Natural Health
Better living through nature


The Importance Of Getting Help For Your Fears And Anxieties

Getting professional help for dealing with your persistent fears and anxieties is the single most important step in your recovery. Many people are reluctant to get the help they need for various reasons. Making excuses of not getting the treatment for your anxiety problems will not solve the problem.

dog

Here are a few reasons on why getting help for your mental health is important.

1. Getting professional help can lead to additional insights and suggestions to dealing with your stress and anxiety. A professional counselor can give you many ideas on how you can manage your fears and anxieties. This is important in getting better.

2. Most counselors and psychologists know how to get rid of your fears. They can recommend certain treatments that will make you feel a lot better. The only way you will get access to these treatments is if you talk to a counselor. Ask your primary care physician if he or she knows anyone that can help you.

3. You cannot manage your fears all by yourself. Your anxieties and fears can be extremely difficult to manage and more than likely you will need some help. Remember when your boss showed you how to do your job when you first got hired. You needed help from someone to learn the ins and outs of doing your current job. This concept applies to managing your fears. Do not feel ashamed that you are getting help. We all learn new things from others on a regular basis.

4. You can improve. As you work with a professional, you will improve on your skill sets in managing your stresses. You will become better able to manage your anxieties over time which will benefit you later on in your life.

5. You will get better quickly. Getting help from a counselor will save you a lot of suffering in the long run. You will get the answers you are looking for which will help manage your fears and anxieties. You will get better a lot faster by talking to a mental health professional.

6. You will not be alone. You will have a person in your corner who will be able to help you overcome your mental health issues. You won’t feel as alone when attempting to get rid of your fears. It is best to have somebody help you with your fears and anxieties instead of doing it by yourself.

Herbs for Spring Allergies

Are you a person who is super exited about the arrival of spring, but still worried about flaring up of allergies? Then this is for you. We will be discussing about the herbs that can help you ease allergic reactions.

Ayurveda classifies allergies according to Dosha, depending on which are triggered according to individual constitution.

spring field

We all have Vata, Pitta and Kapha in our body. Then why are we all not alike? Our physical features, characters, and immunity are different from others. The reason for this individuality is the combination of Doshas in each person. Any one, two, or three of these are expressed dominantly in a person by birth. This is known as Prakrithi, or Constitution.

Each of the dosha—Vata, Pitta and Kapha—has it's own specific qualities. When they combine together, there can be seven Prakrithi or constitutions. 

Single Dosha Prakrithi

  • Vata Prakrithi
  • Pitta Prakrithi
  • Kapha Prakrithi

Dual Dosha Prakrithi

  • Vata-Pitta
  • Pitta-Kapha
  • Vata-Kapha

Sama Prakruthi 

When all three doshas Vata, Pitta and Kapha are equal.

Prakrithi can simply be called as Dosha body types in modern terms. It is decided at the time of conception, when the sperm and ovum fuses itself. Are there any factors describing your Prakrithi or constitution?

YES. Scholar Charaka in his book Charaka Samhita, Vimana Sthana has mentioned the factors responsible for Prakrithi. 

  • Characters inherited from sperm of father and ovum of mother
  • Characters happened during intrauterine life — age of conception of mother, the season in which she conceived, etc. 
  • Diet and behavior of the mother during pregnancy
  • Predominant Mahabhootha, which is present during pregnancy period can give rise to specific prakrithis. For example, if Vayu (air) and Akasha (Ether) was dominant during pregnancy, Vata Prakrithi can be formed. 
  • Racial peculiarities, familial peculiarities, genetic factors, etc. can also determine your Prakrithi
  • Age factors — Though your entire prakrithi will not be changed, as age advances there will be a natural increase or decrease of specific doshas. For example, increase in Vata dosha in old age. 

It’s important to know your basic constitution before taking any Ayurvedic Medicine.

Tips for Soothing Vata Allergies

Vata allergies will be generally dominated by abdominal discomfort like burping, constipation, wheezing or headache, as well as sneezing, ringing in the ears, joint pain and even insomnia.

Saying this, let’s look how one can use herbs for pacifying Vata type of allergies.

1. Ginger: Having a cup of ginger tea can help all the abdominal troubles due to distorted Vata. Ginger’s heating qualities make it useful for treating Vata imbalances. It’s better to use fresh ginger rather than dried in the form of the spice.

How to prepare ginger tea?

To make 1 cup of ginger tea, take a piece of whole, unpeeled ginger root and grate 1 heaping teaspoon. Stir the ginger into a cup of hot water and let steep for 2 minutes. Strain or let the ginger settle at the bottom of the cup. You can add honey for sweetness.

What are the health benefits of ginger tea?

  1. Ginger tea is useful for treating Vata imbalances, such as digestive issues, because it improves all three phases of gastrointestinal function (digestion, absorption, and elimination).
  2. Drinking a cup of ginger tea before travelling can help prevent the nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness.
  3. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties that make it an ideal home remedy for muscle and joint problems.
  4. Ginger tea can help relieve congestion associated with the common cold. Hence it becomes an excellent choice for spring.
  5. The vitamins, minerals, and amino acids in ginger tea can help restore and improve blood circulation that may help decrease the chance of cardiovascular problems. Also, it has the ability to lower cholesterol levels.

2. Triphala is a combination of three fruits, which include amalaki (Indian goose berry), Terminalia chebula, and Terminalia Billerica. It gently cleanses and detoxifies the body without irritating the colon. Have 1 tsp Triphala powder with 1/2 cup hot water before bed.

3. Aswagandha: This potent drug is rejuvenating and calms the nervous system. It ensures good sleep and has ability to bring Vata back to normalcy. It can be consumed along with milk or can even be taken in the form of capsules.

Tips for Soothing Pitta Allergies

When Pitta becomes aggravated or excessive, you may experience heartburn, inflammation, skin rashes, hot flashes, and irritability. You can use soothing and cooling herbs as part of an overall Pitta-balancing lifestyle.

Now let’s check out the herbs for Pitta allergic symptoms.

1. Shathavari which is Asparagus racemosus is a cooling potent drug for Pitta. It's so soothing that it's even advised during pregnancy. The recommended dose is 500 to 1,000 mg twice daily.

2. Bacopa or Brahmi has a cooling effect on the physiology that helps balance the Pitta dosha. Recommended daily dosage is 1-3 mg in a day.

3. Manjishta is another herb which pacifies Pitta. Take 1 tsp of Manjishta mixed with half glass of water, three times a day.

Tips for Soothing Kapha Allergies

Kapha allergy symptoms include irritation of the mucus membranes, hay fever, cold, congestion, cough, sinus infection, water retention, bronchial congestion, asthma, and even sleeping disorders. The person can always feel sluggish and lethargic.

Let’s check how to pacify the Kapha allergies.

1. Drinking lightening and clarifying teas such as ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, or clove can also help to liquefy, dry, and eliminate excess kapha.

2. Intake of raw honey can help soothe the Kapha allergies.

3. Herbs include turmeric (500 mg in a day), punarnava, and the combination of three peppers called Trikatu.

It’s important to consult your Ayurveda physician before administering herbs for curative effect. The details provided here are meant for the basic knowledge of herbs to cure allergic reactions.

It’s always good to include spices like turmeric, cinnamon, basil, coriander, cumin, and pepper in spring. All these spices have the ability to improve digestive power and fight against any inflammatory reactions.

Health Tips for Preventing Spring Allergies

1. In case of allergies to skin in spring, external application of Aloe Vera, called Kumari in Sanskrit, can be used. It soothes the skin and provides relief from skin problems.

2. Drink water boiled with ginger throughout the day.

3. Exercise and practice breathing exercises.

4. Nasya—an authentic Ayurvedic treatment of instilling nasal drops, like Anu Thaila, can be done daily after bath. (2 drops in each nostril)

5. Spring cleanse—follow a detoxify diet and go for a Virechana (Purgation) for total body cleanse.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

I love vinegar. I use balsamic in my home-made salad dressings and apple cider vinegar in my tonics. It’s really good for you just like many fermented products are. The store-bought pasteurized version is good for you, too, but not as good as the unpasteurized stuff is. All the wonderful bacteria are killed when the store-bought version is heated to nearly boiling and kept there for a few minutes. The store-bought version needs a long shelf life and the manufacturers must adhere to safety standards. Our home-made version is not heated at all. We have control over the safety. There are some precautions to take and if you do you will have a healthy success.

Making your own apple cider vinegar doesn’t happen over-night or even in a couple hours. It takes a few weeks but when you’ve made it yourself you know it’s a good thing and worth the wait! Apple cider vinegar is high in phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Yes. It’s very good stuff.

I have one word of warning. Don’t make the same mistake I did and swallow a full-strength spoonful! It felt like battery acid must feel like and it nearly ruined my throat. I recovered after many glasses of water!

Used in a tonic it doesn’t taste or feel like battery acid. It’s actually delicious. Here’s my ACV common cold tonic. I’ve used it since I first read Paavo Airola’s book How to Get Well.

Apple Cider Vinegar Cold Tonic

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup water.
  • 1/4 cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon raw, unfiltered honey
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 wedge lemon

Bring water to a boil. Combine the hot water and apple cider vinegar in a small glass or mug. Add honey and cayenne pepper. Stir well. Top off with a squeeze of lemon and zip as you like it. I nurse it all day long.

A Few Tips and Bits of Information

The Mother

There’s a “thing” in some unpasteurized products that’s called the “mother”. It’s technically a “SCOBY” which is an acronym for “symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast”. For example, you’ll see a mother in kombucha and other fermented products like that. It’s kind of a small pizza dough shaped “blob” and it’s what makes the vinegar. Don’t be alarmed. It’s a good thing.

Sugar or Honey?

Sugar is not much good for anything and this is my opinion. However, sugar is good for one thing and that is to feed the bacteria in apple cider vinegar. In the making of the apple cider vinegar most (if not all) of the sugar is eaten up by the bacteria. Can honey be used? Not really.  Honey has anti-microbial properties making it unsuitable for this kind of fermentation.

Be Mr. Clean

Make sure all your equipment is very clean. Bacteria is everywhere and we want to limit bacteria that is not appropriate from getting into the brew. Sterilizing as best you can is always advised.

Types of Apples

Any kind of organic apple is good. I think you get the best flavor if you have a mix of varieties. Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, and McIntosh. More varieties mean more complexity to the flavor.

What’s with the white scum?

White, gelatinous scum is going to form on the top. This is normal.

However, No Mold

Mold, however, is not normal and will ruin your apple cider vinegar. Be sure that the apples stay submerged under the water which will help prevent mold. You can use a fermentation weight or even just a smaller glass jar (sterilize the outside) and set it on top of the apples to keep them submerged.

Gnats and Flies

Gnats and flies love apple cider vinegar so you need to make sure your jar is well covered. However, it needs to be able to breath and release gasses created from the fermentation process so do not use a solid lid. A layer of cheesecloth secured by a rubber band works well.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar Recipe

Gather Your Supplies

  • Sterilized jar – you can use any size jar (as long as it’s a wide mouth jar). I pour boiling water very carefully into it if I can’t get it in a hot water bath.
  • Organic apple scraps – enough to fill your jar 3/4 of the way full
  • 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar to 2 cups filtered water or well water
  • Fermentation weight or small glass jar that fits closely the opening of the jar
  • Cheesecloth and rubber band

Instructions

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Total Time: 6 weeks

Fill your sterilized jar 3/4 full with apple scraps. (don't use a metal lid. Use cheesecloth. There's a picture coming in a minute that shows this.)

fresh

Dissolve 2 tablespoons of cane sugar into 2 cups of water.

Pour the sugar water over the apples until they are completely submerged. You might not use all the sugar water but, in any case, make sure the apples are covered. They will float to a degree.

Weigh down the apples with a fermentation weight or the small glass jar.

2 weeks

Cover with the cheesecloth and secure with the rubber band.

cheesecloth

Store in a dark place at room temperature. Leave it for approximately 3 weeks. Check on it every few days to make sure the apples are staying under the water and no mold is growing.

After 3 weeks, it will still smell “sweet” but will start to have that distinctive scent of apple cider vinegar. Strain the apples pieces out and return the liquid to the jar. Compost the scraps.

Re-cover and put the jar back in the dark spot for another 3-4 weeks, stirring gently every few days. When the ACV has reached the acidity you like you can put a lid on it and start using it!

How Yoga Balances Inner Health and Outer Beauty

The world, which we are living in, has become a race for monetary gain. At the same time, people are doing gobs of things to attain perfection in their health. While looking good has always been in trend, managing complete fitness of the mind, body, and soul is what many of us are looking for today. In this highly challenging environment, we are losing the most precious gem — our inner and outer beauty. In view of the fact that yoga has been prevalent since time immemorial, it has been guiding humans on the path that leads to complete internal health and external beauty.

yoga meditation
Photo by Form on Unsplash

Yoga is diverse. It is different from modern health philosophies in numerous ways. Yoga’s view of health is not defined merely by the absence of diseases, but by liberation from all kinds of problems in the mind, body, and soul. More than medicines, yoga relies on the way of one’s living which includes asana practice, eating habits, sleeping timings, more.

Defining Internal and External Beauty

Before we turn toward the ways of balancing inner and outer health, it is important to know what these two theories mean. Everything that is happening inside the body is related to internal health, while the charm of the skin and its fitness is termed as the external aspect of the body. All body systems, processes, and metabolic functions are parts of the inner body. It is very interesting to note that both internal and external health are related to each other very closely. Only when all body organs work together, with full flair, can the outer glow come into the show.

Let’s discuss how yoga is worthwhile in maintaining inner wellness and outer charm of the body.

The Philosophy of Mindful Health

Being mindful is an awesome thing for the complete health and wellness of the body. Mindfulness is related to awareness and consciousness. A person, who cares more about his/her body health and living style, is likely to enjoy a complete balance between the inner and outer beauty. Yoga is one of the finest exercises that can lead you to the path of mindfulness.

To be precise, meditation denotes the theory of mindfulness. The yogic practice connects all three aspects of life — mental, physical, and emotional. When you indulge in the beauty of meditation, all you do is focus on the mind. With immense focus, the idea of self-care arises, in addition to giving a healing touch to inner health. Since you are more active about your wellness, external beauty also gets mushroomed in a fantastic way.

Wholesome Living with Yoga

One’s living style has a great impact on the body, mind, and soul. What you eat, when you sleep, and how you exercise are a number factors that need to be considered in the finest fashion in order to live your life astonishingly. Wholesomeness is the central philosophy when we talk about living a virtuous life. In yoga, extreme importance is given to diets and physical workouts. Vegetarianism is an integral part of the ancient science, and vegan food is described as good for overall health. These diets contain nutrients that help the skin glow. Since vegetarian diets get digested in less time, the digestive organs also remain more productive. Green vegetables, fruits, soybean, almonds, and more are extremely effective for attaining external beauty. According to the ancient Indian health philosophy, the more water one’s skin has, the more beautiful it looks.

Promotes Smooth Blood Circulation

Circulation of blood is one of the most significant and incessant processes in the body. It would not be wrong to say that life runs on this. Blood circulation is the key to maintaining almost all functions in the body. Even a healthy metabolism is sponsored by the process.

Yoga’s impact on the circulatory system is related to its breathing beauty. The ancient science has a lot to do with the process of breathing, as well as stretching the muscles. Both of these exercises are helpful in promoting blood circulation. Pranayama, or breathe work, is considered the best practice for a smooth flow of blood throughout the body parts. It is immensely beneficial in giving the external skin a shining glow. Constant breathing also purifies and oxygenates blood in a great way. Presence of pure blood in each and every part of the body makes you stronger from inside and fresh from outside.

Yoga Has a Rejuvenating Power

The 5000-year-old science of Yoga is an incredible way to keep yourself invigorated throughout the day. It is very effective in healing a number of diseases, including stress-related queries. A person having numerous health issues can't simply be healed internally or externally.

You must have realized that with more work pressure or tension, the skin gets wrinkled and looks pale. One cannot feel the charm of this beautiful world in the state of poor health. Happiness is the main path of soulful perfection, which yoga is strongly associated with. After a session of yoga, you enjoy extreme pleasure. When you begin the day with yoga asanas and meditation, the rest of the day is surely spent in an improved mood. This is very important in gaining inner confidence. You are more likely to revitalize the whole body when you include yogic practice in daily life.

If you are seriously looking to experience the delight of an invigorated body, intelligent mind, and charming skin, do nothing but follow the yogic guidance for ultimate health.


Bipin Baloni is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He organizes 200 hour yoga teacher training in Nepal. Bipin Baloni conducts Yoga Teacher Training and Ayurveda Courses in Kerala in India in different cities. He loves writing and reading books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas.

5 Best Sitting Yoga Poses and Their Benefits

Yoga is all about different types of poses or asanas that help us achieve holistic health. Some are standing postures, some are sitting, and some are lying asanas. Each and every yoga pose helps us to achieve the blessing of the body, mind and soul.

Sitting, standing, and lying poses all have their unique benefits for the human health and body. But seated poses are great for building inner strength and improving flexibility.

If you are new to the yoga mat, you should begin with a preset sequence of Hatha Yoga sitting poses. It is one of the traditional classic yoga forms that has given rise to many other forms or styles of yoga.

sitting yoga poses
Photo by Pressfoto on freepik.com

Explore some of the best sitting yoga poses and their benefits.

1. Lotus Pose

Lotus pose, or in Sanskrit it is known as ‘Padmasana’. In ancient India, originating in meditative practices it is a cross-legged sitting asana or posture. In this sitting posture, the feet are placed on the opposite thighs.

lotus pose
Photo by Yanalya
on freepik.com

Especially for women, Lotus pose is an extremely powerful asana. It connects our mind, body and spirit, this is a wonderful example of a pose.

People who have their knee and ankle injuries should avoid the practice of the Lotus pose. There are two types of Lotus pose; one is Half Lotus Pose and another is Full Lotus Pose.

Padmasana, or Lotus Pose, benefits are:

  • The pelvis, abdomen, spine, and bladder are activated with the practice of Lotus Pose.
  • Lotus pose relaxes the mind and calms the brain.
  • This asana provides a good stretch on the knees and the ankles.
  • It helps to reduce muscular tensions.
  • Blood pressure gets under control with the practice of this pose.
  • The practice of this asana helps pregnant ladies making birthing easier.
  • It helps to ease menstrual discomfort and sciatica.
  • It helps awaken the chakras and also makes us more aware of the things around us.

2. Easy Pose

The Easy pose or the ‘Sukhasana’, a Sanskrit name of the pose is a great pose for beginners. It is a very simple and easy seated pose, as the name suggests.

Both beginners and advanced practitioners, often use this pose for meditation. Another name of this pose is Decent pose, Comfort pose or Pleasant pose.

Before the practice of Sukhasana, there are some caution points we must keep in mind. People should avoid this asana if they have hip or knee injuries or both, and experienced slipped disc problems.

easy pose yoga
Photo by Y
analya on freepik.com

The benefits of Easy Pose, or Sukhasana, are:

  • For those who struggling with sitting for long periods, this is a recommended asana. This asana is an effective knee- and hip-opening pose.
  • The practice of this asana gradually makes us feel calm and peaceful.
  • Lengthens the back muscles and the spine.
  • Sukhasana makes our back stronger and steadier.
  • This asana provides a good stretch on our knees and ankles.
  • It has relaxing effects on the mind and the body.
  • It also eliminates anxiety and spreads positive calmness in the body.

3. Diamond Pose

Diamond pose in Sanskrit means ‘Vajrasana’. Vajrasana combines the two words Vajra & asana; Vajra means diamond and asana means pose or posture.

Diamond pose, or Vajrasana, should be practiced by those who are suffering from gas (acidity), obesity, indigestion, and constipation. The practice of this asana after a meal is very effective to improve digestion, cure acidity, burn extra fat on belly, thighs, hips and waist.

There are some points of caution to keep in mind before practicing this asana. This asana should not be practiced by those people who are having knee problems or joint pain.

diamond pose
Photo by Y
analya on freepik.com

Some benefits of Vajrasana, or Diamond Pose, are:

  • Vajrasana improves the digestion system of our body and also cures acidity.
  • It helps improver circulation of the blood in the body.
  • Regular practice of Vajrasana aids in weight loss.
  • The practice of this asana also helps regulate the menstrual cycle, alleviate urinary problems, and relieve pain during periods.
  • It strengthens the thigh muscles and pelvic muscles.
  • It helps in reducing extra fat from belly, thigh, hips and waist.
  • This asana calms the mind and relaxes the nerves.

4. Sitting Half Spinal Twist Pose

In Sanskrit, Sitting Half Spinal Twist Pose is made of four words: Ardha (Half), Matsya (Fish), Endra (King) and asana (pose or posture). This sitting half spinal twist pose requires an intense flexible body to be performed.

half twist
Photo by Y
analya on freepik.com

In Hatha Yoga, Sitting Half Spinal Twist is used from one of the 12 basic asanas. When practiced this seated spinal twist asana is best in the morning on an empty stomach.

Sitting Half Spinal Twist should be avoided by pregnant women and during menstruation. People who are suffering from severe spinal problems should also avoid the practice of this asana.

Ardha Matsyendrasana, or Sitting Half Spinal Pose, benefits are:

  • This pose stretches the back muscles and the spine of the body. The elasticity of the spine is also increased with this pose.
  • The practice of this asana cures constipation and indigestion. It also relieves back problems and menstrual problems.
  • This asana is good for increasing the flexibility and function of vertebrae of the spine.
  • It is beneficial for the patient with a slipped disc.
  • This asana increases blood circulation to the pelvic region. It also improves the function of reproductive organs.
  • This pose opens the chest and increases the supply of the oxygen to the lungs.
  • It also burns fat from the abdomen.

5. Butterfly Pose

‘Baddha Konasana’ is the Sanskrit name of the Butterfly pose. It gives the appearance of a butterfly flapping its wings; therefore, it is also known as Butterfly Pose or Titli asana.

butterfly pose
Photo by Y
analya on freepik.com

Butterfly pose is a well-known pose and is the best exercise for pregnant women. This helps her in the easy and smooth delivery of the child.

Those persons who have knee injuries should avoid this asana. Women during menstruating do not practice this asana.

Benefits of Butterfly pose, or Baddha konasana, are:

  • This asana is good for the inner thighs and knees. Flexibility in the genitals and hip region is also improved.
  • It helps in improving blood circulation all over the body.
  • It removes fatigue from long hours of walking and standing.
  • It stimulates the functioning of the ovaries and increases blood circulation to the reproductive system.
  • The practice of this asana helps in releasing shoulder and neck stress or tension naturally. It is also a nice stretch for relieving stress and tiredness.

6 Tips On Discussing Your Mental Health Issues With Your Friends

Do you have a difficult time in explaining your mental health issues to your family and friends and having them understand where you are coming from?

friends

Here are six suggestions on how to discuss your mental health issues with your relatives and friends.

1. Talk To A Counselor: The most important thing that you need to do is to talk to a counselor about your mental health problems. Seeking professional help will help you to overcome your current issues. In addition, a counselor will be able to give you additional advice on how to deal with your friends and peers.

2. Don’t Argue With Others: It is important that you do not get into arguments with those who are giving you a hard time. Your number one priority is mental health recovery. It is not your job to convince people that you are right and they are wrong. Your health is more important than what other people may think.

3. Watch Who You Hang Out With: It is important to surround yourself with positive people. Try to keep your distance from those people who are giving you a difficult time. Remember that your goal is to remain positive and hopeful. Do not let the negative people in your life bring you down.

4. You Are Not Alone: It can be very frustrating to deal with your mental health issues when your friends and relatives are on your case. Remember, you are not alone. There are millions of people around the world who struggle with their fears, anxieties, depression, and stresses. The key is to find those people who can relate to you through various support groups in your area.

5. Stand Your Ground: It is important to stand your ground when dealing with family members and friends who are giving you a hard time. Explain your situation and your feelings to the people in your life, however don’t let them hassle you. Your number one priority is to get better and not to please everyone that you know.

6. Join A Support Group: There are many mental health support groups in your area that can help you. Many hospitals, churches, and counselors in your area will be able to provide you with a list of groups. These support groups will be supportive of your situation and can give you additional advice regarding your problems. Joining a support group is very important in a person’s recovery because it will help you find people who can relate to you.

Managing Chronic Pain Through Healthy Living

Many years ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I also have arthritis in my knees. Multiple car accidents seemed to have exasperated my chronic pain, especially in my neck and back. Over the years it has been quite challenging to deal with so much pain on a daily basis. But I really hate taking pharmaceuticals so I have sought natural methods to deal with the pain. I hate taking medicine so much, that I would rather live with a certain amount of pain than deal with the possible side effects of synthetic medicines.;

Nud hike MEL
Photo by Faithful Homesteader

I have not found a magic cure all in my search for healing, but what I have discovered is that in seeking an overall healthy lifestyle, I have managed my pain levels.  Years ago I was having so much daily pain that I could not stand on my feet for very long at all. If I was walking, it wasn’t so bad, but standing in one place was too much. I sat for everything even if everyone around me was standing. I carried a cane chair everywhere that went. Even standing in line at the grocery store was too much.

But sitting was not always the best either. Most chairs did not help my cause. So many that I encountered were too hard on my back and I was never comfortable. Standing was difficult, but sitting could be bad too. Lately, I have thought back to those days and I realized that I wasn’t having those same issues. Now I can be on my feet much longer and I can sit in an uncomfortable chair without feeling quite as bad as I once did. I attribute it to a healthy lifestyle.

Over the years I have worked to eat a much cleaner diet. I try to get plenty of vegetables in my diet. I cut my soda consumption way down. Kombucha and natural sodas with stevia have helped me with that. I eat organic whenever possible as well as grass fed meat and pasture raised poultry. I am not perfect, but I do strive to limit sugar as well. I also take supplements like fish oil and curcumin.

I notice that when I do go off the wagon, that the arthritis in my knees becomes a problem. I can go long periods of time without noticing the effects of it, but when I eat more carbs and sugar, I can tell the difference. It is a way to get me back on track because I know that’s what it takes for me to lessen the pain.

I still deal with daily chronic pain, but what I notice when I am eating well and exercising, is that I can do most of the things that I want to do. My pain is less. Some exercise routines that have helped me are Tai Chi and strength training. When I am able to do both of those consistently, I feel so much better. It feels good when I am strong. I also love to go on hikes with my dog as well. Walking and nature are a great combination.

I am never perfect on my healthy living journey, but when I look back, I can see that it has helped me greatly. I think about just how much better I might feel, if I could be even better with it. I will continue to push forward and strive to live the healthiest life that I can live.







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