For over 10 years, I suffered from chronic back and shoulder pain, debilitating digestive disorders, severe menstrual cramps, and a constant underlying feeling of anxiousness. There was a time that my whole digestive system shut down and I was left with nothing but a feeling of self-pity and hopelessness. I was 22 years old and felt like I was in the body of an 85 year old woman.
I became a healthcare practitioner because I wanted to take matters into my own hands and find a way to heal myself. I had been receiving treatments in various health care areas for many years, and although my health improved, I still felt that most of these treatments didn’t addressed the fundamental problem. I was still too vulnerable and susceptible to disease and the minute my stress level increased, I would get emotionally upset or sick.
It wasn’t until I was able to address all the key areas of health outlined in the Restore Your Soul method – Awareness, Movement, Nourishment, Environment, AND Energy Balancing – that I was able to reach a consistent level of health that isn’t so precarious and vulnerable. I developed Restore Your Soul because I wanted to share some of these simple and life-changing strategies for living in the modern world that don’t take up all your time or require living on a mountain top in order to be healthy.
When people ask me what’s my ‘secret’ for overcoming health problems, I always give them one piece of advice: start simple. Knowing some basic fundamentals of good health is vital in understanding what your body is telling you and how you can heal it on both physical and mental levels. Here are some tips to get you started in the right direction:
- Listen to Benjamin Franklin. “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”… Numerous studies have shown that going to bed before 10pm significantly enhances good health. According to Chinese medical theory, one reason for this is because the energy (or “qi”, as it’s called in Chinese medicine) of the body runs through certain digestive organs at night to help you process your day. The time the qi is running through the liver is between the hours of 1 am and 3 am. This energy helps the liver do one if its most important jobs, which is to help you process and synthesize all the experiences that you had earlier that day, as well as cleansing impurities from your body’s systems. So in order for the liver to accomplish this job best, you ideally should be asleep during this time, giving your liver the opportunity to focus on that particular job.
- You are what you think. As you may know, negative thoughts are the number one acid producer in the body (and high body acidity levels are a major cause of disease) because your body reacts to negative mental and emotional stress brought about by thought in the same way it reacts to ‘real’ threats of physical harm. This “fight or flight” response gets held in the tissues of the body and makes us feel unwell. Everyone has negative thoughts, but rarely do people realize the magnitude of these thoughts that pass through their mind in any given day. In addition to exercises and meditations that cultivate your peace of mind, one good and handy practice is to write down your immediate thoughts on paper when you are upset or angry about something without censoring or filtering them. By doing so, you release your negative thoughts while also recognizing these thoughts are not you.
- Limit cold foods. You are born with a finite amount of energy in your kidneys. The kidneys are primarily responsible for heating up the body using energy (qi) which they store for the body to use. When you eat or drink something cold, your kidneys need to use vital energy to heat up your stomach, so it can successfully process what you put in it. If you are constantly eating or drinking cold things, you are requiring your kidneys to work harder which will eventually deplete them of their finite energy supply. For this reason, try to avoid drinking frozen or iced beverages and foods. It’s also a good idea to cook vegetables at least a little. A great method, and one that many Asian cultures use, is to ladle piping hot soup broth over fresh vegetables. This cooks the outside, kills any parasites, yet leaves the inside crisp and with intact enzymes.
- Time counts. Research shows that most people who eat breakfast perform better and school or work, are less likely to have accidents, get sick less and have fewer mood swings, and people who do not eat breakfast are heavier and have slower metabolisms in comparison to breakfast eaters. So we know breakfast is great, but many of us don’t know why. According to Chinese medicine, the time that the energy (qi) is strongest in the stomach is between 7am and 9am, which means that’s the best time to eat a meal with the largest amount of protein (preferably plant based protein, like soaked nuts). If you like animal based protein, you are better off having that for lunch. (*I’ll have more info on this in future posts). In contrast, the time when stomach energy is at its weakest is from the hours of 7-9 pm, which means that this is the time where the stomach does not digest food (especially protein) as well. Therefore, it’s a good idea to eat a light meal without heavy proteins before 7 pm.
- Think before you nuke. Every microwave oven contains a device called a magnetron, which interacts with the molecules in the food, altering the molecular structure of the food. All this agitation creates “molecular friction,” which heats up the food. This unusual type of heating also causes substantial damage to the surrounding molecules, often forcefully deforming them or tearing them apart. It is this friction and heat which can destroy the fragile structure of vitamins and enzymes in the food. The bottom line is that eating microwaved food can create disorder in your body, making you more prone to physical and emotional turmoil. Therefore, one should think twice before nuking.
A few points for reflection
Practicing these 5 habits, whether individually or in addition to a program, can really help to elevate your body’s ultimate health. With this as with all information I am sharing, it’s important not to just believe what I’m saying just because I’m an ‘expert.’ I strongly encourage you to experience these things for yourself and come to your own conclusions. If you’re having trouble feeling whether something is good for you, don’t worry. This is normal. This comes with practice and many of the courses, workshops and techniques I teach help you to develop your intuition and your own ‘internal compass’ to be able to come to your own conclusions about what works best for you.
Take one of these habits that either you weren’t practicing at all or often and practice it daily for 1 week. Write down how you feel at the beginning of the week and document some of your health and emotional issues. Then write down how you feel at the end of the week and see which things changed and to what extent. 🙂