naturally for more healthy foods, rather than comfort foods.  Food is something else we can really appreciate and enjoy in a sensory way – the taste and aroma’s, as well as the visual.  And if we eat the right things for our bodies, that of course also helps them to function better.

Of course, it is more than just the physical that we can love.  I advocate total mind-body-spirit balance if you want to really make the best of life, and give yourself every reason to love and appreciate yourself, and your interaction with the world around you.

We are physical beings experiencing life here – ideally in energetic balance between the earth and the universe.  We need to find ways to stimulate our minds, and have fun at the same time.  And we need to look at our spiritual side too, to make life satisfying and meaningful.  I can help with this.  Why not take a look at some of my guides and other articles on this blog or on my website, such as “Breathing to Balance….”, “How to Feel Great”, “Philosophy & Sensuality”, “Spiritual Coaching”.  “Being Lighter than this…” looks at a blend of the mental and physical to optimise performance in any area, including sports, studies, interviews, and public appearances.

I really advocate being creative and sensual in life, as well as developing practical skills, and using our minds as tools. We can use our awareness and intention to notice and enjoy things, as well as to learn new things, all of which enhance how we live.

We can fine-tune ourselves to live optimally, and really get the best out of life.  As a Counsellor and Stress Consultant, I can help deal with any emotional issues that might get in the way of finding your balance here, and of becoming comfortable with yourself and with others.  And as a Life Coach, I can also help you to plan how best to move forwards with anything you might wish to achieve.

We can look around us at the amazing complexity and diversity of things; how the many eco-systems of the earth work, the intricate details and variety of life, and also how the solar system incredibly allows life to exist here.  I hope that you can enjoy a sense of wonder at it all, and share it with your children too.  If we can hold onto that sense of child-like wonder in life, and not let it be dulled by work and other pressures, then it stimulates both mental and spiritual curiosity, and boosts your overall enjoyment of life.

Look also at the amazing skills and unique attributes we have, or can develop.  Life is chock-full of opportunities to use them, to explore, to learn, and to become more and more of who we can be.

So, I encourage you to think holistically rather than putting too much emphasis on one area, and try to optimise your overall life experience.  Loving it all means that you cannot help loving yourself because you are part of it.

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depression, addiction, and even weight issues, can all be linked to mineral imbalance

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CELL FUNCTION AND MINERALS

We depend on proper cell function for our bodies to be able to work properly and enable us to experience good mental and physical health.

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The cell process is basically that we hold calcium and sodium inside our cells during daylight hours, then when night comes, these move out of the cells – taking toxins with them, into the lymph, then blood, etc.

At night we have magnesium and potassium instead inside the cells.  If we are short of these then they cannot move into the cell, displacing the calcium, sodium, and toxins, so the toxins get stored up and cause problems.

These electrolytes are very important for detoxifying, plus we need lipids (omega 3 & 6 oils), plus lots of water for hydration, and for the correct electrical charges to be in place around the cells. The omega 3 and 6 oils cannot be made by our bodies so have to be ingested to increase cell membrane permeability and for various other functions.

WATER

Water is very important. If we are dehydrated (which is quite common) then we are not able to get rid of the toxins from our bodies as we should.  Toxins build up all the time from normal bodily processes, and are usually eliminated by the exchange of minerals in and out of the cells, and then carried out via the lymph, which becomes sluggish if there is not enough water in the body.  If we become quite dehydrated, our bodies will tend to become ill in an effort to raise the temperature enough to get stagnant lymph flowing and clear the toxins that have built up.  Also, if we are dehydrated, then the cells store extra cholesterol in their membranes in order to keep the water they do have, so the process tends to be a bit of a vicious cycle.

Water for re-hydration purposes has to be either pure water, or herbal tea (not infusions), with nothing added.  There are loads of interesting herbal teas.  I particularly like echinacea and raspberry – the echinacea helps the throat etc, and boosts immunity, but needs the raspberry (or something) flavour.  Lemon and Ginger is also very good for clearing out and for the digestive system.

MINERALS

Our diets are affected by soil depletion and pollution as well as by the way food is processed, so we do need to use supplements to replace some missing ingredients, and try to be careful about what we eat and drink.

It is quite easy to become deficient in magnesium as there is not much left in the soil especially in particular areas. (The same applies to things like selenium.) 

Shortage of magnesium (known as “the great soother”) often means we seek other things to try to soothe us – like sugar, alcohol, or drugs.  Putting on weight or other effects of having too much sugar can cause depression, and so can feeling dependent on things like alcohol or drugs.

I have to watch out for a shortage of 
potassium (available from bananas and also strawberries), but am not sure yet why I tend to have this lack.

We apparently quite often misplace calcium in our bodies rather than being short of it, if the cell membranes are stopping this process of electrolytic exchange, then it has to go somewhere else.

We are unlikely to be short of sodium, in fact if the sodium levels are too high, it can interfere with this process, and you may need zinc to help redress the balance.

Of course, there are many other vitamins and minerals needed for proper body function, so this is only scratching the surface, but I would like to encourage people to educate themselves about these things so that they can make their own choices about their health in an informed way.  I believe that we can recover from pretty much anything in a natural way if we have the right information to make the right choices.

Iodine in the thyroid is supposed to maintain body temperature, among other things, but a lack of minerals, and stress, can have a huge effect on this process. If people’s average body temperature is lowered then it is much harder to regain health. Fluoride that has been added to water and/or toothpaste tends to block the absorption of iodine because it attaches to the receptors that were meant for attracting the iodine..  Nitrates and nitrites (from fertilizers and thus in our water) also have this effect (also chlorine, chloride, bromine, and bromide).

The contraceptive pill is said to contain a lot of copper, which does not result in a good balance particularly in young girls as it emulates the conditions of a woman in labour, and also reduces the amount of zinc present at a time (puberty) when the body really needs it.  Low zinc increases the likelihood of co-dependent and/or addictive behaviours, which could perhaps go a long way to explain why so many young girls are drinking and smoking so heavily.  ‘The pill’ also contains synthetic estrogens which are building up in our water and affecting other life forms down the food chain.

OTHER FACTORS

If we become too acidic it affects our digestive enzymes and so we can become short of essential vitamins and minerals due to not being able to absorb them properly via our digestive systems. We need to ensure that our detoxification system is working to reduce acidity, as our normal metabolism process produces acidity as a matter of course.  

Stress from relationships, jobs, money worries, etc can lead to dehydration, as can unresolved emotions from the past, and as can electromagnetic interference from having too many gadgets etc around us. Stress and negative thoughts attract similar vibrations, thus we seem to attract more bad luck when we are already down, and become vulnerable to depression.  We are meant to be in tune with the earth and the universe.  Everything is possible if you live in harmony with all around you.

We need to stop focusing on treating our symptoms and find solutions at the root.  We need to ensure our bodies have what they need to function as they are meant to, getting rid of things they don’t need in a natural way, rather than burying the symptoms only to end up getting worse.  Taking too many medications or other drugs only adds to the stress we are putting on our bodies, and also tends to reduce our overall temperature, which as we have said is not good for our health either.

Surely we should also be trying to stop the widespread use of toxins in our environment that are destroying our soil, our water, and even our air.  Clean soil, air, and water are things we ought to have a right to, along with freedom of thought, and of speech.

Everything in our natural world and out there in the universe is inter-connected, so we need to be open to that connection, not closed off by fear, allowing other people to dictate to us.  Once we understand our bodies needs we can obtain health and happiness and freedom.  Our bodies are amazing, so let’s try to pay heed to what they need and help them to help themselves!

See my article – An Holistic approach to Loving our Bodies and our Lives

and Respecting your Body and choosing sound relationships

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