Menu
Login or Create an Account
Search:
Search Refine Filters
Search for

How to Live Well

print email
Modalities: Holistic Nutrition Therapy

A healthful lifestyle is the most critical aspect of maintaining your health.  The body doesn’t come with an operating manual, so this is a meager attempt to write one.  This installment includes topics of rest and sleep, avoiding toxic exposures, exercise, drinking water, eating habits, and personal and dental hygiene.

SLEEP AND REST

Sleep at least 8 or more hours every single day.  If you require an extra hour to fall asleep, go to bed an hour earlier to be sure you sleep eight full hours.

Go to bed between 8 and 9 PM, or as early as possible.  The hours before midnight are much more restful for most people.  The reason for this are complex.  However, the natural sleep cycle is from sundown to sunup.

Many people have a “sleep deficit”.  This means you may feel even more tired at times for several years, perhaps, until the body catches up with its need for rest.

Napping is also excellent and at times necessary while healing yourself.  If possible, plan your day so you can nap for an hour in the afternoon, the late morning or perhaps both.  This is challenging for many people, but can often be arranged if planned carefully.

For example, eat your lunch quickly so there is time for a rest after lunch at work.  If there is no couch to lay down on, you may be able to sit comfortably in your car for 15 minutes and take a short snooze.

At an early job, the man sitting next to me ate his lunch at his desk. Then he relaxed in his high-back chair and took a short nap for 10 minutes.

When driving long distances, stop your car safely off the road, lock the doors, roll up the windows and nap for 15 to 30 minutes.  You will wake up refreshed and have a much safer trip as well.  Even if you don’t sleep, just resting and closing your eyes is very helpful.

TOXIC EXPOSURES

       Ingested toxins.  Reduce or avoid all toxic food additives, preservatives, colors, flavors, artificial sweeteners, flavor enhancers and others.  Also reduce or avoid all toxic medical drugs, over-the-counter drugs and even prescription drugs unless absolutely needed.  Also avoid most surgeries due to the anesthesia and other drugs used. 

Contact and airborne toxins.  If possible, reside and work in clean, safe and comfortable surroundings where you can relax.  Wear gloves if you handle metals or chemicals.  Minimize exposure to toxic new carpets, new building materials in some cases and even synthetic clothing that has not been washed to reduce its chemical outgassing.

Ventilate your working and sleeping area.  Do your best to avoid contact with pesticides, solvents and all the toxic metals and other toxic chemicals.  Also, avoid crowded, confined areas due to many bacteria and other germs in the air.  Unfortunately, this includes theatres, stadiums, and aircraft.

Electromagnetic toxins.  Avoid as much as possible all x-rays, CAT scans, GI series, and even unnecessary dental x-rays.  Also minimize cell phone and portable phone use unless you use a headset.

Some people do not feel well working under fluorescent lights all day, though they are often the only light source available.  At times, placing a small full-spectrum bulb or lamp shining at you will help this problem.

Water-borne toxins.  Reduce your use of swimming pools and especially hot tubs, unless it is a private one and you know how it is purified. Hydrogen peroxide or silver or copper are preferable to chlorine or bromine.

However, all bathing in pools or hot tubs exposes you dangerous bacteria and viruses that are not killed by any purification method.  In addition, you will absorb many toxic chemicals found in nearly all municipal water supplies and even well water today.  Public pools and hot tubs are the worst.

DRINKING WATER

Ideally, adults should drink three quarts or more of spring or steam distilled water daily.  This is about 108 ounces daily or about 12 medium-sized glasses per day. This will often assist your healing and general health more than any other lifestyle factor besides rest and sleep.

Plastic bottles used to package spring and distilled water appear to be far less of a problem than all the chemicals in tap and filtered water.  In hot, dry climates or while traveling on airplanes, you will need even more water to drink.

Other beverages, except for mild teas without sweeteners, do not count toward the three quarts of water.  Well water, carbon-filtered and reverse osmosis water are not as good, in my experience.  I do not recommend alkaline water machines as they use tap water and for other reasons.  Tap water is usually not a healthful water to drink.

Ideally, do not drink much with meals.  Wait an hour afterwards before drinking much water, and don’t drink 10 minutes before eating your meal.  Also, do not drink after 5 or 6 PM if it will keep you awake going to the bathroom at night.

BASIC EATING HABITS

       Eat at least three regular meals every day.  If this is not possible, eat at least two excellent meals every day. Skipping meals for convenience, to lose weight or for any other reason generally leads to poorer overall nutrition, stresses the adrenals, and does not cause weight loss in most cases.

       Eat four or five times daily if you have adrenal imbalance or hypoglycemia to a significant degree.  This will keep the blood sugar level higher and greatly reduce stress on the adrenal glands.  However, avoid just snacking all day.  Have sit-down meals, even if they are lighter meals or snacks.

Eat sitting down, eat slowly and chew each mouthful at least five or more times.  Chewing 15 to 20 times is actually wonderful for one’s health.  If you are overweight, it will also often lead to eating less food and some fast weight loss.

PERSONAL AND DENTAL HYGIENE

       Cleanliness and neatness in personal habits promotes healing.  Personal hygiene is mostly about periodic bathing, changing clothes and washing hands at least four or five times daily, especially before eating.  Dental hygiene is also important today.  The most important procedure is usually flossing the teeth once or twice daily to remove food particles.

EXERCISE

Most everyone is safer and better off with gentle exercise a few times a week.  This could be slow walking, bicycling, swimming without chlorine or bromine, if possible, weights, mini-trampoline or other gentle exercises.

Reasons I do not recommend more than gentle exercise for almost everyone are:

·     Most people are exhausted.  This is very evident from most hair analyses.  Vigorous exercise, while it has definite benefits, eventually weakens most people.

·     Exercise too often is a stimulant that makes one feel better temporarily, but at the expense of general health.

·     Exercise always uses up vital nutrients and stresses the adrenals and thyroid glands.

·     Most people have structural and chiropractic imbalances that often become worse with exercise.

·     Sauna therapy, which I highly recommend, can provide many of the benefits of exercise, as well as others, with much less depletion of energy.

Building strength.  If you desire to build strength, pick up a book entitled The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution by Frederick Hahn, MichaelEades, MD and Mary Dan Eades, MD.  This book can help you to be stronger with just one one-hour workout every five to seven days.

POSTURE

Many people have very poor posture that restricts their breathing and other organ activities.  Here is a simple method of correcting posture.

Imagine a string tied to an eyelet screwed into the crown of your head.  The crown is not the middle of the skull, but is slightly nearer the back of the head.  Now imagine supporting your head and body by this string alone.  Otherwise, the body hangs loosely, like a puppet.

Visualize this often while walking or even sitting down.  It may seem odd at first.  However, with a little practice it will help remind you how to sit or stand in a relaxed, healthful posture.

HABITS OF THOUGHT

       Here are a few basic principles of correct thought.

·     The Ten Commandments are valid today.  If you have not read them lately, review them.  They are out of fashion these days, but they are not out of date.

·     Take full responsibility for your life, rather than play the victim.  To be a victim is always a lie from a spiritual point of view.  This is probably the most common error millions of people make.  A victim is powerless.  If you feel you are a victim, you have automatically handed power to your oppressors, whatever or whoever you believe they are.  Sooner or later this often results in physical and mental illness. In contrast, if you take full responsibility for everything and everyone in your life, you are always empowered.  If problems exist, you still have the power to change them.
    It is easy to say, “but I can’t help the way I feel”.  A principle is that you can and do control your thoughts and feelings.  However, it often takes catching yourself in victim thinking many times to remove this weed from your mental garden.  Anything that can help remind you not to be the victim will be helpful, from books and movies to counseling,  affirmations, meditation or other methods.  If you set your intention clearly, you will slowly climb out of the victim  error.

·     Think positively.  This is not the same as “positive thinking”, which is often denial of the truth.  Thinking positively means to look on the bright side of things as much as possible.  It does not mean to ignore the obvious or to believe things will work out when all the facts argue against it.  In fact, it is as easy to think positively as it is to think negatively.  However, most people look on the dark side of life.  
    Negativity is subtle and can masquerade as “realism”, for example.  One may say, “I am just viewing the situation realistically”.  However, this is often not the case and the person is confusing his own perception with the actual facts of the matter.
    To assist in learning to think positively, try to be around people who tend to be happier and more upbeat.  Let go of the naysayers in your life.  If it is a partner or a child, work with them to remind them of the positive without getting into polyanna talk about all is well when it is not.
    At a deeper level, listen to CDs, read books and watch DVDs that are genuine and positive.  For deeper issues, the Roy Masters meditation, in my experience, will help anyone sort out facts from perceptions and will bring an honest positivity to any person who practices it daily.  To obtain this meditation exercise, I offer it on a CD for $9.00 plus shipping.  Roy Masters offers it on a CD at www.fhu.com.

·     Think wholesomely.  This means to watch your lower impulses at all times.  These include anger, rage, lust, greed, and the idea that others are here to serve you in some way.  These ideas have plagued humanity forever and are discussed in all the major religions and philosophies.  They are “natural”, but not helpful in the slightest degree.  They must be controlled in some way, whether by government laws, moral codes, fear of punishment or other methods.  
    In some circles today, controlling your emotions and thoughts is considered repression or not expressing who you really are.  This, I maintain, is always a lie.  We live at many levels.  We choose our altitude, so to speak, by our attitudes.  Everyone, without exception,  has lower impulses and ambitions.  They are always unhelpful and the cause of many illnesses.
    To help overcome unwholesome thoughts and feelings, substitute more wholesome ones.  Let go of friends and even work situations that expose you to those who are coarse, angry or engage in unwholesome behaviors.  Plenty of people are out there who seek a pure, wholesome life who will accept you into their groups and even their workplaces.

·     Let go of all grudges and resentments.  Holding on to grudges and hateful thoughts toward others is associated with all the chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and many others.  Learn to let go, even if it hurts and you feel terribly alone or cheated by life. 
    Useful techniques to assist with letting go of grudges, resentments and all negative thinking include the Roy Masters meditation.  Others are affirmations, relaxation techniques, more rest and improving your overall physical health.  Then you are more able to live free without needing to dislike or hold anything against anyone for any reason at all.

·     Gratitude is always best.  Gratitude is one of the healthiest attitudes to adopt about your life.  It is the recognition that all of life is a gift, even the seemingly adverse circumstances.  Therefore, one can and should be grateful for whatever comes one’s way.
    Gratitude is not the same as a Polyanna attitude or what is often considered ”positive thinking”.  In other words, one must not invent positive reasons for difficult situations.  Also, one must not overlook and ignore facts.  It is still possible to be grateful, however, for all that you have and all that you are.  This perspective about life will help you through health challenges more than any other.
    If you cannot see or feel gratitude to this extent, make a list of at least five people, places or things for which you are grateful each night before retiring.  Review the list often.  Practicing gratitude as much as possible can cause more healing of the liver, in particular, than most other therapies.

By Lawrence Wilson, MD

Last Updated Monday, 30 January 2012 16:55
This article was written by Lawrence Wilson
All articles by Lawrence Wilson
All articles on Holistic Nutrition Therapy

Add comment (if you already have an account, please login first)


Security code
Refresh