Fruits and vegetables spelling out happily healthy

15 Basic Ways to Increase Your Health in 2014

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By Dr. Shawna Eischens

1.Breathe
Rather than breathing just to survive, focus on breathing to thrive. Let your shoulders and jaw muscles relax; c’mon you can do it. Place one hand on your abdomen as you inhale and feel it expand, slowly and deeply. Exhale actively as you notice your abdomen deflate. Start with at least 5-10 deep breaths at every traffic light, while waiting in line, on the toilet, while listening on the phone. Through awareness and practice, this can become your normal way of healthy breathing.

2.Hug Each Other
Why not share a token of love while benefitting from an increase in ‘feel good hormones’ oxytocin and serotonin?

3.Consider a Deodorant Instead of Antiperspirant
Although there is conflicting thoughts on the harm of aluminum salts used in common antiperspirants, why take the chance of exposing yourself if there are safer options?
-Sweating is a necessary detoxification route that is minimized by antiperspirants. –There is the highest incidence of breast cancer in the breast tissue closest to the armpit compared to other areas.
-Aluminum has been shown to be capable of causing DNA alterations and is considered a metalloestrogen which can mimic estrogen and activate receptors.
To avoid daily exposure to aluminum, a non-toxic deodorant can be used for hygiene. Check out http:www.ewg.org/skindeep/ for reviews on various hair and skin products to find the safest options for you and your family.

4.Forgive
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
~Lewis B. Smedes
Health involves more than just physical components. Letting go of the past and forgiving may be the most powerful treatment option you possess. Anger and resentment can manifest into physical symptoms that no drug or herb can heal like the act of forgiveness. Forgiving yourself is as important as forgiving others.

5.Mix Up Your Showers
Include this into your daily routine whether you need help waking up in the morning, struggle with low body temps, or have circulation or cardiovascular concerns. Alternating hot and cold water is exercise for your vasculature as it produces a constricting and dilating effect for your blood vessels. This daily exercise can strengthen the integrity of your vessels to increase healing and metabolism and avoid hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
-Shower with hot water for ~2 minutes, then immediately switch to cold water. Doing a body wash during this 15-30 seconds of cold water may help distract before you turn back to hot water again for ~2 minutes. Switch to cold water for 15-30 seconds, etc. Do multiple cycles, always ending with the cold phase. Don’t worry you won’t stay cold once you start to dry off.

6.Say Yes to Garlic
Odor is not the only thing potent about garlic. Some of the powerful medicinal benefits of garlic include; anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-carcinogenic (especially for colon, stomach, and prostate cancers), decreases high cholesterol and blood pressure, prevents atherosclerosis and tick/bug bites (and vampires, right?). Although raw, organic is best, try cloves roasted, juiced, or added to soup, vegetables, and sauces.

7.Move it or Lose it
The benefits of exercise are well known and plentiful. If scheduling an hour of activity into your schedule overwhelms you, commit to at least 10 minutes of movement every day. Don’t stress over the time, just get your body moving every day. Try walking while talking on the phone, adding on a few blocks while getting the mail, taking the stairs in buildings, stretch at the airport, holding a plank position and adding in some push ups or stretches while watching TV.

8.Start the Day with a Clean Mouth
Decrease plaque, gingivitis, bacteria, and toxicants in 15 minutes a day. Wake up, put a few tablespoons of sesame or coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around your mouth while you shower and get ready, then dispose of oil, rinse mouth, and brush your teeth. As always, organic and cold pressed oil is best to use.

9.Hello, My Name is “Me”
Regardless of age, it’s always a good time to learn about and care for YOU. Are you able to sit down in silence and be content with yourself? If not, take some time to figure out what is going on. What are your fears? What are your goals? What’s preventing you from being the person you want to be? Are you willing to make changes that may be challenging? Are you able to let go of what others think and do things that truly make you happy?
Get to know yourself physically too as regular breast or testicular self-exams can be a lifesaving practice.

10.Turn Off Technology and Schedule Dates with Nature
Even if you ignore any scientific studies showing that electromagnetic radiation can be harmful to our mind, body, and DNA, taking a hike in open air seems to be a healthier option. Children with ADHD have been found to improve concentration comparable to standard medication after a 20-minute walk in a park. Turn off the computer, leave the phone behind, and go play in the outdoor playground and do your mind and body a favor.

11.Surrender and Accept
Accepting people and situations as they are can be liberating when you are able to let go of control and judgment. Allow yourself to feel how you feel. Simply accepting your feelings can be a healthy start. Be aware of using words like “should” as this sends the message to yourself and others that the present situation or feeling is wrong.

12.Get to Know Castor Oil
Many are aware of its laxative effect, but try it topically for some safe, effective, and economical treatments.

13.Skin-Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral for wounds, infections, and acne.
Pain-Anti-inflammatory and analgesic for strains, arthritis, menstrual cramping, trauma.
Immune stimulating-Penetrates the skin and can increase lymphocytes and blood and lymph circulation to keep your immune function optimal.

14.Eat Your Vegetables
It’s hard to beat the benefits of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale. They pack a dairy-free mega source of calcium, increase detoxification pathways, can balance problematic estrogens, and greatly lower cancer risk thanks to the powerful compound sulforaphane.

15.Laugh
Laughter can have an effect similar to exercise including increased blood flow, calorie expenditure, decreased blood sugar, and improved sleep. Plus it’s fun and more enjoyable than doing sit ups for an abdominal work out.

*When you’re ready to increase your overall health, a naturopathic physician can guide you towards a treatment plan that can benefit you specifically. Dr. Eischens is a board certified naturopathic physician who specializes in digestive disturbances, mental health, and preparing people for healthy conception. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Eischens, call Pingel Progressive Medicine at 602-845-8949 or visit www.pingelprogressivemedicine.com.

Photo Credit: www.christmasstockimages.com

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