Are You Suffering?

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That’s like me asking you if you’re staring, glossy-eyed into your phone. Of course you are, right?

We’re all suffering from something, because this world stubbornly refuses to pander to our needs — depression, arthritis, anxiety, autoimmune disorders, skin conditions, PTSD, digestive disorders, and sufferings unto infinity. We’re all burdened by physical, emotional, and spiritual frailty.

It’s good and bad, isn’t it, that all of those things are so deeply connected? When we struggle mentally, our bodies are without energy and health, and when we struggle physically, our minds just can’t operate. The good thing is this: healing and redemption, then, can flood all of our being. Making healthy choices, honoring our bodies, and pursuing a higher life washes over the full of us. When we pursue health, our entire being can’t help but to be redeemed.

Honoring our bodies

Sometimes, it feels like there isn’t much here to honor, right? Wrong! As frustrating (and disappointing) as they can be, our bodies are of incredible value. What else lets you consume an entire chocolate cake and somehow come out alive? Or who let’s you stay up all night, throwing back cold ones and then still wakes you up in the morning? Your body is your most loyal and forgiving companion.

And we can do better for it. Let’s make decisions a little better each day, choosing life over lethargy. Reach for the nutritious food, rewarding your body for getting you this far. Conquer your cravings by falling in love with new, super foods.

Yes, you know what’s next: exercise. Walk to the coffee shop to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. Better yet, walk with a friend during lunchtime or after work. (Truly, you wouldn’t believe the health benefits of companionship. Here is a great Ted Talk about the incredible effects of companionship.)

Pursue health by making small, achievable steps each day to build a life that is both more uplifting and more fulfilling. You know it’s real, because you always feel better (and are better) after you exercise or go a full day eating according to plan. So let’s go.

Understanding health

What I hear most from people reluctant to embrace a healthier life is the misunderstanding of what it means to make healthy choices. It isn’t starving, it isn’t boring, and it isn’t a waste of time. It’s creating a menu of new, nutritious food, it’s self-care, and it’s rewarding.

Avoiding common offenders like gluten, dairy, preservatives, and chemicals and fueling your body with the nutrition it needs allows your body to overcome much of our suffering. When we’re burdened by physical and mental ailments, our bodies are crying out for relief. Let’s give it to them.

Here are some ideas to consider as you build a better, more fulfilling life:

  1. Eat healthy — no, I’m not talking about eating grass. I’m talking about local, farm-raised meats, eggs, and raw milk, vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and fermented foods, like sauerkraut and kimchi.
  2. Exercise — get out there and explore a little.
  3. Sleep well — for probably the first time, make sleep a priority. It’s actually one of the most important parts of your day (yes, I mean night!).
  4. Relax and enjoy life — practice deep breathing, make time to read a book or watch your favorite TV show, eat slowly and savor your food, and cherish the people around you.

That sounds like a pretty good life, right? As our bodies heal, so too do our minds. May you find yourself more at peace.

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This is a platform to discuss and reflect on ideas, advancements, questions, and other musings. I am neither a health expert nor a member of clergy. The only authority I have to speak is my experience — I yield no degree or certification to give you medical, psychological, or religious advice. This is simply where minds come to meet and broaden.

Boosting Your Lymphatic System

Of all our systems (digestive, immune, nervous, lymph, etc.), lymph just doesn’t get the attention it has earned. Our lymphatic system is in charge of managing defense and detoxification — not a small job, right?

The lymphatic system is this: a waste-management and protection network that moves lymph fluid throughout the body, with primary operators being tonsils, spleen, and thymus.

Perhaps, the enormous function of the lymphatic system is more powerfully expressed by considering the burdens we endure when it isn’t functioning properly:

  1. Joint and muscle pain
  2. Skin eruptions, including acne and eczema
  3. Arthritis
  4. Chronic fatigue
  5. Frequent infections, viruses, and illnesses
  6. Cancer formation

When the body’s defense and detoxification system isn’t functioning well, we become bogged down by lethargy, illness, toxicity, and disease. Our channels are blocked, causing a buildup of toxins — how could we not develop burdensome symptoms?

As critical thinkers, then, we wonder, “what could make our lymphatic system perform poorly?” We are. Our lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump. This means that it relies on our breathing, laughing, exercise, and anything else that causes muscle contraction to function. With our troublesome diet and our incredible lack of physical activity, our lymph fluid is sitting idle, unable to carry toxins.

How to jump start your lymphatic system

As usual, our bodies are pretty forgiving. If we put a little effort into this, we can help our lymph system to help us. Here are some simple ways to earn back the functionality of your lymphatic system:

    1. Exercise & Rebounding – because muscle contraction spurs lymphatic movement, any movement is beneficial. However, rebounding — jumping on a trampoline — is the most beneficial exercise for lymph, as it uses gravity to push the lymph toward the heart — where it needs to go. I recently purchased a mini trampoline. It’s delightful.
    2. Laughing – of course, you can’t force yourself to laugh (I know, because my jokes often meet a silent audience!). However, seeking laughter in internet videos or your favorite comedy may be the healthiest choice you make all day. Who knew?
    3. Dry brushing – this is a unique process I have cherished. Dry brushing is exactly what it sounds like: you purchase a stiff-bristled brush and brush your skin toward your heart. You can purchase one here: Yerba Prima Tampico Skin Brush
    4. Teas are useful for almost every health function, and lymph function is no exception. Red root and burdock root have been shown to promote healthy lymph function by stimulating lymph flow. I have even noticed an enormous decrease in allergy symptoms since starting the tea.  Organic Burdock Root C/S

For a system that does incredible things for our health, it doesn’t take much to help it along. Try some of the ideas above and let me know if you find relief from your symptoms! Stay healthy.

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This is a platform to discuss and reflect on ideas, advancements, questions, and other musings. I am neither a health expert nor a member of clergy. The only authority I have to speak is my experience — I yield no degree or certification to give you medical, psychological, or religious advice. This is simply where minds come to meet and broaden. 

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