Sometimes the best medicine isn’t found in a jar of pills or vitamins… sometimes the best medicine is right in your own bed! SLEEP is one of the great decadences of life that is essential for survival and yet so often overlooked as a key component to health and wellness.
While we sleep our bodies engage in healing activity by secreting melatonin which is a hormone with powerful anti-oxidant properties. A good night’s rest also plays an important role in shaping metabolism as lack of sleep can increase risk of obesity and interfere with healthy weight loss.
Individuals who have trouble falling asleep may benefit from natural supports such as melatonin, calming herbs such as chamomile, hops, passionflower or valerian or taking a dose of relaxing magnesium before bed.
Individuals who have trouble staying asleep may be sensitive to changes in blood sugar levels that occur overnight. Eating a protein snack before bed such as almond butter with apple slices may help keep blood sugar levels even and prevent the frequent waking.
*If you are using anti-inflammatory medications recommended by a healthcare practitioner, please consult the practitioner before making any changes to your regimen.
WATER: One of the first places you can begin when feeling achy or sore is with a glass or two of water since dehydration can be a trigger for these symptoms. I often encourage patients who struggle with lower back pain to first drink two glasses of water and wait about 15 minutes before reaching for the anti-inflammatory medications, and sometimes water does the trick!
TURMERIC is one of the strongest anti-inflammatory herbs in the naturopathic tool belt. Long used as a culinary herb, this potent spice also has been shown to have anti-cancer properties as well. The challenge with turmeric is getting a high enough dose into the body to have a therapeutic effect. While cooking with turmeric is definitely beneficial, taking specially prepared forms of turmeric in supplement form can deliver a high concentration of the herb to stimulate a medicinal effect for lowering pain and inflammation.
CASTOR OIL: When used orally, castor oil can act as a strong laxative, but when applied topically over areas of inflammation (such as an arthritic knee or sore shoulder), castor oil has an anti-inflammatory effect. Preparing a castor oil ‘pack’ is another age-old naturopathic therapy which involves applying the oil over the inflamed area (not over open wounds) and then covering the area and applying heat for 20-30 minutes. The oil can be left on longer but if you sleep with the oil on your body, be sure to wear old clothes as it can stain.
Magnesium is one of the most vital nutrients used by the body with jobs ranging from aiding calcium with bone composition to signaling the relaxation of tight muscles. It is needed for nearly every chemical reaction that turns glucose into energy and offers a gentle approach for calming anxiety, relieving constipation, migraine prevention, relaxing sore muscles and boosting energy levels.
HOW TO USE MAGNESIUM*: Magnesium is relatively safe for children and adults – the main concern being that everyone has a different tolerance for dosing. If you take too much magnesium for your body, then you will likely experience loose stools.
BY MOUTH: Magnesium comes in powder, liquid and capsule forms. It is often recommended to take magnesium before bed as it can help prevent insomnia and support a better night’s sleep. Dosing can range from 150mg – 500mg once or twice per day.
SOAK IN IT: Epsom salts are composed of Magnesium Sulfate and when added to a warm bath (2 cups is a good therapeutic dose), the nutrients soak into the muscle tissue and release tension and stress while also offering mild detoxification support.
* The information in this post is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Before introducing any new supplements, it is advisable to consult a healthcare practitioner.
If you found yourself over-indulging a bit this holiday season, the FRESH START DETOX program will gently guide you back to your healthiest self. Designed to be simple so you can be successful, this 10-day detox will launch you into the New Year with the energy and motivation to tackle your New Year’s Resolutions with gusto!
START DATE: Monday January 6th
THE PLAN: Eating a nutritionally dense diet while eliminating foods that trigger inflammation and stress.
INCLUDES: Detox Guide / Detox Tea blend / Protein supplement / Recipe Book / Daily Wellness Tips
TO REGISTER: firstname.lastname@example.org / 443-226-7665
PLEASE REGISTER BY THURSDAY JANUARY 2, 2014
WISING YOU A BLESSED START TO 2014!
The Grand Finale to Naturopathic Medicine Week!
In a world where we walk on concrete and look more often at our cell phone screens than make eye contact with passers-by, it is easy to forget that we are made of the similar nutrients and molecules as the trees along our path or the stars in the sky.
Today’s Challenge: Reconnect with Nature
- Smell a Rose
- Touch the Bark of a Tree
- Listen to the rustle of the Fall leaves in the breeze
- Taste the refreshing sweetness of a tart apple
- Watch the Sunset or Look for the Moon
I wish you continued health and healing as you implement these practices into your daily life.