Best Natural Preventative Medicine Practices
When I first read about this challenge for the Natural Medicine Community, I automatically assumed that the subject was regarding our go-to Natural Medicines for when we start to feel under the weather.
Upon realizing this topic was much deeper, and really asking about what we do as preventative medicine daily, I realized the answer was literally “everything.”
Preventative Medicine is a Lifestyle.
We have to individually prioritize the amount of effort we want to put into prevention, as there literally are changes we can make to every aspect of our lives.
“It is more important to prevent the occurrence of disease than to seek a cure.”
The Father of Ayurveda
Because my personal journey has helped me to understand how the health of Body, Mind, Emotion, and Spirit are all so integral to overall health, let's look at how we can practice being preventative in each realm. I am listing them as separate, yet they are endlessly intertwined and all part of the whole.
“Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.”
The Father of Medicine
Volumes could be written, (and have been) about diet. There are literally millions of books and articles giving advice on some new combination, though they seem to be focused on weight loss primarily. I think the idea of not putting bad fuel into a race car is something we could all understand.
We need actual food. If you can’t pronounce or understand the ingredients you probably shouldn’t eat it, rule of thumb. How much of the food we are eating is actually food, as well as how much is a preservative or artificial flavoring?
Today’s foods are lacking in nutrients because they are missing from the soil. Eat as much unprocessed, organic or locally grown where you can and even meet the people growing your food if possible. Look into superfoods, again with the least amount of processing.
- We need to eat all the colors of the spectrum. (Grape gummy bears do not count for purple.) Fresh fruit and vegetables or Frozen if you can’t get fresh.
- There has been some great research done on the need for the body to be within certain alkalinity. Think swimming pool. There is a certain sweet spot for the body to maintain a level of health before it is more susceptible to sickness and disease.
- Hydration! Anything besides water does not do for the body what water does. Period. As much as I have tried to argue to the Cosmos that coffee is made using mostly water, I still end up way too acidic if I don't hydrate properly. If you think water is too plain, add some lemon, orange, lime, strawberry, mint, cucumber or whatever natural flavor you prefer.
Movement. We need to move around, circulate the blood, increase the breathing rate and pump the lymphatic system which is a giant filter for our body. Yogais great for this, especially if you take the time to do some deep breathing. Keeping your muscles and spine flexible is key to longevity. Never too late to start.
Exposure. This covers everything from the condition of the water you bathe in, to the products you use on your body. Skin absorbs everything. Keep it simple and natural, those chemicals take the normal energy allotment of your body to get through the day and redirect a portion to filter out the toxins. A lot of diseases are present because of these toxic build ups in our bodies.
Environment (This includes the mind and emotions.)
In today's day and age, detoxing from the environmental factors we each individually face worldwide would be beneficial (and needed). We can detox on a Mind, Body, Emotional and Spiritual level.
What is present in our food, water, air, soil, products, and social environment affects us on every level.
Today our soil, food, and water have compounds in it that are harmful, and many health concerns have come up due to the increased amount we are exposed to.
Here are just some examples in your immediate environment:
Body Care Products
Personal interactions with Nature
Our actions and words
Being mindful of our thoughts
What we spend our money on
What we feed our minds
If we smile or not
How we frame our perceptions
We can create a toxic environment in our own bodies with our own thoughts.
Mind & Emotion
The way we choose to frame our thoughts to the seemingly random things we find ourselves thinking, all affect our Physiology.
“For example, research shows that psychological stress affects our levels of catecholamines, which include the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. These neurochemical changes prepare the body to deal with perceived danger in a number of important ways, such as raising blood pressure so as to allow faster speed and response time. However, chronic elevations in catecholamines suppress the immune system, and suppression of the immune system raises the risk of viral infection and other diseases.”
Humans are the only beings on the planet whose minds will run wild on made-up scenarios about the future. We will give ourselves anxiety, insomnia, depression and many types of stress-related diseases because we fear an outcome.
In essence what we are doing is causing harmful chemicals to be dumped into our systems, by allowing our minds to run free and give us the possibility of multiple negative situations. The reality is that only one can happen, and it will happen in a set parameter of time.
Say we are stressing out about an event that will happen in three weeks. We imagine every possible thing going wrong, and experience a certain level of emotion regarding those outcomes. We will literally spend weeks dragging out something that will only take an hour or two.
What if the imagined outcome of the situation we feared turned out to be very positive? What did we just do to ourselves?
Quick, which would you rather be: late to work or lunch for a lion? The stress response we have today is out of sync with current needs. But it once was a Jurassic perk.
Nowadays, we are bombarded with what might be called the mythology of stress, which suggests that our psychological and physiological well-being is constantly threatened by degrees of stress unparalleled in history. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
What are some of these real or perceived stressors with which we continually do battle? Coping with rush-hour traffic, job and financial difficulties, troubled relationships, and family problems are just a few of hundreds of stressful stimuli that can be identified.
Anxiety over personal problems (will I be able to pay the rent this month?), or more global concerns (will there be another war?) is another type of stress that we all encounter much too often.
Nonetheless, anxiety and these other stressors are not immediate threats to survival, even if they do raise our blood pressure a bit now and then. Of greater concern is that the internal defense mechanisms of the body respond to these types of psychological stimuli in the same way as they would respond to life-threatening ones.
Why is this unfortunate? Because over the long haul, excess release of potent stress-fighting factors like the adrenal-gland hormones cortisol and epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) can suppress the immune system, cause ulcers, produce muscle atrophy, elevate blood sugar, place excessive demands on the heart, and eventually lead to the death of certain brain cells.
A person in the midst of a divorce does not require the hormonal, neuronal, and metabolic responses of someone who falls through thin ice on a wintry pond—yet in both cases, the same internal changes are occurring.”
Preventative Mind, Emotion & Spirit Medicine
- Be impeccable with your word.
- Don't take anything personally.
- Don't make assumptions.
- Always do your best.
The people I have found to be the happiest in life adhere to similar principles. They all seem to have found something they love doing, whether they are paid for it or not. They have a sense of humor. They make day to day choices that balance needs and wants and have a relationship with Nature. They live within their means and express appreciation and gratitude often.
Take a deep breath, unclench your forehead, and relax your shoulders. There is a myriad of choices we can make and infinite things to try in the world. We will be delving deeper into each of these topics on our journey together through the many facets of Well~being in the @NaturalMedicine Community.
This was written in response to NATURAL MEDICINE's wisdom challenge which asks what preventative medicines we might use for ourselves, or the earth. Pop over to @naturalmedicine for more information - you can win their native token, LOTUS, or up to 40 Steem!