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Summer 2018 Newsletter
Moving Through Life
Finding the Pleasure in Exercise
We're busier than ever with longer workdays, less leisure time, shorter lunch hours, longer commutes, and more demands than ever before. We may even be in a job that doesn't fulfill us, yet we spend most of our time there. When the day ends, we have almost no energy left to do what we enjoy. How to find a healthy balance?
Plenty has been written about the therapeutic benefits of exercise. So, why aren't more people reaping those benefits and moving toward health and well-being? We need to reexamine our notion of what exercise and movement are and consider what we're moving toward or away from. Then we can begin to ask ourselves other questions: Not just are we fit, but are we physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy? Are we happy? Do we enjoy how we're moving through life? How can we integrate more healing movement into our days?
Exercise as "Medicine"We sometimes see more barriers than options to exercise. But what if we reoriented our point of view to notice where the opportunities lie? We can begin by simply redefining exercise (with its sometimes negative connotation of obligation) to movement. Already opportunities arise: How do we want to move in our bodies and in our lives? How can we have fun doing that? How can we move more (or maybe less, if we need to slow down)? How does it feel to be still? How can we make time to move into pleasure, to move with pleasure? Already, the notion of movement takes on a more healing expression. Rather than simply being another item on our to do list, it becomes a way for us to examine our lives, to see where we can move toward health, and use physical activity as a way to support this.
"When most people think of medicine, they visualize something material like a pill to be popped, a liquid to be swallowed, or an injection to be endured," writes Carol Krucoff, author of "Healing Moves: How to Cure, Relieve, and Prevent Common Ailments with Exercise" (Harmony Books, 2000). "Some might also consider surgery, tests, or procedures ... [But] simple physical activity can have profound healing effects."
Krucoff, who cowrote the book with her husband, Mitchell, a Duke University cardiologist, advocates movement as preventive medicine, saying it's an ideal way to combat the increasing number of inactivity-related health conditions such as heart disease and obesity. This could actually be expanded to include stress-related conditions. In fact, it's often this combination of inactivity and increased stress that wreaks havoc on our immune system, endocrine system, and circulatory system. Every system in our body, in fact, responds to stress and inactivity. But, if this is true, then the inverse is also true: every system in our bodies will also respond to movement and pleasure. To make movement pleasurable and to use it as a way to reconnect with our bodies is, in many ways, the perfect antidote to the cycle of inactivity/hyperactivity and stress. As we move more in this way, we gain energy and health, we feel rejuvenated and relaxed, and we become more physically and emotionally aware.
We often focus on physical fitness, but any movement toward health must also include emotional and spiritual fitness. Psychologist Nancy Miramor, PhD, author of "Spiritual Fitness" (Llewellyn Publications, 2004), ties emotional fitness with our physical health and with our heart's expression. "There is evidence that the largest number of heart attacks occurs on Monday morning between 8 and 9 a.m.," she says. "This occurrence is related to the experience called joyless striving. It applies to feelings of having to force yourself to go to a job that you have no interest in, or even truly dislike. Clearly these feelings suggest a lack of emotional fitness in the match between the employee and the job." When we're emotionally connected to our work in a healthy way and to one another, we not only survive, we thrive.
Personal Health Interpersonal relationships, in fact, are one of the three major causes of life stress, along with environmental events/conditions and personal attitudes and beliefs. In his book, "Love and Survival" (Harper Collins, 1998), renowned physician Dean Ornish, who first proved that heart disease was reversible through lifestyle changes, says that in order to survive, we need not only care for our lives, but the lives of others. Individuals with supportive relationships get sick less, heal faster, and live longer.
Our health and well-being are not about being hyper-active or inactive. They're about finding a balance, making our actions conscious, and learning to move in ways that are both healthy and appropriate in our own lives, then moving this healing energy out toward others. So, rather than exhausting or limiting our energy, we learn to expand it. Then we can begin exercising in a whole new way--exercising our right to choose and to better understand our body, our life, and what we want to be doing with it.
Begin by checking in with yourself as you're moving through your day: How does your body feel right now? How are you breathing? Where is this movement taking you? Do you feel good? Are you satisfied? Are you happy? If not, then change something. Change how you're moving, where you're moving toward, or look at what you're moving away from.
"Become the change you seek in the world," Mahatma Ghandi said. This isn't about a temporary quick fix to end a bad habit, lose some weight, or fill our time. This is about long-term change--making more conscious use of our time and of our life. It's about moving though life in healthy and healing ways, and expanding our idea of who we can be. Then our view of the world widens, our heart grows, our spirit soars, and our body moves toward true change. This is the healing power of movement.
As we age, natural exfoliation can take up to 40 days or more, which leads to a buildup of dead skin cells. This means fine lines, uneven skin tone, and in some cases, acne. Incorporating natural fruit enzymes into your skin care regimen is a great way to clean, correct, and polish the skin, as well as deliver nutrition to skin cells.
Good-Bye Dead Skin. In the late 1800s, papain (found in unripe papaya) was first explored and recognized as an enzyme useful in digesting protein. This makes papaya useful for light exfoliation, as it operates in a way that's similar to digestive enzymes breaking down food in the stomach; it digests dead skin to reveal fresh, healthy cells.
Fruit enzymes also offer antioxidant benefits to the skin. To visualize oxidation, think of an apple that's been cut and left out in the open. It turns brown. Yet, if you squeeze a lemon over the apple right after slicing it, it stays fresh and looks more appetizing. While we wouldn't want lemon juice (at 100 percent L-ascorbic acid) on our skin, we do want the benefits of a more gentle, buffered substance to stabilize pH and control acidity. Products including fruits like blueberry, kiwi, lemon, pomegranate, and pumpkin provide great antioxidant nutrition to the skin.
Stay Hydrated Natural enzymes in the epidermis require water, since water regulates almost every enzymatic action. This raises interesting questions: Do you drink enough water? Do you live in a dry climate or other environment where trans-epidermal water loss is great? If there is not enough water among skin cells, natural enzymes will not kick in. Adding water to your diet will further enhance enzymatic activity.
Lisa VanBockern is founder and owner of Skin Script Skin Care of Tempe, Arizona. She is a formulator of corrective fruit enzyme products and educates on that topic. Her esthetic focus has been on corrective skin treatments for all ethnicities.
Set Aside Stereotypes For This Wonder Food
Shelley Burns, N.D.
While hemp has often been negatively associated with marijuana, it actually has very little mind-altering tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC) in it--just 0.3 percent in hemp, compared with the 3-15 percent found in marijuana. And in parts of the world, it has been used to make clothing, bedding, and rope thousands of years.
Now more recently, hemp and its good balance of antioxidants, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins is being viewed as a health-promoting, disease-preventing food. Its derivatives include hemp oil, hemp butter, hemp protein powder, and newest of all, hemp milk. Hemp milk is positioned to compete with other non-dairy alternatives like soy, rice, and almond milk.
Hemp's powerful properties provide a number of benefits:
- Its antioxidant content counteracts environmental toxins.
- Its carbohydrates help increase energy, improve endurance performance during exercise, and keep the mind at peak performance.
- Hemp seeds have more dietary protein than soybeans, meat, fish, chicken, cheese, and milk. Hemp protein has the added benefit of being gluten-free.
- Hemp contains all nine essential amino acids, the building blocks of cells, antibodies, muscle tissue, and enzymes.
- Hemp is loaded with essential fatty acids (EFAs), which are required for maintaining good neurological, digestive, and skin health.
- Hemp has a low-cholesterol content and a high content in natural phytosterols that also reduce cholesterol levels.
- Hemp is helpful in preventing conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, and asthma.
- Hemp is also good for the planet. As a low-maintenance plant that grows just about anywhere, needs little or no pesticides, and is an ideal crop for organic, sustainable farming.