Here are the top ten lessons I have learned about natural health over the past two decades:
1. Anyone who works in the natural health sector learns is that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all remedy!
This can be immensely frustrating when dealing with a chronic health condition or illness where one remedy can work so well for one person, and then have little or no effect on another person with the exact same set of symptoms.
2. In natural health we are not treating a condition, an illness, or even a set of symptoms, we are treating the whole person.
It is crucial to take into account a detailed history when getting to the root of any issue, or even working out where to begin.
3. Taking into account emotional and mental wellbeing is just as important as physical health.
Taking responsibility for our actions, and understanding when toxic relationships are taking a toll on our physical and mental health is just as important as making sure that we eat well and get enough exercise.
4. Sometimes it is better to start with the most simple solutions before trying complicated (and often expensive) remedies and therapies.
Begin by looking into your diet, water intake, sleep, exercise, household and personal care products, and sources of stress. Once you can check these off, then it is time to look into the cause of any remaining symptoms.
5. Make sure that your bowel is healthy and happy by keeping your colon clean and functioning well. This brings us back to the simple solutions mentioned above. Bowel health can be linked to so many symptoms, from headaches and fatigue, through to skin complaints and joint pain.
6. One of the other surprising lessons I have learned is that good health begins in the mouth.
Keeping on top of your oral hygiene is not only crucial for keeping healthy teeth, but also impacts your intestinal health and your immune function.
In particular, make sure that your gums are well looked after, and the rest will follow. Gum health has even been linked to diabetes and heart disease.
7. The endocrine system is key to wellness. Never underestimate the power of hormones.
Our thyroid, parathyroid, adrenals, pancreas, pituitary, hypothalamus, ovaries, testes, and pineal glands determine everything from our size and shape through to our temperature, sleep, hunger, thirst, breathing, blood sugar, moods, fertility, sex drive, and energy levels.
8. Lymph fluid not only carries white blood cells throughout the body to help fight off infection, but it also works to transport toxins, pathogens, and cellular waste for safe removal.
Some of the simplest ways to support your lymphatic system are to eat a clean organic whole foods diet, drink plenty of water, practise deep conscious breathing techniques, and get regular daily exercise.
You can also use dry skin brushing, massage, and acupuncture to help with lymphatic flow.
9. Meditation and time out are more important than you may think.
When I first came across the concept of meditation I was tempted to dismiss it as being wishy-washy and unscientific. I was wrong.
There are a host of scientific studies backing up the benefits of meditation, proving that it can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve memory function and mental acuity, balance immune function, reduce inflammation, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, help in managing addiction and dependency, reduce conflict, enhance sleep, reduce sensitivity to pain, lower blood pressure, and improve attention span.
10. Take your health into your own hands.
Make informed decisions, but remember that it is possible to find research to back up or dismiss almost any health claim.
Always consider the source and possible limitations of any studies and trials. Sometimes the best remedy is a healthy dose of common sense.